Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Favorite Homeschool Convention Speakers

Every spring I look forward to the Homeschool Conventions and Curriculum Fairs. My state organization hosts a curriculum fair, sans the workshops and special speakers, but fortunately the CHAP Convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is close enough so that I can attend, and I have been challenged and encouraged by some of the speakers I've heard there over the last several years. This year I will also be able to attend the Teach Them Diligently convention in Washington, D.C. One of the main reasons I wanted to go to TTD was the speakers they have scheduled. I am definitely looking forward to hearing from the speakers on the slate at CHAP and TTD this year.

I can rarely limit myself to just one favorite in any category! These are the speakers that I have heard before and have enjoyed immensely. When I look at the schedule and see these names, I immediately make plans to attend if at all possible. While the following folks may seem to be "giants" in the world of Christian homeschooling, what appeals to me is their sincere love for the Lord and the fact that they do not present themselves as celebrities, but as "regular" people who are passionate about God's Word and Christian education.

Andrew Pudewa, Institute for Excellence in Writing - I heard Mr Pudewa speak at CHAP several years ago, and became a fan. At the time, I had heard of IEW but didn't know much about it, so it was the subjects he was speaking on that got my attention. One of them was about how fairy tales and good stories are related to the gospel. It was wonderful and later on I wished I'd thought to purchase the CD of that particular talk, although I thoroughly enjoyed the other times I heard him at that convention as well. Now that we have been using IEW (and loving it too, by the way - here's our review), I am a bigger fan! I had initially thought I would skip CHAP this year in favor of TTD, but when I saw Andrew Pudewa on CHAP's list of speakers, I decided I was going to see if there was any way I could swing it to do both. I think I can. So if you're going to CHAP, look for me near the front row wherever Mr Pudewa is speaking. Just saying. He is engaging and entertaining, and uses humor and a down-to-earth style to teach and encourage. Here's his engagement schedule - if you get a chance to see him, I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Voddie Baucham, Voddie Baucham Ministries - Last year Voddie Baucham was one of the featured speakers at CHAP and I was excited about hearing what he had to say. I was not disappointed. He encouraged homeschoolers in their endeavors, and challenged us to resist the temptation to measure our success in worldly terms. Seeing his name as one of the speakers for TTD was a big selling point for me!

Rachael Carman, Apologia - Another selling point for this year's TTD is that Rachael Carman will be speaking! I was privileged to meet Rachael at a Real Refreshment event for bloggers, and then hear her speak at the Real Refreshment Retreat later that year. She is a lovely speaker and author, with such a heart for her fellow homeschooling moms, and her honest and humorous stories from her own experience are as encouraging as they are entertaining.

Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis - If I had to pick my favorite from this short list, I am pretty sure I would say Ken Ham. The ministry of Answers in Genesis has been a huge faith-builder and encouragement to me, and I greatly love the books, textbooks, magazine, resources, and website. Mr Ham was a featured speaker at CHAP in 2012, and that was my first opportunity to hear him. I enjoyed every minute of his informative and encouraging seminars, and was delighted to find out that he was willing to take the time to shake hands and sign books after the session. While that personal interaction with him was necessarily very brief, it was enough to convince me that he is a genuinely kind and generous person. True story, when I saw his name on the slate for TTD, I registered to attend immediately. I enjoy hearing him that much.

Of course, that isn't an exhaustive list! I've had the privilege of hearing many others speak on homeschool topics, and have loved every minute. I'm sure there are speakers that I will hear for the first time at this year's conventions that I will enjoy as well, and may want to add to my list of favorites!

Is there a speaker you are particularly excited about hearing? Will you be at either CHAP or Teach Them Diligently? Leave a comment and let me know! This post is linked up at Circling Through This Life for the 52 Favorite Anything series.
Circling Through This Life

Homeschool Conventions
This post will also be included in a collection of posts from Schoolhouse Review Crew members in our Homeschool Conventions Round-up. (That link will be live on Thursday, March 20th, with a summary of all the Crew's posts in one place.) In the meantime, you can check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read the current articles and see the reviews we're working on.
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Anonymous said...

I saw Ken Ham few years ago and he was great. Enjoy!

A Rup Life said...

Andrew Pudewa is going to be at Enoch NJ this year and he is doing the fairytale talk. ;) Maybe you can order the disk or even attend. I went to Enoch and Chap last year. lol.

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