HEAV Homeschool Convention 2013 in Richmond, VA……..Here We Come!

HEAV Homeschool Convention 2013.  The Duggars will be there!

HEAV Homeschool Convention 2013. The Duggars will be there!

I have never been to a homeschool convention before, even though my family has been homeschooling for almost four years now. We have heard of these types of gatherings that take place for fellowship, encouragement and advice for homeschoolers, but until now we just haven’t made the time to actually go. Ironically, I have only seen one example of a homeschool convention, on the Duggar’s show, ’19 Kids and Counting’. They attend a yearly event that is hosted by their curriculum’s organization, IBLP (Institute of Basic Life Principles) in Big Sandy, Texas. Their website is http://www.iblp.org Only families who follow Bill Gothard’s Basic Seminar and study from his organization’s curriculum may attend this event (Christ-believing members who have paid their fee and have been approved through their enrollment process). With HEAV’s convention you still have to pay yearly membership dues ($35 for a basic membership), and then a separate fee to attend the convention (between $59 to $79 depending on how early you sign up) but it is a little different, as all homeschoolers may attend, no matter their curriculum or religious choices. The irony, is that the Duggar’s are going to be speaking at the HEAV Homeschool Convention this Friday, June 7, 2013……..and as a fellow Christian and a huge fan of the show, ’19 Kids and Counting’, that makes me SUPER excited!

The convention is made up of tons of speakers that are all geared toward homeschooling, a curriculum vendor area that is like a ‘look and sample the merchandise before buying’ arena, and an annual used curriculum sale. From what I have heard, by way of the parents of my homeschool art students that I teach, this sale is a very big deal in the savings department. One mother told me to bring a rolling cart, as there are so many amazing deals (much to my husband’s horror!). I am unsure of all that the convention contains, but I am sure that I will be able to fill several posts on our adventure!

HEAV, which stands for Home Educators Association of Virginia, is a non-profit organization that was begun in 1983 to help get the word out about homeschooling in Virginia and then to stand up for those same homeschoolers. Their website says, Since 1983, HEAV has successfully worked to promote and protect home education in Virginia by working with the Department of Education and legislators, having a presence during the General Assembly sessions, and providing up-to-date information to homeschooling families, the media, and officials. HEAV, coming from a Biblical worldview, serves all homeschoolers—regardless of religious or philosophical beliefs. Membership is, and always has been, open to all.” You can visit their site here: http://heav.org/

We have been so fortunate that we have never had any problems whatsoever from our local school district pertaining to homeschooling. However, it is nice to know that there is an organization that will help support us if a negative situation pertaining to our rights as homeschoolers ever arises. As a part of HEAV’s membership benefits, we are given a discounted rate if we decide to join HSLDA, which stands for Home School Legal Defense Association. Their website says the following, “Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.” Again, we don’t anticipate needing legal services for the choices we make in our children’s education, but some areas in our country have had major legal woes. Learn more about this organization here: http://www.hslda.org/default.aspx

So, the tentative schedule of speakers and subjects that will be available at the convention arrived a few days ago, and my husband and I sat down armed with a couple of Sharpies to circle our ‘Speaker Wish List’. There are so, so many, but as our teens are in ‘official’ school years, we will gear our line-up with them in mind. Here are the homeschooling speakers that we hope to hear, which is just a sampling of what HEAV has to offer:

Keynote Speakers

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, speakers at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, speakers at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

The Duggar Family. Michelle Duggar granted an interview for HEAV’s magazine, The Virginia Home Educator, and she answered this question: Can you give us a preview of what you might share at the HEAV convention? Michelle said, “Yes! The girls and I will talk about mother-daughter relationships, and Jim Bob and I will share our journey with the Lord. As God has walked us along, there have been a lot of things we’ve learned through our mistakes and our victories, and we hope those will be an encouragement to others.”

I see God’s grace stamped all over this one, as my daughter and I have hit a rough patch in our homeschooling journey. I have stated in previous posts that the age of 15 is the most trying age for teen and parent alike, in our personal experience. Hopefully, the Mother-Daughter session that Michelle and her daughters will speak in, might serve as a soothing balm for what ails our relationship……

Jeff Myers, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Jeff Myers, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Jeff Meyers. According to a statement issued by Summit Ministries, “In the last 20 years Dr. Jeff Myers has become one of America’s most respected authorities on youth leadership development, and the Summit Ministries Board of Directors is proud to unanimously endorse him as its new president upon the retirement of Summit’s founder, Dr. David Noebel”. His speech is entitled, “No More Walking Away, why kids leave the faith”. He is also the president of the organization, “Passing the Baton International” which you can find here: http://www.passingthebaton.org and president of the Myers Institute for Communication and Leadership. Dr. Myers’ many books and video courses include, “Of Knights and Fair Maidens”, “Playpen to Podium”, “Secrets of Great Communicators”, “Secrets of Everyday Leaders: Create Positive Change And Inspire Extraordinary Results”, “Secrets of World Changers Learning Kit: How to Achieve Lasting Influence As a Leader”, “Secrets of World Changers: How to Achieve Lasting Influence as a Leader” (CD/DVD Set), ” Handoff: The Only Way to Win the Race of Life”, “Cultivate: Forming the Emerging Generation through Life-on-Life Mentoring”, and “For Such a Time as This: Becoming a Millennial Leader”.

As a family with teens right at the threshold of adulthood, I love collecting as much advice as I can to help with their continued walk with Christ.

Mike Farris, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Mike Farris, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Mike Farris. He is the chancellor of Patrick Henry College and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He was the founding president of each organization. His speech will be based on his book, “The Homeschooling Father”.

Heidi St. John, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Heidi St. John, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Heidi St. John. Her website, www.http://heidistjohn.com/tbmb/, states, “In 2010, Heidi drew from her experience as a busy homeschool mom to write “The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance”, which was an extension of a class she had been teaching at conferences for several years. In February of 2012, she released “The Guide to Daylight” which focuses on helping moms manage their homes while they learn to surrender to God’s plan—which often looks different from our own!” Her speech title is, “Real Life Homeschooling”.

Other Speakers:

Joe Tyler, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Joe Tyler, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Joe Tyler – This guy is the project manager for Apologia Educational Ministries. We are currently using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology. His speech is entitled, “Raising G-Rated Sons in an R-Rated World”. Tyler discusses the key issues we face as dads striving to instill a Christ-centered vision of purity in our sons. He addresses the cultural pressures on our young men and shares practical advice to counter the culture.

Marilyn Boyer, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Marilyn Boyer, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Marilyn Boyer – Along with her husband, Rick Boyer, Ms. Boyer has homeschooled all of her 14 children. They have written several books on homeschooling, and have a family business selling homeschool resources. You can check out their store and ministry at http://www.thelearningparent.com Marilyn’s session will be on, “Home Educating With Babies and Toddlers” They are fellow Virginian’s…….whoop-whoop!

Jonathan Lewis, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Jonathan Lewis, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Jonathan Lewis – A homeschool graduate and advocate, this editor of the Christian publication, “Home School Enrichment Magazine” is convinced that homeschooling is the best approach to life and learning available to families today. His speech is on, “The Socialization Deception: Redefining the Debate”.

Dennis Gundersen, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Dennis Gundersen, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Dennis Gundersen – A Senior Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the owner of Grace and Truth Books. Their website is http://www.balancingthesword.com/go.asp?MTIw He has written, “Courtship or Dating: So What’s the Difference?” and “Your Child’s Profession of Faith”. He will offer three speeches: Helping Your Child Build a Good Conscience, Courtship or Dating, and Deadly Weakness in the Strong Man

Steve Demme, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Steve Demme, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Steve Demme – He is the cool bald dude that teaches my teens math……I have heard his voice so much from our math DVD’s that I feel as if he is a part of the family! Here is his bio that I got from his website: “Steve addresses a variety of topics at homeschool conferences to encourage parents in their God-given responsibilities of raising and training their children for His glory. As a former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is also the author and founder of Math-U-See. He has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served on the boards of Joni and Friends, Christian Freedom International, and Lifework Forum.” I cannot wait to hear him talk about, “The Family That Stays together…..Stays Together” and “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”. Check out his website, because I did not know the extent of his ministry beyond Math-U-See: http://www.buildingfaithfamilies.org/

Andrew Pudewa, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Andrew Pudewa, speaker at the 2013 HEAV Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Andrew Pudewa from the Institute for Excellence in Writing will also be teaching a writing seminar for High School students who will be taking the PSAT’s and SAT’s. The course is called, “SAT/ACT Writing Strategies”. We have used many of IEW resources, such as: The Student Writing Intensive, All Things Fun and Fascinating, and Bible-Based Writing Lessons. My teens are actually excited to take the class (shocking, I know!), because they think Mr. Pudewa is hilarious, and as a parent, I am so thankful that he knows how to reach kids on their level and still get the material through to them effectively. IEW’s website is here: http://www.excellenceinwriting.com

I will be posting all about our experiences when we get home, so stay tuned! Please pray for my family as we travel, and pray that God reveals His direction for our family, while we are selecting the coming year’s curriculum at the Used-Curriculum Sale. Thank you and God bless!

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