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Top 10 Reasons to Attend a Homeschool Conference

With Homeschool Conference season upon us I wanted to let you know the Top 10 Reasons that I think you should attend a Homeschool Conference this year if you can!

1.  Explore Homeschooling:

You do not need to be homeschooling to attend a homeschool conference.  Have you been considering homeschooling?  Wondering what it is about?  Not sure if you can do it or if it would work for your family?  A Homeschool Conference is the perfect opportunity to get some questions answered and explore the world of homeschooling!

2.  Used Book Sale:

I laughed when I first read somewhere to bring a rolling suitcase to a homeschool conference, but then I went to one, and I went to the used book sale.  JACKPOT!  There are so many awesome deals and unfortunately they do not have shopping carts, so yes, bring a rolling suitcase to help you carry all of your awesome treasures that you will find!

Also, a quick tip that I learned is to make a budget list of all of the top books and curriculum items that you are looking for and the cheapest price you are able to find them with the publisher or on-line.  Keep that handy with you while you are shopping and you will easily know if you are getting a good deal or not!

3.  Inspiring Speakers:

My husband and I were able to attend the Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference last year and were able to hear Dr. Meg Meeker speak.  She has always been one of my favorite authors and it was fantastic to hear some best tips on parenting and living life to the fullest!  Check the nearby Homeschool Conference schedule to see what gems may be in your area this summer!

4.  Curriculum Booths:

I do not know about you, but getting into the world of homeschooling I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of different curriculums out there!  They all seemed so wonderful and all seemed like we could incorporate them into our family well.  It is so great to be able to go to the different curriculum booths at a Homeschool Conference and not only physically page through the books but also speak to someone who can answer all of your personal questions.

If you are planning on trying to go to a lot of speakers and also the Used Book Sales there is not always a lot of time to go to the Curriculum Booths.  I made a list of the booths that I made sure I wanted to go to Seton, Kolbe Academy, Catholic Heritage Curriculum, Mother of Divine Grace and a few others to make sure that I prioritized these booths first.

5.  Talk to the Vendor Representatives:

Take time not only to page through all of the different books but to really talk to the Vendor Representatives at the Curriculum Booths.  That is what they are there for!  Ask them the tough questions about how things work, about what you do if you are having problems or concerns, how grading works, how you can teach multiple grades the same subjects, etc.

When we were at the Seton booth we were able to sit down and talk to Ginny Seuffert, who is a veteran homeschool mother and grandmother of over 20 plus years.  Talking to her and asking her a lot of practical questions was truly what helped us decide that Seton was right for our family.

6.  Visit and Support Other Organizations:

There are so many fantastic organizations that take time to come to Homeschool Conferences and you do not want to miss out on their great products and services.  HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) is usually at most conferences and typically is not only giving away a free membership by drawing but also sometimes offering discounts if you sign up at the conference.

7.  Sign up if you are Ready:

Most curriculum vendors have great deals going on at a conference if you are ready to sign up!  For example Seton will offer a $30 discount per child if you sign up at the conference and also waive the First Time Enrollment Fee of $25!  That can be a significant savings depending on how many children you have!

8.  Meet New People:

Depending on which homeschool conference you attend there could be hundreds to thousands of people there!  It was so wonderful to meet homeschool students who gave wonderful testaments about there experiences and parents advice about how they have made homeschooling work.  It is a fantastic place to network and meet new friends!

9.  Inspire Conversation with your Spouse:

When my husband and I went to our first homeschool conference we were pretty sure that homeschooling was for us, but we still had some pretty big questions.  By attending a conference together and by going to individual talks that spoke to us each personally about what our own experiences with homeschooling might be like we learned so much.  It is a great opportunity to come together with your spouse and decide what is best for your family.  My husband and I were able to go out on a date after attending the conference and talk to each other about all of our hopes, dreams and fears about homeschooling and really get on the same page.  I have definitely learned that having the support of your spouse is one of the most important things to make homeschooling a success.

10.  Have Fun:

A homeschool conference is really a lot of fun!  If you have felt burn out after a long year of homeschooling or just not really feeling too motivated to move forward and get ready for the next year, attending a homeschool conference might just be what you are needing.  It is really inspiring to see such a wonderful community come together to support a fantastic way of education.  You might be able to be inspired by speakers, get some new ideas or even just enjoy a day or two away!

Reflection:

Are you planning on attending a Homeschooling Conference this summer?  What have been some of the best parts of attending a Homeschool Conference for you in the past and what are you excited about gaining from going again?  If you are not able to attend a conference what do you like to do to get ready for the next year?

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Nicole Ernest

Nicole Ernest is loving living out her vocations as a Catholic wife and mother. Nicole resides in Nebraska with her husband and their lovable, energy filled boys. Nicole shares about living the liturgical year, homeschooling and marriage/ family life at her blog Children of the Church http://childrenofthechurch.blogspot.com