There are five excellent reasons any homeschooling parent should go to a convention. Here they are!
You can View Materials Up Close
Investing in a new curriculum can be pricey. It’s a big step. Amazon’s “Inside Look” only reveals a couple pages from certain texts. Blog reviews only show you a portion of the product. When you go to a convention, you have the opportunity to get your hands on that book or teacher’s guide that you have been wondering about. You’ll have plenty of time to page through books that you are considering, to see if they truly would be a good fit for you and your child. Friends, blogs and authors can hype up a product, but there comes a point when the rubber meets the road and you simply need to look at the content for yourself. It’s important to be able to look through the content and visually see what you will be purchasing. This doesn’t mean you will necessarily be purchasing the product right then and there, (although most vendors do offer amazing deals at conventions), but at least you will have a better idea about the product in case you want to buy it in the future.
Become Introduced to New Curriculum
It’s no doubt you will be introduced to new teachers, methods, ideologies and curriculum when you attend a convention. From unschooling to boxed to classical education there are many different avenues to venture down when it comes to home education. You might only be familiar with what you and your circle have always done. If that works for you, awesome! But, if you are seeking a change, then a homeschool convention might help you find what you have been looking for.
Make New Friends
Conventions are generally packed with workshops, activities, keynote speakers, and of course exhibitors. You certainly will have plenty of opportunities to meet new people since you will be rubbing shoulders with so many each and every moment that you are there! Strike up a conversation with the mom you are seated by in the writing workshop, you might be surprised to see how much you have in common with her.
Glean from the Speakers
Warning. When you head back to your hotel room (or home, if you are local), then you will most likely suffer from information overload. In a good way, of course. Nobody warned me of this the first time I attended a convention and was amazed at the quality and variety of teaching I was exposed to. This is an excellent thing of course but it can be overwhelming. Be sure to take notes, or get the audio recordings. You will be introduced to so much information, when you finally get a chance to put your feet up at the end of the day you will want a chance to process all that you have learned!
Sometimes we need an opportunity to just “get away” from the same old routine and get our bearings straight. We need a chance to spend time with our families reminding ourselves why we do what we do. Other times it’s good to take this time to spend with other moms of like mindedness to share our hearts with before getting back in the game. Whether you go as a family, alone or with other moms, a homeschool convention can be the reboot that you and your homeschool needs!