The homeschool convention vendor hall is full of eye-candy, isn’t it? In my opinion, it’s a lot more fun than the mall!
After reading homeschool catalogs and pondering the best products for our family, it is a real treat to get to touch and look through materials and speak with the vendors in person.
My kids would tell you that their favorite parts of the vendor hall are the free pens and pencils and all the other cool giveaways at the booths. My absolute favorite thing about the whole experience is the excitement and enthusiasm we all feel when walking the hall and seeing all the learning potential. My kids get excited about new books and materials (I know, homeschoolers are weird), and that enthusiasm carries over into our classroom when we get home and can try them out. The convention is a great starting point to plan for next school year.
Highlights from this year’s conference:
- After picking up a few things from Queen Homeschool last year, I was looking forward to visiting them again. The Printing With Pictures book from Queen that I bought last year was my youngest son’s favorite book to work with this year. Sandi Queen talked with me at her booth and made a personalized recommendation for us. One of the benefits of a convention is getting to meet the authors of the curriculum and ask questions directly.
- I got to chat with Diana Waring and learn all about her unique curriculum that brings history alive for students. She and Dr. Jay Wile presented a session together, and it was especially convicting and timely. They talked about the importance of argument! They explained how it is a good thing when your student questions things they read and hear, and they showed how these are opportunities for teaching students discernment, as well as respect for others’ opinions.
- For my high schooler, we visited the Sonlight booth to take a look at their upper level high school books. We also bought his dissection supplies and specimens (yuck!) for Biology at the Nature’s Workshop booth. It was fun to visit all the college tables and see what’s available for dual enrollment opportunities.
- Attending the sessions is a treat, and I find them a great way to learn more about different curriculum and teaching methods. I came home with Dr. Wile’s new elementary science curriculum after attending a couple of his sessions. We even got him to sign and dedicate the book for us! Now it’s a treasure.