A couple of weeks ago I attended our local homeschool conference. It was my 3rd year of attending, so I kind of knew what I was in for. As I prepared for it I realized that there may be some of you who had never been. I wanted to share some things I have learned on what you should make sure to bring when you attend your homeschool conference.
Comfortable shoes. Wherever our conference is held we seem to do a lot of walking, not to mention the squatting and other maneuvers we do to get close to the curriculum. Those high heeled boots sure are cute but are they worth having sore feet the rest of the weekend?
Water bottle. After all that walking you are sure to be thirsty. Instead of buying the $4 small soda or $2 water bottle, bring your own and fill it up at the water fountain. This also helps you save some money when thinking of a beverage for meals.
Cash. At our homeschool conference we have a huge used book section and most of the homeschoolers that have tables there prefer cash. This is a great thing to remember if your trying to save a few dollars.
Book List. The last couple of years I have made up a book list. It is helpful because then I know what books I need and what a good price is. If you want to see more details of how I put this together check out my post at The Homeschool Classroom : Preparing to Buy Next Year’s Curriculum.
Backpack. You are definitely going to need something to carry all your pretty new books and curriculum in, so make sure to bring a sturdy backpack along.
Husband. My husband is my best friend and I love hanging out with him. He also knows our children very well and it is helpful to have him there to bounce ideas off of and help make some big decisions I might come acrosss. He will on occasion attend sessions for me when there is more than one person I want to hear. Plus he’s nice to have around when my backpack starts getting heavy.
Notebook and pen. At a convention you have an opportunity to hear a bunch of great speakers. In fact you may feel like you are trying to get a drink from a fire hydrant. I have found it helpful to take lots of notes. Then when I have more time I can read through my notes and actually process all this valuable information.
Cell phone. My husband and I will sometimes go to separate sessions, so if we are having trouble finding each other in between, it’s very helpful to be able to call one another. It is also nice in case you are trying to meet up with and old friend or if maybe you need to find some curriculum for a friend who is unable to attend. Then they are just a call or text away. Just remember to put it on vibrate during the sessions.
Questions. You are surrounded by homeschoolers. If you have any questions this is a great place to get them answered. Our conference has a booth where veteran homeschoolers are available to answer questions. If yours doesn’t have this option, the vendors are usually homeschooling families full of knowledge or ask the person you’re sitting next to, while you’re waiting for a session to start.
Session schedule. Usually conferences are full of good speakers and it may be hard to choose who to listen to. It is a good idea to have it narrowed down before you go, so you know where you need to be at what time. You can always pick a different session as you go, but having a basic list to choose from makes it less overwhelming. You can usually purchase a CD of any sessions you may have missed, if you really wanted to hear one but were unable to attend.
I hope this list is helpful to you as you prepare to go your homeschool conference this year.
What else do you bring to a homeschool conference?