This is the first time I’ve attended a 2:1 Conference, and I loved it! This conference is for Christian homeschool bloggers, so all the other women at the conference are similar to me in that they love to blog while homeschooling their children. This year the conference was in Sandusky, Ohio on October 7-9, 2016.
If you go to this conference next year (which will be in Washington DC), I recommend arriving a day early so you don’t have to focus on workshops the same day that you traveled and have jet-lag. I arrived a day early and was able to get to know other bloggers before the weekend began.
When I found out the theme of this conference was “Revival,” I was overjoyed! I have been praying for revival for my church and local area for the past couple of years, and I feel a burden in my soul that the American church has become worldly.
Here are my two rommates: Lara from Everyday Graces and Misty from Joy in the Journey. I told my husband I would be bunking with Grace and Joy. They were wonderful! They truly have hearts for the Lord, and they love to blog. It was so fun to get to know them in person, after seeing them online for years.
On Friday night, 7 Sisters invited us to their hotel room for soup and other snacks. I was able to meet many other bloggers, and we had some fun conversations. Afterwards BJU Press hosted a dessert night. We actually roasted raspberry or coffee-flavored marshmallows over a low fire and made s’mores out of them by adding chocolate and graham crackers.
Zan Tyler from Apologia gave the first keynote, “Revival and Servanthood.” Here are some takeaways from this session:
- Rejoice in the way God made your children.
- Our kindness to others heals them. Teach our kids to be kind.
- Jesus came to love and to serve, so these two lessons are the most important lessons we will teach our children.
- Recognize others when they are in need. Show your kids a picture of disaster victims, and point out who in the picture is suffering. (Maybe during the break between church services, I can ask my children to look over the crowd of people and see if they can pick out someone who is suffering. Then go minister to that person!)
- Teach children how to interact with the elderly.
- Our children are not here on this earth to have fun; they are here to use their giftings to serve God.
- Do something good to someone who has wronged you.
- Selfishness and hedonism pervade our culture.
- Develop servant leadership in our children.
After the keynote on Friday night, we had the option to go to a prayer group. I spent some sweet time of encouragement with Hal and Melanie Young. This was my favorite time the entire weekend.
The next morning, we had our second keynote session by Carlisha Williams, “Choosing Faith Over Fear.” Here are some of the takeaways:
- Share my authentic self to bring God glory.
- For us to experience revival, we need to put down the cup we are holding out that is wearying our lives. The cup may be full of resentment, anger, and/or grief from crisis and tragedy that we have endured.
- Cast our cares on Him. To receive everything God wants to give us, we have to open both our hands to God without holding baggage.
- Tackle your fear. “If we aren’t willing to risk our reputation, we will never establish God’s reputation.” – Mark Batterson
- Define the dream. We’re afraid to ask God for those bold promises in His Word. If God asked you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” what would you say?
- Manage your time. Identify and eliminate time-wasters. Is it efficient, or is it just time-consuming? Where is your time going?
- Yes-criteria: what top 3 things must be true for you to say yes to a new activity that someone is asking you to participate in? What will bring you closer to your mission and your vision? Does this promote your spiritual development? Does it build or does it steal away from your family? Is it one of my unique strengths?
The breakout sessions were wonderful, and I chose workshops on the craft of writing, on newsletters, and on marketing. The session on writing by Brian Wasko made me want to write more personal pieces that include stories and illustrations to make a powerful spiritual point. This is my favorite kind of writing, but it takes longer to come up with those spiritual posts than the hands-on learning ones.
Heather Bowen makes a full-time income as a homeschool blogger, so she shared how she uses newsletters effectively to make her tribe happy and engaged. This was a helpful workshop with lots of ideas that I could implement right away.
Heather Aliano taught a workshop on marketing: how to plan a social media campaign. This was another highly helpful session because when you have created great products for homeschoolers and you have a limited budget, you need to be more creative in letting people know about those products.
The last keynote was Brooke Taylor, who delivered the message “Serving God with Joy.” Here are some takeaways from this session:
- Choose joy in the midst of suffering. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Understand who you are in Christ.
- Expectations–wake up like it’s the best day ever. Rejoice in what God has in store for us.
- Live deeply, as if your life is limited. It goes fast, and you might not ever have the opportunity to do what you will do today.
- Look at all the things we miss by not slowing down. What kind of a legacy are we leaving?
- Things are not what they seem. If your life looks messy, it doesn’t mean you are not successful. After all, Jesus looked helpless and hopeless on the cross, but it was His moment of greatest triumph. By being faithful, we are accomplishing way more than we think!
I enjoyed meeting the authors of many homeschool products. Everyone was so friendly and uplifting. We were able to look over the products from the different companies to see if we wanted to use their products for homeschooling our children. I saw a high school government curriculum from Notgrass that I loved, so I ordered it as soon as I got home.
On the shuttle bus back to the airport, I was able to talk to the author of Grapevine Bible Studies, and I realized that we have similar hearts about teaching children God’s Word. We were fed up with the shallow Sunday School materials and wanted kids to understand the deeper things of God, which is why we both created our own materials to do so. Grapevine curriculum enables kids to retain the Bible lessons through drawing stick figures on time lines. I love it! And I love this precious woman who is truly committed to the Lord.
I enjoyed this conference so much! It’s just what I needed. I met bloggers in person that I had only known online for years. I highly recommend this conference to Christian homeschool bloggers because for once you will feel normal! You will be surrounded with people just like you who love to serve God through blogging while homeschooling. I walked away refreshed and encouraged.