It is my favorite time of the year again! Homeschool convention season! It always makes me happy when I know their is a convention on the horizon. The convention refills my soul for the coming year. It gives me hope after a long school year. It revives my spirit after a long winter. There are so many amazing things about the HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) Convention. But, it can seem like a huge mountain for a first-timer. I am here to help!
I have personally invited quite a few newbies this year. Some have been homeschooling for many years but never attended a convention. Some are just thinking about homeschooling in the future. Some are pulling their kids out of public school and have no idea where to begin this new journey. Since I have been going to the HEAV Convention for a few years now, I feel like I have a good grasp of how to navigate it without feeling overwhelmed. There are always new things to learn though and I am open to anything God has in store for me.
The theme this year is "Building a strong foundation". Homeschooling is kind of like building a house. You must first have a solid and strong foundation. Otherwise, the whole thing comes crumbling down.
The convention lasts for three days. Thursday through Saturday (June 8-10, 2017). Each day brings different events and speakers. Upon completing registration at the convention, you will be given a schedule. It is very detailed and easy to use. There is also a map included for easy directions to each workshop or event.
On Thursday, there are free (that's right, FREE) classes for beginning homeschooling. You will learn the laws in Virginia for homeschooling as well as what, exactly, homeschooling really is. Visit THIS link for more information on these classes.
Friday and Saturday bring Keynote Speakers who each discuss different topics of interest to homeschoolers. These will be noted in your schedule. They are highly popular so get to the workshops early for seating. Throughout each day there are dozens of workshops to attend. They range from parenting to math curriculum issues to reading comprehension sessions and everything in between. There are even sessions for women-only and men-only.
For children, there are exhibits that have hands-on experiments, dissection labs, the children's program, photography lessons, and so much more. Some of these may cost extra but they are worth it.
On Friday and Saturday the Used Curriculum Sale will be held as well. Check your packet that you receive at check-in to see what time you are allowed to enter. They stagger the entry so that it isn't too crowded and people have enough time to really look around. On Saturday there is usually a time when things go on sale in the Used Curriculum Sale. You will have to check the schedule to find out more information on that.
On all three days, the exhibit hall will be open. This is my most favorite thing about the convention. You get to meet the people who make and/or sell the curriculum. You can talk to them about your child's specific needs and really get to know how each program works. You can pick the books up and look through them or try out a software program in-person. Having the ability to actually see what you are going to buy is amazing. I have enjoyed this part so much. You see the passion in each company. It's not pushy at all but very informative and helpful.
Since I blog for the HEAV Convention, I get to meet these people ahead of time. They are truly a blessing. The vendors work very hard to give you the best products possible. Most of the companies are family-owned and operated. They love what they do and want you to get the best out of their products. Try walking up to the vendors and really asking questions. They are glad to do so and you will learn so much more about each item than you thought.
No matter if this is your first or fifteenth time coming to the HEAV Convention, just remember to have fun, meet new people, and ask questions. There are many helpful and friendly faces all around. Everyone is eager and ready to help you in any way you may need.
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for live coverage of the convention. I will be posting any freebies from vendors that I hear about and will have lots of information that may be helpful.
Now, on to the good stuff! I am giving away one Family Registration to the HEAV Convention (valued at $79). That's right! All you have to do is enter below on the Rafflecopter and wait to hear back from me if your name is chosen. The Family Registration will get you in to the convention for all three days (it does not include any extras you may want to add-on). This is very exciting and I hope you enter for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway