It’s that time of year. Homeschool moms everywhere are ready to call it quits on last year's curriculum choices and retreat to that happy planning mode where everything briefly appears perfect on paper.
We believe the glossy advertisements for homeschool conventions and expect to find rest and rejuvenation, only to enter the vendor hall and fall to our knees.
All the workshops, the endless displays, and the smell of new books are intoxicating. It doesn’t take long for us become so overwhelmed, we want to retreat to our minivans. However, there are a few things you can do to help survive your next homeschool convention without losing your mind.
Create a Plan at Home
First, it’s a good idea to create a plan for your time from the comforts of home. Fix a cup of tea, print off the workshop schedule, and take your time to research the scheduled workshops.
It’s simple to eliminate the workshops that don’t apply to your current homeschool circumstances. If your children are all elementary age, you don’t need the high school math workshop yet. If you have one high schooler at home, you probably can cross out that phonics workshop. Eliminate those you have no interest in first and see what’s left.
Next, highlight the ones you want to attend no matter what. Is there that one speaker that you cannot miss? Make a point of scheduling your day so you can participate in their workshop without worry and distraction.
Consider Your Personality
There seem to be two types of homeschool moms. One is the uber decisive mom who laid out a 12-year plan when her child was 5. She walks right into the vendor hall, makes her purchases, and never has a second thought.
Then, there are the rest of us.
We think we have an idea of what we want, but then we see the shiny, new curriculum and second guess everything we’ve ever bought.
Which mom are you?
If you’re the first mom, great, you can make those purchases and haul them to the car that day. If you’re the second, you might want to hang on to your credit card a bit tighter.
I think it’s a good idea if you are that second mom to vow not to make any spontaneous purchases. Yes, it might cost you some shipping or a modest convention discount, but it also might save you hundreds of dollars in curriculum regret.
Be Encouraged, Not Overwhelmed
Finally, remember that you are going to this homeschool convention to be encouraged.
There is something about being around like-minded individuals and realizing you aren’t the only one on this crazy homeschool journey that rejuvenates the homeschool mom’s soul.
Keep this idea in the forefront of your mind and don’t become overwhelmed with the endless choices all around you.
Your homeschool won’t be doomed if you miss that one workshop, you can still purchase that fabulous curriculum once you get home, and it’s impossible to feel inspired in the throes of decision fatigue.
Remember, just like you can’t cram everything into one homeschool year, you can’t cram everything at a homeschool convention into one day.
It will be okay.
Make it Work for You and Have Fun
A book-loving mom at a homeschool convention is genuinely like a kid in a candy store. Is there anything more enticing than thumbing through the new books and imagining how it will look on your kitchen table?
If you’re a homeschool mom, not likely.
But remember, a homeschool convention also gives you time as a homeschooler to get out and visit with other moms. You can carpool with a friend and grab a fancy cup of coffee as a treat. If you’re splurging, you can stay the night and have the time to make thoughtful decisions about the upcoming year.
Remember, attending a homeschool convention isn’t a requirement, but if you do attend, make it work for you and have fun.
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