We are blessed to have a local homeschool organization that coordinates graduations, conventions, field trips, and intercedes for us with the government. Most of us take it for granted because it is always there.
For the last few years I have had a building passion for the local homeschool convention. The big conventions have bells and whistles and have advertising budgets that seemingly never end but let me tell you-they are cold and impersonal. I have been to one of the 'big' ones and left with a lonely feeling. There were tons of speakers-too many in my opinion-and a thousand vendors to roam through and still I felt lonely. It wasn't personal to my area or people I knew.
I guess what I'm saying is that it was sterile. A cookie cutter homeschool idea that chaffed a bit. I probably would go back to one if I knew some people that were going but I wouldn't seek it out.
Our local convention on the other hand is entirely different. It is put on by our local Teaching Parents Association and they are involved in the homeschooling community here. They are involved with the families the serve. It shows in the convention. They work hard to bring us vendors and speakers that will speak to where we are as a community and as families. No, it isn't as big as the flashy conventions but it supports our community and our families in a way that those big ones can't.
Another thought is that if we don't support our local conventions they will eventually go away. Most of us are nowhere near a hub city that hosts a big convention so consequently we might never get to attend one. And that's a shame. There is something to be said for the camaraderie that is found on the vendor floor!
Teaching Parents Association (TPA) is a wonderful organization that supports our local homeschoolers in a variety of ways. They have a monthly newsletter with articles and the latest happenings around the area. They also have a website and Facebook page. Check them out. Like the FB page and show them your support. Even if you are not local to the TPA, support them so that those that are local can hang on to them. I am going to be working with them on their social media side to get the word out and help homeschoolers connect with each other and the resources out there.
Here is a bit of an article from the latest newsletter. To read the full article head on over here on the TPA website and sign up for email delivery to come directly to you every month.
If You Ask About My Child
2013 TPA Convention Speaker
At your homeschool support group you run into an old friend you haven’t seen in quite some time. You do a bit of catch-up, the chit chat goes on for awhile, and then, here it comes—the question you’ve been dreading—“So, how’s that daughter [or son] of yours doing?”
Paste on that smile. Take in a quick breath, but inside, die . . . just a bit. Of course, you know precisely which child she’s talking about—the one who surprised you all by turning her back on God, then the family, then all that you value, finally stepping solidly into the world and away from faith. Yeah. That kid.
You are now at a crossroads in this conversation.
How will you respond?
Well, you could choose Path A—tell the truth.
My kid is in deep spiritual trouble. Her father and I are heartbroken. It’s been incredibly painful to watch her make so many poor choices. It’s even possible that we will not see the face of our child in heaven. And what’s more, we’re worried it might be our fault. Thanks for asking.
Or, you could try Path B and do that little church-speak dance.
Well, she’s finding herself, trying to determine what it is God wants of her at this point in her life. We’re still hoping she’ll become a surgeon on the mission field, but that may be more our wishes than God’s. [Insert quick laugh.] We’ll just have to wait and see. [Quick redirect.] So how’s your little Bobby doing? Is he still sending all his money to that orphanage in the Sudan? [Raise eyebrows, indicating eager anticipation. Wait for listener to launch into a Bobby-Praise report.]
I completely understand if the truth model makes your palms sweat. Frankly, hesitation is justified. There’s a good chance that if you open your heart and share your pain transparently with this sister in Christ, you may get whacked for it. By that I mean , she may be very quick to let you know that you must have screwed up somehow, or your child would have been faithful to the God of her youth.
You would not be the first parent bludgeoned with the famous but misused “Train up a child . . .” passage from Proverbs. I know that many people still buy into the oft- believed but yet unscriptural interpretation that your child can not go wrong if you have parented right. But think about it …this interpretation would require God to become your vending machine. Plug in just the right mix of coins and God is obligated to produce the snack treat of your choice.
To finish this article and read the rest of the TPA Newsletter head over to their website and sign up. While you're there poke around and see what else they have to offer!