Monday, March 14, 2011

Homeschool Conventions

Homeschool Conventions
I love homeschool convention time!  I love checking out all the vendors, getting all the brochures, looking at products, flipping through books, talking to vendors, and listening to the speakers.  It is so great to have all the homeschool companies in one place at the same time. 

So how do you prepare to attend a homeschool convention?  Here is what I do:

1.  Check the speaker schedule.  Several weeks before the convention I get the speaker schedule and decide who I want to hear.  Once I have narrowed that down, I know how much time I will have to walk around the vendor hall and when I have to leave to listen to the speaker.  Sometimes this is hard to decide because there may be many great speakers and sometimes their times overlap.  I think most conventions offer recordings of the speakers that you can purchase afterwards in case you miss out.

2.  Make a list of vendors.  Before you get there, scroll through the list of vendors and highlight those you really want to check out.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming once you get there and you may miss that booth you really wanted to see. 

3.  Scope it out first.  The convention closest to me is not tremendously big, so what I usually do is walk up and down the isles first to just check everything out.  I don't stop at any booths the first time around.  I'm just taking everything in. 

4.  Take your time.  When I've gone through once, then I start on one end and take my time.  Keep your eyes open, listen to questions other parents are asking, ask questions yourself, grab brochures and business cards, and check out samples. 

5.  Make notes.  If there is vendor that you liked, make a note of it so you can come back to review it again.  If you are in a large convention hall, also write down what isle you are in so you can find it later.

6.  Bring snacks.  If you have your children with you this is a must.  Even if you don't, sometimes the food options are not the best and there can be long lines, which just wastes precious time.  Pack snacks, and even your own lunch, to save time and money.

7.  Get there early.  If you can, get there as soon as they open to get the most for your money. 

8.  Set a budget.  This may be the most important thing.  In all honesty, I rarely purchase from the conventions.  I just love to go to flip through materials and check out curriculum I've never seen.  It's easy to go overboard though.  Set a budget before you get there so there is no temptation to buy more than you need!

9.  Have fun!  Leave the kids at home if you can and go with friends.  Make a day trip or weekend out of it.  Enjoy your time!

 

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3 comments:

The Adventurer

I have never been to a homeschooling convention but can't wait to go to one. When I return to the states I will go to one, I will probably leave my money at home so I don't make any impulse buys:)

*LLL with Leslie*

Hi!
I am stopping by from Snack Bar Reviews, Monster Mayhem Monday hop. I am your newest follower. I would love it if you would visit my blog & follow me back:) Have a great day!

www.livelovelaughwithleslie.com

Stacy

I am putting serious consideration into homeschooling, could you lead me to the best resource to find local conferences in my area?
smtilton @comcast.net
http://stacytilton.blogspot.com

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