As another academic year winds down, some of you may be thinking about curriculum for next year. A great place to shop for curriculum is your nearest Home School Convention. More than just curriculum, these places are loaded with amazing guest speakers of all walks of life. Seminars are available on a variety of topics from “Learning Styles”, to “Teaching Your Child To Read Made Easy”. Whether you’re looking for a little encouragement or a fresh idea for your next school year, these seminars can be very beneficial. This year specifally, there are seminars geared towards those who would like to find our more about homeschooling. Perhaps you’re one of those parents who would like to homeschool, but don’t believe you’d be successful. If you are new to homeschooling, or simply curious about it and would like to find out more, a Homeschool Convention is a good place to be.
Of course if you’ve been homeschooling for a while, a convention can turn into a necessity. This is the place to be for curriculum. Booths abound in tantalizing curricula, beckoning you to take a closer look. Vendor booths allow you to see curriculum up close and personal. You can get a much better feel for the material when you can see it in the flesh so to speak, as opposed to ordering from a catalogue. A word of caution: Don’t buy on impulse. Have a budget and do your research. If you hate reasearch, then have someone else do it for you. The Well Trained Mind (WTM) is a valuable tool for choosing curriculum. The author has painstakingly reveiwed many curricula, and has narrowed down the choices for you. Of course the WTM is only one resource for curriculum review; it just happens to be the one I’m most familiar with. For additional resources, visit your local library.
If you plan on attending the convention and have decided to purchase your curriculum there, here is a time saving tip: bring along a backpack, or better yet, a small tote on wheels. Line ups at booths can be long and there is usually two floors of vendors to visit. believe me, folks will look upon you with envy as they struggle with armfulls of books, or are laden with heavy bags. A water bottle and a few snacks is also a good idea.
One other word of caution: If you start to feel overwhelmed (believe me it does happen), take a break, go for a walk, grab a bite and re-group. Conventions usually take place in Hotels. Hotels that offer discounts for out of town guests. Consider taking advantage of the savings and bunk with a friend or two. Make it fun and enjoy youself. I plan to.