Our newsletter subscribers get access to exclusive downloads! Sign Up

Homeschool Conventions: Best Tips from Homeschool Moms

Best Homeschool Convention Tips from Homeschool MomsWe recently asked moms on our Facebook page what some of the best tips are that have helped them avoid being overwhelmed at homeschool conventions. With hundreds of vendors and dozens of workshops, large conventions can quickly disarm the best intentions of even experienced homeschool moms. These ideas, along with Rebecca’s Insider Tips From a Homeschool Convention Veteran, will help you stick to your budget, give new resources a chance, and get the best bargains at any homeschool convention.

Looking for a curriculum your kids will like?
An online homeschool curriculum can open new doors by creating an interactive learning experience that brings concepts to life.
online curriculum
Homeschooling should be fun.
With Time4Learning, it can be!
  1. Sherryl W. advises walking through vendor hall the first time with 2 bags. Every booth has promotional material that they want to give you and it can quickly become a disorganized mass of paper. Use one bag just for promotional materials that you may pick up or are given but that do not fit the guidelines of what you need now. The other bag is for materials that you want to review and compare and it will be smaller and easier to manage. At night (or somewhere quiet during the convention), go through the second bag, making notes and deciding which vendors warrant a second stop to make purchases or answer questions. Many vendors are online during the conventions and can answer questions online if you have your computer or smartphone available while you are reviewing the materials.
  2. Linda S. suggests paring down the number of vendors that you plan to visit by obtaining a vendor list ahead of time (although not too far in advance, since the vendor list may not be final until a day or two before the convention starts), looking at the vendors online and making a list of the ones your absolutely want to check out versus the ones in which you are only mildly or not at all interested. For workshops, read the descriptions through and choose 2 or 3 per session you would like to attend. If your first choice fills up, you will not be stuck in a session that doesn’t interest you.
  3. Monica H. thinks it is a good idea to make a list of each child’s needs before going to the convention – the things you want for the coming school year. Once there, give yourself an entire day without kids or other distractions to go through the vendor hall. Make one pass, making notes on two lists. On the first list, write down the things that fit what you are looking for during the next school year, and on the second list write down things you are interested in. After the first pass, sit down somewhere and examine your first list and determine what you want to purchase to incorporate next year. If you have any money left(!!), go through your second list and see if you can afford any of the extras! Remember, you can always keep the list/handouts and purchase products later on online. Take a friend to make the day fun and to keep you from making impulse purchases that you might regret later.
  4. Audra W. recommends bringing a rolling cart or bag since it’s tiring to carry everything.
  5. Belynda A. saves her budget by leaving her checkbook in the car. She makes lists of what she wants to buy later after she has had time to look and sort though all the handouts.
  6. Melissa R. thinks it’s a good idea to research vendors ahead of time. She suggests walking through the entire center at least once without buying anything. You can compare curriculum and prices. Just because something looks neat doesn’t mean it will work for your homeschool. Ask yourself if it is something you will really use before making the purchase. Read the convention’s website ahead of time. Some do not allow you to bring rolling bags, strollers, etc. Use the book check-in room! Bring a friend and have fun!!!
  7. Shannon T. says to know your prices! She was able to find some of the books cheaper online than at the convention. Now she goes armed with a list of what she needs, and what her price to beat is. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, so she always makes a trip around the hall to browse before buying. Some vendors have the same books, but with different prices.
  8. Crystal A. prepares ahead by looking at all the vendors’ websites and making a list of materials she wants to preview.
  9. Debbie R. brings her husband along and says that it helps on decisions and keeping their child busy.
    They take their child (now 9 years old) so they can see her reaction to the curriculum and purchase accordingly.
    Debbie also recommends taking a notebook and writing down things you are interested in so you can go back to them and purchase if you don’t find something better. Like Audra, Debbie also strongly recommends taking a cart, suitcase, or something with wheels to hold all the information and booth bait you come across. (Carrying a backpack the first year was not a good idea for her back.)

It’s not uncommon to get such a high from all of the ideas, resources, curriculum, and camaraderie that you might even find yourself experiencing what Rebecca calls Post-Convention Stress Disorder. Check out the link for her tips for reentry into real life.

If you have additional tips that have helped you survive convention season, please share!

Mary Ann Kelley

Mary Ann Kelley lives in Virginia with her husband and has two daughters, both homeschool graduates. Mary Ann, who homeschooled off and on for 16 years, believes in school choice as well as allowing children to direct their own learning with guidance and input from their parents. Her desire is to encourage parents and children to take personal responsibility for their own educational options and choices.

Read Next Post
Read Previous Post

Best Homeschool Convention Tips from Homeschool Moms />

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Local resource listings are for information purposes only and do not imply endorsement. Always use due diligence when choosing resources, and please verify location and time with the organizer if applicable. Suggestions and advice on TheHomeSchoolMom.com are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure


  1. I use this free homeschool planner so I know what options I have in mind for each child for each subject. I usually fill this out before I go to the convention. A resource has to be REALLY good for me to deviate from my original list that I know I have prayed about.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *