How to Survive a Homeschool Convention!

You’ve registered for the convention…now what???  Does the thought of wandering up and down endless booths of books, materials, and curriculum make you feel “tied up in knots”?

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Well, it’s time to make a plan:) !

Many conventions are large (including the HEAV convention) and can be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to prepare in advance.  I’m going to share some tips and “tricks of the trade” that I ‘ve learned over the years.

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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.  Interested in learning about healthy living or dealing with teenagers? This year HEAV has a link where you can search for sessions/topics that interest you!  Check it out here.

 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!

*Click HERE for the HEAV Convention schedule and start planning!!!*

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  (durable) 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:) !!!

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Less than FIVE weeks to go – WOO, HOO 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time For the Big Announcement:


Natalia Gibson

Congratulations Natalia!!!

I will be sending you a special code so that you can get your FREE full family registration.  I know that you will be blessed and encouraged at the convention!

HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!

Thank you to all of you who left comments, shared ideas, and entered my drawing.  I hope to see all of you at the convention in June!  And stayed tuned…several other of my HEAV blogger friends will be hosting giveaways 🙂 .

Pinterest Party (with a Purpose)

Tonight is your LAST CHANCE to enter my giveaway for a FREE full family registration to the 2016 HEAV Homeschool Convention!!!

(But first I want to tell you about my Pinterest Party 🙂 – see the end of this post for your chance to enter)

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Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

I have different scriptures and Bible verses around our home and love how seeing them daily helps me to keep my focus on God.

Last week I hosted a Pinterest Party for the ladies in my Sunday School class and I wanted to make a craft “with a purpose.” – one that would be a blessing to the women and their families.  I adapted several ideas that I found on Pinterest and we painted wooden frames that we can use to display Bible verses.

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We also painted recycled tin cans to make some fun decorations.  Both crafts were super easy and we had so much fun hanging out together!

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As usual, God’s timing is perfect…not only is having scripture around good for adults, but it is also perfect for kids when they need to be uplifted and reminded of God’s love and protection:

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 OK, so to enter the drawing leave me a comment on tonight’s post and share one of your favorite Bible verses.  I will randomly draw a name tomorrow and announce the winner…GOOD LUCK!!!

HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!

An Attitude of Gratitude

So last month the women’s ministry at my church hosted an event called “Creative Quiet Times” and one of the ladies shared the coolest idea!  She loves photography and showed us a book that she had made (I think she used Shutterfly) where she had taken pictures of things that she was grateful for, beautiful scenery that reminded her of the glory of God, etc.  She even had pictures of her shower because she was grateful for hot water and indoor plumbing 🙂 !

I decided to try it today and it really does help you focus on all of your blessings.  I could’ve taken A LOT of pictures, but didn’t want to bore you guys so I ‘ll just share a few:

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Thankful for Teaching Textbooks and all of the many resources that are available to homeschoolers.

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Thankful that I get to suffer enjoy learning math right along side my kids 🙂 .

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Thankful for my kids (even though they HATE getting their picture taken anymore)!

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Thankful that we get to have dinner together tonight.

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Thankful for our pets and the laughter they bring.

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Thankful for our food and my crockpot that makes life so much easier!

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Thankful for God’s creation (even when they try to get into our bird feeders).

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Thankful that spring is coming!!!

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Thankful for our home.

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Thankful for our neighbors and the beautiful sunshine today.

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Thankful for Pinterest projects that I actually get done 🙂 !

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Thankful for the small reminders around my home that keep me focused on God.

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Thankful for good, Christian books that help me in my faith walk.

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Thankful for upcoming events in my life and the energy to get tasks done.

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Thankful for my friend who introduced me to Bible journaling and the fun I’ve had creating pages in my Bible!

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I hope this inspires you to get creative with how you spend time with God.  Get out there and do what brings you joy…quiet times don’t have to be boring!

If you like to sing, then sing your heart out.  If you like to paint, then find something in creation that inspires you and do it to the glory of God.  Don’t like to read?  Then listen to the Bible on tape or to a sermon while exercising.

The point is to do something!

Sometimes I think we feel like we have to set aside a huge amount of time to spend in “serious” study and prayer in order to please God.  I do think it’s important to dig deeper into God’s word and continue growing in knowledge, but honestly I think that it makes our Father smile God when he sees us finding joy in spending time with Him.  That’s the most important thing anyway…spending time with Him!

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Speaking of “time” 🙂 …it’s time for another chance for my giveaway

Do you have any creative quiet time ideas that you’ve tried or would like to try? 

Share some ideas with me by leaving a comment on today’s post and your name will be entered into a drawing for a FREE full family registration to the 2016 HEAV homeschool convention. 

Home Educators Association of Virginia

Busy Used Curriculum Sale 2012The winner will be announced on Friday, March 26th!

HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!

Don’t You Just LOVE Give Aways?!?!

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Valentine’s Day is this weekend, so guess what today’s theme is 🙂 ?

LOVE!

Ryan and I had a fun afternoon helping with our annual homeschool Valentine’s party.  This year our group decided to focus more on service projects, so the kids decorated lots of cards for children who are in the hospital and made “socks of love” for the homeless.  It’s kind of sad that both of my kids have outgrown exchanging Valentine’s, but I’m very thankful that they both still enjoy helping out with parties and being with all of the kids.

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HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!

OK, OK, if you’ve read this far, then I know you’re dying to hear the EXCITING NEWS 🙂 : 

I am thrilled and honored to be a blogger for HEAV again this year and it’s time to give away a FREE Full Registration to the 2016 Convention !

How do you enter?

There will be 4 new posts between the dates of February 12-25th…starting TODAY!!!  Each post will offer opportunities to enter the contest and names will be entered into a random drawing.

The winner will be announced on Friday, February 26th! 

And, guess what?  You can still enter even if you have already registered for the convention (HEAV will reimburse you – yes, they are that awesome 🙂 ).

So, since it’s almost Valentine’s Day and the “season of love”, leave a comment on this post telling me three things that you love about educating your children at home…

…..GO 🙂 !!!