It’s no secret that I love Great Homeschool Conventions. I’ve had the privilege of attending and partnering with them for years now and I am always impressed with how GHC cares about homeschool families, how they respond to needs and bring in speakers to cover all manner of issues the homeschooling parent may face. They see you, they hear you, and they want to equip you during your weekend at a convention.
And, I’ll be at ALL SEVEN of the Great Homeschool Convention locations in 2019!
I’ve written several times about what you can expect from a homeschool convention, why you should attend one, and even about how to get around one! Yet with all my excitement and all the information I’ve shared about what all GHC has to offer, there still remain a few people who are just a little apprehensive about attending. Sure, there are stellar speakers, hundreds of vendors, and great connections to be found, but a Great Homeschool Convention can’t have everything, right? Well, you’re right.
For all the GHC does have, there’s also plenty you won’t find at a convention weekend.
You won’t find pushy salespeople. It sounds impossible, I know, but it’s true! Yes, there are plenty of vendors offering plenty of items and you won’t lack for choices, but the people in the booths are there to help. They’re oftentimes the very people who wrote the programs you’re eyeing and will know whether or not it’s a good fit for your needs. The vendor hall can be overwhelming when you first walk in, buzzing with activity and excitement and yes, sales, but each person you’ll find in a booth is there to empower families and share knowledge above anything else. Everyone is there for the same reason – to home educate in the way that works best for each family.
Which brings me to the next thing you won’t find at a homeschool convention – judgement. Gone are the stereotypes of isolated homeschool families who turn their noses up. Every single family in attendance has made the decision to be different than the world around them, to do what’s best for their families. No one is concerned if your child isn’t reading yet or is sucking on a pacifier or is sprawled out on the floor in the corner, drawing plans for their latest invention – they all have kids who are different or all live lives that are different from almost everyone else’s. They’re unbothered by different. Pants, jumpers, single children and large families, everyone is represented, everyone is welcome.
Sadly, you won’t find a magical, perfect curriculum at a homeschool convention. I know, it’s disappointing. With all of the choices and programs and schools of thought represented, surely you can devote yourself to finding that unicorn, the elusive, mystical, perfect curriculum. Sorry, friend, it’s probably not going to happen. You will be able to discover ideas and books and programs you’ve never heard of before, and you will be able to check out multiple curricula in person and make a truly informed decision, but alas, no homeschool convention will be able to boast The One.
If you’re homeschooling a differently-wired kiddo, you’re probably used to encountering people who are either ignorant or dismissive when it comes to their unique needs – but you won’t find any eye rolls at a GHC. Special needs, giftedness, Charlotte Mason, Classical… there are tracks and experts and speakers and vendors representing almost every imaginable aspect of homeschooling! You’ll find speakers who are equipped to educate and empower you when it comes to homeschooling a child with ADHD or dyslexia, experts who totally get your vision for a nature-centered education or people who share your passion for hands-on learning. Your style and needs aren’t frowned-upon, dismissed, or weird. And if you just need a place to vent or brag on your differently-wired or gifted kiddo, you know you can find me and share away!
Finally, what you definitely won’t find at a homeschool convention is a sales pitch from me. Sure, I have resources and bundles available in my booth, but sales aren’t why I’m there. I attend GHC to help you, the struggling, worried, exasperated parent, the parent of the gifted kid, the difficult kid, the different kid. I want to give you chocolate, a hug, and a listening ear more than I want to give you a receipt. I carefully plan my new talks each year to address the needs of this community, to help the parents who are overwhelmed and underserved. I work each year to be relevant and helpful, encouraging and empowering, but more than anything, accessible. I want to chat with you, and I hope I get the chance to!