Written by Kathy Guggenmos, guest writer and veteran home school mom.
Thirteen years ago, at the start of my home school journey, convention weekend was a priority. I had many questions and lots to learn. I enjoyed teaching workshops, attending home school law information sessions, and shopping.
Now, I have teenagers with busy schedules and a wide network of resources in home schooling friends. The internet makes shopping much easier than it used to be.
Why would I drive over an hour to wander around a convention now?
1. Tailor learning to my students.
For starters, I still have lots to learn. My children’s needs are completely different from their younger days in elementary school. Curriculum and learning options have exploded. I am truly grateful for my friends and their suggestions, but their children are not my children. I want to take full advantage of the home school opportunity to tailor learning to my students.
2. Ask questions about curriculum.
The single biggest advantage I’ve brought home from the convention in the last two years is a clearer understanding of my chosen curriculum and how to use it. Convention tables are often manned by the writer of the curriculum. I have time with a product expert and can describe my student, ask questions, gain expertise, and ask follow up questions. Sometimes I realize later that I have even more questions. At the convention, I just walk back to the table and ask.
3. Cultivate older student’s understanding.
Last year, I brought my rising senior along and let him ask questions too. Attending the convention allowed my soon-to-be young adult the opportunity to cultivate and understand his education and my choices in his education more thoroughly.
4. Save on shipping!
Not to mention, when I make a choice and buy curriculum I save on shipping and often get a special convention price. What’s not to love in saving some money?!
You can never be too experienced to learn more, understand better, improve your student’s education, or save money. Are you registered for a THSC Convention yet? Become a member today and receive free admission! Online registration for Arlington is now closed but you can still register in person at the Arlington Convention Center beginning at noon on May 7, 2015.
Before beginning 13 years of home schooling, Kathy spent 20 years serving in church youth ministry, and taught 6th-12th grade professionally. Her oldest son currently serves as one of the youngest lobbyists in Texas as a THSC Watchmen and will soon head to SMU. Kathy and her husband reside in Plano, TX, while home schooling her younger son and keeping up with their active debate schedule.