Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2010 Love to Learn Homeschool Conference

I don't usually blog about the conference. But it is really working, it is growing each year and this year something different happened. Homeschool moms really started bringing their WHOLE families. I love seeing that. For the first three years we had a few kids, mostly the children of those actively involved in getting this conference together, and also a few dads, who stuck close by their spouses. I think, because of the expectations of other conferences, people assumed this one would be the same, and children would not be as welcome.

This year we offered free grandparent registrations, just to send out that invitation. And also we had more fun things going on. As we get larger we can afford to rent the extra space for the additional activities. So it grows, and we grow.

It is an exhausting adventure, if you have ever coordinated a conference you know what I am talking about. The time and energy it takes is overwhelming at times. But so worth it when things happen. When we see people making connections, children playing....just amazing.

This year Dr Flood, the new director for the NC Division of Non Public Education, meandered through the conference for a few hours, meeting and talking with homeschoolers. That was a wonderful addition. It was nice to see her, put a name to a face, get to talk to her for a few minutes. I think it only serves homeschoolers well for her to see the diversity in homeschooling, and to see whole homeschool families, not just some BOD or a homeschool mom, but the whole unit, in a relaxed atmosphere where there is no box to check, no test score to see, just meeting and talking. And for her to see the effort that homeschoolers put into their children's education, making sure they are doing the best for the family, that is a bonus.

The Homeschool Alliance of North Carolina, Inc. is the parent organization that sponsors the Love to Learn Homeschool Conference. HA-NC has a BOD made up of VOLUNTEERS, yes you read it right, no one on the BOD is paid for their time. We are all homeschoolers ourselves and give our time because we feel having an inclusive association in North Carolina is important. We feel having a truly inclusive conference is important.

Also our speakers are not paid for their time, they get a free box lunch. They speak because they have a passion to share. They also feel this is important stuff. We thank our speakers for their time, their effort, their caring. We thank them for their passion and willingness to share that passion with others.

So even though it is exhausting at times, it is also energizing, and so important for homeschooling. When you see a Board Member for HA-NC or a speaker that presented at the conference, please take a minute to thank them for their time, thank them for sharing their passion.


TheGowanGirls said...

My family really enjoys coming to the Love to Learn Conference every year. My daughters are enthusiastic about seeing their friends, of course, but each year, there is more information that appeals to them - my oldest (16) actually went to several of the speaker sessions, and was just so thrilled with all of the information she got! For my middle daughter, this is an opportunity to make new friends and to help other folks out. My youngest just loves being with all the children.

I like participating as a speaker, as well as sitting in on sessions to hear others. Each and every conference I leave with more knowledge, and better idea of where to go next on our homeschooling journey. Plus it is really nice to talk with other folks about homeschooling!

I hope that the conference grows and grows, and reaches more and more people. EVERYONE can benefit from being a part of Love to Learn!

Khourt said...

Its people and organizations like this that really make the homeschooling life for others more enjoyable. I recently attended my first homeschool conference. I dont know why I didnt go to the ones before.. Maybe because I didnt feel "official" since we didnt have to register with the school systems until this past year but whatever the reason Im sad I missed the previous ones. I learned some valuable information at the one I attended. I encourage everybody that can to attend one. I am in Arkansas so ours are a bit different I guess but overal just the same.