4 Things I Learned From Attending HEAV’s Homeschool Convention

by Maiya Drennan

Just a month ago there were thousands of homeschool families gathered at the convention center in Richmond for a weekend of refreshment and encouragement. It was an absolutely fabulous weekend and I will cherish the memories I made with my family forever. I took many notes during the weekend of things to put into action for next year. I am pretty sure this is a learn-as-you-go type of event. Each year you learn something different to do for the next year to make it even better! So, here are some of the things I learned…

Homeschool Convention Tips

Make an effort to ask questions at the booths in the Exhibit Hall.
Many of the booths do have a lot of people visiting, but if you keep walking around you WILL catch someone. From what I encountered during the convention, the people working at the booths want to talk with you. I talked with a few and was encouraged by their enthusiasm. It really is wonderful to listen to people talk about something they love. It gets a wonderful conversation going and before you know it, you very well may have made a new friend! Definitely take advantage of the freebies and hand-outs that they are anxious to give you. They contain a lot of contact information for later, so don’t forget about that!

Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!
If you think for one moment that by volunteering you will be missing out on something throughout the weekend, you are sorely mistaken. There are many volunteer opportunities where you get to team up with several other people to help the whole weekend run smoothly. It is SO much fun, too. I was able to help set up the Used Curriculum Sale this year and loved it. It doesn’t sound exciting, but it was good work and we got it done quickly. Next year, I definitely want to snatch several opportunities to volunteer in different parts of the convention. If you think about it, it is yet another great opportunity to serve people and fellowship with the ones you are serving right alongside with. Be cheerful and willing and approachable and you will have a grand time!

You’ll have plenty of time to walk around… so go to a workshop!
Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I actually didn’t make it to a single workshop. OHHH! I know, shame on me! I would always loose track of time. Next year, I really want to be intentional about my time management and get to a workshop. I had an abundance of time to walk around the Exhibit Hall, so I know next year that I won’t be missing out… and it will give my feet a rest (they got really sore from all of the walking around!)

Talk to the people at the Young Entrepreneurs’ booths.
I did not even know about this area until I was at the bloggers’ meet-and-greet on Thursday and met some of the young people in the young entrepreneurs’ section. They were so sweet and so easy to talk to that I couldn’t help but eagerly agree to visit their booth during the convention. I snagged my sister and mom and we went to talk with some of them and “ooo-ed” and “ahhh-ed” over their creations. I encourage you to take 15 minutes to go and talk with some of them. I believe it would make their day–and yours! Engage in conversation. They were wonderful to talk to, very polite and fun, and had some wonderful products that they were selling. Support them! They are our future small-business owners.

This is just a quick look at some of the things that I “learned” and want to put into practice for next convention–and trust me, I’m already counting down the days until the 2016 HEAV Convention! If you went and enjoyed it even a little bit, take the time to contact one of the (many) coordinators and managers who work tirelessly to make this one of the best homeschooling conventions in the nation.

Maiya is a homeschool graduate currently pursuing a life as a stay-at-home daughter. She enjoys her days teaching piano, volunteering at her local crisis pregnancy center, taking hold of opportunities to encourage and minister to younger girls, doing projects with her seven—soon to be eight—siblings, and writing her blog at Blessings, Bliss, and Bedlam!

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