Over the past five years, I have had opportunity to go to several homeschool conventions, some multiple times. Three different ones hosted by three different organizations. I’ve gone with my Beloved making it a couples weekend, I’ve gone with friends enjoying some good girl time. But it wasn’t until I went to the Teach Them Diligently Conference in Nashville that I started to meet other homeschool mom’s from around the country and begin to feel that homeschool fellowship was more than just what was happening in my own community. Always before in the hustle and bustle of conventions, I got caught up in the rush, in the buying and in the need to get to the next conference and didn’t take time to talk to other mom’s. But TTD is a little different.
Maybe you don’t know about Teach Them Diligently. This conference is one that is definitely Christian Homeschool focused. It is smaller but has a more intimate feel. It offers excellent speakers who want to encourage you in your Christian Homeschool Journey not just want to sell you their product. I hadn’t felt that at other conventions. In Nashville I was so thrilled to hear the passion in Ken Ham’s voice, as he discussed the need for teaching our children the truth about creation, that I went to 4 different sessions of his.
The thing about the crew at TTD, is that they get it. They understand that homeschool parents have limited budgets. They understand that packing up the family, buying gas, and getting hotel rooms plus convention fees is so unrealistic for most families that they simply choose not to go. So they have come up with what I think is a wonderful alternative.
The Teach Them Diligently Marketplace for only a $15 registration fee. I was intrigued and wanted to know more, so I contacted the folks behind this event and did some research so that I can explain it to you better.
This event is unlike other homeschool conventions in that it offers:
1. Simple Convenience- With 8 locations around the country The Marketplace is family friendly. With only a $15 Admission Fee, and each Curriculum Center offering children’s activity areas, each family can feel like it is conveniently located, worth their time and money. There will be one room for speaking sessions, all speakers rotate into that room throughout the day, so the ease of finding your speakers location is less overwhelming than traditional conventions.
2. Awesome Product and Excellent Prices with 7 1/2 Curriculum Centers each from the Marketplace sponsors. But each of them will have the space for you to look around without feeling overly crowded out, because each center will be the size of about 18 booths at traditional conventions. Each centers will have an incredible selection of resources including interactive displays and event workshops on how to use their material, and great prices!
Additionally, The Teach Them Diligently Store will have a large 2000 sq. ft. curriculum center with thousands of books from hundreds of publishers. Let me tell you, from what I saw in Nashville, they have pulled together an exhaustive collection from many wonderful resources so that you can see what the homeschool market in general, in addition to their sponsors, has to offer. The TTD center will be staffed with knowledgeable curriculum experts that can help you choose and understand all of the curriculum. David Nunnery, owner of Teach Them Diligently says about the store,
“This will be the equivalent of a Barnes and Noble of Homeschool Curriculum, but better because it travels and offers low prices.”
4. Best Prices! From what I hear, the prices will be the best you will find anywhere including traditional homeschool conventions. For the Teach Them Diligently Store, they have said that they have set their prices by searching the internet and then going lower. Additionally, there is the $10 off coupon on the first $100 you spent at any of the curriculum centers.
5. Refreshment Sampler– Is one day not enough for you? If you want more, or you want to make it a girlfriends weekend, you can arrive a day in advance and join in the Real Refreshment Retreat sponsored by Apologia. You know those great folks who publish Apologia Science and the Exploring Creatures Series. It’s a four hour retreat the night before the Marketplace event., and include great speakers such as Rachael Carman, Zan Tyler, Heidi St. John, Deb Bell, and Sherri Seligson (different speakers at different locations, check out their website for further details) It will kick off with a chocolate reception. The night before event is a $30 add on to the Marketplace.
Either way, whether you choose the Saturday only Marketplace or the Real Refreshment Retreat you will be encouraged, uplifted and have great opportunity to look at some excellent products and perhaps even buy, as you move through summer into the next school year.
They are hosting them throughout the summer in 9 locations. For me a 3 hour day trip is a lot easier than a 9 hour overnight or even weekend trip to afford. Plus the appeal of great speakers in an easier to navigate way is such a draw that I’ve decided to go to the Pittsburgh Marketplace even though I’ve already gone to the full conference in Nashville.
With this Marketplace you have the opportunity to hear some excellent speakers, receive some wonderful encouragement and peruse some great products at excellent prices. Their goal is to provide the best options in a smaller atmosphere, convenient locations and Christian Homeschool Encouragement.