What To Bring To a Convention

It’s convention season! As you’re doing your last minute packing for the convention, I thought I would answer a question I’ve been asked quite a few times:

What should I bring with me to a homeschool convention?

A tote bag – **Important, if you are attending a Teach Them Diligently convention, you can leave that item off of your packing list because they will be giving you this super cute tote bag when you check in!!**

A notepad/tablet/laptop or something that you’re comfortable taking notes with – You’ll want to take lots of notes during the speaker sessions so that you can refer to those later! I created this free Speaker Notes printable that you are welcome to print and bring with you. Don’t forget to bring extra pens {although you can probably stock up on these in the vendor hall!}.

Bottled water/snacks – Each convention is different as to what you are allowed to carry in. Find out the rules before you waste time packing snacks!

Sweater or jacket – Convention centers tend to be on the cool side. Bringing a jacket along and not needing it is much better than freezing all day!

Comfortable shoes – You will be walking a lot. Achy feet are no fun.

Curriculum shopping list – Don’t leave home without it! It is much easier going into the vendor hall with a good idea of what you’re looking for than it is to walk in blindly. It’s better for your checkbook too.

Wheeled cart or small suitcase – This may seem silly to those of you who have never been to a homeschool convention, but trust me it makes perfect sense! Books are heavy! If you are planning to make purchases, you don’t want to have to carry those around, this is why something with wheels will be your best friend!rollingcrate-152x300

A spouse or someone to keep you accountable – It is so easy to be mesmerized by the exciting, shiny new curriculum. Someone to remind you of your budget and keep you on track is very handy in this situation. Especially if you’re an impulse shopper like me!

An open heart – Give God room to move and He will. Pray that He will put you exactly where He wants you to be (listening to that speaker, talking to that vendor, meeting that new friend).

Things to remember while at a homeschool convention:

  • The speakers you are hearing are real life homeschooling parents just like you and me. If you ask them, they will tell you that. It is so easy to fall to the assumption that they have it all together and you’re doing it all wrong. But trust me, they have bad days too. Open your mind and your heart to truly hear what they are saying without comparing yourself or your family.
  • Ask lots of questions! Have a question about homeschooling? This is the place to have it answered.
  • Meet new friends. Where else will you find hundreds, maybe even thousands of fellow homeschoolers? This is your chance to make new connections that could turn into life long friendships!
  • Stick to your budget. Need some tips on how to do that? See this post: 7 Ways to Stick to Your Budget at a Homeschool Convention.
  • Take breaks as you need them! It is easy to become overwhelmed. Take a break. Walk outside. Grab a snack. Come back refreshed and refocused.
  • Remember, God is in control of your homeschool. Not sure which session to attend? Ask Him. Not sure if you should purchase that curriculum? Take a prayer break. He is faithful to lead you where you need to be, we only have to listen.

I hope your homeschool convention is an awesome experience and you leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and with a whole new passion for homeschooling your children!

heather bio

Heather Bowen is a dedicated Christian homeschooling mother and wife from southeastern North Carolina. She entered the blogging world in June 2012 and quickly realized it was time to trade in her career as a nurse and embrace the calling of being a full time work at home mom. Heather blogs at Upside Down Homeschooling. In addition to writing, she is a speaker and a virtual assistant. To find out more about the services Heather offers, click here.