A Family Field Trip the Kids Will Love!

Posted on Feb 25 2014 in Convention by admin

HEAV’s 31st Annual Homeschool Convention – A Field Trip for the Whole Family!

Have you ever considered that going to a homeschool convention could be a field trip? Wait, hear me out. A field trip is an outing with some sort of educational component. Well, let me just tell you, the HEAV convention is FULL of educational opportunities. Now, I know what you are thinking: “Well, yes! It’s a homeschool convention; of course it has educational opportunities”—but the opportunities to see, buy or sell curriculum aren’t the only things I am talking about.

After having attended the convention for quite a few years now, and having volunteered all of those years, I have seen all sorts of cool stuff. Let me fill you in on some of the fun things for kids that you might not have noticed.


Chess Championships
I discovered this a few years ago. Championship Chess (a vendor at convention) started off years ago with a chess game in progress. Then there were boards available for anyone to play a game. Now, it is a full-fledged chess tournament!


Instrument Petting Zoo
If you attended the convention last year, you may have noticed some music.  I’m not talking about the amazing musicians that are located throughout the convention; I’m talking about the instrument petting zoo. Like most petting zoos, this one is hands on; unlike other petting zoos, there are no animals. Kids are encouraged to try different instruments to see if one of them strikes their fancy.



Exhibitor Booths
Last year there were more than 350 booths, and from what I hear, this year there will be more! Here are just a few of the kid-friendly booths:
• Bread Beckers, Inc.: Who wouldn’t like to try their samples?
• Chincoteague Bay Field Station of the Marine Science Consortium: Check out their cool touch boxes!
• Doll Clothes of Yore: Are you studying the Civil War? How about medieval times? There is a dress for that period. Be sure to take your girls by to see all of the amazing styles for 18” dolls.
• LEGO Education: It’s LEGO—need I say more?
• Words2remember4kids: Vicky is the illustrator and designer of the Children’s Bible Learning Cards. She is quite sweet and the cards are beautiful.
• Virginia Soaps and Scents: If you aren’t familiar with Virginia Soaps, you may wonder how this is cool for kids, but trust me on this one. They’ll get a kick out of the different shapes (cupcake soap) and scents!
• Youth Digital: Do you have kids who like screens? How about Minecraft? Be sure to take the kids by Youth Digital!



Used Curriculum Sale
Be sure to keep an eye on the time while you are at convention. You don’t want to miss your entrance into the Used Curriculum Sale. Trying to decide if you should take the kids with you? Well, imagine that you are at a giant yard sale, but instead of the kids coming to you and telling you they want this stuffed animal or that McDonald’s toy, they will be bringing you books and educational games. Plus, the concession stand in the back of the UCS should be open this year so you don’t even have to leave when the kiddos get hungry!


Yes, kids need it, too! Show them how many other kids are being homeschooled, and remind them of this when they say they feel like they are the only ones.


When it’s all said and done, the best thing to do with the kids while at the convention is to spend time with them. Let them voice their opinions about what they want to learn this year. Introduce them to the authors of books that they love, curriculum that they use, and leaders in the homeschool community.


But wait! If you’re looking for something with a little more structure, you still have all these options:


Generation Joshua’s iCommand and iAdventure
Students ages 13 and up have the opportunity to choose one of two leadership training sessions that help them to strengthen their beliefs and take an active leadership role. Whether they walk in the shoes of a legislator where they draft, debate, and vote on legislation or they take on a role in the Department of Defense to discern wise and true courses of action, there is no doubt that your student will come away from this with some amazing insight not only into our government, but also into themselves. (Additional fee applies.)


Music Competition
Have you developed a talent for voice, instrument, or piano? Sign up for the music competition that will take place Thursday afternoon. There will be prizes, and the winner in each category will get to play at a keynote session. And even if you don’t play, you’re welcome to come by and watch the performances!



Children’s Program  -  “Handiwork of the King”
Children ages 5 through 12 can spend their days playing games, making crafts, singing songs, and participating in Bible memory activities, all as they explore the “best evidence” for the theory of creation. Children will join their parents each day for lunch and then come back for the afternoon, leaving mom and dad free to attend workshops or just look at curriculum. (Additional fee applies.)
Special Buddies Program
New this year, this one-of-a-kind program is designed exclusively for children with moderate to severe special needs whose parents are attending the convention. Special Buddies will have specialized equipment, access to electrical outlets for monitoring devices, specially screened volunteers who have experience with special needs children, and nurses on hand for monitoring medical needs. With its own set of Bible lessons, music, arts, and crafts, the Special Buddies Program will be absolutely amazing! (Additional fee applies.)


Dissection Lab – Don’t Short Circuit!
Want your students ages 13 and up to be able to perform a dissection? Dr. Lainna Callentine is the tour guide for the amazing, hands-on workshop where students learn how the eyes and brain cooperate.


Writing Clinic – Mind Numbing to Mind Blowing!
Shh! Don’t tell the kids this is educational, and they’ll never know. Brian Wasko—with his special brand of humor— makes writing fun!


Young Entrepreneurs
Meet the homeschooled students and graduates between the ages of 10 and 21 who have their own business, and discover–or even purchase–their own unique product or service.
With all of this going on, you won’t even need to leave the convention center! Be sure to watch for the convention posts coming this spring on my blog, Homeschooler on the Edge! I’ll be discussing convention planning, what to bring with you, ways to sell your curriculum so you can buy more, and things of that sort.


See you—and the kids—at HEAV’s 31st Annual Convention!
Michelle Crooker – Homeschooler On The Edge

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