A Few Things I’ve Learned from Homeschool Conventions
Summer’s rolling in and the time to register for homeschool conventions is upon us. If you’re new to homeschooling you might be wondering, “What the heck is a homeschool convention?” You’ve got a valid point, and one that you really can’t comprehend until you attend your first convention.
Conventions are great place to connect with other homeschoolers, get a fresh perspective on homeschooling, and to find the latest and greatest homeschool materials and resources. It’s pretty much a one stop shop for all things homeschooling.
Well, that’s the why… but what about the how? How can you maximize your experience? We’ve found several ways to plan ahead and maximize the time and effort we spend at conventions, here are a few tips:
- Family. Decide which family members will be coming. Some families enjoy bringing their entire family, little ones included, while others prefer only their teens, or just the parents. Knowing how many family members are coming will also help determine the funds you’ll need for your spending budget on food, snacks, and drinks while there.
- Hotel reservations. As soon as you know the dates of the convention you will be attending, your next step should be to make the hotel reservations as soon as possible. The closer to the date, the more expensive the room(s) will be.
- Make a list. Peruse your current curriculum & supplies, notating exactly what you will need for next year, what you would like to get, and ideas for anything you’d like to look for. Having this list ahead of time will save you extra headache in the overwhelming curriculum hall!
- Plan your budget. If you have a tight budget for extra expenses, make sure to keep that in mind. Saving ahead of time will help a lot! Once you know the amount you can spend, write it down and stick to it. Knowing a figure ahead of time will help with stress at the convention.
- Take a look at the schedule. One of our favorite things to do was browse through the schedule and circle the topics that look most interesting/relevant to us. This always gave us a better idea of what our days looked like.
- Consider parking. Look into the parking situation. Where will you be parking? Will it cost anything? If so, what is the fee? How far is the walking distance to the convention center?
- Be aware of the curriculum hall. If you are new to homeschool conventions, odds are, the curriculum/exhibitor’s hall is going to be fairly overwhelming and intimidating at first. It can be helpful to look through the map to pick out which exhibitors you’d like to visit first, and then browse the rest. Also, keep in mind that exhibitors are there to be helpful and they love homeschoolers! Don’t be afraid to stop and chat without making a purchase.
We’ve got several more great time and money saving convention ideas you’ll find here on our website Let’sHomeschoolHighschool.com.