This post was sponsored by Great Homeschool Conventions.
Use the Children’s Programming
First of all, I should mention that the younger children went into the children’s program during the main portion of the day, joining us for meals. It is extremely helpful when a convention hosts children and Great Homeschool Convention does an excellent job of providing for the children so parents can enjoy all of the teaching and shopping. This was our *first* experience with a children’s program and I was very impressed.
Divide and Conquer
My husband and I looked at all the sessions before we arrived, and for the most part we chose to split up to “divide and conquer.” We would each attend different sessions and then during meals and open time we would get together and discuss all we had learned.
While we were in sessions ourselves, our teens were also in sessions specifically designed for them so during meals we would also discuss what they were learning. The teen track was a wonderful world-view conference and they had so much fun having this independence and getting relevant information.
Shop with Purpose
Before we arrived at the convention, my husband and I went through the exhibitor list and made our own list of “must-see” vendors to meet with. We also made a list of everything we would need for that year, so if something unexpected caught our eye we knew ahead of time if it was something we needed. And finally, we agreed on a baseline spending budget which would be flexible if we saw any amazing deals.
That doesn’t mean we didn’t browse the vendor hall. We both went through it all together once. I browsed and chatted with various vendors more than once – because – I love SHOPPING! In the evenings I would chat with my husband about some of the various things I saw and we would make decisions. And then at the end of the conference we made final purchase decisions and went in for a strategic shopping strike. If you plan to use this method, just be sure you get back to the exhibitor hall before vendors start to pack up.
Dress Comfortably and Wear Good Shoes
I’m not saying be sloppy or anything, but you are definitely going to be doing some walking and enjoying long days learning, shopping, fellowshipping, and being entertained. It’s gonna be good to be comfortable.
Bring a Rolling Cart
This is one of those things that I often forget, but my husband actually bought our first rolling cart when we were at the Great Homeschool Convention in Long Beach. It’s super handy to have in the exhibitor hall unless you do not plan to shop.
I’m super excited this year to attend the Great Homeschool Convention happening in Cincinnati, Ohio in April of 2017. My teens and I will be attending together again and I am looking forward to my youngest teen being able to enjoy the teen track for the first time! Also, we are super excited to be attending all of the special extra events this time!
Win Your Homeschool Convention Registration Fees!
We are giving away a family registration and up to four special event tickets to each special event offered at the convention you are attending.
A family registration covers you, your spouse, children/teens, and their grandparents to hear the workshops and shop the exhibit hall for all three days of the convention.
The 2017 dates and locations are:
- TEXAS Homeschool Convention, Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX – February 23-25, 2017
- SOUTHEAST Homeschool Convention, TD Convention Center, Greenville, SC, March 16-18, 2017
- MIDWEST Homeschool Convention, Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, OH, April 20 – 22, 2017
- CALIFORNIA Homeschool Convention, Ontario Convention Center, Ontario, CA, June 15 – 17, 2017
Special Tracks at Great Homeschool Conventions in 2017
- Cynthia Tobias, a regular contributor and radio broadcaster for Focus on the Family, will be speaking in our Parenting Track along with Norm Wakefield, Drive Thru History’s Dave Stotts, Dr. Thomas White, Pastor Randy Frazee, and more.
- J. Warner Wallace, atheist-turned-Christian author and homicide detective, will speak to our teens during the Real Faith for the Real World teen track.
- Sarah Mackenzie, Dr. Christopher Perrin, Adam Andrews, John De Gree, Dr. Carol Reynolds, S.D. Smith, and more, are back and better than ever, presenting invaluable sessions for the Classical Education Track.
- New this year is our Charlotte Mason Track with guest presenters Brandy Vencel, Dr. Jen Spencer, and Sheila Carroll.
- Janice Campbell will be sharing her wisdom and years of experience as a seasoned homeschooler in the Homeschool 101 track structured to guide beginning homeschooling families and those just considering homeschooling.
- Our College Track, sponsored by Cedarville University, will address the theme Life Beyond High School: How to pay for and go through the process of choosing the right college.
- Parents with Special Needs and Gifted Children will be encouraged in home-educating children who struggle to overcome learning disabilities and how to continually engage a child who may be learning at a higher level. Colleen Kessler, Dr. Peg Dawson and Kathy Kuhl will be leading this track.
Workshop Sessions at Great Homeschool Conventions in 2017
In addition to these focused tracks, we also have a host of other speaking sessions covering how-to’s and tips of teaching math, language arts, science, writing, foreign language, and more. Check out the posted workshop preview which is only a sample of what is to come.
Moms will benefit from sessions encouraging them to continue their homeschooling journey, despite the obstacles and stresses that may be involved.
Children will have the option to enjoy a conference of their own! Hosted by Giant Cow Ministries, your children will love this high-energy, Biblically-based children’s conference.
Exhibit Hall at Great Homeschool Conventions in 2017
A huge exhibit hall will be available for you to explore all the best curriculum and homeschooling resources under one roof. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes! Many of the curriculum authors will be present to answer your questions and help you decide which curriculum best fits your child’s learning style. There is no better way to make that all-important curriculum decision than to have “hands-on” access to every possible resource, right before your eyes.
Special Events at Great Homeschool Conventions in 2017
As each day winds down after a full schedule of presentations and shopping, you will have the opportunity to spend valuable time with your family and enjoy the evenings at our special events.
Jeff Foxworthy Live! 13 Million Albums Sold….Largest Selling Comedian of all Time! Coming to the Texas Homeschool Convention.
Jeff Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country. He is the largest-selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy Award nominee, and best-selling author of more than 26 books. In 2014, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes well beyond them to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature, a style that has been compared to Mark Twain’s.
Holocaust Survivor Dr. Inge Auerbacher
Coming to Texas!
Holocaust survivor Dr. Inge Auerbacher will give an account of her time spent in a concentration camp beginning as a 7-year-old child. She spent the worst years of her life surviving as best she could with her family in the cruelest of conditions. Her story helps us to “Never Forget.” Dr. Auerbacher is living history that you and your children may never have the opportunity to witness again.
Coming to all four 2017 GHC events!
Christian homeschooling dad and musician Andrew Peterson will perform on Thursday evening and lead a very special workshop session on Friday morning! As a musician in Nashville, he has “been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments.” Join us for an evening enjoying Andrew’s music, as well as his special Friday morning session!
Coming to Texas and California events!
We are very honored to also welcome Nick Vujicic! Born without arms or legs, Nick has chosen to be “better instead of bitter.” He will deliver an inspirational and compelling testimony about his determination to enjoy the life and purpose God has given him.
Coming to all four 2017 events!
Michael Franzese, former mobster with the feared Colombo crime family, will give his testimony as a born-again Christian. This session is described by past listeners as “…open and honest…fresh and unique. Audiences are captivated by stories of his personal experiences in organized crime and genuinely affected by his powerful anti-crime messages and eye-opening revelations.”
Coming to the MidWest event!
Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Though Stan died in 2005, and Jan in 2012, Mike continues to create the delightful Bear adventures from his studio in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks much like the sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country.
Coming to the SouthEast, MidWest, and California events!
Many moons ago—before the invention of Ritalin or the Internet—a young, broke college student named Roberto Antonio Smiley (Bob) signed up for a stand-up competition at his Student Union Building. The prize money was $500, which was nearly 5 months rent for the “efficiency” closet Smiley was living in at the time. Though he had never stepped on a stage, and the only prior laughs he had gotten were due to his colossal leprechaun ears, he went for the gold. When he arrived, his only competition was a grown man wearing an oversized sombrero with no act…so…he won the money and the tender hearts of his fellow students. The rest is history.
Coming to the MidWest event!
John Crist continues to gain momentum as one of America’s young rising stars of comedy. Crist’s style of edgy but clean comedy keeps him on the road for a whirlwind schedule of over 250 live shows per year.
When asked how he finds the inspiration to write jokes, Crist says, “Shoot, I grew up in the south. My dad is a pastor, and I was the third of eight homeschooled children. Coming from a background like that, how do you not write jokes?!”
FREE Gifts to all that register at Great Homeschool Conventions in 2017
As an additional benefit, those who register for the convention receive the following:
- A free Andrew Peterson album download (8 songs, a $7.99 value!)
- Free streaming access ($59 value) to all twelve episodes of “Ancient History” as well as “The Gospels” (episode 1) from our friends at DriveThru History. (Don’t wait though—the free access to these awesome history episodes is available only until October 1, 2017.)
- A free download of The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers e-book by Mike Berenstain (a $1.99 value) E-book offer is from the publisher, Zondervan.
- A free download of Focus on the Family audio recording: Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom ($9.99 value)
- A free download of Adventures in Odyssey episode of Amazing Grace ($1.99 value)
I was so overwhelmed as this is my first year homeschooling. I walked away with a greater sense of confidence and direction.
My husband got the encouragement he needed to be a part of our homeschool experience.
The quality and variety of speakers is what sets this convention apart from others.
Definitely the place to go to get answers to any questions you may have about curriculum.
Go! It’s worth every minute and every penny!