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Preparing for a Homeschool Convention

  _2.IMG_20160423_111214Photo Credit:Lynne Bellaire Essentials in Writing 

 

Our local homeschool convention has already passed, but I know many of you are still waiting your turn, and have one coming up soon. I put this little plan together for an OINK homeschool mom's night out, and figured you all might appreciate it as well. 


Be Prepared.
Save Money.
Be Encouraged.

 

BE PREPARED:

Pre Register:

- Check for your online registration deadlines. 

Prices may vary for Family & Individuals
 
Don't want to hear anyone speak?  Some conventions like the Great Homeschool Conventions group allow you to shop for free on Thursday, or get
a shopping pass.


 
Parking
 
Be sure to check whether your homeschool convention has negotiated parking deals with the local garages. Different garages often offer different prices. Some could require a voucher. Plan ahead for OVERSIZED Vehicles:
6'10" clearence on most garages, 15 passenger vans should call to make
a reservation in some states. 

Name & Address Labels:
Signing up for giveaways, newsletters or mailing lists? Print some
address labels with your information, so you can easily stick and go.

Take Notes:
Bring an iPad if you like to type your notes. A notebook, or clipboard
and paper. Whatever your favorite method of taking notes, you'll want
to bring something you so can write down those encouraging tips, and
homeschooling secrets.

Speakers & Special Guests:
Make a copy of the convention speakers (from the website), and sit
down with your highlighter and highlight anything that sounds
interesting to you. Next, narrow down your choices based on time
slots. Put a star next to the speaker you really want to see.
If you're like me, you'll make a note "do not miss" if you really need
to hear what this speaker has to say. Keep in mind, if you can't get
to them all, there will be CDs to purchase from most of the speakers,
but this can add up quick!

_2.IMG_20160609_165841
Photo Credit: Lynne Bellaire of Essentials in Writing. 
 
SAVE MONEY!
 
What's your budget?
Have you sat down to really look at how much you spend on curriculum
every year? Sit down, make a list of your needs, wants and
just-want-to-look-at products. Keep impulse spending down, by knowing
your budget.

Make a list of things you really need.
Most of the time you can save on shipping if you purchase the
curriculum at the convention. Research the best price online (Amazon)
that you can pay for an item, and if you're a Prime Member, save your
back if the cost is the same, and just have it shipped to your house.

A Rolling Cart!
 
Don't be one of those people (ahem, like me) who ends up buying a
rolling cart every time at the convention. If you plan on buying
books, they get heavy very fast. (Skip the backpack, I did that my
first year, and think I'm still paying the price at the Chiropractor).
Other ideas are a suitcase on wheels!

Water & Snacks 

Some  conventions sell food, but it is crazy expensive. I always pack a
water bottle and some snacks in my purse. You can pack a lunch, and
leave it in your car. If the weather is nice, you can eat outside on
the stairs, or go back to your car and give your feet a rest!

ENCOURAGEMENT:
 
The convention can seem very overwhelming. Especially if this is your
first time attending. Take a deep breath and realize that we are all
there for the same reason, to better the lives of our children through
home education.

This may look very different from home to home, but don't be afraid to
step out of your comfort zone and talk with someone new.
You'll find a mix of speakers there, some who are just pushing
products, and some who really want to reach your children with their
style of curriculum. Don't be afraid to walk out of a session, and hit
plan B. Your time is just as valuable as theirs is, and if something
isn't jiving with you, then feel free to move on.
 

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