Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Park Wife Goes to Her First Homeschool Convention

Things I learned from my first homeschool convention last weekend:

  • Reaffirmed that my choice to homeschool is not as much about academics, but about parenting. It's not the curriculum that will save my kids- it's whether or not I have their hearts.
  • You know that you have a friend for life when you are driving down country roads, taking a few wrong turns and your passenger friend is putting poison ivy salve on your right wrist. Now, that is friendship! Thanks Nikki.
  • You must push the bar at the base on the gym sink to wash your hands, if no one is in there to give you a tutorial on how it works, it will take you a while of pushing different part of the sink to figure it out. Hopefully no one will walk in while you are beating different parts of the sink trying to get water to come out, you will be labeled one of those weird homeschool moms that can not even operate a sink. Thankfully Nikki came out of the stall before me and had a sink tutor help her.
  • Although a very social person, everyone we came in contact with from the B&B owners to flea market ladies to moms in line for the used curriculum sale, they all told us their life stories and more! I thought I was chatty, whew! These people could talk!
  • Let’s talk wardrobe:
    Rolling carts? At first I thought, what are these people doing pulling these things everywhere? I figured it out about 10 minutes into the vendor area. Unfortunately, they would not match my shoes so I think I will have to pass on those.

    Speaking of shoes, although I was quiet the conservative trendy homeschool mom(is there such a thing?) with my hip new haircut and strappy heels, comfortable shoes will be on my tootsies next year (cute, comfortable shoes). My feet HURT when I returned to the car for the drive home.

    The stereotype of homeschool children in “plain” clothes as if they just stepped off the farm were in full attendance. I find this sweet and wonderful, here is why. First of all, you can tell that these children are smart, hardworking and family-oriented. Just watch how they help out, play with and protect their younger siblings. I don’t think I saw any overweight kids dressed in this “plain” fashion. You know they are working all day, helping their families to put food on the table and then are solving math equations in their heads that would take me years to try to figure out. I am not being degrading, so if you are one of these strapping, in-shape kids, don’t come beat me up because you could take me I am sure - hehe. These kids are building wonderful family memories and character, I adore this.

    Now, there were some on the other end of the spectrum that I thought “where is that girls mother?” Did she see her walk out of the hotel this morning with that tank top, tight jeans and more black eyeliner than I could use in a month? Next I thought, thank you God for giving me boys!

  • I have played MANY soccer games in my life, but the years of training, preparation and the competition did not prepare me for the line for the used curriculum sale. These people are serious about getting in there and grabbing what they want before you.
  • Hearing from God?- when I was overwhelmed at the used curriculum sale, I heard a sweet voice in my left ear. No, it was not God telling me to move on to another table or to duck from the flying books that women were trying to get to, it was my mentor mom/friend Penny and her daughter Susanna looking at the same table not aware that I was standing right beside them. She calmed and refocused me so I could move on toward the finish/check-out line.
  • I learned that I need to take what blessed me and leave the rest behind. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all curriculum.

My one main regret is that I did not get any Pathway Readers for Little Buckaroo, but now that I have my first homeschool convention under my belt, I will be more prepared for next year. Watch out used curriculum shoppers, I am in training for next year, and you don’t have a chance. I am competitive people!

O.K., in all seriousness, I promise to always have a good attitude and loving heart, especially toward other homeschool moms, we have to stick together ladies!! There are many people homeschooling for many different reasons these days. Some statistics say that 75% of homeschoolers are Evangelical Christians, are we being a good example to the other 25%? Or, are we yanking the Horizons math book from under another person’s pile of books?

At the end of it all, I was encouraged, rejuvenated, inspired, motivated, and better equipped to start to homeschool Little Buckaroo. Bring on the Kindergarten!

The Park Wife


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Ebay has sets of Pathway Readers. have you ever looked there?

Just a thought.


OKGardners said...

I am so glad that you had a good time and learned alot from the convention. Hang in there, competitive Mama!

Betty in OK

Steph in AK said...

Aw, nice memories of my first years of homeschooling!

Aimee said...

ok, I am a blog stalker from Mommy Lions blog. She will tell you I am "somewhat normal" and will not harm you in any way.

Anywho, I love your blog! I home school my 2 little ones and LOVE IT! Ok, well, not all the time but about 90% of the time. Pathway readers are very inexpensive around this area. (near the Lion's Den) I think that I pay about $8 for the book and the workbook. So even if you do not get them used, don't worry. They are cheap and new!

Enjoy your adventure of homeschooling. It's fun, frightening, exciting, and an all around crazy time!

(Hope you don't mind that I blog stalked you!!)

OneCowgirl said...

So, when are we getting the next installment from Big Buckaroo?? You are going to do great home schooling!

Anupam said...
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