…our Top 5 Reasons to Get There!
So one of the first questions I had as a new homeschooler – and one of the first I get when people ask me about homeschooling now – is “where do I get my curriculum?”…
Finding “the perfect homeschool curriculum” is a daunting challenge when you’re just starting out, because many of us feel that we must somehow re-create the public or private school setting in our own homes. But that is SO far from the truth!
One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we can discover the process of learning that works best for our kids, discover the ways they learn and the desires and dreams and “bents” they have…and use this information to get them fired up about learning!
But, of course, even when we understand that, we might still be left with the question: “OK, so where do I get the tools to enable that to happen?”
Enter the Homeschool Curriculum Fair…
They take place every year during the spring and summer. They happen (usually) in fairly big cities and (often) not near where we live! But they are such an important and valuable resource! My favorite is the Southeast Homeschool Expo, held in Atlanta, GA, usually around the last weekend in July. My husband and I use it as an opportunity to get away from the routine and distractions of home and focus on evaluating the past year and planning the next. Although we don’t always attend the workshops, a writing seminar presented by IEW during one of these fairs a few years back absolutely rocked my world!
And in recent years, the Virtual Homeschool Fair has come into being – truly a marvelous thing 🙂 You can listen to presentations, “attend” workshops, and take virtual tours of products and curricula, all from the comfort of your own home. The only thing missing is the feel and smell of books (and you bibliophages know what I mean!). Oh, and of course bumping into strollers and peering over taller people’s shoulders to see a display…but I digress!
Our “Top 5” reasons for attending a homeschool convention
A curriculum fair is a convention for homeschoolers – a huge, multi-day (usually over a weekend) meeting where products are displayed and workshops are held. The value is in what it brings to our homeschool, and to us personally…
- It’s a place to see and touch new products. You’ll find lots of vendors there who can show you resources and curricula and discuss how they may work (or not) in your situation.
- It’s a place to get inspiration and professional development for home education. You’ll often find a slew of workshops and presentation on topics or issues that you’re dealing with at home… (Hey, traditional school teachers get professional days…why not home educators, right?!)
- It’s a place to connect with other homeschoolers and realize that we’re not “alone”. And don’t we all need a reminder of that sometimes, right?
- It’s a place and time – and for some, the only time – that busy couples may have to re-connect and re-focus and re-commit to the homeschooling lifestyle.
- It’s a time to get re-energized and re-motivated and get our tanks filled up!
Well, if it’s that important…why do most folks not go to a fair each year?
Good question! But I got nuthin’…
So check these sites out to find a fair near you:
- The HSLDA Events Calendar lists events all across the United States.
- Homeschool World also has an events listing page.
- If you’re truly not able to attend because of time, distance or financial constraints, Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op allows you to find discounts on plenty of products – just like you do at “the fair”!
What’s YOUR favorite way to discover new curricula and get your homeschooling tank refilled? Have a favorite convention or conference that you’d like to tell us about? We’d love to hear about it below 🙂
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