I Heart Homeschool Conferences

I am a nerd.  I have always been one.  Not just a kind-of nerd, but a full-fledged, have-to-be-real-with-you-about-this nerd.  Growing up, I never used tape to hold my broken glasses together or wore a pocket protector, but I always fit the stereotype in pretty much every other way.  I still do, actually.

Examples:

  • A friend once told me in fourth grade that her cousin was pretty sure I was someone’s grandmother trapped inside the body of a kid.
  • A classmate in sixth grade commented in my yearbook,  “Enjoy your summer.  In the library.”
  • I was on the speech and debate team for five years.  I even took home a trophy from the national contest.
  • I am the proud owner of a Master’s Degree in history.

What can I say?  I like books.  I like libraries.  And I really like homeschool conferences.  A homeschool conference is quite possibly a paradise for nerds.

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Now, that is not to say that everyone at a homeschool conference is a nerd.  There are people from many different walks of life at these events.  In general, though, most attendees enjoy learning nerdy things, like geology, government, math, and frugal living.

This weekend, Todd and I made a last-minute decision to attend our state’s homeschool conference.  In full disclosure, we actually decided two weeks in advance, but that is almost equivalent to not planning ahead at all for us.  Todd is a nerd, too.  We are not very spontaneous people.

Our planning conversation went something like this:

  • Todd: “Hey, Melissa.  I just realized I have an extra day of vacation that I have to use before the end of February.”
  • Melissa: (Eyes glowing.):  “Really?  So you could use that any day in February?”
  • Todd:  (Looks concerned.  Can already tell Melissa is up to something.)  “Yep.  I was thinking the 26th.  It’s a Friday.”
  • Melissa: (Maybe jumping up and down.)  “Oh!  Oh!  The state homeschool conference is that weekend!  We should go!  It would be awesome!  I didn’t think we would be able to justify it because we’re already going to a different homeschool conference in April, but I really think this would be great!”
  • Todd:  “Ok.  That’s cool.  How about I take the kids and do some field trip stuff with them during the conference and you can attend the sessions.  We’ll pick you up when you’re done.”

Seriously.  It went like that.  I am married to the greatest guy ever.  Two weeks later, we boarded the dogs at the kennel, loaded the kids in the car, and hit the road.

We had a great weekend.  Todd and the girls visited our state capitol building, spent time at our state historical society’s museum, played outside at several parks, swam at our hotel, and had a pretty awesome time together.  The whole excursion even counted as a school field trip day.

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I was able to spend two days enjoying everything about being a nerd.

  • I discovered some new tricks and tools to help my kiddo with dyslexia get through her day with less frustration.
  • I found a new learning styles assessment tool and used it to thoroughly (psycho)analyze all the members of my family.  It turns out my oldest daughter is my clone in appearance and thought.
  • I was encouraged in my goal to further strengthen and prioritize my marriage.
  • I learned new facts about the Bill of Rights.  Cool ones.
  • I was reminded that God does not ask me to be Super Mom.
  • I was shown new things about the power of affirmation in parenting.
  • I listened to a very funny man talk about math and critical thinking in a very funny way.
  • I participated in a lunch meeting with state homeschool association staff, a state legislator, and several other parents to discuss legislation we hope to introduce next year.
  • I bought some new curriculum.
  • I interacted with many speakers and vendors one-on-one.  My favorites (as always) are the owners of a great little homeschool store just north of Minneapolis, Minnesota: Heppner’s Legacy.

If you homeschool, if you are thinking about homeschooling, or if you just happen to be a like-minded nerd, a homeschool conference might just be the weekend getaway you are looking for.  My mind is swimming with all kinds of ideas.  I am energized to finish out the last three months of our school year strong.  I saw old friends.  I met new people.  And I gleefully meandered about, all while holding my pen, my notebook, and an armload of shiny new textbooks.

I may be a nerd, but I am a happy nerd.

Have you ever been to a homeschool conference?  Tell me about it in an email or comment below!