Home School Conferences are an amazing time to reaffirm your commitment to homeschooling.
Let’s face it some years, months or days can be difficult to get through. Challenges can sometimes leave us feeling tired and weary. We all need a plan of different actionable tasks to keep us on course, energized and prepared as we ride the ebb and flow of our homeschooling lives.
One part of my action plan is to attend the local Home School Conference.
It is a time for me to get out, to reconnect and feed my homeschooling vision. Conference has always left me with a renewed energy and excitement.
Home School Conference Provides You With:
- A chance to connect and re-connect with other home school families.
- A chance to meet with your local home school board and their office staff.
- A chance to look through and get your hands on some amazing curriculum.
- A chance to take in some great seminars and keynote speakers.
- A chance to look at and learn about some great games.
- A chance to network and reach out to some newbie homeschoolers.
I try to go to conference every year, but admit there have been times where I have taken a year off.
Although I may feel like I don’t need to go every year, as I may not be needing any curriculum etc., I do notice a difference in my energy level whenever I have skipped attending a conference.
There is something to be said about connecting with those you may only have a chance to talk with via chat rooms or social media. The smiling faces and the hugs, the shared cups of coffee as you encourage one another sharing your joys and maybe even troubles.
Keynote speakers are there to encourage you and cheer you on. They share their own personal journey, all the ups and downs, the happy and sometimes sad times; the great speakers are those who share from their heart. There is no mistaking their genuine feelings of wanting to help and encourage you, it is contagious and you cannot help but grow from that experience!
As great and awesome as conference can be, it can also leave you exhausted and somewhat bewildered. Here are some tips to survival I have learned along the way.
14 Tips to Survive Home School Conference:
- Wear comfortable shoes, even take an extra pair to change into half way through the day.
- Take a back pack, or even a rolling suitcase to carry all your books/games/curriculum you purchase.
- Don’t forget to hydrate! Take a bottle of water. Also step outside from time to time to get fresh air.
- Pack a lunch or some small healthy snacks to keep up your energy.
- Spend a few moments the night before to read through the schedule and highlight any seminars that are an absolute for you to attend. Plan your shopping and visiting around those keynote speakers.
- A few days prior to conference take a bit of time to research some of your top picks for any curriculum or materials you may need. Make a list of your Must Have purchases and another list for products or materials you need to take a closer look at.
- I like to make my Must Have purchases right away, this helps me to feel at ease knowing I have not forgotten any essentials and clears my mind allowing me to focus on any sessions I want to get to; as well as any curriculum I may need to further research.
- If you are feeling lost and worry starts to creep in, it is time to reach out to some veteran homeschoolers and get some advice. I also recommend getting outside away from it all for 5 minutes, it does you a world of good.
- If you really are not sure about a product, it is probably best to keep it on your list and not in your home. If later on you decide it is something you need, you can always order. Yes you have to pay shipping, but sometimes that is a good trade off v.s. making a panic purchase and never using that resource.
- Take notes, I love going home and reading over what was shared and often speakers share so much that taking notes helps keep all the important points handy.
- Don’t stress out about curriculum. Instead go home with some great games and great novels to read aloud to your children. I found some great historically accurate fiction novels this year. The kids love them and are learning so much! Again looking back to tip #9…you can always mail order the curriculum at a later date.
- Step out of your comfort zone and open your mind to look at different curriculum, books, or methods of homeschooling.
- Make it a point to meet someone new, it is fun! Network and build up your own support system.
- Have fun! This is a time for your personal development and for you to take it all in and re-energize.
This past year conference was amazing and although exhausted from all the walking, talking and shopping I squeezed into 2 days, I came home full of so much positive energy! I made some great purchases including some new games, amazing living books, and our math books for fall.
My excitement was contagious, the kids dove into their new books with an eagerness that had honestly been lacking for a little while.
Home School Conference is a great time to re-group, re-energize, re-connect and make new contacts; it is also a time of renewal, self growth and we must not forget the shopping! Even if you feel you do not need anything new, then go with the mindset that you are there to support homeschooling.
You just might be the veteran mom or dad someone new and bewildered reaches out to!
I hope you have an amazing time at your home school conference and that you make a commitment to yourself and your family to go.