This is not a sponsored post. My family and I voluntarily chose to attend this informative homeschool convention. Thanks to Teach Them Diligently for all their efforts.
At the end of May, my family and I packed up the car and headed north to Sandusky, Ohio. I have only known Sandusky for two places, Cedar Point and Kalahari Resorts. Our destination was Kalahari Resorts and we were beyond excited to visit this ginormous water park resort! The resort offers both indoor and outdoor water fun and obstacle courses, a small zoo, an arcade, a spa, and a few restaurants. Upon arrival, it was clear that the weekend would be extremely busy, because between the resort and the Teach Them Diligently Convention, there were so many things to do.
A couple months ago I shared a post, inviting you to attend the Teach Them Diligently Convention. Although I had never attended a homeschool convention, The TTD Convention‘s mission grabbed my attention and I knew I did not want to miss out on a chance to meet other families who are choosing to educate their children in a unique way.
The three-day convention was jammed packed with informative and inspirational workshops. There were so many that it made it quite difficult to choose just one workshop per session. I was able to attend a hand full of sessions and came home with several key takeaways from the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Sandusky.
1. Homeschooling is more than teaching a child.
Mark Hamby of Lamplighter gave us a glimpse of his parenting and leading style during Raise Them Up; Don’t Crush Them Down- The Strong-Willed Parent. His words helped me to examine the way that I communicate with my daughters and to really consider if it is effective or not.
- Our children need us to be more than a teacher and authoritative figure.
- We have to show them how to live, not just teach or preach it. Be the leader!
- Each child learns differently and may require you to use a different parenting style than you do with their sibling(s).
- Allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to teach and parent. Depending on books and the opinions and advice of people isn’t your best option.
2. Your heart has to first be prepared to teach your children.
Kim Sorgius of Not Consumed shared with us, during her Practical Ways to Disciple Preschool and Elementary Children session, ways to keep Christ at the center of your life while homeschooling and parenting. In order for us to find joy in teaching and strength to teach, we should first prepare our hearts through quality time with God.
- Be the model and share what you have learned during your quiet time with God.
- Teach your child to prepare their heart by asking “How can we pray for each other today?” and “What are we excited to see God do today?”
- Have regular quiet time and explain why it is necessary.
3. There is an answer for every worry you have had about homeschooling.
T.C. Stallings, an actor whose most recent film is the upcoming War Room, shared his testimony on how he learned to trust God and His plan for his life. Families who are just beginning their homeschool journey may be experiencing some anxiety about their decision. Both beginners and vets have their respective worries, but scripture helps to alleviate it all.
- God has an unstoppable plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- His plan is a plan that you will love. (Romans 12:2)
- What you do matters! (Matthew 5:16)
- Stay passionate! (Revelation 2:2-5)
4. There is a HUGE homeschooling community!
Homeschool Launch Lounge
I had the opportunity to sit and lend a hand at the Homeschool Launch Lounge for a few hours during the convention. This was a booth in the exhibit hall sponsored by Teach Them Diligently that allowed families to ask questions about basically anything, although, most questions pertained to homeschooling. I met families and bloggers from all over the nation. We talked about everything from how we get our children to go to sleep to what products we enjoy using as tools while homeschooling.
A Time of Refreshment
To end one of the evenings at the convention, we had a mom’s night out experience. We were crowned as queens for the evening, played games, learned about queens of the Bible and prayed together. Although I was exhausted from the day’s activities, this time allowed me to meet other women who were very similar to me and who shared a common goal: to raise their children with love and be the best woman possible.
6. There is no perfect curriculum.
Carisa Hinson of 1+1+1=1 was amazing and inspiring. During her Planning Preschool at Home session she helped me to realize that there was no need to be anxious about getting the perfect curriculum or teaching planning. Each family has to consider several things before deciding which curriculum and homeschool setting will work best for them. Besides, conventions, like TTD, have a plethora of academic publishers in their exhibit halls and if you aren’t careful you can make a hasty decision, choosing possibly a curriculum that you and your student will dislike or leaving with more curriculum than you even need.
- Find the balance between the child, parent-teacher, and where the family is during this season.
- Consider your personality type.
- Do you like to be planned or do you like to wing it?
- Do you prefer a schedule, routine or neither?
Our time spent with the hundreds of other homeschooling families was so encouraging. We ended our stay at the convention by hearing the testimony of the Benham Brothers, twin brothers who are former baseball players who love God, their family and flip amazing houses. The two hit controversy last year right before their show aired on HGTV. They were courageous and stood on their beliefs in the word of God regarding same-sex marriage, which HGTV did not agree with. Their show was cancelled, but their faith wasn’t. They have continued on in the faith, persevering with the help of God and His promises.
The Benham Brothers’ testimony encouraged us homeschoolers to keep going and trusting that God will be with us, always. Regardless of the headaches, frustrations, misunderstandings and exhaustion, God will reign in our lives, if we allow Him.