It’s the end of July, and THSC staff and the Lamberts are getting ready to head to the annual THSC Southwest Convention & Family Conference in The Woodlands. For years we have promoted this conference as a great family vacation for home schoolers—and it is! We have a great children’s program, teen program, inspirational workshops for mom and dad, and critical workshops on the “how tos” of home schooling—not to mention the “add-ons” for things to do with the family in the Houston area.
I recently read an article that said that fewer than 10% of home schoolers had ever been to a home school conference. I don’t doubt those numbers. I think many fail to understand the need and benefits of such conferences and why they are important to home school families—especially moms. Let me explain.
Every year before school starts, public school teachers do “in-service” training as they plan and prepare for the new year. They review curricula to be used, learn new teaching techniques, and generally get pumped up for the new year.
In many ways that is what home school conferences do for home school teachers, i.e., moms. Let’s face it. While home schooling is tremendously beneficial to children and families, it is sometimes a real challenge. Lyndsay, my wife and the home school teacher of our family for more than 16 years, says that home schooling was the most difficult thing she ever volunteered to do. (She didn’t volunteer to have twins.) I bought in to the academic, spiritual, and relational benefits of home schooling early on, and it was my job to encourage, strengthen, and protect my wife to enable her to continue this arduous task for the benefit of our family.
Home school conferences are like those “in-service” times. They are times to learn about and purchase new curricula for the year and to gain more information about how to teach our children and maintain healthy families in the process. They are inspirational times as we are challenged and encouraged by great speakers and they are kind of like reunions where we connect with longtime friends and make new ones who are all on the same arduous path together. The THSC Convention adds these same great things for our children and young people and also offers vacation-type events for the whole family.
Sometimes we dads fail to appreciate that we need to invest in our home schooling experience for our wives and children just as we invest in the tools in our workshops or garages to do the tasks we have to do around the house. With grown children and now grandchildren, I can assure you that the investment is certainly worth the cost. Hope to see you in The Woodlands this weekend!