We are in the middle of an intense Homeschool Convention Season right now!! As you go through this season, making plans and having fun, might I encourage you to think of something?
Remember the little guys. Remember the state run conventions. Remember the organizations who fought and worked hard, for many years, to keep homeschooling legal. (Hint… that wouldn’t be the HSLDA.) Remember the ones who started these organizations, who hid their kids under the bed when someone knocked at the door, so that you wouldn’t have to. Don’t forget them.
This year, with more mega-conferences than ever, I know of at least one case in which a big conference came in and set up on the exact same weekend, in the same town, as the local, state run convention. The state run organization had traditionally had that weekend for 20+ years, so it wasn’t a huge surprise, and it didn’t take much detective work to figure out. If this continues to happen, we run the risk of our smaller, state run conventions being shut down. They simply can’t compete with the glitz and glam. They don’t have the resources for the big Facebook and Twitter parties, and the blogger perks, the… everything.
They can’t compete, because, rather than put their resources into prizes and bloggers and online parties–they’ve put their resources into US. Into making sure that we have the resources, the knowledge, the know-how to homeschool in our communities. Into group discounts and graduation ceremonies, sometimes into proms, clubs, and the like. Into newsletters and lending libraries.
The big conventions are fun and convienient. But, at the end of the day, don’t forget who’s got your back. It’s not the guy with the biggest, prettiest venue. It’s not the one with the most speakers. It’s the one working hard to get ANY speakers, and has been for years.
Don’t forget your state run conventions, because if you do, you might lose them. And that would be a horrible thing.