Convention Faces

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For the past few weeks I have had the privilege of representing Sonlight at various homeschool conventions on the east coast. As I am writing this, I am preparing to leave for yet another this weekend.

What a blessing to meet so many different folks from all different walks of life. I chat with moms and dads, grandparents, school administrators, pastors, and many others. They all have their own story and I am blessed to be able to share the joys and challenges of homeschooling with them.

Expectant parents often wander into my booth, dreaming of the arrival of their first-born and wondering if they will be up to the task of educating this child.

Dads browse while moms ask questions. They like to hear the "bottom line" and are thrilled when I explain that many of Sonlight's materials are non-consumable ... that they can divide the price of a package by the number of their children to get a more accurate idea of cost. They especially appreciate that we are there only to share our materials and answer their questions ... no pressure to buy before leaving the convention.

Grandparents are sometimes skeptical at first, but are often won over after seeing the great books from which their grandchildren will be learning.

A couple of booth visitors from this season have found their way into my heart and memories. One anxious young mom approached me to ask if she would need to do her lower level Core program over again this coming year ... because they really hadn't done it "right". She seemed somehow "guilty" that they hadn't followed the Instructor's Guide schedule or used all the Study Guide notes. When I asked her to describe a typical day to me, she lit up and shared about reading the wonderful stories (and yes, they read *all* the books), and going to the big atlas on their shelf to find the various geographic locations found in their books. She told how the kids loved to share what they had learned with dad once he returned from work in the evening. She was sure they hadn't really homeschooled "correctly", but they had had such fun! I smiled and told her I had a "secret" to share with her ... "You really were homeschooling!", I told her. Just then her husband entered the booth and she turned to him, beaming, and said "She told me we really were doing it the right way!"

Another young couple stopped by and shared that they were new to the whole homeschooling idea. They were doing some preliminary research with the expectation that they would begin with their oldest in the fall of 2013. The mom had a teaching degree and was just having a really hard time wrapping her head around teaching without a lot of textbooks or formal testing. After walking through the "nuts and bolts" of how Sonlight works, she said, "You know, every curriculum vendor we visited has made their product sound like the best choice for us. But really, after listening to what you've shared about Sonlight's approach to learning, who wouldn't want to learn this way?!!"

Sonlight is not the perfect choice for every family, and others tweak it to fit the unique needs of their students. But it is such a joy to spend long days on the convention floor talking with intelligent, motivated, excited young (and not so young!) parents who are focused on providing their children with the very best education they can offer. I hope we see *you* at a convention this summer!

Still on the journey ...
Judy Wnuk
Sonlight Customer Champion


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