As a homeschooling mom, each year I try to attend at least one homeschool conference. I find it so encouraging for me as a mom, to get me refocused on how exciting it is to have the opportunity to teach my children at home. I just love getting to spend all of that time with them!
You all know how disorganized I can be. I keep telling you all about my procrastination and never ending organization projects! Well….I actually do get a little organized before I attend a homeschool convention (try not to drop your jaw, lol!). There’s just a few things that I’ve learned that I need to have with me, otherwise, my experience is a little less productive.
If you’re a homeschooler and planning to attend a convention, let me encourage you on the things you need to bring with you!
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7 Things I Always Bring to a Homeschool Convention
- Bottled Water – They often do have water available in the convention halls, but I like to keep a spare bottle or two in my bag so that I’m able to keep myself well hydrated. I find that I don’t make it over to the water dispensers as often as I should if I don’t just carry it with me.
- Pen & Paper – I definitely take notes. Lots and lots of notes. Sometimes it’s just to help solidify the ideas in my head, other times, it’s so that I can go back through and look up some of the things that the speakers talked about. Either way, I’d be sorry if I didn’t have a pen and paper!
- List of Curriculum I’m Looking For – This is a big deal and quite possibly the most important item on my list. There are so many curriculum vendors at homeschool conventions. I always have to look through all of my kids’ books before I leave for a convention and take notes on what I need to for sure purchase as well as what I want to look at while I’m there, to see if I want to purchase it.
- Money – Most of the convention halls do take debit & credit cards, but some do not. Don’t be taken by surprise. Be sure to bring some spending money for curriculum purchases, food, etc. You just don’t want to be without any paper money, just in case!
- a Friend – I love attending homeschool conventions with a friend! It lifts my soul to get all the visiting and comparing notes time that we have together.
- List of Speakers I want to Hear – Usually before the convention starts, the convention website will share with you which speakers will be speaking and what they’re speaking on. I like to take my list, read all of the descriptions of the speaking topics and rate them as which ones are the most important for me to hear. I do this based on the things that are concerning me about my family, my kids and our school year. Once I get there, I compare my list with friend’s list and we choose where we are going together and where we will split up. It’s nice to have a good idea before you get there, otherwise it can get overwhelming trying to figure it out on the fly. There’s so many great speakers available it can be hard to choose! Be sure to pray and ask God to show you which ones you need to hear the most.
- Snacks – If you’re anything like me, about 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. I hit a slump. I start getting the yawns and I’m ultra sleepy. This is a great time to break out your snacks to give you a little extra boost. I prefer to grab for some crunchy granola bars or other crunchy snacks. I find the crunch in my mouth does a little something to wake me up.
What about you? What are your must have items that you would have to take to a convention?
If you’ve not decided where to attend a homeschool convention, let me encourage you to give Great Homeschool Conventions a try! Not only do they have an incredible lineup of speakers, but they even have comedy! Yes, comedy!
They have 3 great locations to choose from: Greenville, SC (already happened); Cincinatti, OH (April 24-26); and Ontario, California (June 12-14). In February of 2015, they’re even coming to Fort Worth, TX! This year, in Ohio, they’re having a blogger meetup where you can actually meet your favorite homeschooling bloggers! There’s several on my list that I’d love the chance to meet in person!
If you’ve ever considered homeschooling, are a seasoned homeschooler OR just never attended a homeschooling convention, it’s time to make plans to attend and order the tickets now! I assure you, you won’t be sorry that you did!