Our convention season is upon us: the Great Homeschool Conventions events are right around the corner! Where has the time gone!?
We are thrilled to bring you three incredible homeschool conventions next month, each packed with the most amazing speakers out there. Exhibitors are excited to bring you a wonderful variety of curriculum to view in our huge exhibit halls at each event. Special events offer the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.
The Southeast Homeschool Convention is in Greenville, SC March 10–12, 2016. Families from all over the South come to see what all the talk is about. The convenient location of the TD Convention Center is an extra bonus. Parking is free at this venue. Hotels are close by and offer a great deal on room rates just for our Southeast homeschool attendees.
Texas: we loved our first year with you! A great group of welcoming homeschool families visited us this past spring at the Fort Worth Convention Center for the Texas Homeschool Convention. We are coming back to do it again, March 17–19, 2016. We have a great convention planned for you! Bring your friends and family to this event geared for fellowship and inspiration to help you homeschool your children.
The Midwest Homeschool Convention is turning 10 this year! Ten years of hosting what has become the largest homeschool convention in the country. We thank all of you who have attended over the years. We appreciate each and every one of you who have helped make this a homeschool convention destination. People from 22 states and Canada attend this event. We are so honored. To show our appreciation and in celebration of our 10th anniversary, we are having a very special giveaway booth which offers an opportunity to win some substantial gifts. Visit us March 31–April 2 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This year, we have planned to bring you the best of the best. Ann Voskamp is attending our Texas and Midwest events. As a New York Times best-selling author, she is well-known for her kind spirit and love for the Lord. Ann is a homeschooling mom who appreciates the simpler things in life. Her sessions are sponsored by World News Group and Bridgeway Academy.
Chrystal Evans Hurst will also be at the Texas and Midwest events. Chrystal is the daughter of beloved pastor Tony Evans. Chrystal has set out on her own mission to bring homeschool moms hope, encouragement, and help in building their faith.
Another speaker you don’t to miss is John Stonestreet, newly-appointed president of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His faith-defending apologetic sessions not only help parents direct their teens on the right path, but he also talks with teens on ways to logically defend their faith in today’s world in our Real Faith for the Real World Teen Track. This year, he is our Saturday night keynote speaker at the Southeast Homeschool Convention. He will be addressing the issue of “Are You Ready for ‘The Talk’? Parenting in a Sexually Broken Culture.” Be sure to sign up to attend his session. There is no cost due to the generosity of our sponsors, World News Group and Bridgeway Academy.
Dr. Kathy Koch is a real inspiration to say the least, and continually exudes a very positive attitude. She speaks all over the country and internationally. She is known for her “practical, relevant, results-oriented concepts and engaging, honoring, and humorous speaking style” which “draws enthusiastic reviews from children, teens, parents, and educators.” Attendees “leave her events armed with new beliefs, attitudes, practical tools, and increased hope to make appropriate changes, establish healthy relationships, and increase success in family, life, and school.”
How do the minds of boys work? What about girls? Michael Gurian, family counselor and well-known New York Times best-selling author many times over, will address the topic of how boys and girls differ neurologically. He will offer tips and techniques of working with the different sexes. His work is described as “research-driven, science-based, and strategies-focused.”
Attorney David Gibbs III is the founder of the National Center for Life and Liberty, an organization established to defend life and liberty nationwide. Should your rights to homeschool ever be challenged, Attorney Gibbs is the man you want on your side if you have to appear in court. National Center for Life and Liberty is our partner in bringing these homeschool conventions to your region of the country. We are honored to have Attorney Gibbs presenting on these topics at each convention:
- Battle for Your Children: Protecting Them in This Complicated World
- Upcoming Presidential Election: What’s at Stake for Homeschooling in the Future?
- Open Forum for Questions: an opportunity for you to ask homeschool-related questions
For those of you who love a classical approach, Dr. Christopher Perrin is speaking on that very topic. Sessions offered include Classical Christian Education 101, Why Children Must Play to Learn, and Teaching Is…an Art. He is also a contributing speaker on the Classical Education Unplugged panel session with Martin Cothran, Dr. Carol Reynolds, and Andrew Kern. Dr. Perrin is the publisher at Classical Academic Press. His is described as “having a passion for classical, Christian education and is a lover of goodness, truth, and beauty wherever it is found.”
Sarah Mackenzie, writer of the popular blog Amongst Lovely Things is also attending as part of the Classical Academic Press group. As a homeschooling mom of “a half dozen kids,” she has written Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace. We are honored to have Sarah speak for us at each event, addressing these topics:
- Restful Teaching, Restful Learning: Unshakeable Peace for the Homeschooling Mom
- Beauty & Delight in the Ordinary
- Chaotic Homeschool
- All Jazzed Up: Homeschooling with Purpose, Passion, and Unshakeable Peace
Homeschool 101 is the track you should attend if you are new to homeschooling or thinking of homeschooling. Janice Campbell is a seasoned homeschooling mom and the founder of Everyday Education; she will teach you the ins and outs of homeschooling your children from the beginning all the way through high school. She will cover the different styles that fit your children’s preferred learning style, transcript preparation, and how to notify public educational authorities that you plan to homeschool, among other topics. Janice will answer all of your questions.
The Real Faith for the Real World Teen Track, sponsored by Cedarville University, is designed to give your teen logical and practical ways of standing up for what they believe. Our teen track leaders have dedicated their lives on the mission of helping people know how to look at what logically makes for a strong and truthful argument when faced with a conversation which questions what a Christian believes. We are very pleased to have John Stonestreet, Mark Mittelberg, Brett Kunkle, and Dr. Jay Wile leading this track.
Special Needs and Gifted Children
Homeschooling a special needs child is a real challenge if you are not equipped. You must meet the challenge with love and patience in order for you—and your child—to have a positive experience. We offer a special needs track lead by experts in their field, such as pediatrician Dr. Angela Gonzales. Her own child has special needs, and she gave up her full-time practice to work part-time so she could be a parent first.
Colleen Kessler is new this year at our Southeast event. She offers parents with twice-exceptional kids hope and shares her own experience homeschooling her own highly-gifted, twice-exceptional children. Here is a little snippet of her bio: “Colleen hadn’t planned to leave the classroom, prayed for nice, average kids, and never dreamed of homeschooling…ever. Since God has a sense of humor, she now works from home as a writer, editor, educator, speaker, and consultant, all while homeschooling her highly-gifted and twice-exceptional kids. She shares their chaos and adventures at RaisingLifelongLearners.com.”
Kathy Kuhl will also be joining us at the Midwest and Texas events. She is a seasoned homeschool mom who homeschooled her special needs highly-distractible son. Kathy founded LearnDifferently.com, and her goal is to “help parents help their children.” She sheds a positive light on special needs homeschooling, emphasizing “Homeschooling lets us customize our children’s education, not only to their needs, but also to their strengths and gifts.”
Ed Zaccaro, Dr. Shelagh Gallagher, and Michael Clay Thompson have all developed curriculum geared toward teaching your gifted child in ways that keep them engaged and challenged. Their presentations have a wealth of information to equip you in your efforts to keep up with your child and their need for advanced teaching.
Not just a teacher: you have to parent as well. Trying to play two major roles can lead to conflict—with yourself, your spouse, and your kids. But there’s hope! Kirk and Casey Martin have worked out a great method of working together as parent and son to eliminate the struggles of a strong-willed child and a parent who doesn’t want to break their child’s spirit, but still values discipline. In the parenting track, Celebrate Calm addresses ways to eliminate the “power struggles, yelling, and arguing that stress you out.”
Not only do we have 45+ featured speakers, we also have a great line-up of general speakers. The huge variety of topics provides an opportunity to gain insight into many different issues you may face while homeschooling. Find the convention schedules here.
With so many wonderful speakers attending each of our three conventions, how can you fit everything in? Time and budget do not allow us to have a month-long convention so each speaker can present by themself. At times, there may be two sessions you desperately need to hear, but you can’t be in two places at once. The solution is Rhino Technologies: they record most sessions at all of the GHC events. For attendees of the conventions only, Rhino Technologies has a huge variety of recorded sessions you can purchase to take home with you.
As if attending the speaking sessions weren’t enough, the exhibit hall will give you a great chance to shop for next year’s curriculum. Authors of the curriculum are often attending and available to answer your questions, making decisions about what to purchase for your particular preferred style of learning much easier. Get a hands-on look at what’s new on the homeschooling market. Other exhibitors will also present many products, services, and other materials of interest to homeschooling families. Wear comfortable shoes—the exhibit halls are huge!
What if your children really aren’t into walking around with you at the convention? Giant Cow Ministries comes to the rescue with a high energy, Vacation Bible School-type program! Kids ages 6–12 can be registered on their site to participate in three days of action-packed music and drama. Giant Cow Ministries serves children’s events for some of the nation’s largest faith-based conferences. They focus on teaching kids how to build a relationship with Jesus Christ with a format that incorporates high-energy drama, exciting music, the memorization of God’s Word, and a positive mentoring by dynamic young people. Sounds like you might want to get the kids signed up before all the spots are taken!
How often do you have the opportunity to spend three days in a row enjoying quality time with your family? Extra special events are a plus at all three conventions.
Dr. Inge Auerbacher
Dr. Inge Auerbacher is literally living history. As a child, Dr. Auerbacher and her family were captured and imprisoned in a concentration camp for three years. Her story will keep you on the edge of your seat as she details the deplorable conditions she and her family had to endure. She has such a great outlook on life for someone who has gone through everything that she has experienced—you will love her spunk and sweet disposition.
The Willis Clan
The Willis Clan will be performing at the each of the Southeast, Texas, and Midwest events! They are a musically gifted family of 12 homeschooled teens and children that has appeared on America’s Got Talent and travels the country to perform. At the Southeast and Midwest conventions, Thursday night’s performance will be a great time with friends and family. Texans will have the opportunity to see their show on Saturday evening. Be sure to get your tickets now before they sell out! They want to meet and greet you after the show. Their performances are sponsored by God’s Not Dead 2.
Comedian Bob Smiley
For our Texas crowd, Bob Smiley will be hosting his comedy show on Thursday evening. No worries about what your kids will hear: Bob is a well-known Christian comedian with a great performance you can comfortably enjoy with the whole family.
Friends of the Groom
What could be more fun than going to a professionally-produced performance of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? We all love the Chronicles of Narnia. Professional theatre troupe Friends of the Groom will re-enact this beloved story originally written by C.S. Lewis.
Friends of the Groom travel and perform all over the world. Since 1980, the group has performed original plays, led retreat weekends, and conducted workshops at thousands of locations from Anchorage to Athens, Boston to Beijing, and Jacksonville to Jerusalem.
Based on a couple of reviews from their website, this will be a fantastic performance you do not want to miss:
“[T]he refreshing combination of excellent acting, direction, and unusual material…”—Cincinnati Magazine
“…a most enjoyable surprise…”—Cincinnati Enquirer
“The presentation had just the right combination of lightness and probing stimulation…for the persons present. Beyond that…was the personal warmth and competence of you and your whole team.”—C.H. Reber
World News Group is sponsoring this fun performance to help make it affordable for homeschooling families.
What are you waiting for? Registration is open. Partnering hotels are offering major discounts on rooms. The Great Homeschool Conventions events are just around the corner. Plan to attend and bring friends and family with you for a most enjoyable homeschooling experience with like-minded homeschoolers.
If money is tight, no worries: we offer working scholarships. Volunteer to help us out at the convention for four hours, and you will receive a family registration for you, your spouse, children/teens, and their grandparents to attend the speaking sessions and shop the exhibit hall.
We will see you next month!