Apologia is mentioned eight times in the Bible in the context of people defending their faith.
The Bible tells us that we should be ready to give an account . . . a defense for the hope that is in us. (1 Peter 3:15)
Apologia Educational Ministries has made it their mission to provide “home-schooled students a scientific education that will help him or her make a reasoned defense of the Christian Faith.”
Having three textbooks from Apologia, the education provided in said texts is top-notch. My children are being prepared to give a logical account for why they believe what they believe . . . not just because mom and dad said so.
I don’t want my children to feel like they have to follow Jesus because we told them to do. I want them to choose Christ. To love Him because He first loved us. I don’t want an obligatory follow until they leave the shelter of our wings.
But if I were to do a word association of what Apologia . . . as a company . . . as a group of people represents. . . educators doesn’t come to mind (though they do it WELL). Nor lawyers.
Instead . . . encouragers. Cheerleaders. Companions. Mentors.
Mom . . . maybe even Grandma. Older and wiser . . . willing to walk beside you along the journey.
Why do I say this?
Back in the fall, I was supposed to go to a conference called Apologia Live.
I was excited.
Anticipating a weekend away with Naomi and my dear friend, Melissa, had me giddy. I would also meet another fellow Hoosier, Stacy from Brain in Training, who is a massive prayer warrior.
It wasn’t to be.
As you will recall, life intervened. The basement pooped.
Crushed is what I was. Though the Engineer still encouraged me to attend the Apologia Live conference . . . my role as a wife and mom wouldn’t allow me to. I knew it was the right choice . . . but it grieved my heart to miss such an opportunity to be around fellowship and excellent teaching from these fabulous teachers.
In my steed, my friend Sarah attended the conference (thanks to the graciousness of Apologia).
I lived vicariously through these strong women.
Soon afterwards I asked them a few questions regarding the Apologia Live retreat. Here is how they responded.
Why did you want to go to the Apologia Live retreat?
I wanted to go to the retreat to be encouraged and built up spiritually, but I can't deny that I also wanted some time away with friends. :)
What nugget that you learned has STUCK with you?
S: The best thing I took away is that character training/building is MUCH more important than any curriculum. I was really encouraged because I feel like the days I spend character training are wasted as far as school goes. So I was pleased to hear that those days are important and now I don't have to be discouraged when character training is all we've done in a day.
M: That I have been missing out on a lot of things because I’m too busy being a Martha. That I need to take those special times and look my children in the face and say, “I can’t wait to see what God has planned for you.” To look at teaching differently and explain to my kids that God created all these subjects for our enjoyment and not to get frustrated. To be able to say, “It’s okay I see your frustrated,” and close that subject for the day.
What did God do in your heart?
S: God calmed my heart. I am always VERY anal about things getting done and so much so that it tears up my relationships with my kids some days. Over the weekend God really showed me that I need to not be concerned so much with "things being in order.”
God reminded me that I should be character training, teaching my kids who God is and that scripture is the ultimate source of all knowledge because it is GOD'S Words. I was SO thankful for the weekend at Apologia. God used it to refine me, to show me the need to break my bad habit of needing everything perfect, and He used it to encourage me to continue in the way He had already been showing me. I get discouraged when it gets rough or when there is opposition and there has been much of both lately in my house. . . . so it was a much needed reminder.
M: He softened it.
Would you recommend this conference to other moms and why or why not?
S: YES!!! MOST DEFINITELY! It was awesome to see the Apologia's hearts...to see that they are passionate about God, their husbands, and the call of God to homeschool their kids. The call of God to homeschool didn't just mean finding a good curriculum, but the Apologia staff encouraged that it is more important to teach about God's love, God's Word, and our kids role in God's plan. I think that ANY homeschooling mom would have been just as encouraged as I was to go...so YES everyone should go!
M: Yes, I am looking forward to attending it again. The reason is I need to be with other women going thru the same stuff as me. So we can lift each other up in Him.
Considering the price of the ticket, was it worth its value?
S: Well, considering mine was free...this is a hard question to answer because obviously it was well worth the value to me. BUT, if I had had the money to pay for a ticket I would have thought it WAS well worth it's value for sure. You can't put a dollar figure on a weekend of truly being encouraged in raising your kids the way God intended.
M: YES!!!! (FYI—Melissa did pay for her ticket and still says yes!!)
What would you do differently next time around?
- buy a ticket WAY in advance
- attend the earlier sessions on Friday
- have my own bed and be sure to be rested as well as spiritually refreshed
- plan on trying to get as many of my homeschooling circle there with me as possible
There are two conferences in the spring:
- Baltimore, March 9-10, 2012, with guest speaker Heidi St. John
- Atlanta, March 23-24, 2012, featuring Pam Tebow
You may be wondering why I have included so many pictures of Naomi in her new pink hat. How does the pink hat relate to Apologia Live?
For starters, my friend Melissa, that I mentioned above, made this hat for Naomi (I have requested a matching one). If you should see this hat in person, you will notice the detail and craftsmanship. But what stands out more to me is the power behind this hat. Melissa said that as she knit the hat . . . she prayed for my Naomi.
Just like Apologia does for the ladies that attend their conferences.
Apologia notices details. They seek to encourage. They want to bless.
And they do it well. More than a company who wants you to purchase their curriculum, they care about your hearts. I have seen it first hand. I have worked with two ladies from their staff. Since last August, there have been countless times these two women from Apologia have sent me a random email or tweet . . . “Praying for you, Jodi. How is the basement? Love what you did in school!”
They don’t have to pay attention to the details in my life.
But they do.
And that is why this conference is powerful. God is in the details. He cares about the little parts of our lives.
Pray about attending an Apologia Live conference. You won’t regret it.