Homeschool Conferences – and why we love them! – MBFLP 277

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

With the world full of resources available online, you can develop your philosophy, order your materials, and start homeschooling without ever meeting another parent-educator. That’s a blessing in many ways, especially if you live in a rural area or a foreign culture. But sometimes we think we’ve found what we need when we join the right group on Facebook and know which bloggers we want to follow and which website we like to order from. You may have found part of it, but there’s more!


God tells His people, in Hebrews 10:25, that we must not forsake gathering together. That command didn’t change when our grandparents heard Billy Sunday on the radio or Billy Graham on TV – those were great resources, but they weren’t substitutes for real-life people. We need more than information, we need interaction.

Homeschooling is not church, but it definitely involves spiritual warfare. It’s important to find a flesh-and-blood network to support your homeschooling and provide you with opportunities to help others, too. We’re big fans of local support groups, for just that reason.

But conventions add another dimension – the sheer energy of being in a hall with hundreds, or even thousands, of people walking the same path you’re on. You might have different plans or destinations for your students – college, career, military, home – but you’ve all set out on the path marked “Home Education,” which is one of life’s greatest adventures. And it’s exciting to meet travelers on the same road.

Don’t be shy about talking with other families. You have one little boy, and they’ve got four? Ask them how it works. They have a teenaged daughter and yours is a few years younger? Ask if they have any insights for the next step. You notice they’ve bought a curriculum you’re considering? Strike up a conversation.

Don’t be shy about authors and speakers, either. Most of us speakers are teachers and counselors at heart. We want to reach out and help people.  We expect to meet lots of folk whose opening words are, “I have a problem …” or “I was wondering …” That’s what we’re here for. And conventions are the place where you can actually get one-on-one interaction with the people who write the books and curriculum.

You can bless them, too. We love our readers who buy from the big online bookstores, too. But did you know that when you save a dollar online, the author probably earns two dollars less? If you can, please buy directly from the author or the publisher whenever you can. That helps them pay the bills so they write the next book or curriculum you’re looking forward to!

And don’t forget the people who put on the convention. Most conventions are organized by volunteers, and the proceeds support the year-round services they provide – monitoring the legislature, training support group leaders, answering questions from new homeschoolers, and talking with skeptical reporters. They’re working to promote and defend your freedom to homeschool. Let’s pitch in and support them, too!

(This article first appeared in The Homeschool Minute, a publication of The Old Schoolhouse magazine)


We’ll be speaking at four major conferences in the coming weeks:

Be sure to stop by our booth and say hi!

Our Homeschool Convention Perspective

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.


Have you been to a homeschool convention? We are talking the pros and cons of a convention near you in episode 180. The replay is a live recording by the Roadschool Moms team from the back porch and behind the wheel. Holly Giles, the creator of The Giles Frontierbroadcasts from central Florida.  This week, Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher stops by Holly’s back porch to talk about their homeschool convention experiences.

Do you go to a homeschool convention every year? Are you going to your first one this year? Holly and Mary Beth share their experiences with a little twist.


The Newbie

Attending a homeschool convention can be sensory overload. Plan ahead for what your intentions are for the event.

  • Is your spouse attending or going with another mom?

We recommend making a plan and not taking your children into the exhibit hall. Why?

  • You can’t concentrate on why you are there.
  • They get distracted, hungry, irritated and bored.
  • You leave frustrated and didn’t accomplish your goals for the trip.

Do your homework

Research vendors ahead of time. Make a list of who you want to see. Map out your route and gather information to look at later. Leaving room for a variable is important.

12:38 Break

The vendor perspective

Holly shares her family’s perspective as a vendor and speaker at homeschool conventions. You may be surprised at why you should give a little time to the smaller cottage industry booths.

18:30  What is the difference in a big name for-profit conventions and a state non-profit convention. Why should you care?

Holly and Mary Beth will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Chattanooga Homeschool Expo July 20-21.

This episode of Roadschool Moms is sponsored by The Giles Frontier. Check out Blaze New Trails, Nature and community-based adventures for every family.


homeschool convention

Roadschool Moms Information

Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 170 podcast replays.  Subscribe on iTunes, rate the show and leave a review. Not sure how to do that? Check out the video – It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Android users follow on Stitcher.

Homeschool enrollment is on the rise. As a result, more and more families are moving into a home on wheels. Further, the Roadschool Moms record this broadcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today’s roadschooler. These roadschool defined adventures don’t stop there. Holly Giles, founder of The Giles Frontier, and Mary Beth Goff, creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling from the back porch of your home and behind the wheel across America’s backyard.

Roadschool Moms:  Season 12


Lessons Learned on the Road – Making a Difference

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Wow, what a week! I had planned to have Mike and Jessica Somerville on the show this week, but I bet you have learned by now that my life rarely goes as planned. We will have the Somerville’s on soon, I promise. Instead, this week I decided to share about my latest lessons learned on the road. This time, I was in Fort Worth, TX and making a difference kept coming to mind. I am sure I have mentioned before that the reason I do this job (writing and speaking) for a living is because of my great love and respect for young children. As much as I really do enjoy encouraging moms and dads, I get the most joy out of meeting and spending time with young children, hoping I am making a difference.

When I think back to the person who role modeled making a difference in the lives of young children, I can’t help but think of my childhood crush. I am sure you know exactly who that is… Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers treated children with kindness and respect. He believed they were worthy of hearing good things about themselves, in knowing they were worthy of love and capable of loving. I love this trailer for the upcoming Mr. Roger’s documentary. I also tear up watching this video with Mr. Rogers and his friend Jeff. Mr. Rogers show us that even tough subjects can be approached with tenderness and care. Oh, how I want to make a difference in children’s lives the way Mr. Rogers did.

How do you want to make a difference? What legacy do you want to leave behind? When someone mentions your name, what visual do you want him or her to have? For me, it is simple. I want others to remember that I desired to make a difference in the lives of children (especially my own) and the adults who cared for them.

This week’s sponsor fits in perfectly with our theme. The Perfect Season movie is a true story about a young volleyball player who tragically lost her life and the difference she made in the lives of her team and her community. Check it out at


Say YES and have a great week!!!

Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know. Just email me at or shoot me a message on social media.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.


Navigating Your Way through a Homeschool Convention

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Navigating Your Way through a Homeschool Convention with Talking Mom 2 Mom
Have you ever attended a homeschool convention before? Are you desiring to attend one in the near future? Listen to Richele as she shares, from personal experience, why you should attend, as well as, a best strategy for how to navigate the overwhelmingly awesome vendor halls full of homeschool curriculum. Get the most out of individual sessions and learn beforehand how to entertain your children while you are there. Unable to attend a local homeschool convention? We have a great alternative for you!

A few internet links promised!

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Conferences. Find one near you!

Primary for Parents Online Homeschool Convention. Listen to Lindsey and Richele speak on “Developing Our Kids Through Entrepreneurship” and many other amazing speakers! Click here to learn more!

Visit Us:

Talking Mom2Mom


MBFLP – How To Get The Most From Conventions

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

So you’re going to a homeschool convention, but you’ve heard stories (and warnings) from friends – some are so big, they’re overwhelming. There’s so much walking! And what will you do with the kids? This episode, we talk about practical ways to get the most enjoyment, encouragement, and help from any homeschool convention.

2015-04-13 20.35.35

Recorded in our mobile studio at the Dreamland Drive-In in Tuscaloosa, Alabama!

IAHE Informer Interview with Israel Wayne

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Informer Podcast I.Wayne

Homeschool graduate, father, author, and speaker, Israel Wayne, is a featured speaker at the IAHE 2014 Home Educators’ Convention March 27th through the 29th.

Sit back and join our host, Tara Bentley, as she talks with Wayne in an informative podcast about his not-so-typical homeschool childhood, homeschooling from a biblical worldview, passing the baton from one generation to the next, family discipleship, and so much more. He even shares a few questions from his new book, The Questions God Asks.