Thursday, May 28, 2009

Convention Report

PB and I had a wonderful time on our weekend getaway... um, at the homeschool convention. Look, we take our breaks when we can get them.

We sent the kiddos off to be spoiled by my folks and spent 2 nights at the convention 20 minutes from our house. The parking situation alone made the room rate worthwhile, but it was also very nice to have a room to escape to when I needed a break from the crowds.

I went to the convention for my first (and only time) two years ago and spent the bulk of the time sitting in on sessions taking copious notes which I never read and I'm pretty sure I threw away. I ended up going home in a stupor.

This year I took a very businesslike approach to the whole thing; I decided to attend only 4 sessions the whole weekend and buy CDs of anything else that looked interesting. The rest of our time was spent in the exhibit hall buying our curriculum for next year. The four sessions I sat in on were the Economides (the self-described "Cheapest Family in America"), Geography Matters, Lapbooking (Tobin's Lab) and Homeschool technology.

The Economides was the only "non-school" related session we went to because I wanted to see if they had enough info to merit buying the CD's for their other 2 sessions... they did so I did. The fact that this frugal family has the last name Economides reminds me of a dentist named Dr. Payne... isn't that great? They packed their presentation with helpful info presented in a gracious package and it struck me that this is their ministry and not a gimmick. Loved them.

I walked away from the other sessions with implementable ideas so I felt like I chose well. I've listened to a couple of CDs from other sessions and I have to say the $7.50 was easier to part with than the time I would've wasted in the sessions, and no, I'm not saying what the sessions were.

I made a conscious decision to NOT attend any parenting sessions. Because I'm the perfect mother. Actually, it was because I didn't want to walk around the convention feeling like the worst mother in the world for all the things I'm doing wrong. Frankly, it would've been a distraction I just didn't need.

PB made an excellent Sherpa as he toted my not-at-all manly scrapbooking cart around the exhibit hall. I spent most of Friday doing price checks at all the booths before buying our curriculum so my head was a bit foggy by the end of the day from all the number crunching. That evening we went out to dinner and to see "Night at the Museum" because I've found Ben Stiller to be excellent therapy for brain fog. Also, PB and I had to acknowledge that age and parenthood have had a dramatic impact on our movie viewing habits.

Day 2 was more relaxing because I had purchased all our core curriculum the day before so we spent a lot of time wandering from booth to booth and browsing. Kind of like going to Barnes & Noble, but with a gigantic Creation Studies section.

Saturday night we went out for dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant. Only we didn't realize it was fancy until we saw the menu prices. The family that went in before us was wearing shorts and had a 4 year old wearing Spider Man pajamas for crying out loud. We were way ahead on our weekend budget and too lazy to look for another restaurant so we went for it and I'm really glad we did. We had a nice quiet dinner tucked away in the corner and I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact that we were both wearing jeans.

Sunday morning we slept in. I mean really slept in. Until 9:15. I never sleep that late. Ever. 7:15 is a luxury for me. As we headed out of the hotel we passed by the ballroom where the graduation ceremonies were taking place. As soon as I heard Pomp and Circumstance I started getting misty-eyed because I knew that there were moms in that room who feel like their kids were in kindergarten just yesterday and that one day I'll be feeling the exact same way.

I don't think I say this often enough, but I'm thankful homeschool was the right choice for us. I know it's not for every family or even for every kid, but man, I'm so glad it's the road for us. And as much as I'm looking forward to a few weeks off, I'm looking forward to next year even more.


oneblessedmamma said...

I'm glad you had a good time. I liked the Economides sessions too. I find there name/ministry connection proof that God has a sense of humor. We had a Anesthesiologist up here named Dr. Comfort...some people's occupations are chosen for them, LOL.
Come on, you have to cough up who you bought and DIDN'T like, at least in a private e-mail to me. I have several (8) CD's myself, so you can borrow some if you want.

Cheryl said...

we never made it to "the" convention and I didn't really care much but you have made it sound wonderful and worthwhile! I now have to look up the Economides and check that out!

Bro said...

You're amazing, Lori! Congratulations on such a successful first year. What a joy it has been to read about it... and 'watch' you flourish in your new role!


Elle said...

Wow. You know how to deliver a convention report. I wish I was there. Maybe that's a future dream job--homeschooling mom travels around & reports on various homeschool conventions. Super cool!

I echo your sentiments about the homeschooling. Even today while talking to a lady I'd just met, but she asked the questions about why this "choice", blah, blah, blah, and I again was struck by how thankful I am to have this choice and to be used of God in this choice for my sons' lives.

He's just plumb good!

Anonymous said...

Are you still planning on using Tapestry of Grace this coming year? I thought I remember reading that here or on OBM's blog. If so, what year will you be using?

I have stayed away from the homeschool convention for the past three years, but I think I may go next year for a break. :o)

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