Oceanetwork 2018 Homeschool Conference

Just got back from our first homeschool conference as a vendor in Albany, Oregon!  Super exciting to see so many people and awesome families!  I admit I was very nervous to put myself out there (I’m a closet introvert for those of you who don’t know!) but I know it is good to stretch ourselves and so my challenge was talking nonstop to people for two full days.  The blessings were so amazing!  I am reminded of why I love homeschooling and what a great community that homeschooling families are.  To see young men greet each other with a handshake, girls who haven’t seen each other in a while rush to each other with a warm embrace, young children being included with the older ones in activities… there’s no other community like it.  But it’s not homeschooling alone that is the cause of this wonderful behavior, it’s the underlying foundation of Jesus Christ being taught by devoted, caring parents who give of their time and energy because they know it’s important.  It’s not easy, it’s not always fun, but it’s so crucial–and it makes a difference.

I believe in the literature curriculum from The Independent Scholar and know that it can be a useful tool not only for teaching Biblical concepts through literature, but in keeping good relationships between parent/teacher and student.  I met many parents who knew that they needed to step back from their adolescent student and give them some space to learn on their own but didn’t know how to continue teaching them values and concepts that mattered to them.  There were also parents and teachers who were looking for one unit study that would fit both the older and younger family members at the same time.  I was so happy to be available to talk and share with them how this curriculum could help them out in both of these situations.  It’s so easy to get excited about curriculum or an idea, and then get tired, overwhelmed, or simply burnt out.  If we don’t make it doable, then it’s not going to get done, not matter how great our intentions were at the start.  (Been there, done that!)  I so enjoyed watching eyes light up as I explained how flexible these unit studies can be.  I know, I know– it all sounds like a sales pitch, but it really was so rewarding to see the light bulb switch on when explaining the concepts of the curriculum, how each writing lesson (for example) can be kept as easy or as in-depth as they wanted.  The freedom is there to study a subject that is assigned and keep it as simple as a bullet list of new things learned, a well-written paragraph, or a full five paragraph report, based on whatever the focus needs to be.  It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s out there but hang in there!  The rewards are HUGE and so worth it.  Thank you for letting me be a part of the teaching process!  It was great to get to meet so many wonderful people.  You renew and inspire me.

-Wendy

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