Whew! Two conventions, two weekends in a row. We’re tired, but we came away from the experience feeling encouraged, motivated, and inspired with a bunch of catalogs to read and a few new materials to explore, plus enough pencils and pens to last for years! These were the first homeschool conventions we’ve ever attended, and we will go again next year better prepared for what to expect.
Teach Them Diligently, Spartanburg
The film track at Teach Them Diligently couldn’t have come at a better time. My oldest son is passionate about filmmaking, and the film track seminars were wonderful. A major highlight was a spontaneous Q and A session with all the film industry speakers. We attended seminars by Stephen Kendrick, Ken Carpenter, and Anthony and Jessica Rondina.
We also attended the Brothers and Sisters workshop by the Mally family. My kids and I have been reading their book, so we enjoyed hearing their funny and personal stories.
We stopped by the Queen Homeschool booth, and I got some personal tips and advice from Sandi Queen. I came home with a new cursive handwriting primer for my youngest and a Pagoo study guide for a summer unit study.
GHC: Southeast Homeschool Convention, Greenville
At the Southeast Homeschool Convention, we met Sonia Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason, who demonstrated how to use the Picture Study Portfolios with my boys, and we came home with the Michelangelo and Turner sets.
The highlight of the convention was attending Jim Weiss’ workshops and visiting him at his booth. We bought several of his CDs and had him autograph them for us: Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, The Queen’s Pirate, Masters of the Renaissance (which will be a great accompaniment to our Michelangelo Picture Study,) and Animal Tales (we got a live sample of the best Tortoise and the Hare.)
We also met Sheila Ingle, the author of a book we read last year called Courageous Kate about a young woman who served as a spy during the American Revolution. She has a new book out, Fearless Martha, which we bought and had her sign for us. The boys also met her husband John, an artist and the illustrator of her books.
Some things I would do differently:
- Bring our own snacks and drinks and lunches. While drinks and food were reasonably priced at Teach Them Diligently, the food was very overpriced and choices were limited at GHC.
- Bring an extra tote bag — catalogs get heavy, and an extra bag means you can split up who carries everything.
- Don’t plan to do any cooking or running errands on convention days — we were worn out!
- Bring a camera. I didn’t, because I didn’t want an extra thing to carry, but in hindsight, I wish I had.