Catholic Homeschooling Conferences!
The 2012 conference season is over and we are busy confirming dates, facilities, and speakers for our 2013 conferences. We plan to return to every city where we had a conference in 2012 (except for Green Bay) and we will be adding Tennessee, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Maryland, and New England as well.
You can click on any one of the conferences in the menu bar above to get more information about each specific conference. We may not have all of the details available yet, but if you sign up for our email updates, you will be the first to hear when information becomes available! We have a very easy form for you to fill out on the righthand side column of the website. Each conference has a different list, so be sure to sign up for whichever conferences you are interested in getting more information.
Why Attend a Catholic Homeschooling Conference?
The first question is, what is a Catholic homeschooling conference? In general, it is a one or two day event usually held at a Catholic parish or conference center at which there are speakers who encourage others and offer practical advice as well as vendors who display curriculum materials. The speakers are often a mixture of veteran homeschooling mothers, Catholic priests, and professional educators. The vendors are usually arrayed in a large area in which different Catholic curriculum providers, publishers, and retailers have tables displaying thousands of homeschooling books and products.
So… Why go to such an event? If you are new to Catholic homeschooling or are curious about it, a conference is simply an invaluable experience. Not only do speakers explain the basics of homeschooling and elaborate on some of the motivations behind doing it, and not only does examining the vendor materials allow you an unrivaled opportunity to look through the pages of actual homeschooling text books and lesson plans, but also, even more importantly, you get to see and meet numerous other Catholic homeschooling families. Homeschoolers are not Amish; they are not cult members; and they are not superheroes (at least not in the traditional sense). They are ordinary mothers and fathers just like you, who care deeply about the welfare and education of their children, and want to do what seems best for them.
It is not uncommon to hear from new conference attendees that they are surprised how normal everyone is and how comfortable they feel at the conference, almost as if it were a spiritual retreat or a relaxed family gathering. It might sound silly, but getting a concrete experience with other homeschoolers can make a world of difference to a family deciding whether or not to homeschool.
For veteran homeschoolers, the reason to come to a conference is often to be rejuvenated. Even if on an intellectual level you think homeschooling is the best, the fact is the homeschooling is often hard work, and having a once a year gathering where you can feel uplifted, encouraged, and feel connected with other homeschooling parents is often just what is needed to approach the new school year refreshed and eager. The opportunity to shop for curriculum with the physical books and lesson plans in your hand is just a categorically different experience than trying to shop online with only a few sample pages, sometimes depending on vague book descriptions to make very important choices about your child’s education.
In the end, the question really seems to be, why not go to a Catholic Homeschooling Conference? It can be difficult to keep these conferences going each year and many conferences are in need of volunteers, so if you are interested, you might think of contacting the coordinator for your local conference and ask how you can help!