I kind of want to go to one just to get more familiar with homeschooling. Have any of you ever gone to one and what was it like? Was it encouraging? Did you learn a lot you didn't already know? I am cutting it close because its in Jan. and I'll have to come up with the money for it before then.
It's just a curriculum convention? No tips and tricks of things that was tried WITHOUT books involved. Like ideas of how to set up schedules stuff like that. And a chance for homeschooled kids to meet. When I hear convention I think of the ones for like nerdy people where you compare notes on stuff and meet new people. Not just look at curriculum.
I have only been to a few curriculum conventions (I have never attended the workshops). At one of the smaller conventions I attended, it was a bit of a shock for the kids and I. They ALL looked VERY similar. They just stared at us and looked away quickly if we got near them (to be fair, we were dressed in a stark contrast to them). It was a very unusual experience. We didn't stay long because I was looking for secular materials. At another one I attended, it was very normal, but they had a policy of only allowing religious materials to be sold there. I wish that would have been posted somewhere BEFORE I paid to attend it - It was a learning curve; I now ASK.
I didn't attend conventions after the first 2yrs. I had a good idea of what was out there, had an idea of our direction with homeschooling, and had homeschool stores in my area to see the materials in person. However, I have considered attending one this coming year. It has been about 5+yrs since I was last at one. I am curious to see whats new - especially for the older grade levels. I mainly shop through Rainbow Resources now.
I went to the Great Homeschool Convention. There were a lot of workshops available that would probably be useful. I only went into the curriculum hall.
This may not even be an issue for you, but it was very Christian oriented.
ETA: I looked at the dates of GHC and it starts in March, so that's not the one you are going to.
There is a regional one here (lasts Friday & Sunday at a hotel) every spring. I've been twice. The first year, I just went to the vendor hall. It costs $5 to get in per person or $10 for a family. I went alone. It was a little overwhelming and honestly I didn't much care for the vendor hall. I did get a few coupons for free shipping or 10-20% off stuff (nothing is actually sold there at the convention, you just get a feel for it and then can order later, maybe that's different at different places). Many of the venors were kind of WHACK in my opinion but everyone wants something different!
The next year I went and decided to go to one of the lectures. This mother of 8 was talking about how she is able to homeschool such a large family, how she organizes her day and her household. It was sort of informative. She was a little bit nuts and towards the end her "advice" on baby-rearing really made me feel sick (not at all similar parenting style to me or most parents I know).
I probably won't go again. It's a bit of a drive and then it costs to enter, and IDK what benefit I'd get. If I were totally new to HSing I might say it's a good idea once. Just to see what all is out there. But I'm getting pretty set in my ways at this point, so I wouldn't get much out of it.