By Becky Ryan
I don’t believe that anybody is a born leader. I do believe that some people are gifted and talented to be better leaders than others. And I’m quite certain that successful leaders have had no small amount of training. They have learned from good (and bad) leaders and from their own mistakes. They have attended leadership training, and they have probably read a book or two, or fifty, about leadership. To be effective, leaders need training. Why should home school group leaders be any different? As a home school leader, I have read countless home schooling books and leadership articles. They were all helpful, but it was the Texas Home School Coalition’s Leadership Training Conference that taught me, inspired me, and encouraged and motivated me to be a better leader.
I have attended seven Leadership Training Conferences (LTCs). (Last year I received a prize for the most conferences attended.) The first couple were as a leader of a local Smoothing the Way group. Then I attended as a leader in varying roles through the years of our church’s home school support group and co-op. I have found every year to be of great benefit and learning, so when I became the director of the group, I suggested that the board vote to pay for leaders to attend the LTC. In the working world, I was sent to leadership training for my job. I felt that we, as home school leaders, needed that same benefit. I knew how much I had gained from going to the LTC, and I wanted to share that opportunity with my fellow leaders.
As home schoolers, we are typically one-income families, and I knew that the cost of attending the conference, while being quite reasonable, would be the stumbling block for many of our leaders. So we sent four leaders that year. Husbands, family, and friends were able to help with childcare from our Friday morning departure to our Sunday afternoon return. After that year, we decided to schedule that week off on our co-op calendar so the leaders would be able to leave earlier in the day and arrive in time for the first session of the conference. Since then we have sent from four to eight members of our group every year and paid for them through our membership funds. (The year we sent eight members, we received a prize for the most leaders from a group, and one of our leaders won the laptop drawing.)
The LTC has been instrumental in transforming and shaping the direction of our group. God has continually provided answers to our questions, direction, clarity to our vision, and purpose in our mission through the gifted speakers and wonderfully caring leaders of the Texas Home School Coalition. We are committed to sending leaders and those we want to see become leaders, at our group’s expense.
Raise your membership fees by a few dollars, have fundraisers, and make the commitment to give your leaders the training they need. Help each other by watching the kids of leaders in order to allow someone to go. Don’t schedule events for that weekend, so you don’t have a conflict later if someone suddenly is able to attend. You will not be disappointed. The loving and caring staff and leaders of the THSC are committed to providing this leadership resource. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?
And just so you know, we have a great time while we’re there. We laugh and learn and pray and sing and laugh some more. It is truly a gift from God to spend a weekend with such wonderfully godly, home schooling parents. And did I mention there are prizes? So go. You won’t regret it. You’ll be blessed!