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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home School Convention

There is a special edition of WFMW this week. It is a back to school edition. Things here at the Izola Becker Home School won't get started until the last week of August but I do have a back to school tip to share.
We really like going to our local Home School Convention every year. Even though it is held generally at the end of our school year it really sets us up for what we will do the next year.

There are several things we like about going to the convention: 1)Amy and I get to spend time in seminars and large group settings learning more about home schooling. 2) We get to spend time together. 3) We generally run into and catch up with several home schooling families that we know. 4) Amy likes switching name tags with me during the convention, which is usually hilarious when I forget we switched and someone calls me Amy.

But the best thing about the home school convention is the vendor's hall. This is where rows and rows of companies sell their textbooks, videos, computer based programs and so much more. The majority of these vendors have their best sales of the year at these conventions so this is often where we (as well as many others) buy the bulk of their curricula for the coming year.

The Vendor Hall can be a very intimidating place. Even with all the discounts it can be a very expensive place. What works for us is having a system of how we are going to work the hall.

A. Before the convention we discuss what we are planning on as far as the curriculum for the next year.

Amy and I decided we wanted to try Konos for the coming year as we already had the curriculum from a previous home school convention. Konos is a multi level curriculum that includes all subjects except Math and Phonics. Amy and I then decided that we were satisfied with the Math that the kids were doing with Alpha Omega and would most likely stick with them in the coming year. We also discussed that we would want to focus a little more on Art as all our students show an affinity with that subject and that we also wanted to work more on penmanship as none of our students were showing an affinity with that.

B. We decide how much money we can or want to spend on curriculum.

C. Before we purchase anything we go through the vendor hall and look at what they have. Sometimes things change at the conference and our direction changes from what we were discussing before. Sometimes we end up getting exactly what we were talking about before the conference.

D. We leave the vendor hall and we discuss what we are going to purchase. Often the product is available at more than one vendor so Amy pulls out her calculator (me) to figure out what vendor has the best cost. Sometimes at this point we don't have everything decided yet. If that is the case we might divide and conquer where one of us will buy what we are certain about while the other will continue to look at products and make a decision

E. We generally find at least one new product at each conference that we are very excited to try out. This year we found out about the Draw to Learn series from the Notgrass Company. Remember how we wanted to have some more Art for the children. This book combines Bible Study and Art by having each student describe each of the Psalms in pictures. Click on the book cover for a sample page.

So that is how we make the vendor hall work for us. We are looking forward to a great school year and encourage you all to do the same. To see what has worked for me on previous Wednesdays click here.

To see what back to school nuggets await you at WFMW go back to We Are That Family.
This Article has been included at the Carnival of Homeschooling #189: The Lolcat Edition being hosted this week at Homeschoolbuzzdotcom.

Next Time: Remembering Millard.


  1. Nice post! I really like the picture in your header. My eight-year-old has that same shirt. His uncle bought it because it suits him exactly.

  2. Having a plan before you go really helps!

  3. What ages/grades does Konos work for? I always wanted to try them. Now I feel it may be too late. Do you think they are easy enough to alter for older grades if they are for they younger grades? Thanks in advance.


  4. Notgrass is a great company. We have their Tennessee state curriculum. I'm looking at the Thanksgiving and Christmas unit books for this year.


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