Homeschool Convention – Here I come!!

I leave tomorrow for the mega homeschool convention in Richmond, Virginia.  I know, I know, my baby graduated from high school 4 days ago.  But, I need to have a going out of business sale.  I’m taking 390 items to sell at the Used Curriculum Sale.  (And I sure hope they sell and I don’t have to bring them home!!!)   DSCF0849

But, as I get ready to go I thought I should look at my tips from last year to remind myself of things to do and bring.  Then I thought I should update the other things I have remembered and repost this!

I am so looking forward to getting away, spending time with friends, eating great food (that I have not prepared or coerced my children to prepare:), hearing great speakers, and go SHOPPING!

Here are my tips:

1) Ditch the husband and kids and go with girlfriends! It is so much more relaxing and enjoyable and you come home a better wife and mother. Fellow homeschooling moms will always talk curriculum with you – husbands get tired and are ready to move on before you are. And kids get cranky. Need I say more?

2) Wear comfortable shoes. You will walk A LOT!

3) Bring a water bottle – you will do better when you are hydrated. (I love my FlyLady water bottle – it is awesome!)

4) Bring one of those silly looking rolling carts. Your arms and shoulders will appreciate it. Buy it before you go since it will be cheaper.  Like this one  I put a name tag on mine so I don’t start pulling someone else’s cart!

5) Look through the schedule, read the speaker bios and pick some seminars to attend. Last year I got to hear the Flylady and Gary Thomas (The Sacred Marriage and The Sacred Search), both of whom I already knew about. But then I also got to hear Carl Kerby, who I’d never heard of before – and he was fabulous.  And I loved Lee Binz who talked about transcripts!  This year Crystal Paine, the Money Saving Mom, will be there as well as Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis), Kirk Martin (Celebrate Calm) and Carol Barnier.

6) Bring some sticky mail return labels. So many booths will have raffles – it’s much easier and faster to whip out a label and stick it on.

7) Don’t buy at the first booth you come to that has what you want. Write the price down and come back if you don’t find it cheaper somewhere else.

8) If you know what you want with curriculum, see if the Used Curriculum Sale has it first.  Might save some big bucks.

9) Check out the volunteer opportunities. Sometimes volunteers get special perks. At the HEAV convention volunteers get to enter the used curriculum sale early – but if you really want to be first in you’ll have to get in the line early (we went together and chatted for an hour). If you aren’t interested in the used curriculum sale, volunteering is still good because they need your help to make the convention run.

10) Bring some cash as well as your credit card. Some places don’t charge tax if you use cash.

11) Walk around the Curriculum hall the first night  – lots of freebies run out so get them while they are there!

12) Bring a sweater or jacket!  It may be blistering hot outside but it can be quite chilly inside.  I wear capri’s so I’m not too hot outside but not freezing inside.

13) Pack your swimsuit! The hot tub at the hotel feels so good after a long day of shopping.

14) Stash a quick and easy snack – like some almonds – in your bag so you don’t make bad decisions because you are just too hungry to think straight!

15) Ask people who’ve been to your convention before for some tips. For the HEAV convention, I recommend staying at the Hilton. The price is about the same as the Marriott, but the Hilton has queen sized beds and the Marriott has double beds. Also, park at the parking lot that has the walkways to both the Marriott and the convention center. I parked on Thursday afternoon and left on Saturday evening (about 50 hours later) and the cost was $25.

Have fun! Homeschooling is tiring – use this time to refresh and recharge!