Survival Tips

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Welcome to the third installment of my HEAV Convention Giveaway!  Only 9 more days and 2 more blog posts until the big day!

Most of the readers who have entered the drawing have been to a HEAV convention before, but there are a few people who have never attended one.  Those of us who have been probably understand how overwhelming the convention can be for first-timers….there are just so many amazing sessions to attend, so many vendors to visit, and so much to see and do!  It helps to have some “survival tips” 🙂 .

These are some tips that I shared last year, but I think they are worth repeating:

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1.  First, take the time to pray.  Pray about how God is directing your plans.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as you and your spouse make decisions about the upcoming year.  Pray for your children.  Just pray!

2.  Wear comfortable shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking!  Bring a sweater or jacket as many of the conference rooms are chilly.

3.  Take a few minutes to look over the map and schedule after you check in.  Circle or highlight the sessions that you don’t want to miss and plan other activities such as shopping, meals, etc. around those sessions.  Many times there are way too many wonderful sessions that I want to go to and not enough time, so I usually purchase HEAV’s Convention MP3 while I’m at the convention for a discounted price.  Then I don’t feel rushed or stressed out because I’m missing an amazing speaker!

4.  Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  I actually carry a binder with notebook paper, folders, pens, highlighter, paperclips, Post-It notes, and rubber bands.  I also print off my registration confirmation, map of vendor hall, etc.

5.  Bring a rolling cart to carry all of the wonderful goodies that you’ll be buying!

6.  Decide on a budget and stick to it!  Try not to make any purchases on the first day (unless you are 100% sure it’s something you need).  Take time to shop around at different vendors to find the best price, or even better – see if you can find the item you’re looking for at the Used Curriculum Sale!

7.  Print off labels with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  Many vendors offer prizes or the chance to sign up for more information…instead of filling out all of those forms by hand, you can just stick a label on it and move on saving yourself lots of time!

8.  Take inventory of what items you already have at home, what products/curriculum that you need, and a wish list a few weeks before the convention.  I usually research items online beforehand and write down prices so I have a basic idea of how much things cost.

9.  Drink lots of water and eat healthy meals and snacks to help keep your energy up.

10. Enjoy your time at the convention!  Soak up lots of encouragement, make new friends, be inspired, gain wisdom, feel uplifted, get prepared for next year, and HAVE FUN 🙂 !!!


*** Now for your third chance to enter the 2015 HEAV Convention giveaway:

Comment on today’s post by sharing your name and which speaker or session you are most looking forward to hearing at this years convention.  You can view the speakers and their session descriptions by clicking here.

There are many sessions that I’m interested in attending, but I’m especially looking forward to hearing Ken Ham speak!  We visited the Creation Museum a few years ago and use many of the Answers in Genesis books in our homeschool.  You can read about our visit to the Creation Museum by clicking here.  It was a AWESOME trip!

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(LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Bible verses that were shared from my post on 2/9!  If you have a chance, please go back and read what scriptures are an encouragement to other homeschooling moms – you  will be blessed!)

58 thoughts on “Survival Tips

  1. Hope Hamer- There are going to be so many amazing speakers again this year! I am most excited about Crystal Paine. I first heard about her in MOPS and I can’t wait to meet her and learn more great ideas about saving money!

  2. Laura Wilkerson and if I have to pick just one I will pick Marilyn Boyer. After raising 14 kids I am sure she has plenty of reassurance for us newly minted homeschoolers that it can be done and we will survive it 🙂 Also very interested in the Character Concepts curriculum because we need more of that kind of education around my house right now, just keeping it real. Her wisdom is something we can all truly learn from.

  3. I have never been to a convention before! I will have a high schooler next year and she desperately struggles with writing, so I have been looking and hearing recommendations about IEW. So I would LOVE to hear Andrew Pudewa. Btw- I am really loving your blog, thank you!

  4. Brianna Riley here, I’m looking forward to a bunch but most of all DIANE KUMMER with “You Can Homeschool High School…If You Can Make It Through Tomorrow!” and KATHY LEE with “Homeschooling Your Adopted Child”—” What You Need to Know and What Every Mother of a Preschooler Needs TO Know.”

  5. My husband and I are considering homeschooling our children. We have never done it before. We have been praying on it every day and I have been doing a lot of research. Would be interested in going and hearing any of the speakers. It would be encouraging to talk to others and gain more knowledge about it.

    • I would recommend homeschooling to any parent who is able to do it. Despite a VERY busy 1st year, (we moved here from NY in November and I had a baby in October), and teaching a child with ADHD, I feel that choosing to homeschool was the best decision we have ever made. I have seen such growth in my children and in my relationship with them. I will pray for you as you make this decision and begin this journey.

      • Hi Carissa! We are actually in our 4th year of homeschooling and I totally agree with you….it has been the BEST decision for our family! Even though we’re not new to homeschooling, thanks for the prayers – we can never have too much of that – LOL 😉 !

  6. Since we just started homeschooling about a month ago, so this will be our first convention. I am not familiar with any of the speakers, but I am looking forward to any speaker that will make our decision to homeschool for high school less daunting!

  7. I’ve only been there twice. I would like to go to hear Dianne Craft. I’m sure there’s a lot I can learn from her to help my child.

  8. Heidi Sears. They all sound good, maybe Marilyn Boyer the most.

  9. Wendy Bracken. I’ve never been to HEAV and have been homeschooling since 2004!!! I’m cannot wait to hear Dianne Craft speak.

  10. We are new to homeschooling this year and I created our curriculum using an amazon search and just choosing what I thought looked good (I know it’s terrible!). I am so excited to go to the conference and talk to/listen to people who have been doing this for a while. This was a really tough year for us to start homeschooling. We moved here from NY and I had a baby mid-year. I need some inspiration and I am sure I can find some at the convention!

  11. Paula McPherson – I have just begun homeschooling again (a 13 yo grandson). I homeschooled grandchildren for a year when he was 7. I would love to hear Dianne Craft. Picking just one speaker was a very difficult as there are many I would like to hear. I have never been to the convention so I am really looking forward to meeting many like minded people and learning so much.

  12. Barbara Hancock- Picking one speaker is extremely difficult! But I will go with Ken Ham. 🙂

  13. If I make it to HEAV I would be most excited about hearing Andrew Pudewa. I’ve heard him a few times and always enjoy his info, insight, and presentation.

  14. I’m interested in hearing Steve Scheibner’s testimony regarding 9/11.

  15. Megan Getter…I am most looking forward to hearing from Ken Ham!

  16. There are so many awesome speakers!! I am most excited to hear Ken Ham and Kirk Martin!

  17. Veteran homeschooler here, who loves HEAV Conventions as a motivator for the next school year! I look forward to hearing Kirk Martin, who sounds like he has things to say that I need to hear.

  18. Picking just one is challenging, but if I had to choose just one it would be Diane Craft.

  19. Crystal Paine. Haven’t heard her speak yet but appreciate the resources she shares online.

  20. I would love to go to convention! I have tried to go twice. My son had the flu last year and I had surgery the year before. I would love to see Jeannie Fulbrights session on Notebooking or either of Gregg Harris’ session. My son is quite the little business man already. I would be nice to know how to encourage this

  21. Ken Ham is going to be there! Awesome!! I’m also looking forward to hearing Todd Wilson! Thanks! Thriftschooling at gmail dot com

  22. Andi Scott – I think I’m looking forward to hearing Ken Ham the most. This will be my first convention, although I have heard so much good stuff about it from other homeschooling families. Thanks!

  23. So hard to choose! I have several in particular but since I need to choose just one, I’d say Hal and Melanie Young. Thanks!

  24. Renee Cothran–I’m interested in seminars on teaching writing. So probably Andrew Pudewa.

  25. I have been once before but would like to go again. You are right, first time goers can easily become overwhelmed. I think going a second time with a plan in hand and with using your useful tips would lead to a more meaningful and productive experience! All of the upcoming speakers offer something unique to the experience, I would like to listen on to the presentation given by Ken Ham.

  26. Ken Ham is who I am most looking forward to seeing. I have heard him speak before and this would be wonderful to see him again.

  27. Ken Ham. I have heard him before and would love to hear him again.

  28. I am really looking forward to hearing Marla Cilley – I have followed the Flylady for years and love her tips and advice for organizing your home.

  29. Stacey P.- I am looking forward to hearing Dianne Craft speak so I can learn more about right brain learning and curriculums that go along with that.

  30. Oh my Gosh! So EXCITED! I would love to hear Kirk Martin and learn how to diminish power struggles. I have a 15 y.o. DD going on 21 – LOL
    and Gregg Harris, I would love for my DD to have the opportunity to pick up the tips and tricks to running a successful home based business.
    “Walking the battlefields brings the dead to life”- I couldn’t agree more! My daughter has a great love of history and insatiable interest in forensics so we can’t wait to meet Bill Potter!
    Thank you for this opportunity to win a free co vent ion experience.
    We’ve never been and this would be such a gift!

    The Longbricco’s
    Randy, Kathie & Kimberly

  31. First, thank you for this opportunity to win free convention registration. Our family is going into our 3rd year of homeschooling in the fall. We have not had the opportunity to go to convention thus far. Your tips are great, thanks for sharing them! We would love to hear Marlin Detweiler speak because we take a classical approach to out home education.

  32. All the choices are overwhelming. I’ve never been able to attend a conference! I think I’m most looking forward to Kirk Martin for help with my stepson that we just got custody of and began homeschooling!

  33. I’m most looking forward to attending Ken Ham’s sessions.

  34. HEAV conventions are always inspirational and get me ready for another year of homeschooling.

  35. Looking forward to hearing Ken Ham again. Always inspired by him!

  36. Cristina here. That’s so hard to choose! I have heard Ken Ham before and would love to hear him again. But I think this time I’m in need of some laughter, so I will pick Todd Wilson. I read his book “Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe” and he’s SO right on those topics!!!

  37. Hi, my name is Emily Fitch and I just started homeschooling our children this year. I would love to attend the convention and believe it would show me so many new ideas for teaching and learning. It would be a valuable resource. I would pick Kathy Lee – she sounds like just what we are looking for to help bring out creativity more in our children as they learn.

  38. Ok, I love the convention! It is the one “vacation” my husband and I do together!
    This year money has been so tight. My husband started a new job and we bought a home, and we are homesteading…all of this is Wonderful! Learning to trust Father to provide is a tough lesson, but worth the pain!
    We look forward the most to listening to Ken Ham!
    My husband was not a believer when we first were married, and that changed a year after marriage!!! He had been of the evolutionist mindset for years, till our first HEAV convention where he heard the young earth view point from someone other than myself!
    We would love to go this year! We have been waiting for taxes to purchase our tickets, but winning them would mean we could use the taxes for a hotel room for the one night!
    Thank you for taking the time to read this!

  39. Ken Ham spoke at my sons graduation a few years back and I am looking forward to hearing him again. He is a powerful speaker that I intertwines God as our creator with every part of our lives.

  40. I that Kirk Martin’s workshops sound interesting, particularly with 3 kiddos who are very different!

  41. Deanna Dunnavant-I am looking forward to hearing Crystal Paine. I heard her speak at Teach them Diligently and she was fantastic! She has so many great ideas!

  42. Molly H. here – I am interested in Kirk Martin this year. We are having some behavior issues and I would love some new ways to resolve these problems!

  43. This is my first year homeschooling my 4 children after teaching in the public school system for years. We are all happier! I am looking forward to hearing Ken Ham speak. We are currently using some Answers in Genesis materials in our Science curriculum so it would be wonderful to hear him speak!

  44. It really is hard to pick one, but I’ll say Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine. My husband is looking forward to hear Todd Wilson.

  45. Michael Markuson – Looking forward to hearing Ken Ham!

  46. Kristi Reynolds. I would love to see Marla Cilley. I have four children with one more on the way and would love to find the balance between homeschooling and keeping my home organized! I feel that I either can do school or clean-up, and haven’t found the right way to do both! Thank you for this chance!

  47. Marilyn Boyer would be my top choice. I was given a book swritten by the Boyers several years ago by a homeschool mom of seven. I have never been to a convention before…financially we have not been able to afford it. We have four children (and I work with youth) now and I am looking to hear not only from someone who has had experience with schooling many children, but to listening to..and maybe gleaning from the heart of a woman who can nurture and build character in young ones.

  48. My name is Becky West & I love the HEAV convention! ! Really looking forward to hearing Ken Ham. I missed him a couple of years ago when he came (think I was getting ready to have a baby) and think his sessions will be really interesting! 🙂

  49. My husband and I are looking forward to Ken Ham! I had the opportunity to hear him speak when I was a young teenager and have always wanted to hear him again. (Not only does he have an excellent message and presentation, but his accent is fun to listen to too!)

  50. I’d love to go to the convention. I think my husband and I would be most interested in Ken Ham. There are so many great speakers to choose from!

  51. My name is Heather Saylor, and hearing Ken Ham would be awesome!

  52. I have never been to the convention and would so welcome the opportunity to do so. I would be interested in attending a session led by speaker Yvonne Bunn.

  53. Stacey Tuman, and having just started homeschooling, am coming face to face with some of my, ahem… less than desirable personality traits. Since perfectionism and procrastination probably top the list, I am excited to hear the Flylady’s talk on exactly that topic. This will be my first HEAV conference, and am very excited that my husband will be joining me. No doubt his primary goal is to keep my spending in check, but I’ll take a budget cut over being without him!

  54. Shannon A. Isdell, I have been HS for 3 years. I am still clueless on if I am doing it right or trying to get everything done so I would love to go to Marla Cilley (The Flylady) session: Homeschool and Home Organization-You CAN Have It All. I am still unsure and not very confident in my abilities to help my daughters reach their education goal. I am also struggling with a headstrong 6 year old. I went to the convention year before last and was lost. Thank you for the tips and will continue to read your blogs to help me with the convention.

  55. I am really looking forward to hearing Shelley Noonan speak. All 3 of her sessions look interesting and like they will have a great deal of helpful information for our family

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