I had the most awesome time last week working at the booth at the Southeast Homeschool Convention. Working for vendors at conferences for the past few years has meant no wandering through the vendor hall or listening to speakers. One of the most important things a homeschool mom can do is keep herself inspired, her batteries charged.

A desire and love for learning is contagious.

Meeting Andrew Pudewa at the Southeast Homeschool ConventionThe Institute for Excellence in Writing booth was close to ours, and I met Andrew Pudewa, it’s director. I heard his Teaching Boys & Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day talk at an online homeschool conference about 3 years ago and wanted to see it live (if you are a homeschooling mom or a teacher in any setting, this linked audio download is well worth your $3).

Although that was the only live session I could attend, I bought four conference CDs from other speaker sessions: two from Andrew Kern (“Teaching Classical Literature Classically” and “Introduction to the Lost Tools of Writing”); one from Jim Weiss, storyteller extraordinaire; and one on finding college scholarships that I thought might be helpful. I’ve never met Andrew Kern, but was able to speak individually with the other two gentlemen as well as Memoria Press’s Martin Cothran, author of the logic book used in the Classical Conversations Challenge II class I teach.

My Classical Conversations Challenge kidsI left early Saturday in order to attend the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that evening with area Classical Conversations high school classes. We stayed afterward for an informal audience Q&A session with the guest conductor and pianist, two young men of exceptional passion and talent.

What I brought home from the convention—the one live session and two audio CDs I’ve heard so far, and the conversations—combined with the symphony really motivated me and set my wheels turning.

These sorts of opportunities might not be readily available everyday, but others are. What am I “feeding” myself? What do I allow to inspire me? A mind that doesn’t venture beyond superficial knowledge and pop culture, will surely atrophy.

What inspires you?

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