Homeschool convention season is right around the corner. Local and regional conferences usually run from March until June with a few outliers here and there. Homeschooling conferences offer the homeschool parent a place to be rejuvenated and encouraged through keynote speakers and topic specific workshops.
Homeschooling conventions can be informative. There is often a wide range of topics from homeschooling multiple children at once to how to incorporate notebooking into your learning environment. Since homeschooling is multi-faceted there is often room to learn about new ideas at these conventions. Homeschooling conventions can be fun. Most regional conventions have programs for children which are often fun and engaging. It can make the convention not just a source of information, but a mini-family vacation. Homeschooling conventions can be overwhelming. If you have never been to a convention before, it can be overwhelming as a first timer. There are plenty of attendees, vendors, and information which can overload the senses. As we head into the new convention season, consider these few things.
What to consider before heading to a homeschool convention?
- Consider your purpose for attending. Are you going to the convention to browse the curriculum or to hear the different speakers? When you take into consideration your purpose for attending the convention, it will allow you to make decisions accordingly. There are some years I’ve attended conventions specifically for the curriculum while other years I needed the encouragement of seasoned homeschooling veterans. When I took in consideration my needs, then I was able to make a plan of attack. For instance, when I went to a convention specifically for curriculum vendors, I checked out the vendor list on the convention’s website to make sure that the vendor that I hoped to visit would be there. It would have been disappointing to attend a conference for a specific vendor only to learn that the vendor was never planning to be there.
- Consider your budget. Rarely is a homeschool convention free although there are some that offer free tickets like the Southeast Expo. When considering a homeschool convention, take into account your budget. Will there be additional cost for each member of your family members? Will the convention require you and your family to travel? Are you purchasing curriculum while at the convention? Will you purchase any of the sessions on audio? There are plenty of opportunities to spend money at a homeschool convention so having a budget is wise.
- Consider who you are. Homeschooling conventions can be overwhelming because of the large number of people and the information overload, therefore, it is important to take into consideration who you are. If you aren’t a fan of crowds, then you might consider visiting the curriculum hall when most of the attendees are in a workshop. If you know certain topics aren’t of interest to you even those by keynote speakers, give yourself permission to not feel bad about skipping out. Attending a homeschool convention should be about empowering you as a homeschool parent, therefore, it is important to make the event enjoyable by adapting it to your specific needs.
Homeschool convention season is right around the corner, have you decided which convention you will be attending this year? Who are your favorite vendors to check out in person? Rainbow Resource is one of my favorite vendors to check out, and I am lucky that they have been at each conference I’ve attended.