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The homeschool convention ticket is purchased. The babysitter is lined up. All that is left to do is pack your bag! Use this homeschool convention packing list to make sure you have everything you need for a fantastic convention experience.
Homeschool conventions are a wonderful resource for homeschool parents. It is a chance to hear educational experts share their best advice, investigate various curriculum options, share encouragement with other homeschool moms, and celebrate this wonderful lifestyle.
Attending a homeschool convention can be an amazing experience. Being prepared with all of the right materials can make it even better.
The Ultimate Homeschool Convention Packing List
Homeschool conventions are busy places. There are usually multiple speakers in every session, fun social events, and limited hours for shopping. Oh, and all of that awesomeness overlaps.
Check out the homeschool convention website and come up with a loose itinerary. Decide what session topics are most useful for you at this stage in your homeschool journey. Select the curriculum options that you really want to check out. Identify the social activities that sound like fun.
You do not need to schedule every single hour. In fact, I recommend leaving some breathing room so you have a it of down time! A loose schedule can help you get as much out of the homeschool convention as possible.
Notebooks and Pens
Homeschool conventions can be a little overwhelming because there is so much information thrown at you in a short amount of time. Jotting down a few notes in each session helps me remember the highlights. I’m naturally a note-taker, so I also write down any curriculum suggestions or meet up plans with friends.
Extra Tote Bags or Pull Cart
My every day purse is a small clutch, but that definitely won’t cut it when I go to my favorite homeschool convention. I need room for all of the flyers, coupons, and samples from the vendor hall . . . that doesn’t even include anything I buy!
My preference is to bring a few tote bags. I usually only bring one or two in with me at a time. When they are full I run them out to my car and exchange them for empty bags. Many people prefer to bring a pull cart. They can pile it high with books and not worry about their arms giving out under the weight of all the books.
Empty Pocket Folder
Stick an extra pocket folder in your tote bag before you leave home. This will help you corral all of the papers you accumulate during the convention. If you want to be really organized, bring two folders – one for advertisements and coupons and another for session hand-outs.
Curriculum Wish List
Used curriculum sales can be exciting! There can be amazing deals! However, I find it very hard to stay focused when presented with a jumble of different curricula.
Years ago I bought so much at a convention used curriculum sale. The feeling of saving money was euphoric and I was floating on cloud 9. The feeling vanished when I got home and realized that I didn’t actually have a need for much of what I bought. I ended up selling it at cost on a homeschool Facebook page.
Writing down my curriculum wish list helps me search for what I actually need. It also reduces buyers remorse so I always include this wish list in my homeschool convention packing list.
Money for Curriculum Vendors
It is okay if you don’t know what you want to teach next year. Some homeschool conventions are in early spring – before you have had a chance to evaluate how the current year went! However, if you do know what you are interested in teaching and your preferred curriculum, budget plenty of money to spend at the convention.
Many curriculum vendors will offer special discounts for products ordered through their table in the vendor hall.
Food and the Drink of Your Choice
First, let’s talk food. The amount of food you will want to include in your homeschool convention packing list is related to a few factors:
- convention length
- food allergies
- whether there is food available for purchase
The convention I am going to spans 2 days and I am allergic to gluten. That means that I will probably bring a fair amount of food. At a minimum I will bring a lunch for each day and a snack. Bringing my lunch also means that I won’t waste precious break time standing in a long line ordering food.
Now, drinks. Each convention hall has their own rules, but generally it is fine to carry water throughout the entire venue. These water bottles are great because the lid locks. You can just toss it in your bag without worrying that it will pop open and soak everything (or worse – the convention space!). I have had this exact water bottle for years with no leaks.
I also bring coffee because I am basically 80% coffee at this point. Can you believe that I didn’t even like coffee before my youngest was born?
Depending on the venue, there can be a good bit of walking involved at homeschool conventions. Walking to different conference rooms, roaming the vendor hall, and shifting through any used curriculum sales can add up to a fair number of steps.
Dressing in light layers makes it easier to deal with temperature changes in the convention hall. I always pack a sweater just in case it is chilly.
Okay, technically this isn’t something you can pack in your overnight bag. I highly recommend bringing a friend or two and making the convention weekend a bit of a girls weekend. Having a friend makes it more fun.
What would you include on your homeschool convention packing list?
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