I admit I was overwhelmed by my first homeschool convention. No one told me what to expect other than “there’s a lot of stuff” and “you can spend days going through it”. No “what to’s” or “how to’s”. I was on my own, kinda like the first day of Kindergarten – not knowing what to expect. So you won’t be overwhelmed, here are some tips to survive your first homeschool convention!
There is no dress code for the homeschool convention. I’ve seen moms dressed from heels to sneakers. I suggest wearing comfortable clothes and shoes because there will be walking, lots of walking. Wear what you are comfortable in, be it heels or sneakers. Just remember the walking.
There are food and drink vendors throughout the convention hall including coffee stands. But I suggest taking a few bottles of water and quick snacks. Most of the food vendors are located in one general area and you may be in a workshop on the other side of the convention hall when the need for refreshment or nourishment arises.
I was not prepared for my first homeschool convention. I didn’t have a notebook or pen. I didn’t have any knowledge of any curriculum other than AIG Preschool and Classical Conversations. I realized just how unprepared I was when I walked into the exhibit hall and glanced upon the sea of resources! Here are a few quick tips to help you prepare.
When you check in, you will be given a registration packet that includes a schedule for each day’s workshops, a list of vendors, and a map. Peruse it. Familiarize yourself with it. Highlight the workshops and vendors that interest you and/or write it down in the 2016 Homeschool Convention Companion Guide that I designed. Having a general plan is better than having no plan.
Bring pens/pencils, highlighters, paper and a 1 inch 3-ring binder. You will need these if you plan to attend any of the workshops. The binder will keep you organized and serve as a lap desk.
There are many, many, many workshops. There are workshops from how to teach, what to teach, and when to teach to how to parent preschoolers, tweens, teens, and special needs. How to manage your time, your children’s time to how to organize your home, your homeschool, and your menu. There are workshops for homeschool legal issues, political issues, and inspirational stories. All the workshops are very informative and you will learn tips that can be used at home.
Mobile? Yes mobile. Take a rolling cart, wagon, or wheeled back pack to carry notebooks, water, snacks, and all the information you’ll collect. Being mobile will free your hands to explore and it makes getting back to the car or hotel easier.
Be patient and enjoy yourself! This is the time to learn, be refreshed, and be inspired. Just in case I have not emphasized it, there is a lot to see and do. So take a deep breathe and go!
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