The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Justin and I often sing this song sarcastically as we fill the calendar with activities and fight the crowds while shopping 🙂 every December, but all joking aside, it really is a wonderful time of the year.

We had a great Christmas and hope that you did too.

I can’t wait to share 2017 together!

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Home Educators Association of Virginia

Guess what? 

The 2017 HEAV convention is only SIX months away and…..   

Registration Opens for Members January 9!

Next year’s convention is June 8-10, 2017!

Three days.

The whole family.

It will change your life.

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Why should you attend?

Watch this to find out:

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Don’t You Just LOVE Give Aways?!?!

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Valentine’s Day is this weekend, so guess what today’s theme is 🙂 ?

LOVE!

Ryan and I had a fun afternoon helping with our annual homeschool Valentine’s party.  This year our group decided to focus more on service projects, so the kids decorated lots of cards for children who are in the hospital and made “socks of love” for the homeless.  It’s kind of sad that both of my kids have outgrown exchanging Valentine’s, but I’m very thankful that they both still enjoy helping out with parties and being with all of the kids.

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HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!

OK, OK, if you’ve read this far, then I know you’re dying to hear the EXCITING NEWS 🙂 : 

I am thrilled and honored to be a blogger for HEAV again this year and it’s time to give away a FREE Full Registration to the 2016 Convention !

How do you enter?

There will be 4 new posts between the dates of February 12-25th…starting TODAY!!!  Each post will offer opportunities to enter the contest and names will be entered into a random drawing.

The winner will be announced on Friday, February 26th! 

And, guess what?  You can still enter even if you have already registered for the convention (HEAV will reimburse you – yes, they are that awesome 🙂 ).

So, since it’s almost Valentine’s Day and the “season of love”, leave a comment on this post telling me three things that you love about educating your children at home…

…..GO 🙂 !!!

THREE Weeks to Go!!!

Twenty days from now, hundreds of families will be at the Greater Richmond Convention Center for the 2014 HEAV Homeschool Convention!  Have you registered yet?  If not, it’s not too late 🙂 .

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I just found out Tuesday about a “surprise” speaker!

Session Title: “When Mama Ain’t Happy  on Thursday, June 5

Clutter-buster extraordinaire Marla Cilley (TheFlyLady) shares how to create a spirit of peace in your home.  I can’t wait to hear this workshop!!!
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Also, click here to download the “Schedule at a Glance.”


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We are enjoying some more laid-back, fun activities as we wind down our year.  Here are some pictures of the boys making ice-cream in a bag this afternoon:


Homeschool Convention Survival Tips:

So you’ve registered for the homeschool convention…now what???  Well, it’s time to make a plan 🙂 !

Many conventions are large and can be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to prepare in advance.  I’m going to share some tips and “tricks of the trade” that I ‘ve learned over the years.

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1.  First, take the time to pray.  Pray about how God is directing your plans.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as you and your spouse make decisions about the upcoming year.  Pray for your children.  Just pray!

2.  Wear comfortable shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking!  Bring a sweater or jacket as many of the conference rooms are chilly.

3.  Take a few minutes to look over the map and schedule after you check in.  Circle or highlight the sessions that you don’t want to miss and plan other activities such as shopping, meals, etc. around those sessions.  Many times there are way too many wonderful sessions that I want to go to and not enough time, so I usually purchase HEAV’s Convention MP3 while I’m at the convention for a discounted price.  Then I don’t feel rushed or stressed out because I’m missing an amazing speaker!

*****Click HERE for the HEAV Convention schedule and start planning!!!*****

4.  Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  I actually carry a binder with notebook paper, folders, pens, highlighter, paperclips, Post-It notes, and rubber bands.  I also print off my registration confirmation, map of vendor hall, etc.

5.  Bring a rolling cart to carry all of the wonderful goodies that you’ll be buying!

6.  Decide on a budget and stick to it!  Try not to make any purchases on the first day (unless you are 100% sure it’s something you need).  Take time to shop around at different vendors to find the best price, or even better – see if you can find the item you’re looking for at the Used Curriculum Sale!

7.  Print off labels with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  Many vendors offer prizes or the chance to sign up for more information…instead of filling out all of those forms by hand, you can just stick a label on it and move on saving yourself lots of time!

8.  Take inventory of what items you already have at home, what products/curriculum that you need, and a wish list a few weeks before the convention.  I usually research items online beforehand and write down prices so I have a basic idea of how much things cost.

9.  Drink lots of water and eat healthy meals and snacks to help keep your energy up.

10. Enjoy your time at the convention!  Soak up lots of encouragement, make new friends, be inspired, gain wisdom, feel uplifted, get prepared for next year, and HAVE FUN 🙂 !!!

***REMINDER: Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter for a FREE 2014 HEAV Convention Registration!!!***

NINE weeks until the HEAV Convention!!!

Convention Events for Kids and Teens!

The Convention is Coming (in 9 weeks) and it isn’t just for Mom and Dad! The 31st Annual Virginia Homeschool Convention–June 5, 6, and 7–offers lots of add-on events for young people to explore their God-given talents, gain valuable business experience, learn how to exercise their role in government–and have FUN!Preregistration* is required for these events, and space is limited. Don’t delay!

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Generation Joshua’s Teen Events  HSLDA’s Generation Joshua, a leadership-training program for teens, offers two exciting, two-day sessions on Friday and Saturday! Knowing that true leaders must stand up for what they believe, Generation Joshua’s vision is to help parents to raise up the next generation of Christian leaders and citizens, equipped to positively influence the political processes of today and tomorrow. Teens take an active leadership role in one of two events:iAdvocate: Mock Legislative Session Think you can make tough decisions? iAdvocate will give you the chance to draft and advocate legislation. Find out firsthand what your legislator goes through.

iCommand: Presidential Crisis Simulation  How would YOU handle a crisis? Find out as you face a simulated foreign policy crisis in iCommand. Develop–and test–your own idea of how the U.S. should respond.

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Music Competition  HEAV’s first music competition is sure to be a delight for both the audience and the musicians! Contestants may compete in one of three categories: vocal, instrumental, and piano. The first-place winner in each category will receive a plaque and $100; second-place winners will receive $50. Limited spaces are available so don’t delay. Registration ends April 14!Chess Championships  They’re back! The Sixth Annual Chess Championship will be held Friday morning (June 6) at the convention. Open to any homeschooler ages 5 through 18, the chess championships have been a favorite at the convention for years. Trophies will be awarded to the top player by age group!

Hands-on Dissection Lab  Fasten your seat belts, and embark on a fantastic voyage through the body in this compelling, interactive, hands-on workshop. You will  even pick a brain and poke at an eye in hands-on discovery dissections as Dr. Callentine brings the brain and eye “to life.” Do this Thursday workshop in combo with the Writing Clinic for a one-of-a-kind value–in both experience and price!

Essay-Writing Clinic  Join Brian Wasko as he debunks the myth that writing an essay is a painful experience. Learn some secrets to writing well with form and structure–but in a fun, dynamic way. Next thing you know, you’ll be writing because you WANT to! Sign up for this Thursday afternoon class and–even better–pair with the Hands-On Dissection lab for a special price and a special learning experience!

Children’s Program  This year’s theme, “Handiwork of the King,” will feature special presentations by Carl Kerby, one of Reasons for Hope’s most engaging speakers, who will captivate the hearts of the children as they explore the “best evidence” for creation. PLUS–games, crafts, singing, and Bible memory activities, make the Children’s Program loads of fun for children ages 5 through 12! Special Buddies Program

For the first time, children with special needs will have a super program just for them–with with music, crafts, videos, and a staff of volunteers equipped with the heart and the training to serve. Open to those within the ages of 4 and 25 (chronological age), Special Buddies has a one-to-one staff-to-student ratio, and has limited space available for medically fragile children.

*additional charges apply

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Haven’t Registered for the Convention Yet? This year promises to be another awesome, bring-the-whole-family event you won’t want to miss! Get information on this year’s speakers and exhibitors–along with lots of exciting new features–on the website. And check back often! New events are being added all the time.Register now!