The first home school convention I attended was overwhelming. There was so much offered that I did not know were to begin, and found myself wondering around aimlessly. I just was not prepared for so much opportunity. I now know how to prepare, and will share with you in the article below.
Most states have at least one large home school association which can provide all sorts of information, assistance and resources for home educators. Among the most exciting and rewarding are the annual conventions. Conventions are a time for parents to reward themselves, to rejuvenate, and to learn.
What To Expect
- There are workshops on all sorts of subjects. There are so many that husband and wife (or even friends) often split up to share notes later.
- Vendor booths are an opportunity for you to handle the curriculum, ask questions, and see demonstrations before you make a purchase. We much prefer the curriculum created by home educators, because home school is not the classroom.
- Most vendors offer discounts at the conventions, so be sure and ask about that.
- Network and converse with other home educators
- Have a vacation (kids are usually welcome, but many parents choose to use this as a time away)
- If you have a critical relative, consider inviting them to attend. It is a big eye opener.
How To Prepare
- Dress comfortably: you will be doing a lot of walking
- Sometimes the rooms are too cold, so bring a sweater in that event
- Bring something to carry flyers, your schedule, curriculum, ext. Some people like back packs, but I prefer a cart on wheels that allows me to sit when I want, and fold up for easy storage (Qube Cart XL -Black- (Free)Shipping)
- To prevent over spending, set a budget ahead of time. Don’t spend your money for curriculum and supplies until the last day so as to give you a chance to see your options, and make the best choices.
- The Association will usually provide you with a schedule of workshops and vendor booth locations. Study that in advance, and check out the websites of the vendors ahead of the convention, so you can make a list of which vendors you want to visit. You won’ t be able to visit all of them. Highlighting them on the map, which is usually provided, will save you time later.
- Spend the first day quickly checking out the vendors of interest. You may decide to weed out some you thought you would like . On the second day, make sure to visit the booths that have curriculum and supplies that you think you want to purchase. But remember to wait until the last day to make your decisions.
- Decide in advance of the Convention which workshops are most important for you to attend, and set your schedule accordingly.
- Snacks at conventions can be rather expensive, so you might want to take a cooler filled with snacks so you can load up your back pack or cart with nourishment for the day.
- Sometimes friends will share a room to lessen expenses. Staying on the conventions site is convenient. However we often stay at a less expensive hotel near by to reduce the cost of the trip.
- Have fun!
If you have more suggestions for others, please leave your comments below, and link to your website, if you have one.
If you would like to find a location for a convention near you, see the following article : Home School Conventions For Parents, Tutors And Teachers.
How To Home School is another article that will likely interest you.