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Convention Lamentation


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So here I am again, wondering if there are any live conventions this year.  Maybe with the low airline prices, I should go... I know I could buy a lot of books for the cost of a convention, but how can I buy what I have not seen?  As I sit here with Cathy Duffy's book, I'm so jealous of you that get to see everything at once.  I'm constantly discovering an unknown curriculum and wondering how it compares.  And we need to make changes this year.  This is so difficult!

Wah.  

Edited by 4atHome
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There are. Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC) and Teach Them Diligently are both proceeding with in person conferences this spring/summer (and at least TTD had a virtual option) if either of those are in your area. You mentioned Texas, and Google indicated that they will also have their state group conventions this spring and summer at two different locations. Looks like you have options! 

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On 2/11/2021 at 6:17 AM, Holmesschooler said:

There are. Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC) and Teach Them Diligently are both proceeding with in person conferences this spring/summer (and at least TTD had a virtual option) if either of those are in your area. You mentioned Texas, and Google indicated that they will also have their state group conventions this spring and summer at two different locations. Looks like you have options! 

That was the locstion of the GHC I'd previously planned to travel to attend because it seemed to be the biggest. 

I wonder how it would work with covid?  How can they let people handle their sample books? 

Just a pipe dream, especially this year 😞

Edited by 4atHome
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7 minutes ago, 4atHome said:

I'm not in TX.  That was the locstion of the GHC I'd previously planned to travel to attend because it seemed to be the biggest.  I would have to travel to get to any of them.

I wonder how it would work with covid?  How can they let people handle their sample books?   I shouldn't be considering it.  I would have to take a baby, someone would have to watch the other 3 kids and I'd be exposing us to covid when we have a child who may be at risk. 

Just a pipe dream, especially this year 😞

You could always try the virtual options offered if attending isn't an option. The vendors on the virtual conferences are frequently giving the same talks they would give at the conventions, and have been offering more extensive e-samples and generous free trials in many cases. Not ideal, but perhaps better than nothing in your case with logistic hurdles to deal with. If you have vendors you are interested in you can get on their mailing lists on their individual websites. Several that I follow have done mini-conventions throughout the last 10 months with ample free samples and trials. They still need to sell their products and so are being creative in their marketing.

Best of luck discovering new things, and congratulations on the baby. 

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I’ve been homeschooling around 14 years, and I’ve only been to one conference and it was virtual. It was convenient to log into the lectures I wanted to listen to. I wanted to mention that several publishers have done walk through on their curriculum on YouTube. I know IEW had some curriculum introductions and Masterbooks has several videos of curriculum walk throughs and have Q&A. Maybe, some of the publishers you’re considering also have this. Rainbow Resources also has several videos on their website discussing specific curriculum and how to use it.

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I'm organizing a small convention in Austin the end of April. If you're wanting just a book fair,  this won't be it, as our exhibit hall will be small. But we're going to have 18 awesome workshops, presented by actual homeschoolers, on everything from not forgetting the preschoolers to taking care of life while homeschooling to organizing a graduation ceremony to sports.

If you still only want an exhibit hall, the Great Homeschool Convention is scheduled in Austin in July.

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I'll lament with you, just because the age of live state conventions may be drawing to an end.  I have homeschooled about 14 or 15 years now.  I have gone to convention all but maybe twice in those years.  I volunteered in some form for most of those, and was on the committee for convention for the last two years.  I LOVE everything about our state convention.  We were scaling back last year anyway as attendance has gone down so much with curriculum available online and in stores.  Then Covid happened and our new, smaller scale convention was closed  This year, one hasn't even been planned, going to all virtual.  

I have been attending a few of the free virtual conventions over the past year.  The workshops are nice and interactive.  But it is NOT the same.  We had student art contests, student expositions, student groups performing music, vendors giving freebies and having all kinds of live demonstrations and games and giveaways, etc. And just being in a place with so many homeschoolers was a place to connect with friends from all of our different homeschool groups and past groups and friends.  I am really sad that this is pretty much gone for us.  

I will probably attend one of the bigger ones out of state just for the sake of the speakers in person and getting to look at things new since I still have many years ahead of me.  But the cost does not make it something I need to do every year, for sure. 

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I'll lament too. I like to go to convention every year if possible. It's just such a good time to get away with hubby and introduce him to my world for a day or two and get his perspective on things.

This year I've invited 6 or 7 hs moms I got to church with to an overnight retreat in a lodge just outside our small town. We're going to listen to podcasts, each do a presentation on our favorite curriculum, and submit discussion questions about issues we're having. It's not the same, but it's better than nothing!

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22 hours ago, Holmesschooler said:

There are. Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC) and Teach Them Diligently are both proceeding with in person conferences this spring/summer (and at least TTD had a virtual option) if either of those are in your area. You mentioned Texas, and Google indicated that they will also have their state group conventions this spring and summer at two different locations. Looks like you have options! 

Do you have inside scoop to know which of these listed on their site will actually occur? They're showing CA as a go in June, which doesn't fit anything I thought was going on in CA.  

20 hours ago, 4atHome said:

I wonder how it would work with covid?  How can they let people handle their sample books?   I shouldn't be considering it.  I would have to take a baby, someone would have to watch the other 3 kids and I'd be exposing us to covid when we have a child who may be at risk. 

The vendors for GHC will be pretty much the same at all of them, because that's the contract they sign (from what I understood). The speakers may very slightly. So if you're worried, actually your best bet is to go to the SMALLEST convention they're running, not the largest. And what you need to do is take a girlfriend, a grandma, someone who will watch your little one while you shop. That way you don't get worn out. So if I could suggest, the March in SC might be nice. The flowering trees will be pretty, the bbq is good, and the crowds should be small. You're more likely to get to talk to the authors because the booths won't be as busy. Or come to Ohio. You can get a direct flight possibly and the hotels and set up are great. 

You know the bummer about flying is getting your stuff back. :biggrin: If you fly Southwest you won't have to pay to check more bags, hehe.

Edited by PeterPan
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I’ll lament along with you. I was so looking forward to it last year as it’s my refreshment time when o get excited for our new year ahead. I’m hoping to still go this year and that GHC will continue. I don’t do well with the online ones because it’s too hard to set that dedicated time. The conventions are the times my husband takes the time off work so I can get a complete break. 

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On 2/11/2021 at 12:57 PM, Momto6inIN said:

I'll lament too. I like to go to convention every year if possible. It's just such a good time to get away with hubby and introduce him to my world for a day or two and get his perspective on things.

This year I've invited 6 or 7 hs moms I got to church with to an overnight retreat in a lodge just outside our small town. We're going to listen to podcasts, each do a presentation on our favorite curriculum, and submit discussion questions about issues we're having. It's not the same, but it's better than nothing!

I love this idea.  I may suggest this to our homeschool group leader as an idea.  Our state association has a similar mom's weekend, but it is pretty expensive. 

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🙋‍♀️ Lamenting here, too.  The CHAP convention in PA was truly my favorite weekend of the year.  Getting away by myself to peruse curricula and attend workshops was heavenly.  I'm so sad that it is canceled again.  The virtual GHC was not the same at all.  

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I went to one convention,  the year before I started.   Its since been moved and the new one is even further away.  I figured I could buy and return/resell quite a bit for the $$ for gas, food and lodging.  Instead, I ask around if anyone local has _________.  And I offer to let them borrow my stuff to look through!  

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A friend and I used to attend a small Catholic homeschool convention in our area, even though we’re not Catholic. We liked the smaller size and cost compared to our state’s larger convention. It was a good time for us to connect and talk about homeschooling. We see each other at other times, but usually with another friend who doesn’t homeschool and so we don’t want to bore her. The Catholic conference has now been cancelled for two years in a row. The larger state convention has moved locations to a neighboring state with less restrictive Covid requirements. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. Not going, for sure. 

Edited by Gobblygook
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I work for Well-Trained Mind Press.  Believe it or not, the convention issue is a real one for the vendors too.  🙂  

If anyone has suggestions for how we can get our materials in front of you, and not go to live conventions--that would be fantastic. I know I am not just speaking for WTM-Press in this:  it's really tough to expect representatives to GO to conventions, given the whole COVID thing, and all the different requirements in each state and the reality that (like everyone else) we have family members who we need to protect.

Obviously, I can't promise that we will (or even CAN) do the All The Things that will help you evaluate Well-Trained Mind Press curriculum.  But if you have concrete suggestions about Convention Replacement, let me know by sending email to support@welltrainedmind.com--it would be a help if you put "Convention Replacement" in the subject line so I am the one who gets the tickets. 

AND here is what we already are doing to help you evaluate our materials: 

  • Product descriptions on the website.
  • Samples--long ones, with table of contents, and Helpful Hints for how to use the materials.  Look for the purple button on each product's page
  • Help Center FAQs with extended answers about all kinds of questions
  • YouTube videos to show how to use the products, Webinars to demonstrate the curriculum and to take questions

Of course, we always welcome feedback about our materials, but if you would be so kind as to focus on Convention Replacement in your response to this post, that would help ME focus my suggestions.  There are only so many hours in a day...for all of us!

(By the way, in my homeschooling days, I was part of a DIY group that was wonderful--we took turns presenting on classical curriculum.  Our uniting factor was having TWTM as the guideline (not Rule Of Law).  We learned a lot, and the best part is this: I still have friends from that group.)

Thank you!

 

 

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