Homeschool convention season is upon us! Homeschool convention time is a great time to refresh and take a break from your normal routine. It’s a great way to get inspiration from fellow homeschoolers to finish the year strong or make next year the best ever. Here are some homeschool convention tips and tricks that you might find useful…Here are some homeschool convention tips and tricks that you might find useful... Click To Tweet
Who Do You Want to Take With You?
- If your husband is interested in homeschool conventions, it may be nice for the two of you to have a little getaway. You can drop the kids with their grandparents or check out one of the themed children’s programs offered at the convention site. If you do choose the children’s program route, make sure you ask about the security measures and check with anyone you know who may have used the programs before. Unfortunately all programs are not created equal.
- Convention time can be a great mom-getaway with friends. Many conventions even make moms-night-out part of the festivities. You can also split the room and gas with them to make it more economical.
- You can always use this as an excuse to have some alone time, too. There is lots of information to process, so you definitely won’t be bored!
Research Before You Go:
- Hotels and Parking–There is a lot to be said for the convenience of staying in the same hotel as the convention. I am never one to scoff at trying to save a little money, but definitely take into consideration how much time and money it will cost you to park if you have to drive to the convention each day. Even if the convention is at a fancy hotel, if you are splitting a room with other moms, it might be a better deal.
- Convention Speakers and Topics–Most conventions give you a list of the classes you can choose from a few weeks before the convention. It is a good idea to decide which ones may be of interest to you. You can even check out the speaker’s blogs and other social media to decide who you don’t want to miss. There might be some last minute changes to the schedule, but at least you will have your choices narrowed down.
What to Wear:
- Layers are important. You never know if the rooms are going to be hot or cold.
- Comfy shoes are another must. You will most likely be doing LOTS of walking.
- Dressy or relaxed? It’s up to you! As with most other places, you will see a little bit of everything. Think about your personal plans and goals, and plan accordingly.
Things to Bring:
- There are lots of great giveaways at homeschool conventions, but filling out those cards can take a lot of time. Make sticky labels with your information to put on cards for drawings. Include all your basic contact info, especially your phone number and email, the most requested pieces of information.
- Snacks–This is a matter of personal preference, but if you want to save money and not wait in line, you might want to bring a few things. On the other hand, they do take up room, so you have to weigh your options. Most hotels and convention centers will provide cups and water for you during the class sessions.
- Phone Charger–If you use your phone a lot, you might want to pack your charger. You can sit by an outlet during a class session, or find a spot in the hallway during some down time.
- It’s a good idea to bring a notebook and pens to write notes from your sessions. I also like to bring a highlighter so I can highlight what I want to remember most. I also like to highlight the places I want to visit most in the vendor hall.
What to Do the Day of Convention:
- Arrive early if you can. There may be lines at check in. You will also want to look at the map and figure out (perhaps even highlight) where you are going. Since you will be moving around quite a bit, think ahead a few classes. If you are planning on seeing any popular speakers, make sure you get to their sessions early if you want a seat.
- Make plans with your travel partners. Find a good location and time to meet back up. It may be hard to find each other in the crowd. You can’t always depend on phone signals or being able to hear your phone ring.
- There is some built in lag time between sessions. Use this to review and highlight your notes. You can also throw away flyers that do not interest or pertain to you. You will have a lot of stuff, so it’s good to pair it down when you can. You can also break out your phone so you can go ahead and follow your favorite speakers or companies on social media.
Putting What You Learn into Action:
- Make a To Do list of things you want to implement from the convention. You might want to make a short term list for the rest of this school year, and a long-term list for the next school year.
- Make a wish list of items you might like to purchase in the future. We can’t buy it all at once! Keeping a list will enable you to have all the information in one place when you do find yourself with a little extra cash.
- Talk with friends and share information that may help them too. Sharing is caring!
- Pick the top 3 things that you really want to take away from the convention. Make a plan to put them into action. Set goals to make it happen. Write it in your planner.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:23-25 ESV
Have you ever been to a homeschool convention? What are your favorite tips or tricks?