Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homeschool Convention 2012

Marilyn Boyer, me, Rick Boyer
I had been looking forward to my first homeschool convention for quite some time.  Well, when I found out that my favorite couple of all time was gonna be there.... I got a ticket!  I'd love to tell you why they mean so much to me.  Back when I had only three kids with one on the way I was getting some flack from people.  I really didn't have much support and it was getting to the point where I thought I'd get my tubes tied to just make all the negativity stop.  That's the popular thing, right?  People were saying that since I was having my girl I needed to stop.  Well, that bothered me because I didn't really think that was anyone's place to tell me how many children I should have.  Wasn't that between God, my husband, and I?  I was looking through a used book store when I found the book Yes, They're All Ours and since it had a lot of kids on the cover I bought it.  First off, Rick is funny and makes it easy to get hooked on his book from the very beginning.  I finished the book in only two days.  

(Will continue writing.  Girls are asking for a bedtime story.....)

One view of the vendors
The book was such an encouragement to me.  It's not what other people tell you THEY think you should do that matters.  That is something you go to God about as a couple.  I mean, this is something I had been in tears about and bullied about.  The Boyers raised their kids up in Christ and lived it in their home.  Well, when I saw the Boyers I just had to talk to them and tell them what an encouragement they've been to my family.  Rick asked me what other books of theirs I have read but I hadn't heard of any others.  Actually, I've just been reading and rereading the same book over every now and then.  He gave a big hug and handed me a newer version of their book Yes, They're All Ours, plus The Hands-on DadParenting From the HeartHome Educating with ConfidenceHands-On Character Building, and CD of The Runt that's read aloud.  Wow, what a blessing! I read all the time and look forward to studying each one.  Seriously, I had to hold back the tears as they gave me a hug because I couldn't really express to them what they did for me through their book.  It had given me the confidence I needed to have the family I desired, homeschool the kids without guilt, and have fun while doing it.  I still quote Rick at the end of the day (more or less).  "What was I thinking having all these kids?"  haha .  Yes, it's a ton of work but they are all ours and I love it!

Well, because I like to procrastinate and wait before reading important information, I did not know the convention was for two days.  Argh!  I missed the first day and only went to the comedy event in the evening.  John Branyan was FUNNY!  Guess what?  It was all clean humor and that was a relief.  I love to listen to comedians but then they tend to cuss a lot and use vulgar humor.  Often it makes me cringe.  This time I was able to sit back and really enjoy myself.  I have to say that when I first walked in to a roomful of large family people who homeschool I just wanted to cry.  I literally wanted to jump over the chairs and hoot and holler.  I truly felt I was home.  No criticism, no mocking, no raised eyebrows.  I was home.  We were easily outnumbered by kids and I comfortably sat down in between 2 large families with my best friend right next to me.  We laughed and laughed through the punch lines and the hour passed quickly.  You know what was really neat?  There were a TON of kids there and I didn't hear one tantrum or kid screaming out because they had to sit down for an hour.  It was impressive.

I missed out on ALL the seminars and I know I needed to hear a lot of them.  However, because I didn't know much about the homeschool convention, I just figured I'd be attending a big place that held lots of materials.  Next year I will be there both days and have lots of time for everything.  Hopefully.  I was only there for 7 hours and it wasn't nearly enough time.  My friends Michele, Melanee, and I went from table to table picking up and looking at all the materials.  It's so much better than just looking things up online.  I think half of Michele's fun was talking to everyone at the booths.  My fun was taking pictures of things, people, and materials, and Melanee was usually looking at her map and finding places she needed to go.  Half the time I was trying to keep up with Melanee but then Michele would get left behind because she wanted to sit down and talk to everyone.  I did have lots of fun though but sometimes it can be hard to please everyone.  Ohhh, the joys of going in threes.  LOL.  I truly am blessed to have friend to experience fun times like these and learn together.

There were soooo many great tools there for teaching that I felt like I was swimming in them.  I know people can get caught up in TOO MUCH but I'm more talking about bible things.  I found posters that gave visuals for the kids, bible study materials for teaching kids at home, and the list goes on and on.  They even gave out free books on CD like 
Passing the Torch, and Hell's Best Kept Secret.
Ohhh, books on CD are delicious because I can clean and listen to them at the same time.
Also, I loved the books where they teach you about the animals according to what day they were created.  Sigh.  Basically, I was in love and wish I could have spent much more time there.  There will always be next year.  The one I'm showing is Land Animals of the Sixth Day.
After a few hours we were soooo hungry but we about fainted when we saw the food prices.  Eight bucks for nachos?  I wasn't about to eat a cracker for even five bucks so we walked a block away to eat at a restaurant.  We didn't realize it was a restaurant that overlooks the baseball game that was going on. Oh, it was awesome!  Basically, I got a whole meal for the same price as what I would have paid for nachos in the convention center but with a better view!

While we were safe inside the convention we heard an announcement that there currently was a Haboob outside and to stay in. No problem... I was having fun and since the place was so huge, I missed seeing this coming right at us.... Wow, glad I was indoors!

If you want to see a video of one coming at you, this is the exact one that came that day taken from a bicyclist staying inside a building till it is safe enough to go outside.  Wow, crazy!


~Tammy~ said...

Virginia, I'd like to take a minute to encourage you. I started homeschooling my kids (I had two at the time) 27 years ago. Back then, most people weren't even sure it was legal! Over the years, we added to our family, having six boys and one girl. During the past 27 years, there were 4 years when I did NOT homeschool... the eldest two entered high school, after being taught at home all their lives. What I learned in those four years was that I could not possibly be any WORSE at home educating my children than the local high school. Since all of my children were attending PS during those four years, DH and I regrouped and pulled the younger kids back out, and the next three "proved" their educations with GEDs. Now, my youngest two (twins) are closing in on the time to sit for their GEDs. You won't regret a minute of the time you spend educating your children and raising them into wonderful, caring adults. Sometimes the road is hard and the outlook is bleak, but through Christ, you CAN do this! ~tammy~

Karen said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Where I live it's different, people expect that large families sometimes I feel guilty that I don't (and don't want to)! There are also lots of large families here so I don't get flack from family and friends (at least not to my face), only strangers!