Thursday, my husband and I joined two other couples from our PSP for the CHEA of CA Leadership Conference. As is often the case, the event didn’t go as we planned, but it was a blessing just the same.
I had never been to a CHEA convention before, so this event was of particular interest to me. Oh, I had heard of the conventions and I had gotten the flyers for them, but the Lord had never put it on my heart to attend. This year, our principal extended the invitation for coordinators to attend the Leadership Conference and I was pleased to join along.
My initial excitement was simply in joining good friends for a day out and hopefully learning some great tips which could be used not only our homeschooling PSP, but also in other ministries as well.
After looking online at the conference lineup, I became even more excited! There were four classes of particular interest. Unfortunately, two were at the same time and choices had to be made. I opted for the Social Media Course, Turning Contention into Camaraderie, and Encouraging Others Into Leadership.
The morning started out wonderfully and we thoroughly enjoyed our drive to the convention. It is always a pleasure being able to have uninterrupted fellowship with other homeschooling parents. We arrived at the conference just in time for worship (Isn’t that awesome; they do worship?) and the Town Hall Meeting.
During the Town Hall Meeting, questions may be asked and others in leadership are able to give their advice on how the situation might be handled. I must say, I found this portion of the day very interesting.
I have had the pleasure of being acquainted with several different homeschool PSP’s, but I have not seen anything quite like these groups before. It opened my eyes to what other groups are dealing with. I was not aware that some support groups allow both independent AND charter to come together. I didn’t realize some had issues with allowing dad’s to participate. Some of these groups are tremendously large (470 families) and some smaller like ours.
I think Town Hall was an eye opener for me and reaffirmed our own group. I truly appreciate all the Lord is doing through our group and the accountability that we find. It also showed me which areas I can pray about for other homeschooling groups; we each have different needs.
After the initial morning session, the first workshop of the day began. We ladies attended the Social Media course while our men took If You Build It, Dad’s Will Come.
The Social Media course was extremely well laid out and very much to the point. I think the gentleman did a spectacular job of explaining each form of social media and how to navigate their murky waters. I will admit that this course didn’t pass along new information to me (having navigated these with my guy already), but I did enjoy his enthusiasm and his desire to get more of us out into the world to share the gospel and the Christian worldview behind homeschooling.
After lunch and an awesome leadership message, we headed into our second and third workshops of the day.
Workshop number two, on turning contention into camaraderie, wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. It was very informative information about each personality type and helped explain their characteristics. However, it didn’t really explain how to take those weaknesses and strengthen them; nor did it teach how to dissolve anger and infuse friendship. I was really hoping this would be the case, as this area of ministry can cover much more ground than just homeschooling. The speaker was very sweet though and perhaps if I email her, she might have some ideas. After all, given a fifty minute class, she really didn’t have enough time to do the subject justice.
Workshop number three proved to be the most confusing though. (laughing) Apparently the workshop title and subject were changed at the last moment, which we were not aware of. Instead of being a course on bringing others into leadership, it was course on how to set up a 501c3. About fifteen minutes into the course, my mommy friend and I quietly excused ourselves from the class and… promptly ditched! Yes, you read that right; we ditched our classes.
Neither of the other two courses being offered were of interest, the guys being in one already and the other being something we have covered extensively, we decided to take a walk instead and wait for the rest of our group.
We enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship and talked over some issues which could be resolved in our own PSP; how to adapt more social media into our routine, how to solve some relationship complications, and more.
It seems my guy was also able to find some time to doodle during one of his classes. The two of us certainly make a pair; one of us ditched and the other doodled. Oh, my!
Overall, while neither my husband nor I feel we learned a single new thing, we did have a fun day! It was great being with our friends and very exciting being able to meet others in the homeschooling community at large.
The highlight of my day was meeting Mr. Gerald McKoy and his lovely wife Cecily, who taught the social media course. In preparation for the conference, I had spent a great deal of time on his website Homeschool Netcast Network. (If you haven’t been to his website yet, definitely take a look. He has so many resources and videos to offer, with several being from previous conferences.) Meeting the two of them was a real treat!
Have you ever been to a Leadership Conference? Which classes do you think would be of greatest importance?