Visiting a homeschool convention is educational, fun, and a great way to browse or pick up a lot of different curriculum. Your first convention can also be very overwhelming but it is totally worth it! I have gathered 10 items that in my experience are must-haves for any homeschool convention.
10 Must Have Items to Take to Homeschool Conventions
Seriously, homeschool conventions are a ton of walking around and you will not want to wear your flat cheap flip flops for this. Or heels..does anyone wear heels anymore? Grab your most comfortable pair of shoes to wear. You have more important things to do than nurse blisters or aching feet in a hotel room later. P.S. This is not the time to try to break in a cute new pair of shoes.
Don’t make the same rookie mistake I did and think even if you have your curriculum there is no need to take a rolling tote, you are only going to pick up a few things or window shop right? WRONG! By the time you have grabbed all the free pamphlets all the vendors handed out and added a card game and maybe one workbook you are toting at least 25 lbs around with you. For the love of homeschooling, take a rolling tote!
Food and drink prices inside hotels are ridiculously inflated. Take cold water with you and avoid paying $4 a bottle. If you are staying in a hotel take a whole case to save.
Most vendors have a newsletter list that you can join to be notified of sales, new items, etc. Rather than fill out your name, address, or email 100 times, print out a sheet or two of premade labels to slap on their sign-up sheet.
Take your spouse or your homeschool friends with you, they are great to bounce ideas off of, they can keep you to your budget, and have lunch with you. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a convention on your own — there is a tremendous camaraderie here!
Depending on the time of year you will probably bring clothes and outerwear that have you covered out of the building, but you want to consider when you are in the convention as well. Sometimes the air is pretty cool in order to accommodate all the people, especially in the lectures. Take a light sweater or jacket if you are often cold so you can focus instead of shiver.
In order to keep from blowing your budget it is a great idea to make a budget to begin with and make notes on exactly what you are looking for. This will help keep you focused and cut down on impulse buys.
For the same reason you want to bring water you may want to toss snacks in your bag as well — apples, bananas, mandarin oranges, granola bars, individual crackers, etc. Save money and it also keeps you shopping longer, tiding you over until lunch or dinnertime.
There are a lot of good deals at homeschool conventions as many companies mark down their curriculum while there or offer free shipping if you order. However, if your budget is really tight, you might want to do some comparison pricing online before buying. You’ll want a handy dandy way to connect to the internet to scope out the best deals.