Helps for Your Home-School
Event (Convention, Book Fair, Meeting)
and Support Group
The Teaching Home offers you the following:
We trust that these services will help you as you
serve home-school families for His glory.
Getting Started Magazines
for Your Convention or Starter Packets
(35 cents each in boxes of 100, plus shipping)
In the past, the Teaching Home has been most happy to provide free sample magazines for conventions and starter packets. This year, however, we cannot afford to underwrite the expenses involved in offering free sample magazines.
The Jan./Feb. 2001 Home-School Basics issue is excellent for new home-school families. It also contains our Questions & Answers Concerning Home Schooling. You can see a copy at: http://www.teachinghome.com/custserve/jf01/index.cfm
We are offering copies of this issue for sale to help us raise money to publish our next issue. Thank you for your help.
If you are not able to order magazines, you can refer people to our online copy and/or print our Questions & Answers Concerning Home Schooling at the link above.
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Order in quantities of 100 (preboxed) for $35 (35 cents each). Our printer will drop ship these to you at the lowest price and bill you for the copies and shipping. Please remit payment directly to the printer for both the magazines and the shipping after you are billed.
Click Here for Order Form
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Questions & Answers Brochure Reprint
(Also available in Spanish.)
Reprints of The Teaching Home Questions and Answers may be made by downloading an Adobe Acrobat file. Q&A Brochure PDF
You may use this reproducible file for personal use, home-school events or publications, or starter packets.
Two other reprintable files are:
20 Elements of Success in Christian Home Schooling
Checklist for Starting a School Year
All reprints must be entire, unedited, and include: Used by permission. Copyright 2000 by The Teaching Home magazine, Box 20219, Portland OR 97294, (503) 253-9633. www.TeachingHome.com.
Permission is not given to post this on a website; please link to http://www.TeachingHome.com.
Getting the Most Out of Home-School
Conventions, Conferences, and Book Fairs
Benefits of Attending
Unique benefits await you at your local, regional, or state home-school convention, conference, or book fair!
The opportunities brought together in this once-a-year event can renew and expand your vision for teaching and training your children.
__ To Yourself. Be encouraged, rejuvenated, inspired, motivated, and better equipped to teach and train your children.
__ Speakers. Be exposed to new ideas, methods, materials, approaches, and broaden your horizons.
__ Workshops. Practical teacher training on specific topics to use in your home to be more efficient.
__ Exhibit Hall. Examine, compare, and purchase a great variety of the latest and best of home education materials, technologies, and products from hundreds of selections in one place. Discuss products and speak to authors or knowledgeable representatives and have your questions answered. Usually save on shipping.
__ Networking with other home schoolers.
Check to see if any of these are offered at your convention.
__ Used curriculum sale
__ Teens or childrens programs
__ Tapes of general sessions and workshops
__ Luncheon or meeting for support group leaders
__ Graduation ceremony
__ Boxed lunch or snack bar
__ Special hotel room rates
Who Should Go with You
__ Spouse. It is ideal for a husband and wife to go together in order to share perspectives and to keep focused on your goals and budget.
__ Friend. If it is not possible for your spouse to attend, a friend can help you in much the same way.
__ Hotel Room. If you need to travel far, you may want to take a room for overnight, to stow purchases, and take a brief rest.
__ Nursing Babies, of course, stay with Mom.
__ Young Children. Children may not be allowed and will be a distraction; either you will not be able to get all you can out of the convention, or you will not be able to give adequate care to your children.
__ Teens and Older Children. If your convention offers special programs for teens and older children you may want to consider this option.
Check out these options when you register.
__ Early Registration. This can save you money that you< CAN SPEND ON BUYING MATERIALS.
__ Volunteer. A few hours or more can be a real help to the organization sponsoring the event, and you may be rewarded by a reduced entrance fee and/or other benefits. You will also get to know some great home schoolers while working with them.
__ Join Organization. By joining, you help support home-school efforts in your area, plus you may receive discounts on your convention fee and on membership in Home School Legal Defense Association.
__ Special Rates for couples, Grandparents, teens, children, pastors, and other full-time ministers.
The vast array of workshops and exhibit booths, combined with a limited time to take it all in, can be overwhelming when you walk into a convention unprepared. On the other hand, if you go with a plan and focus on your purpose and priorities, you can spend your time more wisely and get the most out of the convention.
This is an ideal opportunity to discuss with your husband your overall and yearly home-school goals and plans.
__ Pray with Your Spouse. First of all accept our gracious Lord's offer of wisdom and direction. Pray about who should attend and what your purposes are in attending.
__ Obtain a convention schedule, list of exhibitors and/or exhibit hall floor plan.
__ Select speakers sessions and workshops you want to attend. Prioritize and mark as must attend or would like to attend if possible, and the tapes of which sessions you would like to buy.
__ Compare your agenda with that of your husband or friend attending with you and see if you can cover several different sessions and share their content with each other.
__ Research. Check out publishers and suppliers catalogs (print or online) to plan what you would like to examine and consider. The more you know beforehand, the more you will profit from the opportunity of hands-on comparison shopping. You can link to 124 home-school suppliers at http://www.teachinghome.com/resources/index.cfm
__ Shopping List. You probably would not go to the grocery store without a list. Make a list of specific materials or the types of materials you will be looking for to meet the instructional needs of each of your children according to the goals you and your husband have discussed.
__ Identify four or five must see exhibitors, then prioritize the rest. Mark your program or exhibit hall floor plan, or make a list.
__ Questions. Make a list of questions to ask exhibitors, speakers, and/or other attendees.
__ Budget. Determine your budget with your husband. Along with your shopping list and goals, this will help you< MAKE PURCHASING DECISIONS.
The Day Before
Make these last minute preparations after all your planning is done.
__ Family Needs. Spend some special time with your children and husband. Prepare meals and make provision to meet other needs while you are at convention. Confirm child care arrangements.
__ Directions. Make sure you know exactly how to get to the convention facility and what parking is available so that you do not lose valuable time and emotional energy just getting there.
__ Schedule. Plan to leave in time to be early or on time. Otherwise, at the end of the day, you will wish you had another hour or two.
__ Pack items you will take with you (see below).
__ Get a good nights sleep and a good breakfast.
What To Take with You
You do not want to be laden down with too much stuff, but here are a few essentials.
__ Directions and/or map.
__ Highlighter to mark your program.
__ Canvas tote(s) for handouts and purchases.
__ Steno pad and pens to take lots of notes.
__ Mailing labels to use in filling out forms.
__ Watch to keep track of time so you wont miss sessions.
__ Comfortable walking shoes.
__ Water, snack, and lunch, unless you have other plans.
Observe these guidelines to show consideration to everyone involved at the convention.
__ Rules. Follow the rules set out for the convention regarding: food and beverage in exhibit hall (check if bottled water is OK), children, strollers, etc.
__ Exhibitors. Support the ones who help you. Do not take up a lot of an exhibitors time in counseling and explaining his products and then go buy from someone else or a discount supplier. Exhibitors help make the convention possible.
__ Babies and Children. Immediately remove a crying or disrupting child from a workshop or meeting. Ask your child to give his chair to an adult if there is not enough seating.
At the Convention
Once at the convention, follow your plan, but make allowance for the unexpected opportunity.
__ Schedule. If you have not already obtained and marked a schedule and exhibit hall floor plan, do this first.
__ Breaks. Take breaks to rest your feet, reassess your progress, and write notes while your impressions are fresh.
__ Speakers. Dont expect to agree with everything a speaker says. Compare everything to God's Word; accept and use what you can and let the rest go.
__ The Unexpected. Allow some free time to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity.
__ Work Your Plan. Use your prioritized plan of booth visits and your shopping list to do your must see visits first, then go through the exhibit hall finding and learning more new things.
__ Talk to vendors about their products methods, goals, and philosophy, and how to use it. Use your list of questions.
__ Purchases. Use the parcel check if available, or take your purchases to your room or car to save wear and tear on yourself.
__ Busy. If the sales representatives are busy at a must see booth, go on and return later, or ask to be included in the discussion by saying, I'm interested in this product too. May I listen in?
__ Also visit nonprofit and service organizations booths to find out what they can offer you, especially your state organization, Home School Legal Defense Association, and National Home Education Research Institute.
__ Give Feedback. When appropriate, tell a vendor about your needs, opinions, and experiences so that your input can help them produce products and services that better meet the needs of home schoolers. Try to give a brief, succinct, one or two sentence statement that it is clear, focused, and does not take up too much of his time.
__ Meet and talk to other attendees; greet old friends and make new ones.
__ Ask advice. Get feedback on ideas and products and share opinions and experiences. You may get your most valuable information and encouragement from another home-school mom.
__ Offer to help someone. Hold a baby and give a mother's arms a rest; find a new home schooler (it will be obvious) and give a word or more of encouragement; find someone alone and listen to them for a while; offer to help a speaker or exhibitor. Smile at everyone.
__ Debriefing. Have a debriefing discussion with your husband or friend. Talking over the ideas and products you encountered at the convention will help you sort through things, keeping some and discarding others, focusing on how to get the most out of your experience.
__ Just Do It. Return home with at least one new idea to put into practice that will make a difference in your home school. Look over all your notes while they are fresh, and narrow down all the wonderful lists of things you would like to do to no more than six. Then prioritize your list and start on the first one the following week.
__ Be Accountable. Ask your husband or a friend to pray for you and keep you accountable to work on your goal. It is good to have ongoing accountability to share ideas and objectives and require updates from each other on a regular basis. The results may surprise and encourage you.
__ Share the information you have gathered with your support group or someone who was not able to attend. Let them know if you would recommend that they plan to attend next year.
__ Clean Up. Sort literature you received into four categories to: 1) take action 2) save for future reference or reading, 3) pass on to someone else, 4) toss.
__ Thank Yous! Write a thank you note to those who put so much effort into planning and putting on the convention, a speaker that ministered to you, or an exhibitor that took time to help you.
This article, Getting the Most Out of Home-School Conventions, Conferences, and Book Fairs is offered for you to use free of copyright. You may adapt it to your particular event and print it or post it on your website.
All other material published by The Teaching Home is copyright and is available to reprint by permission only or by a copyright-free notice such as this one.