Help! I’m Attending a Homeschool Conference.

Homeschool Convention Help

The first conference I attended was a mix of excitement and trepidation. Upon leaving I was physically and mentally exhausted, and had spent over $900.00 on books and games. Games? Yes, games.

Were games on my list, you ask?

What list?

Times have changed and our disposable income has dwindled. Even the most well-heeled among us thinks twice before shelling out money aimlessly.

First let me say that there are many great reasons for attending a conference the two that come to mind are the products you can see and touch as well as the seminars you can attend or purchase later. But the main reason I see for going to a homeschool convention is for the encouragement, whether you are a newbie or you are nearing the end with the goal of graduation in sight.

I love homeschool conferences! I learn so much. I’m educated and I can make a decision about whether or not to buy, if I’ve done my homework (the topic of another blog coming soon.)

But, today’s I really want to provide you with some advice for navigating a convention hall with ease, joy and even feeling refreshed afterwards. Okay, the last may be far fetched but we can dream can’t we?

Here are my quick tips that I didn’t include in the radio broadcast I did on this topic with Meredith Curtis – Homeschool Convention Help -> Listen Here – these tips didn’t make the cut, but nevertheless are worthy of comment.

Quick Tips

1. Leave the Kids at Home.

2. Stay hydrated.

3. Wear comfy clothing.

4. Take Cash

5. Check the return policy.

First – Leave the Kids at Home.

I know you have kids. We homeschool, we ALL have kids. This is not the time to bring your kids to a convention if you can help it. I love my kids but when they were little – eight and younger, they stayed home. I couldn’t think with my little people saying, “Mommy I’m hungry, I have to use the bathroom, I need a snack, I’m thirsty, can we go swimming now?”

IF you can’t avoid bringing the children have a goody-bag just for the times you need it the most. Some puzzle, small toys (that don’t make noise – good luck with that one), and snacks. Also shop when the kids are rested, we all know nap times are a disaster waiting to happen.

Second – Stay hydrated.

I won’t go into the science behind this but did you know mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood and make thinking difficult? In addition it can sap you of your energy. I keep my “big girl sippy cup” with me at all times. It is a tervis tumbler with a straw. I found I drink more with a straw than without even if my kids think it is silly looking.

Third – Wear comfy clothing.

Something loose, with pockets and comfortable is a must. I bring a jacket or sweather. And let’s talk shoes — I promise you those cute heels will be a killer at the end of the convention, even those awesome boots. If they are not comfortable but you love them, bring them to change into when you go out to dinner. I’m not a tennis shoe person but recently I purchased a pair that I call my “easy walkers” they can even be slipped on. I love flip-flops (I live in Florida) but it is freezing in a convention hall even in the summer. I wear sandals when I stand behind a booth after I speak at a convention (when I am there as a vendor), the heels come on when I’m about to go up to the podium. I get nods of approvals from the moms in the audience. They get it!

Fourth — Take Cash

One mom I knew would take a certain amount of cash to spend and for everything else she took a flyer or website details to purchase later. That is one of the reasons most people attending a conference don’t purchase until the last day. I use to carry a limited supply of science materials and microscopes – those would sell out the first day because people knew I had a limited supply. So if there is something you really want be sure the vendor has more on hand. We further discuss budgets on our show here.

And Last — Check the Return Policy

I’ve had people (rarely) return books they’ve purchased online but never had anyone return anything from a convention. My return policy is specific – if it is new I’ll take it back but you must get permission first. I won’t take back unsellable products. So, check and be sure the person you are buying from will allow returns if the books just won’t work for you. This alleviates the stress of buying.

Why do people get stressed and overwhelmed at a convention? That is the topic of the next post.

Share your thoughts with me.

Comments

  1. Leaving the kids at home is so crucial! I brought my baby with me (hubby couldn’t get off work) and it was so exhausting…but in the end, I did have a good time. Last session on the second day hubby came through & I meandered back over with my teen 😉

    Rachael @ http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com

    • mediaangels says

      You learned like I did the hard way! I love having my kids with me all the time, but some times I just need to think! This is one of them. Thanks for stopping by Rachael.

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