I look forward to it every year, but have spent entirely too much money in the past. The rays of vibrant colors and the smell of new books can be intoxicating to a homeschool parent and can be quite overwhelming even to the seasoned homeschooler.
My suggestions are…
Pray, Pray, and Pray for discernment.
And Do Your Homework ahead of time! It takes a lot time, but it can avoid impulsive spending and unhappy choices.
Been there, done that before!
These are a few things that I have done in the last couple of years in preparing my mind mentally and spiritually at the grand homeschool convention. I make a spreadsheet or use a spiral for writing down all my homework and bring it with me to the convention. Do whatever works for you, but be prepared. And always, always bring budgeted CASH! When you cash is gone, it’s time to go home!
- Decide on what particular subjects and topics you are planning on teaching this coming school year. I suggest if you have multiple students than stick to the same topics, but at different levels. Write them down! It’s important to jot down your specific goals for each subject per child.
- Go and check out all your books and curriculum that you already have on each subject. This includes your computer files, too. It’s amazing the things that I have found in my homeschool computer files that I didn’t know existed from a million moons ago. Make a note of them.
- Print a list of the vendors and check out their websites to see which ones spark an interest that coincide with your goals. Highlight the vendors. A lot of times they will have a map of the vendor’s booth location on the homeschool convention website.
- Price each interesting item new and then look to see how much it’s going for on-line used, for example, Amazon or VegSource. I honestly rather spend the extra money on a homeschool vendor than on Amazon, but that’s just my opinion. Do not forget to include shipping prices.
- I never buy anything until after lunch. I try to get to the convention as early as possible and browse the entire morning. This gives you a chance to check out the different prices per vendor and to make sure there isn’t something else that accommodates your goals more efficiently. Sometimes vendors have specials that are not advertised on the Homeschool Convention website, so keep that in consideration and jot that down as you browse. Talk with the vendors and ask lots of questions. Touch and feel the curriculum in your hand. Smell it if you must! (:
- Eat lunch and look over your goals for each student.
- Pray, Pray, and Pray!
- Go make your discerning and prayerful purchases.
- GO HOME! Don’t look around and second guess your decisions.
If you whole heartily prayed about each one of your purchase decisions then it’s all in His hands! Your job is to deliver the information to your children, let God do the rest.
Have you downloaded the home school convention forms yet?
Did I forget anything? Leave me a comment and share with us your tips!