In early June, I was able to attend our local Catholic homeschooling conference with my husband.
I had a ball meeting other Catholic homeschool families, chatting with vendors about their products and listening to inspiring Catholic speakers.
Are you considering attending a Catholic homeschool conference? Here are some benefits you may not have considered.
1. Support and Solidarity
If you’re contemplating homeschooling your Catholic children, you may be having difficulty finding support.
By attending a Catholic homeschool conference, you’re among like-minded people. You’ll be surrounded by parents who are making the same decision as yourself, to serve as the primary educators of your children.
2. Clarity for Your Decision
When parents and families are contemplating a homeschooling choice, it can be hard to sift through the information to come to a decision.
It’s helpful to chat with families who are in the trenches, who have been in your shoes and mulled over some of the same variables.
3. Support Local Catholic Community
During our conference, I discovered that we have a local Catholic bookstore with an extensive collection, staffed entirely by volunteers. I’m willing to forego the convenience of Amazon to support the mission behind the Marian Center in Louisville.
You may also see representatives from local Knights of Columbus chapters, youth groups and more.
4. Learn about Vocations
You’ll find time dedicated to helping families navigate the waters of vocation discernment in many Catholic homeschool conferences. I’ve heard talks from sisters geared toward teens, or heard priests address young men. This summer, I heard key points on guiding children to listen to God’s guidance for their vocations, even from a very early age.
5. Connect with Teens and Young People
During our local conference, the teens in the homeschool group staffed the snack bar as volunteers. It was refreshing to watch them interact with attendees, always patient and smiling.
Need a baby fix? You’ll see loads of tiny babies at a Catholic homeschool conference.
6. Serve as a Resource for New Homeschooling Families
If you’re a veteran homeschooling parent, you have many resources to share with families who are moving up the homeschooling ranks.
You could serve on a panel or be a speaker, sharing your tips for getting started or helping things run smoother.
7. Friends, Old and New
I’m a bit of an extrovert, so you’ll often see me entering a conference with waves and hugs. I love seeing homeschooling friends and meeting vendors or new homeschooling families.
8. Great Speakers
During our recent Catholic homeschooling conference in Louisville, I was blessed to hear four wonderful speakers:
- Paul Schaefer on classical education and Catholicism,
- Maureen Whitmann on being a confident homeschooler,
- Dr Gregory Popcak on raising great Catholic kids, and
- Father Jeffery Schooner on embracing and encouraging vocations in your families.
These men and women understand the challenges of homeschooling and raising my children in our Catholic faith. I laughed at them, got a bit teary-eyed, and came away inspired in my role as a homeschooling mother and wife.
9. Get Hands on Experience with Curriculum
If you’re contemplating a curriculum, you can check out a company website or even search for reviews. During a homeschool conference, company representatives are available to field questions and let you get a hands on look at their materials.
You may even be offered a discount for buying at the conference!
10. What was YOUR Benefit?
Have you attended a Catholic homeschool conference? How did you benefit?
Be sure and share your ideas in the comment box – I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Copyright © 2013, Dianna Kennedy
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