Homeschool Convention: Ben Franklin

First ~ A Little Note Since It’s Been A While ~

I haven’t written in a while. I have excuses, such as adjusting to homeschooling, the girls becoming involved in ballet and soccer, gearing up for helping with a homeschool co-op this semester, joining a small group at our new church, and the holidays and traveling. Despite all that, I have had some free time…I have been reading books…lots of books. I think I’ve finished about 6 (non-fiction) books since I’ve last written at the beginning of November. Plus, I got a chronological study Bible for my birthday in December, and I’m beginning to read and study it with abandon.



I volunteered to be the Homeschoolers of Maine (HOME) Convention Blogger this year. My duty was to be that I would do one blog post per month from September until Convention in March, highlighting the speakers and exhibitors. I’ve only managed to get one out in October: Homeschool Convention:Raising Boys. So to make up for time, I will be writing these posts and scheduling them to post on Fridays for the next six weeks. Please hang in with me!

For the non-homeschooling regular readers of the blog: I will be doing some book reviews coming up soon. Plus, I’m considering going through the book, Warrior Chicks: Rising Strong, Beautiful and Confident by Holly Wagner here beginning in the next couple weeks. (Affiliate link) I highly recommend this book!

Warrior Chicks book


For the homeschooling regular readers of the blog in other states: Although you likely won’t be traveling to Maine for this convention, I’ll be posting links and info for resources and companies, who will be exhibitors at the convention here, which might be of interest to you.

For all readers: I intend to make opportunity to continue with general updates on our family and life in ME, and other thoughts interspersed, over these next few weeks. I hope everyone had great holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year!


Christopher Lowell as Ben Franklin Live

Historian and actor, Chris Lowell, will be speaking at the HOME Convention in March. “Benjamin Franklin” returns to the 21st century to speak to HOME of his extraordinary life and the traits that made him the most famous American of his time. Many of those traits mirror the goals of our homeschooling families. (Click the link above to go to his web site.)

He will also lead the following workshops:

Ben Franklin’s Inventions & Experiments
This workshop includes hands on science for children/families. Join Ben for a special session for children and their parents where Ben will talk about his scientific contributions, his many inventions, and what inspired them. Particular attention will be spent on the story of the kite – so often misinterpreted in books and paintings. In this session, Ben will speak of the surprising relationship between language skills, honesty, science, and will invite a few participants to help him recreate the inspiration for his very favorite invention of all. A lively Q&A will end his presentation.

Ben Franklin & Friends
In this session, Ben reminisces about his relationships with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams and how each of these very different men influenced his life and work. What did they talk about when General Washington became Franklin’s house guest? How did Ben feel about Jefferson being chosen to be the principal writer of the Declaration of Independence? How did Ben get on with John Adams in France? These questions and others will be highlighted by stories from Ben, himself.

Ben Franklin on Faith, Ethics and the Search for Virtue
Ben planned his life’s ethical underpinning when he was just sixteen. His desire to live virtuously led him to create an unusually organized and largely successful approach that involved faith, honest dealing and active community service. In this presentation, Ben will reveal the sources of his inspiration, what worked and what didn’t, and how his search for virtue made him a better person and a happier one, as it can for you, as well.

Ben Franklin Speaks: What I Did During the War
In this session, Ben will share his reflections on his diplomatic years in France: why he was chosen as our first ambassador, his relationship in France to George Washington and the Revolutionary cause back home, his dealings with his French counterparts including the King and Marie Antoinette, and how his work was helped (and sometimes hindered) by members of his own team. Much misinformation exists about these years for Ben and in this session, he’ll tell it as it really was!

From Slave Owner to Abolitionist
How could a man of faith, of ethics, of intelligence become, as Ben once was, a slave-owner? And then, later in life, what were the influences that caused him to view slavery in moral terms and reject it? Ben explains in this presentation, and in doing so, sheds light on the very nature of prejudice.

Bio from his web site:

Chris brings over fifty years as both teacher and actor to his work as Ben. As a teacher, he taught French and Theater at the secondary and university levels. As an actor, he has played a wide variety of leading roles and has been honored four times with “Best Actor of the Year” awards–three times by the critics in Colorado Springs, and once by the Denver Post.

Since 2004, Chris has presented Ben on a full-time basis to audiences coast-to-coast and abroad. When not performing, he lives with his wife in Colorado Springs, CO.

Carolyn Simonds will be a featured speaker, leading several workshops at the HOME Convention:

Carolyn Simonds has been actively involved in HOME’s ministry for many years. She is a veteran homeschool mom of six children. Carolyn serves as a teacher and mentor to other HOME leaders, as well as a Board Member for Homeschoolers of Maine.

SESSION I – Thursday, 1:00pm-2:00pm
Sage Advice from Homeschool Veterans – Panel of Veterans
HOME Leaders, Chuck and Carolyn Simonds, and other veteran homeschoolers share their most valuable tips gained through experience, and the important lessons they learned along the way. Hear words of wisdom from those who know now what they didn’t know then!

SESSION II – Thursday, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Getting Started in Homeschooling 
Are you just beginning to homeschool? Are you researching the option for your family? Plan to attend this workshop! The following topics will be covered: Maine’s homeschooling law, Record keeping, Curriculum planning, Helpful resources, Portfolios and evaluations, Support groups, Special needs, And much more!

SPECIAL SESSION WITH HOME – Friday, 12:15pm – 1:15pm
Time for Q&A
Have you been wandering the Exhibit Hall aimlessly? Are you still wondering why you are here? Do you have unanswered questions? Bring your lunch and your questions to this session of blessing featuring HOME Leader and veteran homeschool mom, Carolyn Simonds, along with HOME’s Regional Representatives. Then attend the rest of the convention feeling more encouraged and confident!

ABekaBookLogoA Beka Book will be an exhibitor at Convention. I had heard of Christian homeschooling families using A Beka since I was in junior high and heard about homeschooling. They have full textbook curriculum and digital resources, focusing on Bible, reading, history, math, science/health, and english.

From their site:

“You want methods and materials that work. That’s what you’ll find with A Beka Book—comprehensive, quality curriculum and materials written from a Christian perspective. Now more than ever, each child needs a strong foundation in both academics and character; we’re here to help homeschooling families and Christian schools of all sizes give their students the knowledge and skills they need.”

You can take a look at their site by clicking the link above.

HOME Convention is March 17-19, 2016
At the Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME

Visit the HOME web site for registration details