Monday, April 2, 2012

Have you heard about the GHEA Conference?

As you know I have been busy this year with homeschool conferences and well I want to share information about yet another great homeschool conference.. The Georgia Home Educators Association (GHEA) Conference will be held in May on the 3rd-5th at The Georgia International Convention Center. Now I have never been to this conference but I have heard amazing things from several people. I tried to go last year but it didn't happen. I have met several people of GHEA and they are some of the kindest people you will ever meet. 

My kids at the Atlanta Capitol Building for Homeschool Day which is a sponsored GHEA event. 

About GHEA:
The Georgia Home Education Association is a network of home education families and support groups dedicated to observing the Biblical commands for parents to train their children. GHEA as an organization has as its core mission to serve as an advocate for homeschool families throughout the state and region. Make sure you browse their website there are lots of great informative links on the right side of their website. The purpose of the association is:

  • To aid in the creation and growth of home education support groups throughout Georgia.
  • To provide information regarding the legal climate of home education in Georgia and in our nation.
  • To protect the freedoms of home educators in Georgia and in our nation.
  • To establish an effective grass roots network to be able to take immediate action to fight legislation harmful to the family and home education.
  • To assist home schoolers in locating supports groups in their area.
  • To publish a state newsletter and conduct periodic state home education conventions and other educational/training opportunities.
  • To direct families coming into or leaving Georgia in terms of support groups and laws governing home education.
  • To provide families new to home education with basic resources and information about home education.
  • To honor the Lord Jesus Christ and advance His kingdom.

The Conference:
GHEA has been offering conferences for years. The conference is open to ALL homeschool families, regardless of your reasons for homechooling. The purpose of conference is to provide all homeschool families access to resources through speakers, vendors, family activities, as well as a used book fair. There is literally something for everyone.

If you register online by by April 25th you save $5.00. A family registration is $50.00 (includes spouse, children ages 5-19 residing at home, and non-homeschooling grandparents). Registration also includes a "valuable gift" full of resources and coupons. You can still register at the door but there will be a $5.00 late fee added to your registration. There is also a Teen Track and Children's Program that you can enroll your children in for an additional fee. If you are not interested in hearing the speakers you can opt for just a shopping pass which is $25.00 for a family. Are you a MOPS or POPS? If you have never attended a conference before and if your oldest child is 4 or under on September 1, 2012 you can get in FREE.

On Thursday May 3rd beginning at 1:30 pm GHEA offers a FREE Nuts and Bolts session. This session is great for families who are just getting started with homeschooling. Did I mention this is FREE.

In GA there are many families using the GA Cyber Academy K12 program which is not really true homeschooling it is more like teleschooling. GA Cyber Academy is still operated by the public school system and homeschooling laws do not apply. I understand that this program works for many and is the path you decided was best for your family. But more and more I am seeing families putting their kids back into public school because the program is failing. When I ask people why they chose the Cyber Academy route they respond the following ways, "its free, its an all inclusive curriculum, I am not organized, I don't want to deal with paperwork, I know my children are on track with standards." So I would like to encourage Cyber Academy families to attend this FREE event to gain a better understanding of homeschooling in GA and curriculum. It never hurts to gain more knowledge.  Did I mention this is FREE!!!!

1:30 pm “What is Homeschooling?” / Ruth Martin
2:30 pm “Know the Law” / Ruth Martin
3:30 pm “Getting Started” / Ruth Martin
4:30 pm “Choosing Curriculum” / Ruth Martin
6:30 pm Exhibit Hall open ONLY for GHEA members who are registered for the conference

There is a great line up of speakers. Rick BoyerMarilyn BoyerRachel Carmen, Ruth Martin, Michael Farris, Tim Barton (Teen Track speaker), Dr. Robert Carter, Dianne Craft, Senator Barry Loudermilk and Matthew Bullington. Click here to view the speaking schedule and topics. Speakers are the primary reason I attend conferences. The information the GHEA speakers will be sharing will help you with time management, learning or behavior challenges, curriculum, learning styles and even whether or not home schooling is the right choice for your family. Many of the sessions will also cover discipleship and other biblical  foundational topics as well.

There will be over 50 vendors at the conference. Here are few that will be present A Beka, Apologia, Math, U See, BJU Press, Knights Book Nook, Nest Family Entertainment, Saxon, Sonlight and Teaching Textbooks. You can view the entire list here. Now if this is your first time attending a conference this can be the overwhelming part. So here is my recommendation. Research the companies and know ahead of time what products you really want to look at and gather more information on. Have your questions written down ahead of time. And take time to speak with the vendors 1 on 1 so you can truly understand and get a feel for the product (literally touch the materials and look through them). The conference is two days so there is no need to make a decision right away. Go home with your notes and brochures and decide what curriculum is right for your family, then make your purchases.

This conference is a little different than others in that they have a used book sale. The book sale is only on Friday from 10 am - 2 pm. When you register you will be assigned a shopping time for the book sale so the sooner you register the earlier you get in. Again have a list of curriculum and materials you need so you know exactly what to look for and you will also be less likely to overspend or buy stuff you may never use.

Links to follow and share:
-Twitter and for live tweets during the conference follow #GHEAConf

So who's going to be there with me? Please help spread the word about the conference.

Disclaimer: I want to thank  The Georgia Home Educators Association (GHEA)  for providing me with FREE registration to the convention. In return I will be Blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking about the conference. Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies or a hotel for the convention.

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