A Conference High

I knew at some point that something would get me back to blogging. Nothing like a conference to jumpstart my creative energy and desire to talk.

I spent this weekend at the 2013 VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair. As usual, it has left me feeling inspired and empowered for so many reasons, many of them because of what led up to the conference (which I hopefully will cover in a later post).

This year's conference seemed to have a special energy...I'm not sure if it was the exceptional turnout (we hit our highest registration level ever a week before the conference and they kept coming!), the incredible line up of speakers, the family programming, the wonderful teens, getting to see so many old friends, being able to put faces to email addresses...I could go on.

I presented 3 Beginning Homeschool sessions...2 on navigating  the paperwork and legalities and 1 on figuring out how to get started with the every day aspects of homeschooling. These by far are my favorite sessions because of the fantastic parents I get to meet. So many want to share their stories about why they are there...the parents of the preschooler who have decided that they want to continue the fun of learning with her, the grandparents who are trying to find a better fit for their grandchild, the parents of the child who was so stressed out by school for whom homeschooling has allowed them to get their happy child back.

Everyone has their story of what brought them to the point of considering homeschooling. Often it can feel like taking a huge scary leap off a cliff, especially if they do not know many other homeschoolers. It is so much fun answering their questions and making it seem not quite as daunting. Information is empowering. As is support.

I ran into a number of people this year who said that they remembered me from attending one of my sessions (some from many years ago). I remember how much I appreciated my first Beginning Homeschooling seminar hosted by VaHomeschoolers  so many years ago. I truly love the fact that I can pay all the support and encouragement I received back then forward to the homeschoolers getting started today.

I also presented a new session this year which was a whole lot of fun - There's an App for That! Using Apps to Enhance Your Homeschooling. It was really well received and I had a blast researching it. Nothing like a good excuse to play around with new shiny things. I found some really neat apps out there and will definitely share some of my favorites here.

Both of the boys came with me this year (it was Jason's 3rd year volunteering and Kyle's second year attending and first year volunteering) and there was something really special about watching them hang out with old friends from previous years as well as making new friends. They have come to enjoy the conference as much as I have and Jason was wishing that we could do it twice a year. 

I am still processing all the fantastic conversations I had and getting a kick out of seeing all the new facebook connections being made amongst my friends.  I've got so much  percolating in my head...I just need to find the time to get it all down. 

Feels good to be back to blogging...here's hoping that I can keep it up for a little while...for now I am going to go back to enjoying the snowy day that came last night and being grateful that it decided to wait until today...