Saturday, May 10, 2008

Homeschooling Book Fair

Yesterday was a fun day! After two years of missing the Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama's Convention due to being away at dance camp, I was excited to be able to attend this year's homeschool book fair and conference.

The day started early, up at 5:30 a.m. to shower, pack lunch, and eat before heading off for the drive to Birmingham. Arriving at the convention center, it was fun to see the homeschool families abounding all over the place. From large families wearing matching shirts, to the abundance of long hair and skirts, to mothers wheeling large book bags, you knew you were among homeschoolers.

This year Miriam Rebekah couldn't make it, so I was without the friend with whom to walk around and talk. But my family was there, and I enjoyed going to some of the speakers. I heard Michael Farris speak on 3 different subjects, and enjoyed it immensely each time! This founder of HSLDA and president of Patrick Henry College was inspiring, challenging, and funny in his talks. He really gave us a lot of food for thought, and after the session on Parental Rights, Elijah, Dad and I continued discussing it over lunch. All of the legal stuff happening these days is both alarming and fascinating! Praise God for people like Michael Farris that bring important things to our attention. We also enjoyed seeing scenes from the play "The Importance of Being Earnest", put on by homeschoolers in the area and done in a booth to promote their organization, and hearing the Lamb Family play beautifully on their violins.

As we were finishing lunch, some good family friends showed up, and we enjoyed spending the afternoon with them, listening to speakers and browsing through the hall of great books. We got quite a few books I can't wait to read. The only question is, which one do I read first?? =) We had some fun conversations with friends, waiting for parents, in the car, and over chips and Mexican food at Two Pesos restaurant. Before we knew it, it was 8 p.m. and we really needed to start the hour and a half drive home.

The second day of the convention is today, but because of John, Miriam's fiance's weekend visit, we're staying home. It may be a good thing too: otherwise I may have bought even more books! :-)

It only happens once a year, but each time I go, it's enjoyable and refreshing. Just seeing that many homeschoolers in one place is a lot of fun! These conventions aren't just for parents; they're a great place for teens to learn a lot, shop for quality books, and enjoy seeing friends.

Is there a conference/book fair coming to your area? I'd encourage you to go with your family! You'd probably enjoy it immensely!

Or do you already usually go to these events? What are your favorite memories from them?


Jody said...

We didn't go this year but it used to be a family trip for the Brown family! I like them so much I persuaded my brand new husband to finish up our honeymoon by going to the homeschool fair last year!!! Yep, homeschooling is in my blood that much! :) I know you had a good time.

Kasie said...

We used to attend the annual homeschool conventions in N.Y. where I lived ever year with our friends. I loved hearing the wonderful speakers, and spending hours browsing through books at the curriculum hall! My fondest memories though I believe was walking about with our friends, and being able to sit together during the talks, and overall being surround with like-minded families - I love that atmosphere!

The curriculum hall was always a favorite too! :-)

eliasboudinotismyfriend said...

My favorite thing about the GHEA (Georgia) is the Little Patriots program that goes on during the parent's sessions. I have worked in the program for the past 3 years (it was last weekend) and enjoyed it SO MUCH!! All of the teachers dress up in period dress (I was the Prairie Schooners) and decorate their team station accordingly. This past year our themes were Love, Forgiveness and Security in Christ - and I pray that we taught the kids lessons that will impact them for years to come.

I like the vendor hall, too!! :)

Ella said...

Yes, you can tell when you are with homeschoolers. My Mom has gone in the past, for the past several years, she has not. The same speakers she feels it isn't worth it.

Robert said...

There's some interesting topic's at the parental rights link to read.

What were some of the books you bought?

Maria Pauline said...

I've been to the annual MACHE conference twice, I especially enjoyed Genereation Joshua and Dr. Wile... But my family chose not to attend this year as it was farther away than usual and I did not need to look for new curriculum. But conferences and book fairs are very much fun!

Anna Naomi said...

Mrs. Jody: That's funny! =) Yes, the homeschooling fairs are so much fun!

Kasie: Yes, I have many wonderful memories of time spent walking with friends at the book fair. Miriam and I were usually always together!

Eliasboudinotismyfriend: It's neat that you get to work with the children! That must be fun. They've had things for children a few years, but this year I didn't really hear of many workshops/activities for them.

Ella: That's sad that the same speakers come every year! So far, I think we've had different ones almost every time.

Robert: Yes, the parental rights amendment is very interesting! I hope and pray that it gets passed. I bought Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancy and Stacy McDonald, Homemaking by J.I. Miller, and my mom got all 4 of the Secret of the Rose series by Michael Phillips at the used book sale for only $1! I decided to read Passionate Housewives Desperate for God first and am really enjoying it!

Maria Pauline: This fair was the first one where I didn't have to look for curriculum - rather a weird feeling, now that I'm graduated! =) It's neat that you've gotten to hear Dr. Wile - I've enjoyed many of his science textbooks.