Preparing for the Homeschool Convention

Jason and I are heading off tomorrow for our state’s annual homeschool convention.  This will be our third year returning to the convention.  It has become a couple’s getaway for us as well as a refreshing time of learning and being encouraged about homeschooling.

My favorite part of the convention is the vendor hall.  It is so good to see all the different curriculum offerings in “real life” instead of just on a computer or a sample.  It can also be overwhelming.

Here are some things I have learned over the years we’ve gone to the convention:
1.  Don’t try to attend everything.  It is too much and too overwhelming.  Pick your favorite workshops and then plan for some down time.  Our convention offers Cds of most of the workshops and the keynote addresses in case you miss something you really wanted to hear.
2.  Go to the vendor hall with a plan.  I try to have mapped out EXACTLY what I want to cover in the coming year, so I don’t get sidetracked by all the neat stuff I see.
3.  Have a budget and stick to it.   I use my first day as a look but don’t buy day.  I write down in a notebook everything I see that I want and how much is costs.  Then, back at the hotel that night, I talk with Jason and bounce ideas off him about whether or not what I want fits with what we have planned and our budget.  Then, the second day, I actually purchase what we decide on.
4.  Use the convention to be encouraged but NOT to compare yourself and worry about all you don’t do.  There is no possible way you can do every homeschooling program and extra activity out there.  It is okay to see something, appreciate it as a good thing for homeschoolers, but NOT start doing it yourself.  Not everything works for every family.  That is the beauty of homeschooling.  We can pick and use what works for us.

I’m excited about our trip, and I’ll be sure to share what goodies I learned and bought when we return!

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