Homeschool Conference 101: 7 Things to Know Before You Go

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Homeschool Conference 101: 7 Things to Know Before You Go {with FREE printable resources}

Will you be attending a homeschool conference this year? If you’re still on the fence, let me encourage you to GO! Honestly, it is one of the very best things you can do for your homeschool. We attend the NCHE Conference each and every year and we always leave refreshed and refocused.

If you’re a conference newbie {or a veteran}, a homeschool conference can be a very overwhelming experience. Here is a brief list of ten things that you should know before you go:

  1. Have a game plan! Know the general conference hours, book fair hours, and any special events that will be taking place. Visit the website of the conference you’ll be attending. For more information on the NCHE conference in Winston-Salem, NC, click here.
  2. Know the logistics of the convention location.
    Are you allowed to bring food into the Convention Center? If you are attending the NCHE conference, you are permitted to bring snacks/drinks into the Benton Convention Center.Are there any parking issues you need to be aware of? For those of you attending NCHE: NCHE offers FREE remote parking with shuttle bus service to the convention center on FRIDAY. Simply park at the Dixie Fairgrounds Gate 9 and ride a shuttle bus to and from the convention center as many times as you like from 6:30am-10:00pm. For other parking options, per the NCHE website:”During the day on Friday, if you plan to park near the convention center, we recommend that you arrive at the following parking lots by 7:00 a.m. When parking in area parking decks, please notice the hour the deck will close for the day. There is an ample amount of free parking on the street Monday through Friday after 5:00 p.m. and all day Saturday. Unless otherwise noted, parking decks charge $1 for each hour or part thereof; $9 daily maximum.

    • 6th/Cherry/Trade Deck will be open until 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of the conference.
    • Cherry/Marshall Street Deck never closes.
    • Liberty/Main Deck has hourly parking spaces available. Open Tuesday through Friday 6:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., Saturday
    • 4th/Church Deck is located between 4th, 5th, Church and Chestnut Streets. It operates Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • DO NOT park in the First Baptist Church parking lot across from the Convention Center.
  3. Preview the workshop/session schedule ahead of time. Know which sessions you definitely want to attend and plan accordingly. The very first year that we attended a homeschool conference, I didn’t even that there were sessions!! I thought it was just the book fair! The NCHE Conference has some of the BEST homeschool speakers around including: Debra Bell, Steve Lambert, John Erwin and MORE! Read detailed information about each workshop session here. Be sure to take notes during the sessions! You will hear so much practical information and encouragement that you will want to refer to later. I’ve created these FREE printable Session Speaker Notes for you! Click here to download yours now!
  4. The book fair can be very overwhelming! I’m like a kid on Christmas morning in there. Take a few minutes before you arrive to look over the vendor list. The NCHE Vendors are listed here. It is important to come with a shopping list. This doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase surprise items along the way, but it does help you to stay on track. I’ve created a printable curriculum shopping list for you to use. It includes spaces for you do price comparisons while at the book fair. It’s a very handy tool. Get yours here.
  5. Set a budget and stick to it!! This is where that shopping list with price comparisons is valuable! Here are 7 Tips for Sticking to Your Budget at a Homeschool Convention.
  6. Share your conference experiences via social media! This is a great way to share encouraging quotes from the speakers, cool finds at the book fair, and fun memories with your other homeschooling friends!
  7. Most importantly, pray! Ask God to take you out of your comfort zone at this convention. Meet new friends, let your heart become convicted as God speaks to you through the words of the speakers, seek His direction in your curriculum choices. You can never go wrong when you follow His lead.

Would you like to win a FREE family registration to the 2015 NCHE Conference and Bookfair? If so, simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be announced on Monday 4/20. All entries will be verified. Good luck!
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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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