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Five Reasons Why You Should Attend a Great Homeschool Convention
The pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Never had we thought that our children’s only interaction with their friends and teachers would be via a screen, and never did we think that we as parents would have to bear almost all the load of schoolwork at home.
And due to this new situation we are in, many parents are opting for an alternative schooling system: homeschooling.
For a new homeschooler, the transition from traditional schooling to homeschooling might seem rather daunting. Besides, as you dive deeper into the process, you might find it is vastly different from merely helping your children with their virtual classes from school.
If you are toying around with the idea of homeschooling your children, there might be lots of concerns and confusion in your mind regarding the curriculum, homeschool schedule, materials, and lots of other things you never considered before.
The best way to get around that confusion is to attend a homeschool convention. Wondering what you can get from that? There are lots of things you can learn and resources you can find at a good homeschool convention. Let’s look at a few.
Resources And Curriculum
Access to a myriad of resources and curriculum is enough to make a homeschool convention worth your time. As a new homeschooler, selecting or preparing a homeschool curriculum is the first hurdle you will face. And don’t think you can get the right curriculum in your next run to the local bookstore.
The curriculums in a great homeschool convention come in many varieties, catering to different learning styles. You can find both traditional school curriculum and even radical unschooling.
Whatever philosophy you lean toward, you can find something that suits your needs. All of these resources and curriculums are available to look at, and you can check them out to see what you like. You wouldn’t have this opportunity online.
Here are some of my tips for browsing and buying a curriculum:
- You might find the same curriculum at several vendors; make sure you compare their prices to get the best deal.
- Research a little about the vendors so you can find the right one for you without running in endless circles.
- Set a budget before you go. You don’t want to make impulse buys that you don’t need.
- Start browsing at one end of the vendor hall and move methodically through the aisles. This will make sure you don’t miss anything.
Meet Other Homeschooling Families
At times homeschooling might feel like a solitary journey. There aren’t many parents who can understand your struggles, and it might feel overwhelming. It helps to connect with other homeschooling parents.
Unlike traditional school parents, homeschooling parents have fewer opportunities to meet one other, and what better way to find them than at a great homeschool convention!
This is also a perfect opportunity for new homeschoolers to meet experts and veteran homeschoolers and get some insight into their methods. To make this meeting more worthwhile, here are some of my tips:
- Reach out to your local homeschool groups and see who is attending the convention.
- Ask around your friends and families to see if you can find anyone else going to the convention. It will enable you to share resources and help each other.
- Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with other people in the workshops you attend.
- Make good use of the session breaks by talking with other parents.
Gather a Wealth of Knowledge by Attending Seminars and Workshops
One of the greatest perks of homeschooling is the flexibility; it provides leeway with the curriculum, different learning styles, and even the schedule. However, this flexibility also means you can apply various teaching methods, from traditional to radical. Attending different seminars and workshops is the best way to gain hands-on knowledge about those methods.
In a homeschool convention, educational experts, curriculum creators, veterans, and potential homeschoolers gather under the same roof to share their knowledge and ideas. Here are the strategies I recommend to make the best out of the seminars and workshops that are available:
- Review speakers and workshop schedule online well before the convention day and make a schedule of the ones you’re interested in.
- Take notes of the things you find interesting during the seminar; even if you don’t get all of the information, it will remind you of what you want to find out more about.
- Make a point to meet the speakers if you can.
- Ask questions to clear up any confusion.
Homeschooling can be draining for parents, especially for those who have to juggle works and schooling. Considering you are an army of one in charge of lessons, experiments, homework, tests, and even PE, you are bound to experience some level of burnout.
At times you will need some external motivation to help keep you going. Attending a homeschool convention, participating in workshops, and simply sharing ideas with fellow homeschooling parents will go a long way to boost your motivation.
It’s a Great Way To Spend the Weekend
Homeschool conventions are usually held on the weekend, so you can easily work them into your schedule. It can also be a family getaway by visiting a new place and discovering new ideas. It can be fun to attend as a family. Not to mention, it also rejuvenates the kids for the new school year.
The Bottom Line
Homeschooling might not have any definitive way of operation. In a way, it is similar to parenting: there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. All that matters is to provide your child the optimum learning opportunity with the best you can manage.
However, just like parenting, you can learn and improve yourself and your methods. Attending a great homeschool convention can be a great start. As you connect with other homeschooling parents, find new resources, and gain insights from seminars and workshops, you will feel more confident about this transition. Above all, it can be a fun and learning experience for you and your family!