Saturday, June 23, 2012

My First Homeschool Conference

I think it's official now.  I'm a nerdy homeschool mom and I love it.   I'm honored to be part of such a group of hardworking, persistent, dedicated and intelligent women.  For the past two days, I attended the National IHM conference in Fredericksburg, VA.  Does that city sound familiar? Why yes, it is where I live!  I got to have breakfast at home, kiss my kids goodby and drive a whole 5 miles to the Expo Center.  I felt pretty lucky.

Attending my first homeschool conference made it feel official.   The last two years of homeschooling for preschool and kindergarten were practice years and now that my son is entering first grade, it's time to get serious. I realized I can't breeze through without a schedule any more.  I need to follow a plan and I may even need to set an alarm in the morning! I'm convinced I need to prepare the night before too.  Yikes.  I can do it.

Here's some highlights of the conference:

  • Getting motivated to get organized and serious about homeschooling.  A few points from the various talks helped my motivation. I realized that I need to use these precious two and half months left of summer to prepare myself- by making lots of beads and organizing my house.  Two things that I cannot do while homeschooling.
  • Seeing old friends who don't live quite as close to Fredericksburg as I do.  I got to see Lacy again (from Catholic Icing).  It's always fun to catch up!
  • Meeting the Holy Heroes kids! I just love what they do.  What a great family! I should have gotten an autograph.  I bought their picture bible too. It's going to be a hit, I know it.
  • Scoring most of my homeschooling books at great prices from the plethora of vendors. I loved being able to flip through the books before I bought them and see if it was something I really wanted.   There was every Catholic homeschooling book there I could ever want, plus every Catholic item I could ever want. I made many trips back to my car to unload! The Keller books booth and Usborne books were among my favorites.
  • Listening to Andrew Pudewa's talk on the power of music. Hands down, my favorite talk of the weekend. I bought the CD so my husband could hear it too. Here's the link.
But probably the best part of the weekend was a purely selfish perk- being TWO days kid-less!  I still came home at night, but that was the longest I had been away from the kids since I can remember- at least three years? It was. about. time.  I felt very rejuvenated! 


Julie Cragon said...

Honestly, I don't know how you guys do it. I think that's awesome. Way to go and glad you had some time away. It's good for us sometimes.

Allison said...

awesome. I am sure your children were thrilled to be with their daddy and to see you in the evenings. Good for you to take a "Business trip."

Katie Rose said...

i am so glad you got a break sarah! i am tempted to homeschool. i go back and forth. need to make a decision soon! i am sure you will do with 1st grade!

Anonymous said...

good to hear you had a repreave. you certainly deserved it. I admire your stanama to endure with a smile and how God remains in the forefront. Cant wait to see you all and hear more about your conference. Love Ya BMS

melody said...

I confess... I've been home educating for over a decade and I've never been to a homeschooling conference yet! I'm very envious! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and I'm so happy for you!

Megan said...

sounds like a great experience! hope we can make it there one year!

Mandy Benton said...

My friends Joyce and Gillian worked the Usborne booth at the conference. They had a blast. I can only imagine how much fun it was shopping, as well as going without kids!!! Glad you had a good time.

Meadow said...

Andrew Pudewa is a great speaker and the IEW program looks great.Mr Pudewa gave several talks and a workshop at the Catholic homeschool conferance in Atlanta GA this year. I end-ed up buying the writing program for my kids and am excited about giving it a try. I also picked up a copy of the book Thomas Jefferson Education and am enjoying it.The book does a excellant job of explain the educational philosiphy used by the IEW program.