Conventions Help with Teaching Plans

Article excerpt

It's that time of year. State home-school organizations across the country are gearing up for the home-school convention season. If you are considering home-schooling as an option for your children or you need to recharge your home-school battery, you can attend any of four state home-school conventions within three hours of the District during the next few months.

The Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) will hold its annual curriculum fair at the Frederick Fairgrounds in Frederick on April 20 and 21. The fair will feature a "help booth" where participants can receive answers to their home-school questions. New this year: MACHE members may attend free; nonmembers must pay a nominal fee.

The Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania will hold its 15th annual home-school convention May 11 and 12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Since it began in 1986, this convention has grown from a handful of exhibits, workshops and participants to the largest of its kind in the nation.

The Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers of New Jersey (ENOCH) will hold its convention at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center at Raritan Center in Edison on May 18 and 19. ENOCH's convention will feature a used-book sale for home-schoolers to buy and sell used material.

Finally, the Home Education Association of Virginia (HEAV) will hold its 18th annual convention June 14 through 16 at the Richmond Center and Marriott Hotel in Richmond. The HEAV convention will offer a "new home-schoolers track" where parents looking into home-schooling for the first time can attend workshops on how to begin, choose curricula and learn about the home-schooling law of Virginia.

All home-school conventions are designed to equip and encourage parents as they educate their children at home. No matter which event you choose, however, it is best to realize you will not be able to see and do everything.

Home-school conventions typically have two major components - an exhibit hall and workshops. The exhibit hall is where parents can examine and purchase curricula, check out supplemental resources and ask about video and satellite school programs.

Workshops make up the second major portion of the convention. Convention planners work hard to see that there is something for everyone. Parents considering home-schooling will find presentations on complying with state home-school regulations and how to begin a home-education program. Families that have been home-schooling for a few years may opt for workshops that can help them teach specific subjects or give them new how-to instructions or teaching tips. For the veteran home-schooler whose child may be entering the teen years, presentations on home-schooling through high school, teaching

upper-level mathematics and preparing for college are helpful. …