Tis the season for homeschool convention registrations. There are lots of options: which homeschool convention, which sessions, which curriculum? It can be overwhelming, but let’s take a minute to calm those nerves. I’d like to share some tips for attending a homeschool convention with you today.
If you are wondering if you even need to attend one, check out the post I wrote called Should I Budget for a Homeschool Convention? I’ll give you a hint, I say yes.
Tips for Attending a Homeschool Convention
After my first homeschool convention, I wrote a post on how to prepare for a homeschool convention that highlighted three (albeit obvious) tips that I missed in my preparations. Don’t miss that.
Consider attending your state organization’s convention. First things first, I want you to seriously consider supporting your state organization’s homeschool convention, if they still have one. This is one of the most important things you can do to help protect your right to homeschool in your state.
Register early. The earlier you register for convention, the better the price will be. For example, right now you can register for the 2016 Teach Them Diligently conferences for only $45. The price at the door is $80. This is a huge savings when you consider how many workbooks, extra-curricular activities, or notebooks you can buy for that.
Think about logistics early. Is the convention close enough that you can drive in each day? Will you be able to attend every day that the conference is open? If you have to travel a decent distance, do you have family or friends in the area you can stay with?
You want to think about these things early so you can plan your budget and save the money you need. You want to have enough money for both your travel expenses and any curriculum purchases you might want to make, too.
Take snacks and water. Check the venue where you are attending to see about rules about what you can and can not carry in with you. You will likely want to have a snack and some water between sessions and curriculum hall browsing. If you take your kids, they will definitely want them.
Make a list and check it lots of times. Some lists to consider:
- curriculum you want to check out for future years
- curriculum, books, and other supplies that you would like to add to your homeschool
- speakers you would like to hear
Seriously consider not taking the kids. I have done both, taken my children and left them behind. They both have their pros and cons. If this is your first convention, you might appreciate not having to navigate new territory while wrangling excited kids.
Mine love going to homeschool conventions and we usually attend as a family now, but the first time if would have been nice to have not had the distraction. Particularly since I made so many mistakes.
Take a helper. If you are bringing your kids, consider taking along another adult like a grandparent or an older teen to help you. They can help by taking the kids to the restroom or outside to run off some extra energy.
Bring something to carry your purchases. Carrying lots of plastic bags cuts off your circulation fairly quickly when the bags are full of books. Consider your larger stroller, a wheeled bag or crate, or even a backpack. Your hands will thank you.
I know some of these may seem obvious, but I find that when I get excited about something (like a homeschool convention!) that all bets are off when it comes to my memory. Planning ahead helps keep that in check. So I hope you find these tips for attending a homeschool convention to be helpful.
Let me know in the comments if you are attending a homeschool convention this year.