Have you ever been to a homeschool convention? If not, I highly recommend it. Conferences and curriculum fairs can offer a great opportunity to browse dozens of different homeschool curricula. There’s nothing like actually being able to browse through a book and to talk to the vendor (who may even be the author) to help you decide if it is right for your family. I always enjoy browsing just to see what’s “out there” that I haven’t discovered yet.
Attending a conference can also be a great opportunity to learn about new teaching styles, get new ideas for ways to teach, and just to be supported in this sometimes difficult task of home educating. Some conferences have just a few speakers, while others will have hundreds of sessions to choose from!
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your homeschool conference experience:
- Look over a program ahead of time. Choose the speakers that most interest you and make a plan before you arrive. Be aware that you may be able to buy recordings of sessions that you miss to listen to later.
- Bring a notebook for taking notes during sessions.
- The vendor hall can be overwhelming. Plan to walk through and browse before you buy anything. Take notes or pictures with your phone of booths and products that you want to come back to or to research before buying. Make your purchases later in the day so you won’t have to carry them around as long.
- Start with some ideas of what you need for the next year. Maybe you are looking for a new history program or a vocabulary book. Don’t get distracted by all the things you don’t need right now.
- Bring a tote bag, backpack, or even a rolling cart to carry your purchases. Rolling carts can be awkward in crowded spaces, but if you plan to purchase a lot, they may be the way to go.
- Relax! Know that the experience will be busy and crowded. You won’t be able to hear all the speakers; you probably won’t be able to purchase everything you need for the year. But just getting that inspiration and rejuvenation for the next year and discovering a few jewels in the vendor hall to meet your homeschooling needs will make the experience worth it.
Read some more homeschooling tips by these other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew this week:
Melissa @ Grace Christian School
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through the Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Rebekah @ There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Renita @ Krazy Kuehner Days
Sarah @ Renaissance Mama
Sasha @ Such a Time as This
Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling
Tiffany @ The Crafty Home
Tina @ Desperate Homeschoolers