Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Does a Veteran Homeschooler Get From Attending a Convention

I only call myself a Veteran Homeschooler in the sense that I have been teaching my child for 8 years. I definitely do not have it all together and continue to learn through the years. Homeschool conventions have been a part of our families yearly trips for the entire 8 years. In the beginning it was overwhelming and my brain was on overload with all the wonderful vendor booths to chose from. Then after a year or two it was about touching and feeling all the products that I wanted to use for the next year in our homeschool. Now we come to the last two years and my focus has changed considerably. Being on the TOS Review Crew I get blessed every month with educational products that I can chose to continue with after the review period or put them on my shelf for a later date. This means that I don't really purchase a lot of "stuff" at the conventions. Now I do one of three things:

  1. Visit and talk with the vendors, especially if I have reviewed their products in the past. Letting them know how much I appreciated their product and so on. Visit and talk with fellow bloggers that happen to come to the same convention. It is always fun to meet your online buddies face to face.
  2. Get some encouragement and insight at seminars and talks. Meet some of the great people involved in the world of homeschooling.
  3. Research a particular product that you have had your eye on and get to talk with the author about any questions I might have concerning said product before purchasing.
Yesterday we drove up to Greenville for the afternoon to visit Great Homeschool Conventions. Last year was the first for us to go to this convention and we were impressed with the vendors and seminars. This year we were only their for a couple of hours - me in the vendor hall and hubby and daughter decided to do a quick visit to the Greenville Zoo. I had a couple of purposes for attending. This go around I didn't pay the extra money to hear some of the seminars so I just purchased them on CD for $6.00 each. Here are some of the great talks I purchased:

Heidi St. John - Better for Best: Keeping Christ as the Center of Your Homeschool
Carol Topp - No Job? No Problem: Micro Business for Teens
Heidi St. John - R.E.A.L. L.I.F.E. Homeschooling
Matthew Walsh - Matthew Walsh! Live!
Carol Topp - We;re Not Raising Children, We're Raising Grown Ups
Cyndi Kinney - Combining Homeschooling with Unschooling Successfully

Grace and Scott had fun at the Greenville Zoo

 Something that was very fun for me was meeting Mary from Homegrown Learners and Michelle from The Holistic Homeschooler. It is the little things in life but I read both of these blogs so it was way cool to meet them in person.

I also got to meet my "boss" Cyndi Kinney from Knowledge Box Central. I haven't written a lot about the fact that for the past six months I have started writing study guides for the lapbooks that Cyndi puts together. It was great to meet her in person after all the emails we have sent to one another. Their booth was crazy busy and lots of people buying lapbooks and journals from them. Just as exciting was seeing my product in print. I was like a proud momma and took a picture. The first series I wrote was all about inventors. I wrote the study guide part and then Cyndi does all the templates for the lapbooks as well as putting it all together.

It was an enjoyable afternoon and I only spent money on journal pages for our Apologia Biology book for next year and received all the flashcards for free with it. A normally $90.00 value for only $40.00. That was from Knowledge Box Central. I did look at three different history products for next year and at this point not really sure which one I will be going with (my next post will probably be about this). 

All in all I want to express that even moms that have homeschooled for years can get something out of attending a convention. I even plan on attending a state convention in the June with a friend to the vendor hall and big used book sale. Check out what conventions may be in your area and take a chance on visiting.

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1 comment:

Carol Topp CPA said...

I hope you like the recording of my workshops that you bought! If you need a handout for the presentations, you can find them here:

Carol Topp