I am going into my sixth year of attending homeschool conventions, so I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learned a few things along the way that I would love to share with you, in hopes of making your convention experience a little easier.
Now keep in mind that I attend these conventions solo (as in without husband and child, but NOT without girlfriends), so this list of must-haves is completely focused on what I need to make the convention successful for me…a homeschool mom on the loose, doing her best to feed her teaching soul and select the best material possible for her child.
1. Comfy shoes.
I really cannot stress to you how important that this one is. Between walking the vendor hall, going back and forth to workshops, traipsing around for coffee and food…those puppies will be tired no matter what you have on them. If you add those cute heels that you are positive are so comfortable because you wear them occasionally to church, you have a recipe for disaster. Church does not last for three days with this much walking. You owe it to yourself to be as kind to your feet as you can. My favorite shoes for this occasion are a pair of Yellow Box sandals. Cute and stylish, yet air to my feet.
2. Tablet or smartphone.
And I suppose I could add laptop to that list as well, except that in my opinion, it is much easier to use one of the other devices. They are much easier to whip out to look something up while in the vendor hall, take notes when listening to a speaker, or whip out a tweet or two!
3. A lightweight sweater or jacket.
Normally I consider myself a pretty bright person, but for some reason it took me about 4 conventions to figure this one out. For the life of me I couldn’t remember to bring a cardigan or something warm to wear in those chilly vendor halls or speaker rooms. And I am cold all. the. time. You’d think I would have this at the top of my list! You won’t need anything bulky…just something that is easy to slip on and off will do.
4. A plan and a wish list.
You will save so much time (and hopefully money in your curriculum budget for the year) by printing out the list of exhibitors before traveling to the convention. It is sooo easy to get caught up in the awesomeness that is a hall full of curriculum. Focus first on the vendors that you know may be in your lineup for next year, so that no matter what, you have purchased the necessities before you start spending any discretionary funds you may have brought with you.
5. A tote bag or larger purse.
There will be many tables you’ll stop by that won’t be applicable to your current season of homeschooling, but may be something you’ll want to take a look at in the future. If you have a bag to put their literature in, you’ll be able to take it home and file it away for safe keeping. Not to mention mints, hand lotion, or possibly some lip balm. Try your best to consolidate your purse and tote bag….it’s not fun to keep up with both!
What homeschool conventions will we find you visiting this year?