5 Surefire Ways to Conquer the Convention

It’s that time of year for homeschooling families – convention season.  The mere thought brings both delight and dread to conference goers.  They thrill at the idea of hearing motivational speakers, of seeing every curriculum imaginable under one roof, of getting amazing deals on top-quality, brand-new books and resources.  But they dread the decisions that they will have to make, the aching feet from walking the mile-long vendor hall, that feeling of being overwhelmed by too many good choices.

Do you want to get the most out of your homeschool convention?  Then read this short list of 5 ways to conquer the conference BEFORE getting in the car and starting on your adventure.

Step 1:

Check the schedule ahead of time.  Browse to the convention website and download the schedule ahead of time.  Plan ahead for which sessions you would like to attend based on topic titles and/or speakers of interest to you.  Be sure to schedule in specific times that you will visit the vendor hall.

Step 2:

Make a list.  Actually, make 3 lists.


1. You have most likely done some research already for next year’s homeschool needs and have some books and resources in your mind that you know you want (ie. the next level of math curriculum, a geography resource or a logic book).  Write these items down on a list and indicate which vendors may be carrying the item.  These are the items that you want to purchase on your first day in the vendor hall and get them marked off your list.

2. Have a second list with items that you need to research (ie. a new writing program or history curriculum).  On your second day in the vendor hall, walk the entire floor first. Read descriptions, ask questions, check prices.  Make some decisions, with your spouse if he’s with you, and proceed to purchase the items that you have determined would be a good fit for your family.

3. Your third list is your wish list.  If budget allows and the price is right, pick up the items that you have been wishing for, but haven’t yet been able to purchase for your home schooling needs (ie. math games, laminated wall maps, art supplies).

Step 3:

Pack accordingly.  Weather and region will determine your actual wardrobe, but remember to pack and WEAR comfortable shoes.  A homeschool conference is not a fashion show and uncomfortable shoes will just make you crankly and want to go home (or to the hotel) early.  Don’t foil your own plans by not dressing comfortably.  Also, if you are attending with your spouse or a friend, bring cell phones.  They really come in handy when you divide and conquer!

Step 4:

Bring a carry-all.  Purchasing your homeschool materials in the vendor hall makes sense as you will get good prices and can accomplish so much all over one weekend.  But don’t break your back or your arms by not bringing something to carry your purchases in.  A backpack, rolling suitcase or rolling crate-carrier are all good choices for hauling books and science kits, etc.

Step 5:

Enjoy yourself!  A homeschool conference is a great place to be encouraged by listening to wonderful motivational speakers who have walked before you on the homeschooling journey and can offer insights and inspiration for how to homeschool joyfully and successfully.  It is also a great place to be equipped with the best tools and resources to do a good job with your kids.  Finally, be sensible and spend only what you have budgeted, buying the best tools that you can afford but without breaking the bank or causing tension in your marriage by over-spending.

Enjoy your conference!

Photo of Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH courtesy of Darcy, blogger extraordinaire at www.my3boybarians.com.  Thank you!
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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2011 at 7:24 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “5 Surefire Ways to Conquer the Convention”

Of Interest… « LA NICHE March 29th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

[...] FIVE SUREFIRE WAYS to CONQUER the CONVVENTION from Terri’s Take blog [...]

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