After collecting entries from 45 homeschool conventions in 31 states, Alpha Omega Publications closed its 2012 convention season by conducting a random drawing and selecting Melinda Johnson of Normal, Illinois, as the grand prize winner of a new Dell XPS 17 laptop.

"Before I had children, I knew little about homeschooling," Melinda admitted. "As we began this journey, God has equipped us with the resources we need, including time, ideas, curriculum, friendships and support, and now a new laptop. It was a great surprise that will bless our school year."

AOP recently interviewed Melinda about homeschooling her family, attending homeschool conventions, and using her new laptop.



AOP
: How long have you been homeschooling? How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
Melinda: This is our second year homeschooling. We have two daughters and a son. They're ages two, four, and six.

AOP: Tell me about your homeschool.
Melinda: This year I am trying to focus more on fun and learning, rather than creating a mini-school in my home. We are doing unit studies that follow the American Girls, and that has been a great way to take history to a new level. We follow LIFEPACs for language arts and Horizons for math. Bible Study Fellowship is an amazing way for our family to study the Bible in-depth together.

AOP: What did you want to get out of a convention, and do you go to conventions often?
Melinda: I look for valuable resources for homeschooling three children of different ages. The speakers' insights and the opportunity to evaluate various vendors make conventions a very important part of my planning. I attend two conventions each year.

AOP: What were you doing when you heard you won the laptop?
Melinda: We were in traffic as we traveled home from a long Labor Day weekend vacation in Michigan. The news made starting a new school year even more exciting and made the traffic not seem that bad.

AOP: What was your first thought?
Melinda: I was so grateful! I am excited to load it up with educational tools for math and language arts. It will also allow me to begin a new Spanish program. We travel to visit relatives, and a laptop will help us take school on the road. As we find more resources online, a laptop will definitely enhance our homeschool.

AOP: Will you go to a convention next year?
Melinda: Definitely! I always leave the conventions more equipped and renewed. The resources available are outstanding, and the speakers provide insights from their experience and expertise. Conventions also provide a sense of community and fellowship.

Do you use a computer in your own homeschooling? How does it enhance and compliment your teaching? Insert your comments below and click "submit" to share!