It is almost my favorite time of the year: Homeschool Convention Season. It is kinda like hunting season for hunters except better, in my opinion. There are many conventions to attend in every single state. I live in Virginia and attend a few of them there. My dream is to attend some of the bigger regional ones one day. But for now, I enjoy the conventions in my own state.
As we start to prepare for the convention, it can seem a bit daunting. There are so many choices to make and items to pack and lists to write out. I have attended our state convention for about five years now. I am not an expert by any means but I do have some tips I would like to share with you.
Tips for attending a homeschool convention:
- Research ahead of time- Go on the convention website (if one is provided) and find out who will be speaking. Search the site for the different workshops and vendors and find the schedule of events. Doing this ahead of time will save you loads of time at the convention. You will know where you want to be at what time and you will also know which vendors you would like to visit for new (or tried and true) curriculum.
- Make a list of must-haves- Typically vendors will offer free shipping at a convention. Make a list of items you wish to purchase. You can prioritize certain items on your list as well. Look through your current curriculum and books to see what needs to be purchased and what can be reused.
- Print the schedule of events- Highlight any workshops and demonstrations that you would like to attend. Make sure they are ones that interest you and will benefit your homeschool. Bring this schedule with you to the convention.
- Dress comfortably- I have made the mistake of dressing uncomfortably before. Make sure to wear shoes that feel good even after an entire day of walking (and believe me, you will do a lot of walking). Dress in layers. Wearing a sweater over a shirt helps you feel warm when needed or cool when needed. Some of the workshops can be very cold or very warm.
- Bring a rolling cart- You will be handed a million papers and ads during your trip to the convention. You will also be purchasing many things. You don’t want to lug them around on your shoulders or hands. A rolling cart can be pulled behind you conveniently and it will leave your arms and shoulders free from the pain of carrying heavy bags and book.
- Make a budget and stick to it- Going the a homeschool convention can be so exciting. You see so many new products to try out. But, you only have so much money to spend. Purchase your necessities first and if there is any money left over you can use it for those extras. Budget out appropriately what you will need for the coming school year and bring a little extra for something special and fun. There is always something really neat you didn’t know existed that you will want to purchase.
- Get lots of rest- This seems like an easy one but the excitement and stress (in a good way) of attending a homeschool convention can leave you restless. Make sure to rest up the days before and especially the night before. You will be walking all day long and talking all day long.
As you start thinking about the homeschool convention season, I hope these tips will help you along the way. Remember to have fun and meet new people. This is your chance to be around like-minded families who all have one goal in mind: educating their children at home.