Really… why go to Homeschool Conferences year after year?
As I’ve spent all these quiet hours here in bed, I’ve pondered the last several days… the keynotes and the workshops. There was sort of a hidden blessing to getting sick at this time. In the meantime I’ve had opportunity to give thought to the Christian Heritage Homeschool and Family Discipleship Conference… not only to the remarkable effort on the part of those who laboured to present such a fine conference, but to all who participated and to all the families in attendance. It really was quite an unforgettable and inspirational weekend.
I always appreciate listening to Doug Phillips and am inspired by the ‘veteran’ moms who share their ideas, methods and encouragement. I love browsing the vendor hall exhibits and seeing all the wonderful new material each offers. But, I suppose more than all of those things, I love seeing the old friends and familiar faces and meeting new ones as well. It’s the sort of thing that bolsters my resolve and joy to carry on in home education and child training. Having a website that addresses all of those things has given me the privilege of corresponding with people in many places and occasionally I have the great honour of meeting them face to face — such was the case this past weekend. What a delight to meet women who were familiar names to me and now those names have faces in my memories.
We’ve had the distinct honour and privilege to attend many, many such conferences and conventions through the years — to try new curriculum and programs — but I suppose age and perspective makes these more recent conferences more meaningful to me than the earlier ones though, truly, time does not erase the memory of great excitement and anticipation in those early days when everything was new, fresh and uncharted.
Perhaps it’s the fact that we’re not attending conferences looking for ‘the key‘ any longer… you know, that key to success that unlocks the mystery – the mystery revealed that will produce the bright and shining faces we so long to see in our children. You might laugh, but truly, there was a time when I saw all the bright smiling faces and I thought it would truly be worth anything to have that in our home. I thought the outward was indicative of the inward — and it often is… but it often isn’t. So we bought… or were caught, hook, line and sinker. And we bought and bought and bought — until we stopped. buying. that. We eventually went back to a very basic education with a great emphasis on missions and knowing the Word of God. We determined to just train up the children in the Ways of the LORD… and not in the ideals of a particular man or program.
Now, in attending homeschooling conferences, we’re not hoping to see or meet someone who will tell us it will be worth it all… we’re not hoping to buy just the right curriculum to make every day run smoothly and we’re not hoping to see or meet the ‘who’s who’ in homeschooling and see if we can duplicate their story and success. No… none of those things draw us… because we know it is worth it all… we know it’s our life, our mandate from Scripture and is our joy. It is our honour to have our children in our care from sunrise to sundown to sunrise day after day. It is our privilege to train them up in the ways of the LORD and to walk, talk, rest in the Word. I think there is no greater honour than to train up children in the Way of the LORD. And truly, no greater joy than that our children walk in Truth.
Now, when we go to conferences and see dear old friends and dear acquaintances it’s like I want to just smile and raise my hand to them all…. sort of a: high-five y’all – let’s stay at it… it really is: worth it all.