Let me offer five reasons why, in my opinion, all homeschoolers should attend a homeschool convention.
In the “olden days,” when I was homeschooling, parents had to order from catalogs or go to a homeschool convention to purchase materials. For encouragement, we depended on co-ops and support groups. Now, online ordering and social media have made homeschooling much more convenient.
5 Reasons to Attend a Homeschool Convention
1. Support Others
Think back to your early homeschooling days. You can probably identify at least one person who helped you get started, answered your questions, and encouraged you over the rough spots. The homeschooling convention provides an opportunity for you to offer that same support to others. Pray for divinely-appointed encounters before you go, and watch for the newbie with the “deer in the headlights” look or the veteran who droops with discouragement. You never know how God might use you!
2. Educate Yourself
Education is a constantly-changing field. As a home instructor, you owe it to yourself and your family to keep abreast of the latest developments. What new curriculum materials are available? What new ideas or techniques will help me in my teaching? Attending a homeschool convention will help you answer these questions.
3. Renew Your Vision
Why are you homeschooling? The question might take you aback for a moment, but it’s important to stop regularly and revisit why you made this important decision. The homeschooling convention can help you focus on what’s really important—the vision for what you do on a daily basis.
4. Visit the Vendors
If you’re a homeschooling veteran, you may be tempted to visit only certain vendors or bypass the exhibit hall entirely. But wait! Curriculum providers depend on customer feedback to help them determine whether they’re on the right track. If you let vendors know what you like and don’t like about their programs, the quality of homeschooling curriculum in general will improve, benefitting everyone.
5. Excel in Your Calling
If you have been called to homeschool, then you should train for your calling, just as pastors, teachers, and other professionals do. The homeschooling convention provides the perfect opportunity to listen, learn, interact, and grow so that you can pursue excellence in your ministry as a homeschooling parent.
Notice that the first letters in the five bullet points above spell out the word “SERVE”. A homeschool convention is an opportunity to serve—serve your family, serve other homeschoolers, and serve the vendors. Homeschooling conventions are an important resource; make sure you take advantage of the one nearest you this year.