Thanks THSC for hosting our family at this year's convention!
Mother's Day weekend I had the privilege of attending the Texas Home School Coalition's 2016 Convention. It was a weekend full of fun times with friends, refreshing times of encouragement, and inspirational times from speakers. I had never been to a THSC Convention, and by the time I left, I felt like a part of the THSC family. I'm so thankful for the support that THSC offers Texas home schoolers as well as home school leaders.
This is only the second year that THSC has hosted a convention in Arlington, but they've been hosting conventions in the Woodlands for many years. This year it happens to fall on my birthday, and I'm excited to attend again July 21-23. The greatest endorsement of this conference is that my family wants to go with me and experience the whole conference again. There will be a couple of different speakers, and a variety of new vendors, but the overall theme of the convention is the same. Hey, I'm Classical...I appreciate the value of repeating things to learn more!
Pulling off a convention of this magnitude is not a task for the faint at heart. As a VIP Blogger, I got a chance to meet the men and women behind the scenes that make this convention so special. Let me tell you - they are truly amazing. I'm not sure they slept much throughout the entire week of the convention as they made sure everything was in place to encourage and uplift all of the home schoolers that would be in attendance. It truly is a labor of love.
Top 10 Moments of the 2016 THSC Convention:
No. 1 - Leadership Conference
I signed up to attend the Leadership Conference pretty much because Andrew Pudewa was speaking at it. Not only was I completely blessed by his encouragement to parents in raising leaders, I was also really impressed with the information Tim Lambert, THSC President, and David Gibbs III shared with us. After hearing about the great work THSC is doing, I knew I wanted to support their work, and have their number on speed dial if any troubles arose in my home school.
No. 2 - Keynote Speakers
Honestly, if I only got to hear Andrew Pudewa speak, I would have left satisfied. He is one of the best examples of a lifelong learner that I have ever met. Even though I've heard him speak many times, since he's always learning, he always has new depth of insight that make his talks fresh and new.
No. 3 - Chatting with Vendors
There is really nothing like getting your hands on that curriculum you've been researching. It's even better when you can talk with the creators of that curriculum and gain insight on their motivations for creating it, and how you might be able to use it with your student.
No. 4 - Encouragment By Chocolate
The next best thing to chatting with vendors is chatting with other moms who are homeschooling while eating chocolate! It's always so encouraging to hear stories of faith, encouragement, and inspiration from others who are in the trenches along with you.
This was my first time to attend one of the Encouragement by Chocolate nights, and it was such a blessing. Heidi St. John will share her wisdom in the Woodlands, and I can't wait to hear from her. I enjoyed this night with my sweet homeschooling blogger friends, and we felt so spoiled. It was a great event.
If you're wondering what your family will do without you, never fear, because they get the pleasure of being entertained by John Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog series. Young and old alike will be entertained by John and his family. Tickets to his performance are included with every registration. Free is always fun!
No. 5 - The Amazing Chemistry Show
Saturday night, the entertainment was equally amazing. Josh Denhart has put together an amazing, gospel-saturated show featuring awe inspiring science demonstrations that will knock your socks off. It was an incredibly thoughtful show that captivated the audience. I can't wait to see it again!
No. 6 - Fantastic Children's Programs
My girls thoroughly enjoyed their time in the kids camps. I can't tell you how many times I've heard my daughter running around singing the songs from the American Heroes camp. She loved every minute of it, and that made it so much easier to enjoy myself.
My older daughter experienced the Inner Princess camp for the first time this year, and she came home with beautiful crafts, and scripture hidden in her heart. Each day they were fed lunch. What more could you ask?
No. 7 - Friends, Old and New
I really do love building friendships at conventions. When you go with friends, you have a common bond in the encouragement you received, and you can remind each other of the truths that you heard throughout the year.
This convention, I stayed at the hotel with the others in the VIP blogging team, and let me tell you, we laughed, we cried, but we didn't sleep (much)! I also met so many of the wonderful team that makes the THSC Convention happen. I feel like my family of friends is growing, and I look forward to building upon the relationships that started in Arlington.
No. 8 - Shopping, Shopping, Shopping
So I did go shopping - just a little bit! There was a great variety of vendors in the hall, and I love taking advantage of free shipping and convention special pricing.
No. 9 - Becoming a THSC Member
I made sure to become an official THSC member before I left. They have a special discount at the convention, but if you're a member, you can get into the convention for FREE! There are so many amazing benefits to being a member. I specifically love that they know about the Texas laws, and I love supporting them as they continue to fight for the freedom to home school in Texas.
No. 10 - Meeting other Home School Bloggers
On Saturday afternoon, the THSC Convention team thew a special fellowship for home school bloggers. It was great to meet friends that I've only known in the virtual world. THSC wants to bless bloggers as we work together to encourage, inspire, and equip homeschoolers. I'm excited to see how this relationship will grow and develop in the next few years. If you're a homeschool blogger, there's another fellowship planned for the THSC convention in the Woodlands. I'd love to see you there. Find out more information here!
Are you registered for the THSC Convention? What are you waiting for?!
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.