Making the Most Out of Homeschool Conventions



Affiliate links may have been used in this post. To read our full disclaimer, click here.

FREE offers are often time-sensitive. Although they are FREE at the time of posting, please be sure to verify the offer is still free before claiming or purchasing it. (We are not responsible for price changes.) Thank you!

If you want to optimize your homeschool convention experience, don’t wait until you get there – start prepping before you arrive. Many homeschoolers just like you have been stunned by the enormity of these conventions when first confronted by the crowds, speaking sessions, curriculum options, and special events that the organizers put together.

But if you prepare yourself, you’ll understand that these conventions are really an event where other homeschoolers like you can share, experience, and appreciate all the amazing components that make homeschooling special. So don’t wait until the last minute, prep a few weeks before to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Homeschool Conventions

Travel Plans

Nothing will ruin a good convention faster than travel plans that go awry. Start by figuring out where you’re staying. Many conferences are close to hotels or even held in hotels, and often include discounted rates for attendees. If you’ll be staying a distance from the convention location to help save on costs, be sure to factor travel to and from the convention site and parking.

Many parents treat a convention like a family trip. With that in mind, are you bringing your children? Conventions provide really fun events for kids, and the interaction with other homeschooled children gives them a special feeling. Some families make plans to attend with friends who also homeschool, this way they can split a room and save some money.

Preparation is Key

If you wait until you get to the convention to pick out what exhibitors you’ll visit and sessions you’ll attend, you’re likely to be overwhelmed. That’s no fun. Instead, check out the organizer’s website a few weeks in advance. Here, you’ll find helpful information that will allow you to carefully plan your days. And don’t forget a map of the exhibitor hall and a schedule of events. The map will help you navigate through the crowds, point out where the restrooms are (really important!), and where the workshops/sessions are being held.

List the exhibitors you’re interested in visiting and make a note of their booth number. Meandering around without a plan only wastes valuable time. Also, bring a small suitcase with wheels or rolling cart. This will make collecting all those freebies more efficient and save you from an aching back.

Choose the sessions that interest you the most. If you have a scheduling conflict, you can always purchase a CD or download the session that you don’t attend. Once you arrive at the session, sit close to the front and take notes. Some parents take notes on a tablet, others use their smartphone. You may prefer a good old-fashioned pen and notebook — they always work and don’t need recharging!

Curriculum Options

Curriculum options are abundant. Many new homeschoolers will tell you that choosing the right curriculum, or combination, is what worries them most about homeschooling. Conferences are great because you can peruse the many choices available and become better acquainted with the ones you’re interested in. And don’t forget to ask the representatives as many questions as you desire – you can even write down some questions before you arrive. These reps are extremely helpful and many offer hands-on samples of their products.

The conference website will tell you which curriculum providers are attending and where they’re located. Once you’ve established who will be attending, look up their websites and examine their products. Also, contact the vendors and inquire about conference specials.

Budget

Not many people enjoy creating a budget. But in reality, it doesn’t take much time — and you’ll thank yourself when the credit card bill arrives the next month! After all, when you’re concentrating so hard on the sessions, curriculum options, and vendors, you could end up spending much more than you expected.

Here are a few tips for making a budget. First, jot down your necessary expenses and make certain you have the money to cover those items. If you have leftover money, call that your “fun” money and divide that up into categories such as gifts and souvenirs.

Aside from the previously mentioned money-saving tips on travel and curriculum, consider bringing your own cooler with water, lunches and snacks. The cost of food can add up quickly!

If you use your time wisely at the convention, you’ll not only find new products, but you’ll experience a magical event. Just think, you’ll be surrounded by other homeschoolers who, like you, want the best for their children. Make the most of it. Talk with as many parents as possible, ask questions, listen and learn. But remember, doing your homework beforehand will save you tons of time and frustration later.

Written by The Time4Learning Team

The Time4Learning Team

Time4Learning.com is an award-winning, comprehensive curriculum for PreK-12th that makes learning effective and engaging through animated lessons and activities. The online program teaches and grades lessons, tracks and records progress, and keeps reports to help simplify homeschool portfolios.

For over a decade, Time4Learning has helped more than 500,000 homeschooling families with its flexible and engaging curriculum, homeschool resources, and more. Our team of homeschool moms, homeschool dads, and support staff have come together to create helpful homeschool insights on subjects such as family, education, fun, and more!

Opt In Image
Join our growing list of over 100,000 homeschoolers who LOVE free stuff!

Sign up to receive emails that include deals, sales, and free offers for homeschoolers.

We value your privacy and promise never to send you spam. You can unsubscribe at anytime. 

View our Privacy Policy for more information on how we process your data.

NOTE: If you are already a subscriber, you can find subscriber perks and downloads links in our Monday & Wednesday newsletters.

Similar Posts You Might Like:


Need An Affordable Approach to Learning?
Save time, money and stress with our award-winning online homeschool curriculum!

DIY Fabric Cord-Keeper Tutorial

Everything comes with a cord nowadays! Even wireless technology like my laptop computer has a cord that I have to keep track of. Using the tutorial, you can make several in different colors - a certain fabric perhaps for small kitchen appliances and another for office gadgets. You're going to love…

FREE Printable Password Organizer

I know that there are online password-keepers, but can we really trust them? I prefer to do some things the old fashioned way, and when it comes to keeping my online passwords safe, pen and paper are definitely best. The problem is that if I jot them down on a…

Beard Oil and Mustache Wax Recipes with FREE Printable Labels

Father's Day is coming. Does dear, ol' hub sport a beard? Satisfy your DIY craving by making him this Beard Oil Recipe! He'll love it, and you and the kids will love it too! Alternately, there's also a recipe for Mustache Wax. It also comes with a free printable label.Click here to…

Homeschool Schedule Printable

Here is a set of Printable Homeschool Schedule pages that are perfect for homeschooling moms! Click here to download your free schedule!

Simple Strategies to Get Rid of Clutter for Good

Use these super simple strategies to get rid of clutter for good from Chaos2Peace. If we are honest, we do this. We let things pile up and accumulate, until we can safely label and describe our areas as "cluttered". Even when I clean more often than not, I eventually find…

FREE Printable Save For Disney Labels

I don't usually think much about vacation plans until the summer hits. It's not that I want to go on vacation now, because I hate crowds and only tolerate the heat when I'm near the beach or pool. All the same, I'm thinking of vacation because when the fall rolls around,…

FREE Printable Easter Banner

He is Risen! Decorate your home and celebrate this miraculous event with this FREE printable banner from Imperfect Homemaker.GET IT HERE

FREE Printable Homeschool Mom’s Prayer Guide

Every day I think to myself, "It's only going to be the grace of God that gets us through this day." And it is. He is faithful to provide all that I need to lead my children - patience, love, kindness, wisdom. He has an endless supply of all things,…

7 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaning Products That Will Save You Money

It's no fun to spend money on things like cleaners. The good news is that you can make your own non-toxic cleaners for a lot less money! I don't always make my own household cleaners, but when I do, it makes me very happy! You will feel oddly pleased with…

How to Save Money Printing at Home

Check out these tips on how to save money printing at home.We all know how homeschoolers can go through a ton of worksheets and lesson plans. I know I am looking for ways to cut down your printing costs to help out our budget. It is a huge deal to us…

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL NEW POSTS

Notebooking Pages Free Resources