Hundreds of homeschoolers descended on the New Brighton Family Services Center on Saturday, September 24 to attend Minnesota Homeschooler’s Alliance Annual Conference. The gym was transformed into a vibrant Exhibitors Hall and community rooms hosted 24 different break-out sessions, all geared to issues and topics of interest to homeschool families.
Award-winning author Rebecca Rupp, also a nationally recognized authority on homeschooling, provided the keynote address. Her 60-minute presentation encouraged parents to remember and embrace the importance of play throughout the homeschool years. Backed by scientific research and filled with personal anecdotes from homeschooling her now-grown three sons, it was, according to one attendee, “informative and hilarious.” Another homeschooler added, “She had everything! Research data, stories, experience and ability to present that was easy to listen to.”
Workshop highlights included For The Love of Reading, a session designed to encourage families to use literature as the building blocks for their home learning, and a Homeschool Dads Panel, hosted by three dads who shared personal stories and advice for how fathers could become more involved in their children’s home education.
A homeschooler who attended said, “For the Love of Reading was great, pointed out things we all need to be reminded of. I stopped reading to my kids as soon as they were old enough to read novels themselves, but this presentation taught me I should never have stopped for SO many reasons! I also did not know a lot about the National Homeschool Book award, so that was fun to learn about!”
Another homeschooler commenting on the Homeschool Dads Panel said, “LOVED this, and it was so nice to hear things from a dad’s perspective.”
Other popular workshops were Homeschool 101, Encouraging Struggling Readers, and Embracing Multiple Intelligences.
Attendees of the conference are encouraged to fill out a brief survey regarding their conference experience. One random responder will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.
The 2012 MHA Conference is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 22, 2012.