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3 Ways to Benefit from Virtual Homeschool Conferences

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virtual homeschool conferences

 

Conventions are overwhelming and wonderful. I’m an annual convention attendee myself, but I have met many families who are not a fan of crowds and would prefer a virtual homeschool conference. As much as I would love to sell you on the idea that attending a convention in-person is the way to go, it is not always the best fit for everyone. Maybe you have toddlers to attend to, a nursing child, or work commitments, or you simply do not view a crowded convention hall as a relaxing vacation. I also must point out the disappointing reality for those of us who thrive on in-person conventions that most were canceled last year, and only the Lord knows what this coming year will hold. Homeschool-friendly companies, state level support groups, and traditional convention planners understand the needs of the homeschooling community and have risen to the occasion during the pandemic. Many have been providing virtual conferences, training, how-to seminars, and conferences geared toward encouragement during these difficult and trying times. With so many new homeschoolers coming aboard, some have turned their focus toward helping those who are looking to get started with homeschooling while others are serving those who have been homeschooling for years. Once you find a virtual homeschool conference that fits your needs (whether you recognize a few of the speakers that you absolutely must hear or you see one of your favorite vendors will be offering a deep discount), take the following steps to maximize your virtual experience.   

  1. Make a Plan

Attending a conference from home is rewarding but can be challenging. The main challenge lies in the fact that you are home. You still have responsibilities to attend to while in your home, and you will find that plenty of distractions will try to pull you in many different directions. This is why making a plan is so beneficial. Once you review the speakers and speaking schedule, choose a few that you absolutely cannot miss and make plans for your kids during those hours. Have crafts ready for them to work on, ask your spouse to watch them, hire a babysitter, or make it a date night and order take-out while you drop your kids off at a relative’s or sitter’s house. Treat yourself and make it a point to show up as if it were a physical conference because you will receive many of the same benefits.

  1. Explore the Exhibitor Hall

An overwhelming aspect of an in-person convention can be the exhibitor hall. You see one incredible math curriculum down aisle one and another three down aisle two, and you are in such desperate need of a new math curriculum that you just don’t know where to begin. The options are exciting but can absolutely make your head spin. The beauty of a virtual convention is you can take a look at the vendors ahead of time and get a feel for which ones you want to explore. Take a look at which brands you want to learn more from and be prepared to personally reach out to exhibitors with questions. Also, make note of any sales or specials you’d like to take advantage of during the event.

  1. Stay Organized

While attending, take notes during speaker sessions. You may hear pearls of wisdom that you will want to go over another time and research or dwell on more. Conventions are often a time where so much is thrown at you that you just need to soak it in and give yourself time to digest it all later. Remember, a short pencil is better than a long memory. Regardless of how impactful the words of a speaker may be, you are bound to hear from another profound speaker later on in the convention so taking notes will help jog your memory when you are trying to rehearse what was heard. Also take note of what you plan on purchasing and then again what you have purchased. Set a budget and try to stick to it. Use an app or an old-fashioned notepad and keep track of your purchases so you don’t overspend. Once the conference is over, assess and see how the encouragement and information gathered during the conference could impact your homeschool year. File away the notes and determine to read them weekly or monthly. Set them on your bed stand, and when you are having a stressful homeschooling day, take fifteen minutes away from your daily routine to rehearse what you have learned. So many homeschooling families have gone before us and succeeded, and we can learn so much from them. We may not be able to have them on speed dial to reach at a moment’s notice, but we can still be encouraged by their wisdom the whole year through.

 

virtual homeschool conferences

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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