A desire to help families instill a delight in learning is the goal of the home education expo and curriculum fair coming to Chattanooga.
Just over 80 exhibitors of educational products and services will be on hand for two days who “offer all kinds of materials to help educate children,” says coordinator Jan Bontekoe, mother of seven.
The event this coming Friday and Saturday (July 19 and 20) is a major gathering place for families in free market education, but is being pitched as a great way for public school families and teachers to obtain resources for young people. Exhibitors offer literature, textbooks, all manner of volumes, unit studies, DVDs of courses, CDs of novels and histories, tutorial services and legal coverage for homeschooling families.
For decades home education has been a free market response to the deadness of soul and intellect that marks the world of public schools, which systemically is hostile to genius, Christian conviction and science because it is strictly that — a mass system.
Home educators are “reclaiming God-given responsibilities,” Mrs. Bontekoe says. Education is a duty belonging to moms and dads. “In your parental choices, you can choose to delegate that to someone else, but we are reclaiming those responsibilities as parents.”
The expo brings into one place educational materials to Chattanooga-area families. “Each one of these exhibitors typically is an expert in the field of what they’re representing,” Mrs. Bontekoe says. “I think of Teresa Knight. She owns Knight’s Book Nook. And Teresa is one of our science people. And when Teresa comes in with all of the science materials that she has, whether it’s curriculum or the stuff you need for dissection, whether it is science-related games — last year my son got the coolest ant farm ***. We had so much fun with that ant farm *** which spurred him to go on and learn more about ants. I have learned more about ants than I ever needed to know in my life. My son was interested, and we ran with it, and we learned a lot.”
Crowds flow through rows of exhibitors. But in various parts of the convention hall speakers tell what they know. Workshops cover topics such as music, etiquette, dyslexia, the power of good habits, SAT/ACT preparation, entrepreneurship, how to teach the classics, working at home, hands-on learning, visual-based math, music, science and keeping history alive.
A talk by Rhea Perry of Educating for Success is “10 tips for raising Godly entrepreneurial children: How my son brought his dad home from corporate America in just three years.”
The event is Friday and Saturday. On Friday it is 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Saturday the expo serves families 9 to 4 p.m. It costs F$8 per family to get in both days, or F$4 a family among subscribers to Esprit newsletter. Children are invited to come, but are asked to stay with their parents. To hasten your entry, fill out ahead of time a registration form available at CSTHEA’s website. Also on the website is a convention map, speaker schedule and list of exhibitors.