Discount for Homeschool Conference in Pigeon Forge!

If you’ve been thinking about coming but haven’t decided for sure, this will likely be the CHEAPEST registration price you can get!!

Save $10 + $5 for a total of $15 off your registration! Here’s how:

Save $10 with the Memorial Day sale {automatically taken off until Monday evening, ends at midnight Monday evening} + save $5 MORE with my unique code MERCYISNEW

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Here is the latest info about this conference:

Updated List of Exhibitors

Updated List of Speakers

Session Schedule 

Outdoor Adventure Skills

There is something for everyone at the Appalachian Home Educators Conference! We just reserved a tent to host our Outdoor Adventure Skills that will be happening on Friday & Saturday.

There will be hands on classes & demonstrations in the following areas:
~ Aquaponics
~ Backpacking / Hiking
~ Krav Maga
~ Riflemanship
~ Survival skills (Urban, Wilderness, and Catastrophic Events)
~ Living History Characters from Our Nation’s History

Dollywood Discount

Visit Dollywood while in Pigeon Forge, TN!
Discount Tickets Available
$43.80 Adults & $37.05 Children (4-11)
Savings of over $20.00 per person
Offer Not Valid After 6/20/14
Contact: Group Sales Department
Monday – Friday 8am-6pm
1-888-428-6789
tmatthews@dollywood.com

Ripley’s Aquarium Discount

Enjoy the Ripley’s Aquarium with these great rates! Homeschool Rate is $7.82 per person (tax included) when a homeshool membership card is provided. Education Rate is $12.28 (tax included) if you don’t have a membership card to a homeschool organization. Take advantage of these special rates – General Admission is typically $26.99 per person, tax not included. Call: (865) 453-8808

Titanic Museum

Come see the world’s largest Titanic museum attraction! Attendees of Conference will receive a special admission rate to Tour the Titanic Museum Attraction. Conference ID badge or Wristbands will be required to qualify for special admission rate. Call (800) 381-7670 to reserve your boarding time. Mention Appalachian Home Educators Conference 2014. Offer Valid June 26-29, 2014 with Conference ID Badge or Wristband only. Not Valid with any other offer or discount.

AHEC Homeschool Conference in the Smokies

Meet the Family Behind the AHEC Conference!

Jake & Charity Suttles of AHEC

There is a brand new homeschool conference coming to the East Tennessee area in June!! I am really excited about it! You can go here to read more about it and register!!

Jake and Charity Suttles were both homeschooled themselves and are now homeschooling their children! I hope you will read a little bit more about who they are and why they decided to start a conference in our area!

1. Tell us about your family and your homeschooling experience!

In a few words…we are a simple country family that enjoys the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee! As homeschooling parents of 6 young children, our days are never bored! While most of our time is spent running our family business or homeschooling, we enjoy spending time outdoors. We love to hunt, fish, camp, target practice, and recently added in bike riding together!

While our decision to homeschool was made before we married, our homeschooling experience began when we found out we were expecting our first child. I began to research all the ways to make my baby a genius in the womb, teach them their multiplication facts by 2, and playing in the symphony by 5! It wasn’t long before I realized that those ideas were not meant for my family and we could just enjoy growing and learning together as a family without the guilt of ruining my child’s education!

Since we both are homeschool graduates, we had experienced the benefits of homeschooling and knew it was what we wanted for our own children. We were both homeschooled with the traditional approach of textbooks and didn’t have any plans to change the method with our own children. However, we were open to seeing other options. We attended our first homeschool conference in Knoxville and loved shopping in the exhibit hall and attending the workshops. One particular workshop that really resonated with me was called “Laying Down the Rails”. It was about cultivating good habits in your children based on the ideas of Charlotte Mason. I had never heard of Charlotte Mason, but wrote down her name and after returning home did some research. As I began to learn about this approach and compare it to other methods of homeschooling, I realized it fit with our ideas of education the most and we began to implement the approach in our homeschool. Most of our homeschooling is built off the ideas found in the Charlotte Mason approach, although we have learned to adjust them when needed to fit our family dynamics.

2. Tell us what it is like homeschooling your own children after being homeschooled yourself.

Even though we were both homeschooled, we are learning so much about homeschooling as we are now playing a different role! We appreciate the efforts that our parents made in providing a home education for us and realize the importance of parents being engaged with their children. We desire our children to be able to critically think about ideas and promote an entrepreneurial spirit in their daily lives.

3. Tell us why you started AHEC and your hopes for this conference. 

We started the Appalachian Home Educators Conference because we want to keep the idea & practice of home education alive in East Tennessee! We believe every parent can provide their children with a rich education at home and we want to share the resources, knowledge, and encouragement that is available to the homeschooling community. There are many reasons why we each have decided to homeschool our children and some days it is easy to forget those reasons! That is why it is important to be refreshed & renewed in your homeschooling journey every year! We all need a boost of confidence from time to time and attending a homeschool conference will help you achieve that in your homeschooling.

4. Tell us what you are MOST excited about regarding the upcoming conference in June! 

This is really hard to do for us because as we work on the different aspects of the conference, there is really a lot to be excited about! I would say that meeting other homeschoolers, whether it be a speaker, an exhibitor, or a conference delegate, is what we are looking forward to the most. It is always encouraging to meet other people that are homeschooling their children and learn from their experiences. Even though we live in a technology filled world where so much communication is done virtually, it is always refreshing to talk with someone face to face and share stories of inspiration &
encouragement.

We look forward to meeting you & your family at the Appalachian Home Educators Conference in Pigeon Forge on June 26-28, 2014!

AHEC Homeschool Conference in the Smokies

Why This Introvert Goes to Homeschool Conferences

Why This Introvert Needs to Attend Homeschool Conferences @mercyisnew.com

I’m hoping to write more and more as time goes on about homeschooling as a major introvert…this will be one of those posts. I hope that by sharing my own experience, I can encourage other introverts and highly sensitive folks that are living the homeschooling life. It’s not for the faint of heart, folks!

I have been so blessed to attend various homeschooling conferences over the years and I consider those to be some of the most encouraging and inspiring times as a homeschooling mom. However, it isn’t always easy to be in that sea of people all.day.long several days in a row. So, I’m going to share WHY I continue going and HOW to make it a bit more enjoyable if you are an introvert.

6 Reasons Why Introverts Should Attend Conferences

1. I need the encouragement. Let’s just be honest with ourselves, if I stay holed up in my home all the time, I’m not getting the refreshment and encouragement and inspiration that I need. Yes, I get a lot of those things on the internet – my favorite blogs, Facebook, or even reading my favorite homeschooling books again and again. But, I have to tell you, if you’ve never attended a conference – there is nothing like hearing those speakers in person. I liken it to attending church — if I watch online week after week, I’m missing that REAL PERSON speaking directly to me. I’m missing the fellowship. I’m missing that friend coming over and giving me a hug. Even as an introvert, these things are needed, even if we aren’t energized by it day in and day out. That doesn’t mean we don’t need ANY of it.

2. Homeschool moms need inspiration and motivation. Introverts especially need this, at least this introvert does! As one who over thinks every.single.thing in my life, especially homeschooling decisions, I need the motivation and inspiration that a conference brings to my heart. I need to hear that I’m making GOOD choices even when the world tells me I’m strange. I need to be inspired to keep teaching my children the ways of the Lord. You aren’t going to hear this from a lot of places, and I need to hear it regularly. I always, always come home with a renewed passion and sense of purpose for our homeschool. I need that so badly – every year, even multiple times a year!

3. Hotel rooms are the quiet I need. When I need some QUIET or just a few moments without the noise, a hotel room fits the bill.  I admit, it’s almost like a mini-vacation to attend one of these conferences by myself or with a friend. I’ve taken my children before {And the TTD children’s program is AMAZING.} But, for this introvert, the time in the quiet hotel room is like a dream come true. You can escape to your hotel room anytime you need to, or just arriving at night when the sessions for that day are over is wonderful.  In fact, I’ve known an introvert or two that skips a session just to enjoy some peace and quiet in the hotel room. And you know what, GO FOR IT. I want you to know that you don’t HAVE to attend every session!! It’s not mandatory. {grin} Choose the sessions that will be best for you and your family, and then let the other few hours go…for your sanity! Or for shopping. 

4. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. A lot of folks attend these conferences with their families. I think that is great! But, if you’re like me, an introvert through and through, you might enjoy a few days away from home by yourself!  I know some of you don’t have the option to go alone (or with a friend) because you have a nursing baby or a child with medical needs or no childcare…but, if you’re like me and the opportunity does present itself, I encourage you to give it a try. For me, being away from my children for a few hours or a few days does my heart loads of good. I come back as a better mom. I come back inspired and ready to love them wholeheartedly. I receive the encouragement I need as a mom who struggles with being a mom on a daily basis.

5. Likeminded friends do a heart a ton of good. As introverts, we need to be affirmed that we are making wise choices. I am usually OK with being a rebel and going against the flow of this world, but every once in awhile, I need to be strengthened by like-minded folks. This is exactly what you will find at a homeschool conference. Your methods and curriculum choices do not matter in this. You can be a classical homeschooler or an unschooler, you will still find encouragement from being around others that choose to home educate.

6. Books, books, books. I think for most introverts, curling up with a good book is the epitome of perfection. If I had my dreams come true, I would not need a shopping mall or island vacation, just give me a comfy chair, a warm blanket, a cup of coffee and a good book. Well…the vendor hall will provide you such an amazing assortment of selections!! Don’t let the vendor hall overwhelm you – it can do that! Plan your time accordingly. Give yourself only so much time in the vendor hall before you go get lunch or back to your room. Don’t spend hours and hours agonizing over choices in the vendor hall. It will wear you down! Give yourself 30 minutes here and there. Look at the vendor map and choose the places you want to visit without wandering aimlessly. Unless you like wandering aimlessly, of course! 🙂

In closing this post, I want to share with you an amazing conference that I hope you will take advantage of! These are my affiliate links and I appreciate you registering through them at no extra cost to you!

Teach Them Diligently Conference

I’m attending my 3rd TTD in a few weeks! I cannot wait! I’ve shared lots of my speaker notes here on my blog ~ some of my favorites have been Sally Clarkson, Pam Tebow, Mark Hamby and Deb Bell. These conferences were started by the Nunnery family, I’ve stayed in their home, they are precious and their heart is to bless the homeschool community. They are the real deal. Also, these conferences are NOT just for homeschoolers! These conferences are for any Christian family wishing to disciple their children and raise them to be world changers for Christ. Go here to read more about these conferences and register!

I found inspiration for this post from these blog posts: 8 Tips for a Great Girls’ Weekend at Convention,  5 Ways an Introvert Can Survive a Homeschool Convention

New Homeschool Conference in East TN!

 I’m so excited to tell you about a BRAND NEW homeschool conference coming to Pigeon Forge, TN in June of 2014!!

AHEC Homeschool Conference in the Smokies

Appalachian Home Educators Conference is coming to

Pigeon Forge on June 26-28, 2014!

 

Head over to their Facebook page to stay up to date!

Here is a little more information about this particular conference from their website:

The Appalachian Home Educators Conference was started by Jake & Charity Suttles to provide resources to homeschooling families. As homeschool graduates and now homeschooling parents, we want to equip home educators with the tools they need to provide a stellar education for their children. With such a variety of methods, ideas, and curriculum, there has never been a better time to home educate your children!

Appalachian Home Educators Conference is designed to focus on the academic aspects of homeschooling. Although many home educating parents seek to disciple their children in a spiritual fashion, we do not assume the role of spiritually guiding your family.

Whether you are considering the option of homeschooling or you’re a homeschool veteran, you may have questions or need encouragement. We hope that you will join us in Pigeon Forge to be inspired and renewed in your homeschooling journey!

Here are some of the speakers lined up thus far:

{Read more about each speaker here.}

A few more tidbits: 

This is about 45 minutes from my home, I’m super excited to have something so close! I’m still a HUGE fan of other conferences happening around the country and will be traveling to those as well, but to have the opportunity LOCALLY to gather with other homeschoolers is a treasure!! If you are a blogger, message me for more info on becoming an affiliate. There will also hopefully be a BLOGER MEET-UP at the conference! Would love to meet you there!

Why come to a homeschool conference?

There are so many reasons. Renewal, encouragement, sharing ideals with likeminded folks, hearing speakers that will INSPIRE you in your role as teacher, materials – there will be a used curriculum sale at this event! As well as the vendors setting up shop.  I have shared before on my blog about how much I personally NEED this time as a homeschool mom. Sometimes it is nice to spend a weekend with folks where you are NOT the oddball. 🙂 Most places we go, we are the minority, it is nice to be with other homeschooling families! I also need this time of inspiration. Every.single.time I go to a homeschool conference, I come away with a renewed sense of PURPOSE in what I’m doing as a homeschool parent. You cannot put a price for that encouragement and inspiration!! 

I hope you’ll join us in June!! Register now to save 20% off your family registration!

{If you’re a blogger and would like to become an affiliate, please send me a message!}