So here we are, homeschoolers amid a flurry of conventions, conferences, webinars, and workshops (and in case you couldn’t tell by the title, my homeschool is amid alliteration in literature)! Y’all know that I love all the different aspects of a homeschool “shin-dig” (my professional vocabulary word for all of the above), because I’ve written about it in an earlier blog post.
I personally love meeting new people, soaking up all the wisdom from talented speakers, seeing all the new ways we can include the Gospel in teaching our children, and all of the other amazing things that technology and new generations have been drumming up to improve the already overwhelming success of homeschoolers like you! I would attend one of these “shindigs” every week if I really could!
On the flip side, many homeschoolers aren’t regulars on the conference scene or have never been to one. When asked, here were the top 3 reasons folks reported not attending. And before you agree and walk away, know that I’ve also got a positive solution for you (if you’ll read on)!
Top 3 Reasons Homeschoolers Are Not Attending a Conference:
- It’s overwhelming
- Too many choices in the exhibit/vendor hall
- Find it difficult to implement what I’ve learned
So, I admit that those factors can really put a stick in the spoke of your book-crate-on-wheels because I’ve been there! I often think it’s really not an inadequacy on the part of the attendee when it comes to implementation and choosing what to buy—it’s really more of a problem of organization! So…let me introduce you to The 2017 Homeschool Convention Planner & Journal and Lesli over at This Crazy Homeschool Life! She’s offered a pretty simple solution to the above flaws.
In her own words, Lesli explained: “The planner was created after speaking to many of my friends who were simply overwhelmed by homeschool conventions. Conventions have been a fantastic source of information and inspiration for me, and I wanted to remove the chaos from the experience for other homeschooling moms. I also noticed after attending several conventions that I needed to extend the learning after I arrived home. I was attending great sessions, but by the time I got home, I would get back into the daily routine, and six months later the ideas would be forgotten. For that reason, I added the post-convention journaling and planning sessions to add value to the attendee experience.”
I want to share with you my experience using this tool as a full-time working, homeschooling mom of two elementary age students. I’ve been using this throughout the season, and let me tell you how organized and ready to use all of my conference notes and tips were almost immediately upon return home! This has been priceless. No more fumbling around on notebook paper trying to relive the sessions to make sense of my notes or pull them from the shopping fliers from around the convention hall. I simply printed the downloadable resource and loaded it into a three-ring binder for each separate conference I planned on attending. I was instantly hooked (of course, if you’re like me, I had you at planner, or binder, or well…resource)!
This planner is not just a notebook that you can pick up anywhere. Lesli has put together a well thought out list of what you need to do to not only survive but revive your homeschool through convention attendance! This is how you make the convention work for you! You no longer have to feel overwhelmed or live in fear of what lies in the bottom remains of your free tote bag.
She addresses everything from the basics, budget forms, session plans, meal planners, and shopping guides all the way to packing snacks and entertainment for the children. Then she divides the convention up by day and segments it into schedules, plans, and notes. A separate section is laid out for any recorded sessions that you might take home so you can incorporate those notes into your plan as well.
My favorite part of this compilation is the very last section: the Post- Convention Journaling! It really was revolutionary to how I utilized my information from the sessions. This section includes Thoughts, Changes and Goals, Change Action Plans, Goal Action Plansefinitely what had been missing for me. I had always been able to gather and enjoy the information, but the implementation was more of a challenge—especially after I collapsed at home with all of my goodies! Never again! I will have it all noted and organized so that when I catch my breath, I’ll be able to flip to the “time to take action” section and get started!
Now the LAST TWO STEPS!
- Download this amazing tool! To make this an even sweeter deal for you, HSLDA readers are able to take advantage of The 2017 Homeschool Convention Planner & Journal for only $4.75!
- Find a homeschool “shindig” near you and take action this year!
I want to leave you with a few tips for planning your next adventure from Lesli!
Lesli’s TOP FIVE TIPS for Attending a Home School Convention:
- Check the convention schedule before attending and plan out your classes, but be willing to be flexible when you get there.
- Plan your shopping list before entering the vendor hall.
- Don’t buy anything on your first trip through the vendor hall, but simply enjoy the displays and then return to shop later.
- Don’t feel like you’ve got to absorb everything at your first convention. You will likely be homeschooling for many years, so concentrate on what you need for the stage you’re in.
- Bring some kind of rolling cart. Books are heavy!!
*If you think these might be helpful, you can read even more from Lesli and home school conventions on This Crazy Homeschool Life.