I just want to start off by saying that Texas is a pretty amazing state for homeschoolers. I knew we had it pretty good, but I didn't know how vigilant THSC works behind the scenes for the freedoms we receive. My husband and I came early for the 2016 THSC Convention to the Texas Leadership Conference, and it opened our eyes to amazing services that they provide homeschool leaders in Texas. Welcome to Faith in the Trenches!
It's funny how this is the second time I've heard the challenges of homeschooling be referred to as "trench" work in the last week. Maybe I notice it because I've had a difficult year, but maybe it's simply because this homeschooling gig is hard, and the work is not for the faint of heart. Actually, it's impossible to raise children with wisdom and virtue without the supernatural work of the Lord. Therefore, this homeschooling conference is just as much about building faith as it is the practicalities of homeschooling, and I love that.
If you're heading to the convention in the Woodlands (July 21-23), and you're a leader in your homeschool realm, this pre-conference was well worth the additional investment of time and money. The Texas Leadership Conference featured Andrew Pudewa of IEW. He spoke about cultivating leadership skills in your students. To be honest, this was the biggest reason that I came. However, Tim Lambert, the president of THSC, and David Gibbs, IIII, President and General Counsel of the National Center for Life and Liberty, a ministry organization that defends life and liberty freedoms nationwide, offered information that was so helpful for those in charge of homeschool co-ops or groups like Classical Conversations.
After the leadership conference, the vendor hall opened, and my husband and I enjoyed perusing the great materials available to homeschoolers!
Some of My Favorite Booths:
I love the Classical Conversations booth, especially in Arlington because my friends are all working there! Conventions like this are a great place to reconnect and chat about our CC experiences.
There are a couple of new products that I was excited to see:
- Wakeful Words - This is a cool new book that is like a dictionary of literary devices. The beauty of it is that it gives examples of these literary devices from the literature we read in Challenge! I will be getting a copy of this for my kids!
- New Trivium Tables - These are really a fantastic resources. I would have loved to have had the Music and Debate trivium tables for Challenge I.
The Memoria Press guides for Henle Latin have been my support system for making it successfully through the first Henle book.
If you're not signed up to receive their catalog, which is really an excellent resource for Classical Educators, you should register on their website. It comes quarterly, and it's free.
The latest excitement (at least I think it's pretty exciting) is their new First Form Greek. Following the pattern of their highly successful First Form Latin, this new curriculum is sure to provide an accessible way for parents to introduce Greek to their students. It's coming out later this summer, but I can't wait to get my hands on it and try it out!
The missionary biographies published by YWAM are my absolute favorite read aloud books. I have quite a collection of these, and I can buy without guilt at the convention because they price them ridiculously cheap! And look at this beautiful table!! Wow.
I always make sure to have a list of the titles I already own with me, because I'm sure to buy the same option twice if I'm not careful. I love giving these books away though. They are such fantastic reads. My favorites?
Speaking of Encouragement
The first night ended with another encouraging talk about the state of education, and the seven keys to great teaching. I'm always so inspired, challenged, and encouraged by Mr. Pudewa. He's really such a champion for homeschoolers. The best quote of the night:
"Teaching is the overflow from the soul of the teacher to the souls of the students."
I can't wait to hear more from all of the great speakers lined up over the next couple of days!
If you're not registered for this conference, check out THSC's second opportunity in the Woodlands - July 21-23.
THSC members get into the conference for free! This is an amazing way to invest in the future of the right to homeschool in Texas.
If you're a homeschool blogger, don't forget, you can check out the cool way they are reaching out to connect us by hosting a meet-up on the last day of the conference both in Arlington and in the Woodlands.
I hope I see you around!
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.