I’ve got a big milestone ahead of me as a homeschooling mom—next month, I’ll be attending my first-ever homeschool convention!
From June 7-9, you’ll find me in Richmond, VA, where I’ll be an official blogger for the HEAV convention—my home state’s largest homeschooling convention! And now that the event is only one month away, here are five things that I’m doing to get ready:
- Listening to the conventions episode of the Homeschool Sisters: I love the Homeschool Sisters podcast—especially Cait and Kara’s goofy sense of humor. How convenient then, that they have a whole episode devoted to conventions! I’ve already already listened to this one, but I’m planning to play it again this week to help me think through my convention strategy—everything from what shoes to wear to how to maintain my energy over the three days of the convention.
- Picking which sessions to attend: No easy task! There are so many sessions that I’d love to attend at HEAV, but since I can’t be in two places at once, I have to make some hard decisions. So far, here are the workshops that I’m planning to attend (and if you happen to be at any of these, please say hi!):
- Classical Christian Education 101 - Dr. Christopher Perrin (Friday, 10:30-11:30 AM)
- The First Three Years: A Workshop for Homeschool Rookies - Heidi St. John (Friday, 1:30-2:30 PM)
- Nature Deficit Disorder: Causes, Consequences, and Cures - Andrew Pudewa (Friday 3:00-4:00 PM)
- Teaching Foreign Languages At Home—It Is Important and It CAN Be Done! - Dale Gamache (Saturday, 10:30-11:30 AM)
- Laying Down the Rails: The Power of Good Habits - Sonya Schafer (Saturday, 1:30-2:30 PM)
- Revolutionary Latin: Far More Than Increasing Your Vocabulary - Dr. Christopher Perrin (Saturday 3:00-4:00 PM)
If these sound as fascinating to you as they do to me, you’ll enjoy taking a look at the full HEAV schedule, where you can find all of the convention’s keynotes and workshops listed.
- Checking out vendors: I’ve heard that the exhibit hall is the most intimidating part of any homeschool convention, so I’ve taking a proactive strategy for managing my overwhelm (and preventing any crazy impulse buys). On behalf of the Language Learning At Home community, I’ll be checking out the foreign language materials offered by Classical Academic Press, La Class Divertida, Rosetta Stone Homeschool and Memoria Press—especially since many of you asked me to review their curricula after I published my Spanish curriculum round-up and my Latin curriculum round-up! For my own kids, I’m mostly interested in exploring the curriculum options that Sonlight and Classical Academic Press have available—they seem like the best fit for our family’s needs right now.
- Writing my packing list: Actually, that’s three packing lists! My kids won’t be coming to HEAV with me (although children are welcome in all sessions!)—instead, they’ll be headed to “Grandparents’ Camp” with my in-laws. I want them to have a great visit, so I’ll be doing lots of organizing to make sure I don’t forget anything essential….like the 20 stuffed animals that my four-year-old sleeps with.
- Connecting with other attendees: Aside from the workshop sessions (because I love a good lecture), this is the part of the convention that I’m most looking forward to. I’ll be reconnecting with some old friends—experienced homeschool moms themselves—and hoping to meet up with some new ones. I’ve been following the Virginia Homeschoolers Facebook group and would especially love to connect with other bilingual homeschooling families here in VA! If that’s you, please reach out!
If you're in the Virginia area yourself and would like to attend, you should know that REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN for HEAV, and you can even get a discount for registering in advance. If you're already planning to attend, please know that I'd love to meet you and talk with you about your language learning goals--so please track me down!
If you have any other advice on what I should do to prepare for my first-ever homeschool convention, I’m all ears! Please leave me your tips below—and thanks!