The “Why” of Homeschooling – HEAV Convention 2016

This past weekend fourteen thousand homeschooling mothers, fathers, and children gathered in one place in Richmond, VA to “be transformed” (Rom. 12:2) and refreshed in their homeschool journey. Once again, Home Educators Association of Virginia delivered a magnificent convention. Each year I get a little more of a glimpse of all that goes into pulling it off and I am speechless and amazed. I am so thankful to be plugging into this wonderful organization that bathes every moment of this event in prayer. God is at the center of it all; and the verse that comes to mind when I think of all of it coming together is this:

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4

I was personally given the opportunity to be involved as a volunteer in a few different areas of the convention throughout the weekend. I have had the privilege of being a volunteer blogger for HEAV for about three years now, and this past weekend was my second year as a convention blogger. Mainly, this job means I share posts on Facebook keeping my own friends up-to-date on things going on with convention, writing blog posts about convention on my personal blog, AND hosting my very own giveaway! This is one of my favorite parts because I have the opportunity to tell someone they get to attend this life-changing event for FREE! I get super excited about that because I know from personal experience how wonderful this weekend can be; and many people (but definitely not all) who enter the giveaway are potential new-goers.

 

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The Exhibit Hall on Saturday! So much to look at! This is actually a small crowd because many people were in workshops when I snapped this photo.

 

 

On the first day I was able to attend a meet-and-greet for the bloggers and vendors at the convention. I got to talk to some wonderful people and hear the president of HEAV talk a little bit about the vision for this year’s convention, which was this: WHY each family chooses to homeschool. I love how the answer is personalized for each individual family. Because homeschooling is about what works best for each family, which is one of the many beautiful things about home education. It was asked that we not focus on the negative whys (like avoiding of public school) but the purely positive things; perhaps such things as a focus on family relationships, a study-at-your-own-pace approach, etc. I loved that she made sure to mention that the positive reasons for homeschooling should be the focus, not the negative. There is enough in the society we live in that reminds us all of the negativity surrounding us in this world – to have someone encourage us to be intentional about focusing solely on the good, the positive, the blessings, was a breath of fresh air!

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As someone who has grown up in the homeschooling community and who wishes to (Lord willing) raise her children someday in the same community and atmosphere, I love learning all I can about home education. I think it is definitely important to understand why you feel led to do something. Just like in many other areas of life, knowing your “why” is one of the most important steps in the journey as well as what keeps you going when hitting difficult times. Because of this, I thought the fact that they chose this to be the theme was beautiful and brilliant.

If you were unable to attend the convention, I would still encourage you to think about why it is you feel the Lord leading you to homeschool. Discouragement will be prevalent in this journey and whenever it creeps up it will be so important to remember the answer to that question, “why am I doing this?”. It takes a great deal of trust, as well. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. (Prov. 3:5) We must never forget these two things throughout any area of life and the path God leads us down. Homeschooling is just the same.

I have been so blessed by this past weekend and hope that you will get the opportunity to attend next year! So, until June 8-10th, 2017… Have a blessed summer (and upcoming school year)!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

-Romans 12:2 (ESV)

 

 

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