A Guide to Best Homeschool Conventions 2014

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There is nothing like a convention to galvanize your homeschooling year. Homeschooling conventions have, like all things homeschool, taken off.  

Conventions come in a plethora of flavors. Every group, from Radical Unschoolers to Conservative Christians, to Radical Conservative Christian Unschoolers, has their own convention.

Notably absent are online conventions- or even conventions with a strong online component. If anyone is interested in taking a convention online, let me know! I would be glad to help. I have outlined some ideas at the end of this entry.

So here is a list of some of the best homeschool conventions taking place near you in 2014.

Secular Homeschool Conventions

Many secular homeschoolers see education as an extension of their everyday life, so their conventions are not only explorations of homeschooling, but all out joyful celebrations of people who are seeking to live intentionally with education as an integral part of their family life.

The Washington Homeschool Convention (Puyallup, WA: June 13 and 14, 2014) claims to be the “Largest Homeschool Convention on the West Coast.” There are family activities, notable speakers, over 50 workshops, nearly 4,000 attendees and a huge exhibit hall.  There is plenty for the whole family to do.

The Rethinking Everything Retreat for Conscious Family Living (Little Rock, AR: August 30, 2014 -September 2, 2014) sounds like the go-to conference for the yoga crowd.  It calls on participants to, “Join families from around the globe as we rethink our views on education, parenting, careers, wellness, birth, death, marriage, sexuality, and more!” The organizers want to bring people together who are “on the path to living, a self-designed life.” They want to “hold space for the dialogue, inspiration, and community that fosters transformation.”

The Life is Good Unschooling Conference (Vancouver, WA: May 22-25, 2014) is particularly and specifically for unschoolers. They invite “you to join us and experience an unschooling community first hand. You’ll have an opportunity to make new friends, deepen existing friendships, form connections and find the piece that just may be missing from your unschooling journey– a strong, supportive and vibrant group of families to share it with.” They seek to create a community in which children are not only respected, but enjoyed. While in many ways, this conference sounds really inclusive, they do request that, “You not bring friends who are not unschoolers to the conference, even for a short visit.”

North East Unschooling Conference (Wakefield, MA: August 28-31, 2014) sounds like a funky-little event for out-of-the box thinkers. It invites families to enjoy a community for learning and fun and to meet others for whom Life is a Joyful Adventure.” The conferences organizers say that there will be “joy and chaos, laughter and tears, lots of silliness, hugs all over the place, play, learning, fun, and struggle. There are always lots and lots of questions, and all different kinds of answers.”

The 2014 Love to Learn Conference (Valdese, NC: August 2, 2014) “is the only inclusive homeschool conference in North Carolina. “The Love to Learn Homeschool Conference focuses on homeschooling and homeschoolers, bringing up to date, accurate, unbiased information concerning issues that affect the climate of homeschooling in North Carolina.”

Many of these conventions were found on www.secularhomeschool.com, which is a great resource for all secular homeschoolers. Here is where they list the conventions that they are aware of.

Christian Based Homeschool Conventions

These conferences are unabashedly and unapologetically Christian. Sessions start with prayer and are based on Christian Values. That said, The Great Homeschool Convention does seek to include “Speakers and exhibitors that are not specifically “Christian” but that DO provide knowledge, information and/or curriculum that is applicable and valuable for homeschoolers, both Christian and non-Christian alike.

The Great Homeschool Conventions are huge. There are 100 of vendors and scores of speakers. There are sessions for children, teens and parents. Topics include Math, Reading, Science, Spelling, Writing, Classical Home Education, Charlotte Mason Methods, Unit Studies, Beginning Homeschooling, Homeschooling through High School, Special Needs, Homeschool Transcripts, Homeschool Legal Questions, Gifted Homeschooling, Successful Parenting, Christian Worldview, Creation Apologetics and much more.

There are three Great Homeschool Conventions:

Greenville, SC: March 20 – 22, 2014

Cincinnati, OH: April 24 – 26, 2014

Ontario, CA: June 12 – 14, 2014

Teach Them Diligently Conventions are likewise huge. They have noted speakers, hundreds of exhibits, workshops, and activities for children, teens and parents.

There are four Teach them Diligently Conventions:

Nashville, TN: March 20-22, 2014.

Spartansburg, SC: April 3-5, 2014

Washington DC : May 15-17, 2014

Dallas, TX: June 26-28, 2014

An Online Homeschool Convention

In my research, I was not able to find any Online Conventions in 2014, nor even a live convention with a strong online component.

WizIQ has everything that you need to take a conference online. From live audio and video streaming to interactive sessions, WizIQ can help you reach a wider audience that is no longer defined by geography.

A conference could include information from various curricular companies as well as informational and educational sessions for families. Here is information about how some other groups have conducted online conferences. This free paper outlines how an international cohort of Scholars used WizIQ to conduct an online conference. This paper is about an international Psychology Conference. Both of these organizations used WizIQ Virtual Classroom to reach a wide audience with new information and inspiration.

Isn’t it time for someone to take a homeschool conference online? Let us know if we can help!

I am a teacher, hiker, mother, dancer and home-maker. I have taught pre-school through SAT prep. I am exploring ways to create on-line learning communities for home-schooled middle school and high school students. In particular, I am starting a low-residency on-line middle school. I would like to help young people explore important ideas while enjoying their lives! You can learn more about my programs at www.onlineclassesforgroovykids.org.

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