Conference Highlights from a Homeschool Mom
I’m still recovering today from the MACHE Conference! I always come home totally exhausted, but in a good way! My body isn’t used to walking on concrete and sitting in a folding chair all day, but it was well worth it! I have to say that now that I’ve been homeschooling for a few years and have been to the conference a few times, it’s all much less overwhelming and stressful.
I remember the first year I went to the conference. I was so totally overwhelmed at all the choices in the curriculum fair, all the bodies in the used book sale and all the titles of workshops from which to choose. I came home feeling as though I’d never figure it all out. But, as usually happens, experience comes with time, and now I feel as though I can actually relax at the conference.
This year I have to say my absolute favorite workshop was “Laying Down the Rails” with Sonya Shafer. She was so enjoyable to listen to and so informative at the same time. She really spoke right to the heart of the issues in my home as well as the 200+ others in the room. We all laughed as she exposed our inconsistencies as parents and the fact that we could all relate! We moaned together as she told stories of children leaving a trail of coats, shoes and toys throughout the house. Then we sighed contentedly as a whole when she gave us the tools to overcome bad habits in our homes and establish good ones that cause peace and harmony in our days. I walked out of her session thinking, “If I get nothing else out of this conference, I’ve gotten what I need from Sonya.”
Little do my kids know what’s coming as we start to implement and establish new habits in our home!
Another highlight of course is the used book sale. I love books as do most of us homeschoolers, and I love finding a deal! I have to say, I was a bit disappointed at the small size of the book fair, along with the cramped quarters. I just learned to be nice but pushy, if those two can go together! I walked away with three or four bag loads of used books, most of which were on my list!
Lastly I think I just enjoy seeing everyone there. It is such an amazing mixture of people all unified under the same mission – doing what’s best for our kids. As I stood in line for purchases (or stood aside as I waited for the credit card company to not freak out over suspicious purchases) I talked with many different moms and dads. We all shared the same heart for our kids, wanting them to be academically smart, but more than that, wanting them to know our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s not often I get to be in a place with 4000 other believers, and it’s pretty cool when I do.
The MACHE conference is a unique and very special event, one I look forward to each year. In fact, we’re already booking our condo for Duluth next year! If you haven’t been or couldn’t make it this year, I hope you make a strong effort to come next year. It’s worth the trouble of finding a sitter, getting a hotel room, registering early and debating over whether to bring your winter coat or not! You’ll find treasures you never expected and encouragement to keep running the race.
And with that, I think I’ll take a short nap. . .