3 Reasons You Should Attend a Homeschool Convention...Even If You're Not a Homeschooling Newbie

I’m not new to this homeschooling gig. It’s hard for me to believe, but I’ve been homeschooling for more than 18 years and now have two graduates. But I still feel like I can benefit from attending a homeschool convention.

There are many experiences I’ve had along the way. I’ve learned about choosing curricula and teaching kids who learn differently. Through trial and error I’ve learned to balance homeschooling and taking care of my home and family (although I’m not always good at this). I’ve learned about different homeschooling methods and how to choose the methods that work for our family. But even with years of homeschooling under my belt, I love going to homeschool conventions.

We had actually been homeschooling for a number of year before I ever attended a homeschool convention. But when I did, it was a great experience. Since then, I- along with my husband- attended a convention almost every year until 2020. And in the years we haven’t been able to go, I’ve really missed it.

Homeschool conventions

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So what’s the big deal? Why does a veteran homeschooler want to attend a homeschool convention? There are many things I’ve loved about the conventions I’ve attended. But here are three main reasons I’ll go as often as I can.

When I attend a homeschool convention I get new insights and learn new things.

Just because I’ve been doing this homeschool thing for a long time now doesn’t mean that I know everything. There have been so many times that I’ve gone to a workshop at a convention or listened to a keynote speaker, and I’ve learned something new or learned a new approach to something I had been doing all along.

When I go into a session with an open mind and an open heart, I can really learn so much. I’ve learned about new-to-me curriculum, new ideas to try for homeschooling or parenting, and new ideas about teaching specific subjects. I’ve also learned about things I totally didn’t know I was going to learn like teaching our kids about good nutrition or teaching them about entrepreneurship and running a business.

After all these years homeschooling, I might be an expert in certain areas. But I’m certainly not an expert in all things. I’m always learning something new or learning a fresh approach to doing something.

At a homeschool convention, I get to see new homeschool curricula up close, in person.

I buy almost everything online. It’s true. From food to vitamins to health and beauty needs to books- I buy it online. It’s very convenient. But when I’m buying new curriculum online, I can’t see fully what I’m getting. Even if publishers do an excellent job providing samples and reviews, it’s not the same as physically holding a curriculum in my hands and looking through it or seeing it in a virtual exhibit hall with lots of great details explained and reviews given.

The vendor hall at homeschool conventions can be an awesome resource. Even if you go and plan not to buy anything but just to scout out curriculum, it’s a great way to get to see the curricula you’ve been thinking of buying up close and in person. And, as a bonus, you can usually talk to some experienced, qualified people who are selling the curriculum to find out even more.

There have been quite a few times when I thought I loved a curriculum I had found online, only to go see it in person and realize it wouldn’t be a good fit for us. Being able to shop a wide variety of curricula is a definite benefit of homeschool conventions.

I leave the convention encouraged and inspired by other homeschooling families.

Even though the number of families who are choosing homeschooling is constantly growing,  it’s a fact that homeschooling is still counter-cultural. It’s an awesome thing to go to a homeschool convention and see hundreds of people who have made the same schooling choice we have.

Not every homeschooling family at a convention is the same. We’re not all homeschooling for the same reasons. We don’t all use the same methods. We don’t even all have the same worldview. But because we’ve chose to homeschool our children- something that is different than the majority of people choose- we have something in common. And it is encouraging to find that.

Homeschool conventions usually happen in the spring and summer. It’s the perfect time to go and find some support. If you’re discouraged because you had a rough year homeschooling or your children aren’t responding to homeschooling the way you hoped, you can attend a convention and find speakers and vendors and other families that have the same struggles…and the same joys. I always come away from a homeschool convention encouraged and inspired.

Homeschool convention

If you have an opportunity this summer, go to a homeschool convention. There are regional conventions, state conventions, Christian homeschool conventions. secular homeschool conventions. But one of the best ways to attend a homeschool convention is online!

Going to an online convention means you don’t even have to leave your house! You can check out the online Teach Them Diligently Conference for 2021. I’m a speaker with two workshops. And there are over 30 more great homeschool speakers and over 50 workshops as well. Your ticket is much less than a physical convention ticket. And you don’t have to pay for a hotel or look for someone to keep the kids!

Have you been to a homeschool convention?

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