Our First Homeschool Conference

Ugh, today has not been our day. Withteeth and I went to a homeschool conference today and I have to say I was not impressed. I should start by saying it was the first secular conference in our area, the rest are all fairly fundamentalist Christian. As such, I do think they need to be given some slack. It really just wasn’t what I was expecting.

The conference wasn’t really very well organized. It was supposed to start at 9am, but they weren’t set up and ready to go until 9:30. They didn’t really have anyone to round up all the people either, so every lecture/discussion began late. It was smaller than I thought it would be, but that was a positive thing. I would have preferred two sets of lectures, one for those just learning about homeschooling and one for those who already had an understanding of what they were doing, because, despite not actually homeschooling yet, I found the information to be too basic. There also wasn’t really any time set aside to network. I find it difficult to network at the best of times, but Withteeth find networking the best part of conferences. While he isn’t as into the whole homeschooling thing as I am yet (he wants to wait until it’s actually time to start homeschooling before he thinks about it), I know that he would have felt better about the conference had  we talked to people. I might have been more inclined to talk to people had I felt that networking had been intended, and had things been set up in such a way to make networking more comfortable. I was, however, impressed with the resources available. They had some workbooks and curricula available to purchase, but they also had a ton of catalogues available that offered various types of homeschooling-esk products available. Everything from classroom furniture to play stuff and games to art supplies and workbooks. I probably could have been happy spending the entire conference looking through the catalogues. I also enjoyed the documentary, Class Dismissed, that they showed after the lunch break.It definitely made me feel more confident about our wish to homeschool.

Have any of you been to a homeschool conference before? What did it look like? Was it worth attending? Why or why not?

4 responses to “Our First Homeschool Conference

  • Will

    Things to consider. These are observations from being married to a inner city school teacher.
    Schools fail mainly because the students are prepared by parents for education. Large class sizes. Individual attention. Focus on testing over learning. Teacher burnout. Or wrong person, Wrong job.
    All issues absent(?) in homeschooling.
    But. And it’s a huge one. We live in a multicultural/ethic society. Exposure to other worldviews are critical in globally connected business environment. My experience is home schools are selective white. Studies have shown the extreme economic segregation in America. Resources allow you the flexibility of choice. Think the British network of Private college graduates in their class based culture. Also the rise of Christian Right.
    Science has been vilified. Science is hard. It takes work. It also challenges deeply held belief systems. Maybe your wrong. What? Not me.
    Parents, not teachers, can make or break a school. Either Charter or public. But please consider that 85% or more of Future Americans are in public schools.
    I have done my best to rise smart kids. They have to make choices I or you never had to. Are they ready? No clue. Failure will happen. Can they deal with it? That’s parenting. Education is much more than cool catalogs and networking. Marx was a proponent of public education. It socialized the immigrant populations into Americans. Schools affect every aspect of society.
    Question. Would your energy be better spent making the school your child’s in a better place for all students or opting out? Or more to the point, Why are you considering home schooling?
    Waiting for my email to fill up with how wrong I am. Not trying to be funny. Realistic. Also a fact about home schoolers. Good Luck in whatever you choose.


    • hessianwithteeth

      Well careful with the use of the word fact, and analogy nor a point of data make a fact. If you have something more substantive to share that is great, but at this moment you mostly just listed of a bunch of disparate thoughts and ideas, and your not really making a point other then you seem to think Homeschooling a either a bad or something that only privledged white folk can do.

      Okay fine, but give me more. For example, what do you mean when it’s parents that make or break a school give examples? Walk us though your line of thought as it sounds like your speaking from exasperation more then experience, but I think there might be some experience that lead to that exasperation.



      • Will

        Parents can make or break a school.
        In the film Waiting for Superman. The program starts with soon to be parents. They all want something better for their kids but don’t have the tools or examples of how to break the cycle. Education becomes a center of the home. Modeled behaviors. A population of 100k where the winners are picked by a lottery. Roughly 10%. The scene of elation or despair in the parents in the room following the Kindergarten number draw. All of the parents had been in the program. Now what? 90% end up in the “Broken” system. No Data gather to see if they made a difference.
        Yes my thoughts wonder around. I think homeschooling has a place in education. I also think the vast majority of the problems we face has a society is that fear of the other has poisoned what makes America special to outsiders. Ideals are taught through prisms of experience not a single lens.
        Yes it is exasperation. Public education is BIG Business. Districts spend money on the Newest Gods of Education Theory every year. When it doesn’t produce immediate result Then it’s the teacher fault. Useless teacher in-service days with so called experts. Because teachers are failing somewhere. Yes I lived with this reality for 18 years. And what I see is only those with the resources time, money or conviction can entertain the thought of homeschooling.
        Charter schools locally have a nasty habit of taking any students till count day. Then dump the troublemakers back on the public system without the money attached. Charters haven’t proved anymore successful than public with the same student populations.
        The problems are varied and systemic. Who holds the decision makers accountable? Supposedly the voters. Have you met your school board members?
        The discussion has more to do than what’s good for my child but will my kids be able to live in a increasingly diverse multicultural global world? It’s what the current elections are about. It’s where every issue of inequality starts from. How did you grow up? Who were your friends? Mice with huge ears and big eyes. That describes kids best. Maybe not the best answer. But the only one I’ve got.


  • jilldennison

    Having homeschooled my granddaughter from K-12, I can certainly empathize! Hang in there …it is all worthwhile in the end. 🙂


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