One of the unfortunate side effects of the corona virus pandemic has been the cancellation of numerous conferences and other events. With the benefits of technology, many of those events have been able to take place online. The full experience may not be the same, but at least we don’t have to miss out completely!
One such event my wife and I were planning to attend this year was the annual Family Conference hosted by Illinois Christian Home Educators. Aside from fond personal memories—the two of us met each other for the first time at the conference ten years ago—it’s a great opportunity to hear solid teaching, interact with other Christian families, and peruse curriculum and other resources.
This year, the ICHE board of directors made the decision to host the conference virtually. It may not be the same as the in-person event so many families have come to love, but it certainly has its advantages: no commute, no food or lodging expenses, and—thanks to the generosity of ICHE—no registration fee! (Registration is still required, but the cost is waived.)
The conference is much more than just a homeschool event. As Kirk Smith, Executive Director of ICHE shared with me, it’s “a marriage conference, family conference, parenting conference, biblical worldview conference, economic conference, spiritual renewal conference all rolled up into one.”
A review of the event website (check it out for yourself here) reveals a broad lineup of speakers and subjects. Topics range from the practical, to the inspirational, to the philosophical. Here’s a smattering of the presentations you can enjoy:
- Thoroughly Christian Education (Voddie Baucham)
- Time and Home Management: Managing Life and Home While Homeschooling (Nancy Bjorkman)
- When Motherhood Feels Too Hard (Kelly Crawford)
- Homeschool High School with Confidence (Cheri Frame)
- One Race, One Blood (Ken Ham)
- How to Spot Fake News (Carl Kerby)
- Homeschooling 101 (Jeff Lewis)
- Three Things Every Young Christian Artist Must Know (Dan Lietha)
- The 5 Flavors of Homeschooling (Sonya Shafer)
- Preparing Our Children to Navigate the LGBTQ Movement in Truth and Love (Elizabeth Urbanowicz)
- Motivating the Reluctant Learner (Krisa Winn)
- And many, many more!
With schools closed down for the past couple of months, many moms and dads have become unexpected homeschoolers. If that describes you, and if you’re considering homeschooling long term (I highly recommend it!), this event could be a great way to learn more about how homeschooling works in a more traditional context. Of course, as Kirk Smith points out, “There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach with homeschooling. At the ICHE conference, you will be able to hear a variety of approaches and be able to tailor your school experience for what best fits your values and priorities as a family.”
The ICHE Family Conference will be taking place May 28-31. It will be hosted using the event app Whova, and you’ll have access to the conference sessions via Whova for a full year afterward.
There are at least three groups of people who should consider registering for this conference:
- Homeschooling moms and dads who were planning to attend the regular, in-person event
- Parents who have considered attending the event in the past but were unable to do so because of distance, budget, childcare, etc.
- Anyone interested in learning more about homeschooling (parents, grandparents, pastors, etc.)
Homeschooling is really an extension of parenting. It’s the opportunity to teach and disciple our children with a degree of intention unmatched by other options. As Kirk Smith pointed out, “So many dads and moms want to do parenting right, they just lack examples and resources. The conference will give them both.”
So if you want to be a better homeschooler—or a better parent—be sure to check out the ICHE Family Conference! Check it out HERE.
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