Preparing for your First Homeschool Convention doesn’t have to be hard or scary. Though, it felt that way at first to me. But, I am so glad we attended anyway!
I partnered with OCEANetwork to bring you all a close-up look at their annual Homeschool Convention! I will be attending the convention both days this summer and will be tweeting about the speakers and vendors, posting Facebook updates, and Instagram photos for everyone who is not able to make it to the convention themselves. I am so excited for this opportunity!
This is my first time attending a homeschool convention, so I have been researching (Pinterest, lol), chatting online with seasoned convention-goers, and planning our mini trip. Here are a few things I’ve learned!
How To Prepare For Your First Homeschool Convention
- Have it double as a getaway, if possible. My husband & I are going together and using it as a opportunity to get a break from the kids. We are also hoping to stay overnight in a hotel to make it more enjoyable and relaxing. Since I am partnering with the convention as a blogger, I will need to spend time in the evening working on writing down my experience, preparing my blog post, and sharing on social media. Staying in the hotel (away from the kids) will grant me an evening free to get my work done. But, even if we don’t end up staying in a hotel, getting to spend two days in a row with my husband without kids will be awesome!
- Set a budget. Unless you go in with a plan, you might end up feeling overwhelmed by all of the great homeschool curriculum options! You must explore the convention website and vendor list, make a plan of which vendors are most important to you to visit first, write a list of the curriculum you need and want, and then set a budget of what you can spend. If possible, bring cash in the amount you have budgeted.
- Decide On Sessions. There are so many speakers at this year’s convention, you will need to decide beforehand exactly who you want to see most. I have created a list of which speakers I would love to see and have the times they are speaking written down. I am not sure we will manage to listen to everyone on my list, but at least I have an idea of which sessions are important to me to try to get into. There are several marriage sessions that I am super excited about! A weekend getaway alone with my husband and getting to listen to several mature, godly couples discuss the importance of biblical marriage sounds wonderful to me!
- Research Parking/lodging before you go. I have realized that it will cost $10 per day for on-site parking and most hotels charge a parking fee, as well. Check into this and be prepared to pay for parking! Check out hotels and decide whether you want to be within walking distance to the convention or if a short commute is acceptable each day.
Since this is my first time to a homeschool convention, I thought it’d make sense to share some of the articles I have found helpful on the web.
8 Things To Pack For A Homeschool Convention from Marcy at Ben and Me Blog.
Your Guide To Homeschool Conventions from Heather at Upside Down Homeschooling.
How To Be A Homeschool Convention Blogger offers a look into what it means to go to the convention as a blogger partnering with the convention, for those of you who are interested.