If your social media feed has been anything like mine the last month or two, it’s likely that you’ve experienced similar feelings of frustration, discouragement, and even despair. Between the attacks on parental rights, the increasing sexualization of children in our culture, and the never-ending arguments on any number of political issues, it can be a challenging time to hold to a pro-family, pro-parent, conservative Christian worldview and not feel isolated.
I know several friends who won’t even watch the news because of the bias with which news is reported. It’s discouraging to watch the seemingly endless stories of our world falling further and further away from God.
I have found myself often wishing I could wake up one morning and realize it was all a dream. That the government isn’t trying to regulate every aspect of our lives. That they aren’t trying to come between me and my child. That they don’t think they know better than I do about how to raise her and make decisions in her best interest.
Even as a homeschooling family, I, at times, feel isolated. Most of our friends have chosen to use an independent study charter school. This affords them opportunities that we can’t fit into our tight family budget or schedule. Not that we’d want to add more outside the home, but it means our friends don’t have as much time for an impromptu park day or field trip. I have also found that many have begun to shift their philosophy of education to one that is more reliant on learning that happens outside of the home. None of this is bad if that’s their choice for their family, but it’s been hard to find like-minded friends with whom you can truly “do life” with during your homeschool journey.
Now, don’t worry! This isn’t all “doom and gloom.” The one bright spot I’ve had as I’ve worked through these negative feelings is the anticipation of the CHEA Convention coming this week. I promise this isn’t just a shameless plug to attend Convention. But, if you’ve been experiencing any of these feelings, knowing that there is more than just one or two people near you who hold to the same values, ideals, and beliefs that you do is a welcome respite in the midst of a darkening world.
I’m sure many of you attended “church camp” as a teen. Often these camps are held in the mountains or other sparsely populated remote areas. Back when I was in high school, we didn’t really have social media, smart phones, or wi-fi. While the internet was only accessible through a dial-up modem on a desktop computer, our annual church summer camp was still a place of quiet; a place to rest; a place where many of our everyday distractions were removed. We could devote our time and thoughts to our relationships with each other and our Creator.
After attending my first CHEA Convention last year, this event has now become the adult version of my teenage “summer camp mountain top” experiences. Now that I’m a parent with a family of my own in an ever changing culture, the struggles of everyday life have changed. But, I am still eagerly anticipating the opportunity to surround myself with friends, mentors, and speakers who will not only challenge me in my walk with the Lord, but now, also as a mom and a homeschool parent.
Yes, the few days we get to be together are often all too short, but they can help give us the encouragement we need. They can remind us to trust and rely on our Lord and Savior to sustain us through the disheartening days until we can meet together again.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
With the growing number of homeschoolers, many companies that have traditionally offered educational or teacher discounts also extend these perks to parent-teachers who educate their children at home. Some require a teacher ID, but often a photo ID and your CHEA membership card will qualify you for these discounts. You can download your CHEA membership card from www.cheaofca.org when you login with your member account.
Adobe Systems offers an educational discount on its monthly subscription of programs in their Creative Cloud. Discounted rates are available for individual app subscriptions as well as the full suite of apps for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography.
Looking for a new laptop or iPad? Apple Store offers varying discounts on its products and accessories through the Apple Education Store. Be mindful of the limit on the number of products you can purchase in a given time frame.
Joann Fabrics and Michaels Craft Store both have a teacher discount program, that, with registration, gives participants a 15% discount on all eligible products (usually anything not already on sale). This is a great place to get your art and craft supplies for your learning activities all year long.
We all know homeschoolers love their books. Barnes & Noble includes homeschoolers in their Educator’s Discount program that offers 20% off select purchases and 25% off during Education Appreciation Days. Homeschool students must register at their local Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Most of the major office supply stores offer a rewards program and special discounts for teachers including Office Depot/Office Max and Staples. If you are a member of HSLDA, there are also additional discounts available on products and print services at Office Depot (2.5-cents for a black-and-white copy!).
Check with your local museums, zoos, and aquariums for free or discounted homeschool days or teacher admission days. Some will include homeschool teachers as part of their promotion.
During Teacher Appreciation Week in May, several places offer free or BOGO deals to teachers. This past year, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, and Raising Cane’s are just some of the restaurants who rewarded home educators with free or discounted meals.
This summer, Target announced a week-long program from July 13-20, 2019 when teachers can receive a 15% discount on all schools supplies as well as men’s and women’s clothing purchases. You do need to sign up in advance to receive the discount.
While not a program for teachers, your kids can earn a free child-sized pizza as part of the Pizza Hut BOOKIT! Program. You register each of your children to earn six vouchers, one per month. As the teacher, you determine what the requirement is to earn them each month once you receive them in the mail.
Do you know of any additional teacher discount programs that include home educators? Have you taken advantage of any of these discounts? Share in the comments below.
CHEA does not endorse any of the companies listed above. We are providing this list as resources to our readers. We leave the decision of whether or not to use them to each family. Information is correct and accurate at the time of publication. Confirm availability and details of each discount with each vendor.
Meet Cortnie Cortnie Johnson began her homeschool journey in fifth grade after being enrolled in a public school in her early elementary years. Daughter of CHEA members Mark and Annmarie Johnson, Cortnie has been a part of Celebration Academy, a CHEA Support Network PSP in Livermore, California.
Cortnie plans to attend Biola University in the fall as she pursues a degree in Christian Ministries.
I am sincerely honored and grateful to have been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Susan K. Beatty Scholarship. Thank you for your generosity which will support my education and growth at Biola University.
Beginning home education in fifth grade was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Many presume that I was missing out on big things by being homeschooled. But I believe that I would have missed out on more significant and valuable things if I had not switched to homeschooling.
Being home educated gave me flexibility to learn unique subjects that helped me discover what I love to do, to be involved in multiple musical arts, and to run an online product-based business. Close to my heart are the priceless opportunities I have had with my adaptable schedule to fill my high school years with service and missions. All of these experiences have been invaluable in shaping me into who I am today.
Learning in my home revealed to me how everything I learned and did was connected to God. Math was created by God. Reading is how we know the Word of God. Through writing we can communicate to others the characteristics of God and the stories He creates. History helps us learn about the people God created and our fallen world. Science is discovering the wonders of God’s creation. The arts express the creativity of God reflected in us. My siblings and I have been taught to seek God and do everything to His glory, and that includes our day to day learning.
I greatly value the extra time I was able to spend with my family as a homeschooler. I am blessed to have deep friendships with my siblings that I know are stronger because of interactions and shared experiences with them day in and day out. Being home educated also meant that I was able to clearly hear my parents’ wisdom and teaching throughout the hours of each day. My parents have always sought a relationship with me, are my friends, and my biggest supporters. They exemplified godly wisdom that I sincerely wanted to follow because of the relationship they built with me. Being around my family so much meant we worked hard to resolve conflict and to love each other well. It wasn’t always easy, but I’ve learned that good things are worth the work, and the bond I have with my family is, to me, a very good thing.
Home education has benefited my life immensely. It is hard to imagine who I would be without it. I see the freedom to home educate as something that betters students’ and families’ lives, and consequently, our world. I thank God for the ways it has built me, for organizations like CHEA, and for the people who fight to ensure that families will always be able to educate at home, giving other students the same opportunity I have been so blessed to have.
The Lord has stood by me and strengthened me this far, and given me so much grace. I know that in my next chapter, He will continue to defend me, and I will share what a good and faithful God He is.
Thank you to CHEA. I feel very honored and touched to receive your support in my college endeavors. As I major in Christian Ministries and follow God’s leading in the coming years, I hope to make an impact and touch people’s lives with Christ’s truth and love. I genuinely appreciate your confidence in me and your willingness to contribute to my future education.
Each year, CHEA's Support Network provides the Susan K. Beatty Scholarship, named in honor of CHEA’s founder, in the amount of $1000, to a CHEA Member who is also a member of a CHEA Support Network Group and a graduating senior. Deadline for application is February 28 of each year. Cortnie will be speaking briefly and receiving her award at the 36th Annual CHEA Convention July 11-13, 2019 at the Pasadena Convention Center.
I am finding some things lacking in our homeschool this season. I have not been able to get some things added to our schedule that I’d like. I missed some great field trips. I still haven’t found a homeschool group near enough to really settle in and my kids are feeling the lack of like-minded community.
I have asked myself this question in different seasons of my homeschool journey: When will I ever get to homeschool the way I really want to?
So many things get in the way of me having that perfect homeschool setting I dream about. So many life things.
Should I give up if I can’t afford that perfect curriculum? What about the curriculum I do have that I can’t use every day because of interrupting life circumstances? Should I quit because I can’t do the extra classes and field trips right now? Should I think of another alternative because my kids are always whining or bickering or even lacking friends? Maybe you are thinking that homeschooling with all those babies and toddlers is not a good idea. You have a hard time spreading attention to everyone who needs it. What about family emergencies that interrupt the schedule?
Shouldn’t we give up on this homeschooling idea as some have counseled? We’d have the best little homeschool if it weren’t for these obstacles.
Instead of looking at everyday life as an “obstacle” to getting things done, we need to look at the obstacles as part of the life God intended for us to live, and teach around those. It’s how we live that life that brings glory to the One who designed it.
Instead of wondering when we can homeschool the way we want, our question should be, “God, what do you want for me and the children today?” Then, we can rest and rejoice in the fact that everything that happens out of our control is under His control.
And guess what? You really can homeschool the way you want! You get to teach the truths of Creation and what the world believes about evolution just the way you want. You can teach “health” education instead of the perversion of what is being taught elsewhere. You can teach love and truth instead of “tolerance” and “acceptance” just the way you want to teach it. You can teach modesty, respect, and character just the way you desire.
You are free to teach what you want because you are still free to teach your children biblical truths from the comfort of your own home. You can teach your special needs child without interference and dealing with people who don’t understand your child the way you do. You can teach your children the way that is best for them; the way you want them to go. You can teach them in the safety of your home where strangers cannot harm them mentally or physically.
Don’t give up. Start again. Why? Because we are the ones that God designed to teach our children. He didn’t give the responsibility of that job to any other but you. What the Lord wills for you, He provides for you. And He doesn’t make it difficult. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness through His Word (2 Peter 1:3). The alternatives are not worth it. The high percentage of Christian children raised in public schools who leave their faith is staggering. Listen to these podcasts by E. Ray Moore of Exodus Mandate and Dr. James Dobson (bit.ly/2G2Lrby).
Hold onto the hearts of your children while you can. Home is best. Home is where you belong. Home is where they belong.
Copyright 2019, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from new or non-homeschoolers is “What is your typical day like?” That can be a difficult question to answer because our family doesn’t really have a “typical” day, though we do have a routine structured around the activities outside our home. Additionally, what a typical day is for one homeschool family may be very different for another because of their own educational philosophy or method of home education.
How one approaches education is as varied as the families who choose to teach their children at home. You may have heard or read about an “educational philosophy.” While those specific words can be a bit intimidating, all it really means is how you believe your children should be educated. Do you use a more traditional school method of textbooks and workbooks or do you prefer to learn through nature journaling while following your child’s interests?
There is no right or wrong way to homeschool your children, as long as they are learning. Let’s take a look at some of the most common educational philosophies and the methods that are at the core of each.
This method of education is based on the writings of Charlotte Mason, a British educator at the turn of the 20th century. Her philosophy of education was based on the premise that one should educate the whole person, not just the mind. Using what she terms as “living books” (not textbooks), this philosophy encompasses being in and learning from nature, copying passages from great literature, habit training (character development), and narration to demonstrate understanding. This method has become increasingly popular among home educators as it provides a gentle and natural approach to learning in direct contrast to the traditional classroom setting.
While her actual writings might be a bit cumbersome to tackle (she wrote six volumes!), there are a number of resources available online for those who wish to further explore her philosophy and the practices of this method. You can often find nature groups in your local area which are usually comprised of families who follow her methods in educating their children. SimplyCharolotteMason.com is one of the more popular websites for more information.
Classical education is based on the education model of the Greco-Roman world and is characterized by its division of learning into three distinct stages based on a child’s age. The Grammar stage (early elementary) is focused on memorization and absorbing information that can be recalled quickly in the later stages. The Dialectic stage (late elementary/junior high) has students begin to use the information they have stored in their memory to explore the “why” behind that information through reasoning (logic), discussion, and debate. The final stage, Rhetoric (high school), continues to develop a student’s ability to express himself and his beliefs through the art of persuasive speaking and writing.
Through each stage, children are not taught what to learn, but rather how to think and process information. Perhaps the most recognized component of this approach to education is the inclusion of learning Latin, beginning even in the early years. Just like Charlotte Mason, there are many homeschoolers using this method to educate their children and an abundance of resources and communities exist. Curriculum publishers like AmblesideOnline.com (free!), Classical Academic Press, Memoria Press, and Classical Conversations offer materials to aid parents in this method of education. For more information about Classical education, you can also visit WellTrainedMind.com.
While a common misconception, unschooling is not the absence of learning. Instead, rather than a structured curriculum or set of standards, education follows the interests of the child as they learn organically through experience. For example, if a child is interested in art, their learning may involve the production of art in various media for a self-curated art show while learning about famous artists and the history of that time period. They would plan each aspect of their show, including the advertising, budgeting, and execution.
Since there is no set curriculum for this method, specific resources are not as plentiful. However, there are many communities on social media that offer support and information for those who choose to pursue this approach to learning.
If you don’t feel like any of the philosophies mentioned above fit with how you homeschool or want to homeschool, or you feel like you incorporate pieces of each one, you’re probably an eclectic homeschooler. Eclectic homeschoolers take bits and pieces of different methods to fit the unique needs of each of their children and family. You might be attracted to the nature studies of Charlotte Mason, the emphasis of “Great Works” literature of Classical, and the project based approach of unschoooling. Each aspect can be implemented across various subjects and with different children, depending on their needs. This is the beauty of homeschooling–being able to cater to your child’s education to fit their God-given individuality.
There are many private, Christian home educators in California (and across the nation) who use all of the methods discussed in this article. Come meet some of them at CHEA’s 36th Annual Homeschool Convention in Pasadena July 11-13. Save time at the door and register online now.
Living in one of the most expensive states in the United States, a very real concern of new homeschooling parents is how they are going to afford to teach their kids at home. Sometimes, home educating one’s children can result in the loss of one parent’s income, making finances even tighter for families. However big or small your family’s budget may be, you CAN still homeschool!
With the explosion of homeschooling in recent years as well as Facebook and the Internet, there is an abundance of resources available to parents so that they can homeschool for very low or no cost. Websites like TeachersPayTeachers.com and Education.com offer some free resources, in addition to premium content that is usually low cost. There are also complete curriculums that are available online for free. Two popular ones I see referred to often are Easy Peasy Homeschool and Ambleside Online (Charlotte Mason).
Use the Library
While homeschoolers are known for walls of shelves filled with books, homeschooling on a budget can sometimes prevent families from purchasing books. Your local library is the answer. Many libraries participate in inter-library loan programs where you can request to borrow books that your library may not have on their shelves. Our family uses the LA County library system to check out about 75 books every few weeks about the topics we are studying.
If you do have your heart set on owning a particular resource, buying used is one way to do so on a small budget. While it’s important to be mindful of copyright laws, especially with regards to workbooks, there are a number of homeschool groups who host used curriculum sales or “swaps”, as well as groups on social media created entirely for that purpose. CHEA also hosts a Used Curriculum Sale throughout Convention every summer.
Borrow or Trade
There’s a good chance you know some homeschooling families who have kids the same or alternating ages. This is a great opportunity to borrow or swap materials with each other to save on the cost of purchasing new. Chances are, the other families you are in community with share similar teaching preferences and have similarly aged kids (it’s probably what brought you together in the first place). Sharing access to homeschool resources is a natural part of supporting each other as you seek to educate your children at home.
Parents who work outside the home CAN homeschool their children. It might take a bit of extra help from family or trusted friends, but it’s possible. Privately homeschooling families can determine when school will take place – evenings and weekends are just as good a time as more traditional school hours. Family or close friends may be able to watch your children while you work and can also help with assignments you give to them.
Change Your Mindset
Perhaps more important than the practical side of finances is learning to adjust our mindset and expectations of what home education looks like. We don’t need high-priced fancy curriculum, three-hour long classes multiple days a week, or a schedule filled with a variety of enrichment or extracurricular activities. Yes, these are all great ways for families to educate their children if it’s something they can afford and it fits your philosophy of education, but they’re not necessary, especially in the early years. Our children can receive a well-rounded, quality home education without them.
Attending Convention for Free
While CHEA makes every effort to keep Convention rates affordable for families, the cost of attending can still be prohibitive for some. However, there are several ways to attend CHEA’s Annual Convention for free! If you are the parent of preschool aged children (oldest child is 5 or younger), you are invited to attend one day of the Convention for free. It’s your choice whether you want to attend Friday or Saturday. We also welcome pastors and their families to attend Convention free of charge. Please contact the CHEA office at (562) 864-CHEA (2432) between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday for more information and to register using one of these options.
Volunteering is another way anyone can attend the convention for free. In addition to the volunteer support we need during the event, we also need help in the office preparing in the weeks leading up to Convention. If you are interested in volunteering, please email email@example.com for additional information.
This has been a roller coaster couple of months. We’ve seen the CDE turn a deaf ear to parents wishes and approve the pornographic material they call the new sex education guidelines. We see our state legislature determined to run rough shod over parental rights, declaring they know best how to make medical decisions for California school children and seek to remove medical exemptions from mandated vaccine laws. And it looks like the CTA and our governor are determined to severely diminish charter schools.
America is celebrating the sin of homosexuality while sacrificing its young on the altar of self. The children that we let live? The government thinks it owns. A good many of our countrymen would agree. These thoughts leave me trembling. I fear that we as a nation will reap the whirlwind.
When at the depths of discouragement and dismay, I hear the still small voice of the Spirit saying, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Keep doing My work. Your labor will not be in vain.”
You know, leaders, regardless of the disappointments, regardless of the opposition, your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I believe that private Christian home education is now more important than ever. The work we do assisting families; creating a structure that enables them, fellowship that encourages them, and information that equips them so they can disciple their children at home is key.
It’s important that we keep our doors open and a candle in the window for those who are looking for alternatives to what the public schools have to offer. Many who have felt very comfortable in charter homeschool programs are now giving private homeschooling a second look. Let’s be willing to be there for them, and love them when they come our way. I believe that you have been placed this position of leadership for just such a time as this.
It's apparent the enemy doesn't want homeschooling to succeed, but our God reigns. And “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle” Psalm 144:1.
Olvera Street and the surrounding area, El Pueblo de Los Angeles, became the birthplace of the city of Los Angeles when, in 1871, 11 families settled a pueblo on the site. Present day Olvera Street was established some 150 years later in 1930 in an effort to preserve the historical buildings and culture of the area.
In the heart of Los Angeles lies a quaint little piece of California history amidst the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan area. Many “first” and “oldest” buildings in Los Angeles still remain and are open for free tours, including the first church, first three-story brick structure and hotel, the oldest house, and more.
You are free to explore the buildings and sights and sounds of El Pueblo on your own – maps and information guides are available at most of the museums and historical sites. There are also guided tours that last approximately 50 minutes offered Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and noon. We chose not to take a tour because we arrived just after the 11:00 a.m. tour departed and wanted to be mindful of our younger kids’ attention span. If you are planning to visit with a group of 10 or more, reservations are required for the guided tour, which you can make by calling the Visitor Center at (213) 628-1274 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We met in the Plaza (the former town square) where there are several plaques commemorating the founding of the city of Los Angeles as well as statues of two prominent figures in early California history. We then walked south to peer in the windows of the Pico House (the original home of the last Mexican governor of California). This building is primarily rented out for events and commercial use, but is still a beautiful to explore from the outside.
Our next stop was the Plaza Firehouse, first built in 1884. Inside are photographs, memorabilia, and historical firefighting equipment, including a horse-pulled fire “engine” and a traditional fireman’s pole that comes down from the second story. Our kids were very intrigued by the horse stables that were at the back of the firehouse.
Once we were done exploring the firehouse, we headed north to the Methodist church. The church has a really unique stained glass window situated so that it is best viewed in the mirror just inside the doors of the church. After that, we began our journey down Olvera Street (the primary destination for our visit).
At the south end of Olvera Street is a cross that is a marker commemorating the founding of the city. Most of Olvera Street is comprised of small shops, some with authentic Mexican artisan pieces including blankets, leatherwork, jewelry, decor, candies, and more. They are mixed in with some more modern wares (like slime, sensory balls, etc.) that are conveniently located at toddler height, so be watchful of little ones. Be sure to bring cash should you choose to make any purchases as most of the vendors do not accept cards.
About half-way down Olvera Street on the east side is the Avila Adobe. Built in 1818, it is the oldest existing house in Los Angeles. After extensive damage in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, it was restored to its present day design, reflecting the lifestyle of the rancheros of the 1940s. Visitors can explore the various rooms in the adobe – family room, office, kitchen, master bedroom, parlor, and children’s room as well as the thick walls indicative of adobe buildings. Another iconic part of an adobe home from this time period is the courtyard, which was used as an outdoor kitchen, a garden with traditional desert flora, and a work area.
In addition to the marketplace and museums/buildings, there are several restaurants that were busy most of the time we were there. We chose to eat at Cielito Lindo, a small taquito stand at the north end of Olvera Street that has been around since 1934.Their “world famous” taquitos are affordable, kid-friendly, and easy to take on the go. I do recommend asking for the avocado sauce on the side if you or your kids do not do spicy foods.
At any point throughout your visit, you may find yourself being serenaded by a mariachi band as they wander through the open-air shops and restaurants, offering yet another layer of culture and learning to your trip.
After we ate our lunch, we began our walk back down Olvera Street so we could return to the Plaza to read “Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street” by Leo Peloti. It’s a great story with beautiful illustrations of Olvera Street that your children will recognize from their own journey earlier in the day. (Please note there are several references to Holy Mary and the Holy Family as it’s written about the traditional hispanic Catholic tradition of Las Posadas.)
On our way back to the car, we stopped at La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Riena de Los Angeles (Our Lady Queen of Angels Church), the oldest church in the city and the cemetery next to it. You can enter the church (note the sign that requests silence as you enter), and observe the art and architecture. It is a current parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, so be sure to be respectful of the church and its grounds. There is also a small gift shop on site with many Catholic relics and souvenirs.
There are several locations that are part of El Pueblo that we did not visit, including the Sepulveda House, Italian Hall, Chinese American Museum, and El Pueblo Gallery. We did spend quite a bit of our time at the shops with our younger kids, so those with older children may spend less time there and more time exploring some of the museums and other buildings that make up El Pueblo. You could also make the short walk to Union Station, just across the street.
Though driving into downtown Los Angeles can be daunting, El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Olvera Street are located just off the 101 freeway and parking, while a bit pricey ($17.50 for about 2.5 hours), was easily available when we visited midweek. Because of its location directly across from Union Station, you could also take the Metro, Metrolink, or Amtrak if you do not feel comfortable driving. I recommend planning to arrive in the late morning and leaving in the early or mid-afternoon to avoid rush hour traffic as much as possible.
I was asked by a concerned parent about the homeless situation in Los Angeles, especially with regards to the typhus outbreak. While we were walking around El Pueblo and Olvera Street, we did not notice any homeless encampments or any people who appeared to be homeless. We passed several clusters of tents on the street just as we drove onto the freeway to go home. Based on our experience, I would not consider this to be of concern during a visit to El Pueblo.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles offers an affordable and informative half-day destination that would be of interest to families of any age, especially those who may be studying California history or Mexican culture.
All information is correct at the time of publication. Confirm details prior to making your trip.
Another school year is almost complete. For some, this will be the final year they homeschool their child. These graduates are moving into the next phase of life. Some will go away to college, some will enter the workforce, and some will do both.
This phase will test many of you more than the early years did. Helping a child decide which color shoes to wear is easier than helping them decide which career field to enter. Telling them what to do when they are five years old is easier than helping them to make wise decisions about major life issues as young adults.
If you are sorrowed over missed opportunities while your child grew up, if you are questioning whether you parented well or not, if you are worried about your child as they enter adulthood – be encouraged!
The same God who helped you as you taught them to read will help them as they navigate life. The Sovereign King who guided your steps as you homeschooled will guide their steps as they leave your home.
They might (they will) make mistakes. You did too when you were their age. God took care of you and God will take care of them. Behind the scenes, He is working to fulfill His plan for their life. It won't always be easy, but it will be what God perfectly desires and designs.
God used you, will continue to use you, and will also use many other means and methods to accomplish His perfect plan for your children's lives. As you trusted Him while doing math at the kitchen table, trust Him while your children enter adulthood. He is good and will always do what is best for them.
Join Dennie, Zan and Joe Tyler, and other inspiring speakers at the Sacramento Christian Organization of Parent Educators (SCOPE) Annual Conference and Curriculum Fair June 7-8, 2019 at William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA.
Dennie Booth, SCOPE Chairman has been a member of SCOPE and active in the homeschooling community since she began homeschooling in 1996. Over the years, she has served SCOPE in a variety of areas. Dennie joined the SCOPE Board in 2010 as Chairman. Her passion is mentoring and encouraging homeschooling moms.
It’s convention time! CHEA’s 36th Annual Homeschool Convention is July 11-13, 2019 at the Pasadena Convention Center. For some, attending Convention brings an overwhelming sense of dread, for others it feels like Christmas. I, admittedly, fall into the latter category. I am very extroverted and cannot wait to spend my days around others, talking and running around the convention floor. My friend, who is introverted, loves Convention, too. She likes walking the floor, taking in the sessions, and running into old acquaintances.
There is something for everyone. If you are a bit overwhelmed, or just want to make sure you are fully prepared, I have a list of tips and ideas to help make this a fun and memorable Convention!
Do your homework. We have all the sessions and exhibitors listed online for you to look over and explore. Print them out and mark the ones you are most interested in. We even list them by topic so you can find the sessions that may be of interest to you. If there are multiple workshops at the same time that you would like to attend, know that we record the sessions and that the audio files are available for purchase at Convention.
Bring a water bottle. We have water fill stations throughout the convention center.
Dress in layers. Since we are in a large building, we cannot control the temperature throughout the building as well as we would like. Bring a light sweater and/or dress in layers to adjust accordingly to the temperature of the room.
Wear comfortable shoes. I cannot stress enough how much better you will feel if you are in a comfy pair of shoes. I will be wearing my running shoes!
Bring a couple of pens/pencils and a pad of paper, or if you are tech savvy, use your phones and tablets. You are going to want to take notes at our wonderful speaker sessions, from exhibitors, and with people you will be meeting.
Bring a backpack or a roller bag. Due to Fire Marshal codes, we cannot allow rolling carts in the Exhibit Hall, so come with something easy to sling over your back or small enough to pull by your side. We also offer free package check. So, if you want to make a purchase, but do not want to carry it around all day, you can leave it at our package check booth and come back for your things at the end of the day.
Bring your sense of adventure and eagerness to learn! Every day we can learn something new. Every day provides us with new insights and new adventures. This Convention will provide that in a multitude of ways. There will be some speakers you immediately connect with, and others that may make you raise your eyebrows. But that is what is so great about the many workshops we offer–you can find the ones that work for you and leave the rest at the door. All of us are different and will find some things work well for us but not for others. Find what works for you and take the rest with a grain of salt knowing that what is being offered is blessing someone else.
Bring your family, or attend with your friends. Decide what is best for you. I have attended Convention both ways and I have been blessed by both. The first few years I came with friends. I loved it because we went back to the room and talked throughout the night about what we had learned and found in the Exhibit Hall that day. It was so great to have that time to myself to just think and not be interrupted, to learn, and to let it all soak in.
I have also brought my entire family to Convention. In the beginning my husband wasn’t against homeschooling, but he wasn’t involved either. He “let” me homeschool and I was happy with that. But as the years went on I really wanted him to learn more. The first Convention he came to, I made some suggestions on sessions I thought he would enjoy and encouraged him to go. He went to a couple. He didn’t like all of them, but he did enjoy learning more about what it is I do week in and week out. Over the years he has come to enjoy Convention as much as I do. He happily volunteers and I love that he is more interested in the process now. So, if your husband isn’t totally into it, its okay. He’s still a good husband.
CHEA allows children to attend the general Convention with their parents for free. Personally, I do not do well with this option as I find my mind constantly on them, trying to be vigilant and make sure they aren’t doing something they shouldn’t. But I know parents who can navigate this quite well. Again, the choice is yours.
I enjoy having my kids attend the Children and Teen Conventions. There is an additional cost for these conventions, but they keep my children engaged, and every year they learn something new.
I am very excited about this year’s Children and Teen Conventions! Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), the host for this year’s Children’s Convention, is using Pilgrim’s Progress as the basis for their activities. The leaders from CEF and I were able to come together and pray over the facility and the Convention. I have never met a group of more motivated, dedicated, or joy-contagious people. I just couldn’t be around them without feeling joy! I cannot wait for my child to be in their program. If you register online before June 6, we are offering a multi-child discount for the Children’s Convention, so register soon!
This year, our Teen Convention is going to be lead by Generation Joshua, part of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Action. They are running a simulated presidential election. I am looking forward to this since we have a presidential election coming next year. I know my kids will learn a lot about the process and have a better appreciation for what we will be seeing in 2020.
To buy or not to buy? That is the question. If you are like me, you like being able to see the curriculum choices –to touch and feel and look through the materials being offered. You also like a good deal and that can make it hard for you to commit to buying in the Exhibit Hall.
If I can be candid … the size of exhibit halls are starting to dwindle. The price exhibitors pay to attend the Convention is becoming less valuable to them each year. They lose money when we choose to purchase our curriculum elsewhere. I would like to ask that you consider, very carefully, the option to purchase at Convention. Many of our vendors will offer their best prices there.
Should you find a better price elsewhere, please let the vendor know. I understand this can be very awkward, but we need our vendors to know that their presence is important to us. I know most of us are shopper savvy, but we are going to lose the chance to see these great items first hand if we do not make purchases at Convention.
If you do make purchases at Convention, we offer a great giveaway! It’s called Shop to Win. For every $25 you spend in the Exhibit Hall, we give you one ticket to enter our drawing for one of five $100 cash prizes. We have had many happy winners over the years. This year it could be you! Please see details here.
We also have our Used Curriculum Sale that is always a favorite. Please note that items purchased at the Used Curriculum Sale do not qualify for Shop to Win.
Still on the fence about this whole Convention thing? Did you know every year we offer help for homeschoolers at our homeschool help booth. Neither did I! It wasn’t until I started working for CHEA that I realized we had great resources that have been somewhat lost in the mayhem of Convention. This year we are bringing the homeschool help booth out into the lobby in a big way. We are going to offer a more relaxing environment, where you can come sit for a while and speak with moms who have been or who are currently in the trenches of home education. They will be happy to listen to any concerns you may have with your homeschool, offer advice, and even walk the Exhibit Hall with you to help keep it from feeling so daunting.
We are also going to host several group “meet-ups”. From area “meet-ups”, where you can meet other homeschool families that live near you, to homeschooling philosophy and methods “meet-ups”, where you can learn how to homeschool in the Charlotte Mason, Classical, or even unschooling methods from other moms. There is something for everyone.
We are working hard to make this Convention a wonderful experience for all attendees. We want this to be a place where you can come and be with your people. No judgement, just friendly conversation and help where you need it most.
If you haven’t registered yet you can do so here. Remember to register before June 6 to save $25 on your registration!
Anjuli Watanabe joined the CHEA Staff as Events Manager in March 2017. She is married to her husband, Bryan, and homeschools their three children, ages 16, 13, and 7.