Friday, June 1, 2018

Homeschool Conference Weekend! Why I'm Not Going and What I'm Doing Instead

So it's Friday, June 1, 2018 and it's the weekend of the Catholic Homeschooler Conference here in Kansas City. It starts as I am writing this post, at noon, and goes until 9:00 tonight. Then tomorrow it goes from 8-4.

*If you are a conference lover, and I know there are a lot of you out there, I RESPECT THAT! I love that you can go and socialize and buy stuff you need at a great price and listen to great speakers and go back home ENERGIZED about your faith and about homeschooling in general. I am not knocking homeschool conferences at all!

With that said, here's why I am not going — and may never go — to a homeschool conference.
  1. I am easily confused. I blame my self-diagnosed ADD — or the fact that I'm running a household with 5 kids and a husband in it and also have a side business ... and am almost 47 years old. If you give me a choice of 100 homeschool resources, my head will explode and I will either get very testy and annoyed and buy nothing or I will try to decide and end up buying too much stuff I will never use and that my kids hate.
  2. Too much socialization makes me exhausted. I love seeing my friends and making new ones, but I am doing a lot of socializing this summer by having friends over, and I want to be fresh as a daisy mentally for my pals and their kids.
  3. Too much information, in the form of speakers, makes my mind shut down. I need things in bite-sized pieces.
  4. I want to be with my kids and husband, who are going away to sleepover camp next week. The timing of conferences around here never seems to be just right for our family ... there is always something going on and I just can't commit to even going for one full day of it.
  5. We need to save money (gas, conference cost), and the time spent at the conference is time I either need to be working or hanging with my kids and husband.
What am I doing instead (besides saving gas, conference money and time)?
  1. I am listening to Pam Barnhill's The Homeschool Solutions Show podcast on planning and organizing. I also love The Homeschool Highschool podcast, Brave Writer podcast, The Homeschool Sisters podcast, and Read-Aloud Revival podcast.
  2. I am watching YouTube videos by Pam Barnhill about planning (10 steps, and the first is to have a vision, which I don't think I've done since my oldest was in first grade and now he's going to be a junior), Erica Arndt (Confessions of a Homeschooler), and Julie Bogart (Brave Writer). Also, others I stumble on that might be helpful.
  3. I am working on my list of parenting magazine writing markets that writers are asking me for so that I can sell it and put money away for homeschool books and activities and field trips and PARTIES!
  4. I am reading Read-Aloud Revival by Sarah Mackenzie for great book ideas for the coming year. The biggest problem is culling the list and saving some for the next year!
  5. I am planning for co-op for fall (Creative Writing and Drama for 5/6 graders).
  6. I am formulating what I want to do with my own kids this summer (as far as books we want to read and movies and pool parties).
  7. I am ruminating on what I'm learning so I can work this month to plan our 2018/2019 in the best way possible instead of winging it.
  8. I am preparing my kids for camp next week. Two of them are going to overnight camp so I want to be with them as much as possible before they leave; the youngest is going to Scout day camp and I am going with him, but there are still things to get ready. Also, don't forget about the things we need to buy for camps, like sunscreen, bug spray, and secret care packages I like to send them.
  9. Oh, and I am hanging out by our swimming pool in the country with kids and podcasts. It's called Poolside Professional Development!

So ... are you going to a homeschool conference this year or have you already been? Tell me some cool stuff you learn/learned! Also, do you have any great podcasts or books or videos you have learned a lot from that you'd like to share about?

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