5 Top Reasons to Get to the Curriculum Fair this Year!
When we first started homeschooling, one of my first concerns was where to get “my books”. I mean, kids at school always have textbooks, right? So where do we get ours?Of course, this was “back in the day”, when materials were quite a bit more limited, and I had no idea you could use, say, library books – or even no books (!) - to teach your kids…
But I digress…
So a good friend of mine suggested we go to a local homeschool curriculum fair, and take a look around. I was, to put it mildly, stunned (and felt like I’d died and gone to homeschool heaven!). Although since then there have been years when, for various reasons, we have not been able to attend one, “Get to a curriculum fair!” has become one of the first recommendations I make to new homeschoolers (second only to joining HSLDA!).
So what does a curriculum fair offer that makes it so wonderful?
A curriculum fair is a convention for homeschoolers – a huge, multi-day (usually over a weekend) meeting where products are displayed and workshops are held. The value is in what it brings to our homeschool, and to us personally…
1) It’s a place to see and touch new (to us) products. You will be amazed at what you’ll find! Quite honestly, the first time you go, you might want to consider not bringing your checkbook or credit card – you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store! If you come prepared with some idea of problems you need help with or school-subjects you need resources for, it does make it a bit easier to focus in on products and materials.
2) It’s a place to get inspiration and education in our own personal education regarding how to best teach our kids. Take time to look through the books and kits and resources; collect business cards and write down websites in a notebook to check out when you get home; take notes about subjects and products for future reference. You will start to become familiar with what’s out there and be educating yourself in the process!
3) It’s a place to connect with other homeschoolers and realize that we’re not “alone”. Homeschoolers come from a myriad of backgrounds, education, world-view, approaches. Take some time to meet people out in the hall, or in a workshop, or at a booth. Ask questions, share your challenges and successes, be an encourager. You’ll be growing and help someone else at the same time. Nothing cures “burn-out” any quicker!
4) It’s a place and time – and perhaps the only time that some couples have – to re-connect with your spouse and re-focus on your own homeschool. While dad may have a hard time getting some time off to attend, perhaps with some advance planning he could schedule a vacation day. Check out some websites in advance and put the dates on the calendar with plenty of lead time so you can work everyone’s schedule around the event. HSLDA offers an events page on their site, or Google “homeschool curriculum fair YOUR STATE”.
5) It’s a time to get re-energized and re-motivated and get our tanks filled up! It’s a natural by-product of all the above!
Alright, now that you have good reasons to “get thee to a convention” this year, I hope you’re getting out the calendar and penciling in the dates for your local event. Here’s my challenge: just try to attend one this year and see if you don’t find yourself feeling like a new person when it’s over! I’ll even bet you’ll come home knowing the dates for next year’s convention.
See you at the fair!
Pat Fenner and her husband Paul have been homeschooling their five children for 14 years. You can visit Pat’s website at Help-4-Your-Homeschool.com .