Why Should You Go To A Homeschool Convention?

"Tis the season of homeschool conventions. Are you going to a convention this year? I had been homeschooling for several years before I went to my first homeschool convention. I was pretty excited because I've always loved classes and workshops, and I loved conventions when I was a traditional school teacher. But I also wanted Jason to come with me. And he isn't very enthused about such things. We reached a compromise when we decided we could leave the kids at home with grandparents and spend the night in the convention city. A night away was appealing to Jason. And so we headed to our first convention. And we have found that going to the homeschool convention has been a great thing for both of us.

It helps us to know that we are not alone in this. Even though there were homeschoolers that I knew locally, every once in a while I would talk to someone who seemed to think I was absolutely crazy and was surely much in the minority. The homeschool convention put an end to that thought. We see people from all walks of life who are homeschooling their children. And there are so many of them. It is very encouraging!

It's also nice to see other homeschoolers who are farther along in their journey. When we went to that first convention, we had very young children. Two weren't even school aged yet. And even though we knew that we wanted to homeschool for a long time, it was hard to even think of high school, much less having all four children in "school" at a time. Meeting other homeschool families that were farther along the road was very encouraging. Now I'm the one homeschooling high schoolers. Now I'm all about meeting folks who can tell me about colleges and SATs and successful homeschool graduates.

It's great to have the opportunity to learn from so many different people with so many homeschooling philosophies. There are workshop teachers at the conventions that teach about Charlotte Mason, classical education, IEW, math instruction, homeschooling preschoolers. The choices are many. And it is great to get to hear so many and to learn from them. I've learned more about some things I already was aware of, and I've learned about some new things.

Having so much different curricula there is also pretty great. There aren't too many physical homeschool curricula stores where I live. And most of my purchasing is online. But as much as I read about a book or read reviews on a program, seeing it in person can't be beat. And when I walked into a homeschool vendor hall for the first time, I was pretty amazed. I'm still pretty amazed each year. The vendor hall is one of our favorite parts. (Yes, even Jason has come to enjoy the shopping!) We go in with a plan. I have my curriculum needs listed out and some prices from where I've looked online. On the first day of the convention we look and record prices in a notebook. Then we talk back in the hotel room that night. And the second day we go in and purchase.

And speaking of the hotel room, one of the greatest benefits we've gotten from the homeschool convention is the weekend away. Taking time to nurture our marriage has always been important to us. When Jason first made the decision to go to the homeschool convention with me, he showed me that he cared about the kids and the schooling decisions. Deciding to go without kids- even though that has always been hard for me- showed him that I valued our marriage and wanted to spend time alone with him. Both of us now really look forward to these weekends away. We enjoy the time we have to spend together. We balance our time between workshops and vendor hall and spending time back at the hotel.

So, how about it. Do you attend a homeschool convention? Are you going this year?

Homeschool Conventions

Why Should You Go To A Homeschool Convention? Why Should You Go To A Homeschool Convention? Reviewed by Leah Courtney on 10:13:00 PM Rating: 5

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