This year our family is planning to attend the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Washington D.C., taking place May 15-17. As residents of Oklahoma, this is a huge thing for our family. My husband and children have never been to the East Coast, and I was only 16 years old when our family went on a homeschooling field trip tour of the eastern United States. We are planning a three-week vacation around the convention so that we can tour the interesting historical sites on the East Coast.
The fact that I get to take my family to this wonderful convention — an event that changed my heart last year in Omaha — is so exciting to me. Not only that, but my best friend who lives in North Carolina is planning to be there with her family, and my brother’s family from Colorado is also working on making the trip as well. What an awesome blessing to be able to experience this with my closest family and friends.
Many of you may remember my posts last year about my experience at the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Omaha, as well as posts from my sister-in-law Renée, who attended with me. I had arrived with expectations, my schedule already set, prepared to get some practical advice and encouragement like I get every year at the local homeschool convention in Oklahoma. As a veteran homeschool mom, I thought that was all I needed.
But from the very beginning, Teach Them Diligently blew both my expectations and planned schedule out of the water. My heart needed everything these speakers had to say: I think I cried through most of the sessions. The speakers I got the most from were real homeschool moms who spoke about “why” we homeschool. They spoke about what it takes on a spiritual level to press forward with this crazy thing we are all doing.
Every session challenged me to look at my priorities and focus on what’s most important: That if I don’t have a personal relationship with God, I will burn out. That I need to lay my lesson plans before the Lord and allow Him to direct my children’s education. That it is most important to teach my children the Word of God. That character was more important than curriculum. That if you focus on your children above your marriage, you may lose both. (See my favorite speaker sound bites post for more.)
I can honestly say that attending the Teach Them Diligently Convention last May is getting me through this school year without the usual burnout and loss of focus. I may not be doing it perfectly every day, but I know where I am going and where I need to go to get back on track.
For all these reasons, I am so looking forward to attending Teach Them Diligently again — this time with my family. I am anxiously anticipating the schedule to be posted, but I’m also going to let God lead me like He did last year. There is so much more I need to learn, and now my heart is open and ready to learn it.
Are you planning to attend any homeschool conventions this spring? If so, what do you look forward to most? If not, where do you look for homeschool resources, education and inspiration?