This question has been around ever since the first homeschool conference. Are husbands really needed at homeschool conferences? In the majority of houses the wife is the teacher. So, is the man, the husband, really needed? Why should the husband give up his time on something that he most likely will not even be doing? Let’s talk about that…
In The Beginning
The year was 2010, my wife headed out the door to some homeschool convention in Atlanta. She was nice and did not ask me to attend. After all, someone had to watch the kids. I enjoyed the day playing with the kids, watching movies and snacking while she was off doing something. That evening when she returned somewhat overwhelmed she said that I should have went with her. I understood that as “You should have been there to carry all of this stuff for me!”
The next year, she ventured off to a homeschool convention with a friend! Again, I was spared from the “joy” of a homeschool convention. Upon her return, she made mention of a convention that would be happening next year. I’m thinking that she is crazy already thinking about going to another one a whole year from now! Then it happened. The words that most men fear. “What about all of us going to this new homeschool convention next year?” Well, at this point there is no good excuse that I can come up with or use. We are talking about making plans for a whole year out!
In 2012, I found myself driving to Spartanburg, South Carolina. The was mini-van loaded down with enough food to survive for a month in case something happens and three kids, a giddy wife, and one husband softly chanting “This is good. I love my wife. It will be over soon.” We arrive in Spartanburg at our 2 star hotel and get checked in. I stepped out and looked over the dumpster outside our door at the old mall where I would be spending the next two days for a homeschool convention. We left and I went to find Bar-B-Que and was happy that The Beacon was able to make me smile. At this point I am thinking that the trip was not a waste with food like that!
On Friday we made our way into the first Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention in Spartanburg. It was at this point where I was fully introduced to the vast diversity of people who homeschool. I walked into the exhibition hall to yet another overwhelming site. Books and more books. Videos about books. Books on computers. Bread. Frogs and dissection equipment. All kinds of things were in there. I was starting to understand why my wife came home a bit overwhelmed that first time.
I got a copy of the schedule and started making a list of who I wanted to hear from if I had to be here. I went through the keynote speakers session, I caught a few other sessions throughout the next two days. I listen to other men talk of the challenges of homeschooling, parenting, and life. Several chords were struck with me those two days. When we left, I was mad and never wanted to come back to another homeschool convention!
After being at home for a while the reality of the complete homeschool convention experience started setting in. The things that I heard were true. The voices from the sessions continued to run through my mind. The shortcomings that I had done in our house, I started seeing. My failure to co-lead in my household in the homeschooling arena was a huge problem. My wife had purchased the audio from the convention and I found myself going back and listening to some of the sessions that I had and had not attended. I got something that I had not expected. I had received a want to help in homeschooling. Not just financially, on the fringe, or in word only, but really get in there and help.
This will be my 6th year attending the Teach Them Diligently convention. It will be my 5th year as a blogger talking about the guy’s perspective in homeschooling and my second year speaking at the conference! I’ll be honest, it is not always easy being a dad in the homeschool environment and trying to discuss homeschool stuff. Most men are out there on the fringe, or the edge willing to help some if there is no other alternative. And the things that I have said here are not meant to make the men look bad, but to tell the truth.
So, to answer the question of “Are husbands really needed at homeschool conferences/conventions?” YES YOU ARE! You are needed there by your wife, your kids, and also for yourself. This year there will be some great sessions in all of the conference areas. Men, I want to invite you to come and hear what is said, to see what all is going on, and be part of the homeschool that is happening in your house. If you have not registered yet, please do so now. Surprise your wife and kids! There will be classes for your wife, your kids, and you. If you make it to Nashville , Atlanta , Mobile or Myrtle Beach come see me, throw your hand up and give a high five, because you are not alone dad, you a husband of a homeschooling mom! Be proud.
Till I see you at the conference…
I’m just a husband of a homeschooling mom,