Among My People

Yesterday I was able to attend the local Immaculate Heart of Mary Homeschool Conference.  Just like when many years ago I saw a stormtrooper walking around downtown Indianapolis I was reassured that I was in the right place for the Star Wars Celebration II, I knew I was in the right place at North Central College when I saw a sister in a brown habit sitting quietly on a bench outside the assigned building for the conference.

It turns out that it was Sister Mary Joseph Heisler of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart.  Just an hour later I would hear her give a talk about Finding God in the Pots and Pans that was full of humor and inspiration.  And she had that joyful countenance that just seems to radiate the love of Christ.

After paying my fee at the door, the first vendor that caught my eye was for Nancy Larson Science.  Science is the one area of our homeschooling that I feel like I might have slacked on a bit too much.  I just don’t feel confident with the experimental side of things.  But there were three things that I really liked about this program: 1) everything you need comes in one kit, 2) it has an idiot-proof script for the teacher to follow, and 3) it is designed for multi-age teaching.  It is a little pricy, though, so I’m considering the re-usability factor.  It’s definitely not something we would start this coming semester, but I’m considering it for the spring and summer.

As I continued to browse the various vendors, it was nice to get my hands on some sample copies of various curricula I am considering for the future.  Looking at internet samples isn’t always quite the same.  And by the time I got to the table for the Midwest Theological Forum, I wanted to buy half the books in the Didache series for high school catechesis to read for myself.  They also had this awesome book titled Faith, Science, and Reason:  Theology on the Cutting Edge by Christopher T. Baglow that I desperately want to get my hands on when I can afford it.

Besides curricula vendors, there were also some Catholic publishing companies, book stores, and religious stores that had set up tables.  One table featured a book I had read a year or two ago, a modern retelling of the Snow White and Rose Red fairy tale, entitled The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman.  As I discussed the book and asked questions about its sequels with the woman behind the table, I looked at her name tag and realized that I was talking to the author herself!!  It was kind of a cool moment.

Probably the best part of the conference was meeting up with some of my friends from my Catholic homeschooling group.  Beth and her teenage daughter just popped in for a little while amid their busy schedule.  I spent a lot of time talking to Andrea, who is just starting the homeschool journey with her three boys ages newborn to six.

When I first arrived at the conference, I had run into Kristine and her husband Paul.  They are considering starting up a youth ministry in their home for Catholic teens from families who take the faith seriously.  We talked about how their teenage daughter was in another program at their parish which mostly consisted of teens whose parents forced them to attend.  While we all agreed that it was great that those teens were participating in a parish program, even if reluctantly, I correctly surmised that my friend’s daughter was having a hard time connecting with any of the other teens because they probably treated her like a three-headed freak for being strong in her faith.

I can totally sympathize with how their daughter feels.  Often times in my life I often feel like people see me as a three-headed freak for either being a homeschooler or an orthodox Catholic or both.  It was nice to have a few hours among my own people, with other three-headed freaks like me.  That’s what I also love about my small homeschooling group that I belong to now.  But I really can’t wait until next year’s conference!!

Explore posts in the same categories: Catholic Faith, Homeschooling/Education

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