Tag Archives: homeschool conventions

It’s Concert Time – No More Mr. Nice Guy

What would make a room full of Christian homeschoolers toss out their Christian values? Apparently, a Tim Hawkins concert!

This weekend is the Southeast Homeschool Convention, and all week I’ve been gearing up to learn a lot of good things. We were unable to attend the workshops on Thursday, so we arrived early Friday morning with a schedule in hand and a plan for the day. One of the biggest features of the day were two hour-long concerts by comedian Tim Hawkins. We had seen him on YouTube and really enjoyed his songs, so we purchased tickets for the early show months ago. The kids were excited, and so was I.

The concert started at 5:30, and seating was by first come first served. We decided we needed to arrive early to get some good seats. We were at the concert hall by 4:00, and the line was already wrapping around from the front door part-way down the hall. There were about 100 people in front of us. But within the half-hour, there were about 200 more behind us. And by the 5:00, we couldn’t even see the end of the line. We’ll have seats fairly close to the front, I decided. I was glad we arrived early.

The organizers then broke the line up by allowing us to stand in front of the four doorways. That’s when the line turned into four smaller mobs with a bigger group still pressing in behind. We ended up near the door at the front, which made our 1 1/2 hour wait worth it…or so we thought.

The doors finally opened….and as they did, the Golden Rule went out the window, as did a number of Christian virtues we homeschoolers pride ourselves on teaching to our children.

It became a dog-eat-dog world in there — get what you can for you and your own, and too bad for the rest. People ran in from all sides to the seats at the front, saving entire rows for their families and friends. We had a big group of 9, but we were all together — we all waited together, stood together, and entered the hall together. But by the time we stepped foot in the hall, which was less than a minute after the doors opened, nearly the whole front section was already “reserved.” People had spread their stuff over every seat they could, looking at me (grasping tightly to two children) saying “Not here, taken, taken.” When I finally did find a few free seats, and was almost sitting down, a lady came in from behind and threw her purse on one of them. By this time I was pretty angry, so we sat down anyway.

Our group ended up splitting up and sitting in two different areas, one much further back than the other. My teenage son was even knocked down by a grown man in the process.

Needless to say, it was tough to enjoy the show. Tim Hawkins made some comments about being a Christian, and everyone in front of me cheered. And it made me even angrier.

What happened to kindness? To a Christ-like attitude? In any other concert venue where seating isn’t assigned, if you’re waiting further back in the line, you’d expect to be seated further back in the hall. So why not at a homeschool concert? We want our children to always consider “What Would Jesus Do?”. I’m thinking he wouldn’t have behaved like that.

Don’t tell me about your Christian values — show me. Or, better yet, show the children.




Getting Ready to Convene

Next week is the big Southeast Homeschool Convention in Greenville, South Carolina, and I’m getting ready to be inspired! The list of speakers is an impressive one, as it includes nationally-known homeschooling veterans, authors, and advocates, such as Susan Wise Bauer, Jesse Wise, Amanda Bennett, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, Jim Weiss, and more.

The cost of the convention isn’t much — $55 covers the cost of a single family’s admission, including parents, children, and grandparents. For $1 more, teenagers can attend the Teen Worldview Seminars while mom and dad are in other workshops.

A children’s program is also being offered, but unfortunately, the classes have already been filled to capacity. I have three children with nowhere to go, then, so now it’s time to plan.

The classes are offered part of the day on Thursday, all day Friday, and all day Saturday. My husband wanted to attend some workshops as well, and we don’t have a regular sitter. I’m planning, then, to just take the kids along with me, and I found out this week that many of my friends are planning on doing the same. So it’s time to prepare.

The convention center doesn’t allow snacks to be brought in from the outside; that makes it a little tougher, since snacks can be a great diversion to kids who have to sit…and sit… and sit. But there are other things we can do.

We’re going to be packing each of my children a bag to bring along, and here’s what we’re going to put in them:

  • A blank notebook and pen for doodling or drawing
  • A puzzle, dot to dot, and maze books
  • Hidden pictures printed off the Internet
  • A coloring book and crayons
  • Reading books for the older ones
  • Small toys

I have a feeling we’ll need to be taking quite a few breaks, and I bet walking around the vendor tables with everyone in tow will be more of an adventure than I would like. But I don’t anticipate any stares or complaints or sharp looks from other conference attendees; after all, they’re all homeschoolers, and they’ve been there too.

Photo by mzacha