Homeschool Conventions–Who Needs Them?

The Used Curriculum Sale went off–not without a hitch, but pretty well! Kudos to our fearless volunteer coordinator, and to all the volunteers, many of whom worked extra hours outside of their scheduled time. I managed to see two whole workshops at the homeschool conference, plus parts of two more, which is better than last year when I spent the entire conference at the used sale. I also managed to get some shopping done (one sweep through to locate items, and another the next day to actually buy them) in the Vendor Hall. There are a few books on my list that I forgot to go back and get, sorry to say.

I do prefer buying books in person, from a vendor, where I can look through a book before buying. Yes, the Internet is convenient, and sometimes cheaper, but there’s something to be said for the book in the hand.

Going back to being able to attend a few workshops–last year I didn’t realize how much of a boost the conference is, towards keeping on with keeping on, until the Maxwells (titus2.com) came to town a few months ago. We spent an evening and a day listening to their presentations, and it was so refreshing, energizing, and challenging. It was on the ride home after that full Saturday, feeling replete and refreshed, that I realized how much I’d missed by not partaking of the workshops and keynotes at the homeschool conference months earlier.

All this to say, if you’ve never been to your local homeschool conference, you ought to seriously consider it this year. You don’t know what you’ve been missing. Encouragement, exhortation, new ideas, solutions to problems, camaraderie (oooo, sure glad for the spell checker on that last one).

If money’s a problem, check and see if your local conference providers have a work option. At our conference, people could work a shift and get in at a reduced rate, or even free.

You don’t have to go into the vendor hall if you’re short on money. Even if you’re not short on money, you don’t have to buy everything there. You can, however, if you’re in the proper frame of mind, browse what’s on offer. You can get new ideas for presenting information, for one thing.

I have to be prepared before I go into the vendor hall, or I spend too much money and end up with a closet-full of stuff we didn’t use, by the end of the year. I try to do a large part of my homeschool planning before the curriculum fair, at least in overview if not nitty gritty detail. That gives me a list of things to look for, to look at, and decide how well they’ll fit the plan. I also set a budget and do my best to stick to it. It means taking some things and leaving others, prioritizing and making choices, not one of my strong points, but I’m learning.

Probably by the time Youngest graduates, I’ll have it down to a fine art.

Thanks for listening to my rambles. It’s been an awfully busy five days (homeschool conference, followed immediately by the Answers in Genesis conference), and now I’m going to brew a pot of coffee, check on the troops (even the dog is sleeping in this morning), and get on with the day.

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