Homeschool Conventions and Conferences: Gathering Goodness

Feb 25, 2022 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

Now that we are approaching the end of February, winter is finally waning, and a new season is on the horizon: homeschool convention season! This season stretches several months and offers homeschool parents and educators alike opportunities, both online and in person, to connect with others, to discover great resources, and to feel encouraged and excited about the upcoming school year.

Why should you attend a convention? There are plenty of reasons! Conventions are a great way to learn more about different instructional approaches, new curriculums, and legislative updates. They are also excellent places of connection for homeschooling parents. Where else can you gather with so many other people who are on a similar journey as you are? Schoolteachers find homeschool conventions great experiences because they are able to learn from experienced conference speakers and to review large amounts of curriculum on the vendor hall floor. Many homeschool conventions cater to families and offer events and classes tailored to children as well as their parents.

While attending in-person conventions offers the benefits of closely reviewing curriculum, being able to gather with friends, and the excitement of traveling somewhere for a weekend away, attending an online convention offers other benefits. Attendees still enjoy connecting with others and learning from experienced speakers, but they can do it from the comfort of their own homes. If you attend an online event, you can “come as you are,” complete with your fuzziest socks, favorite sweatshirt, and beverage—while sitting in your comfiest chair. There are no travel expenses for online conventions, which makes them affordable options.

Homeschool conventions really are packed full of goodness. Gathering together with a group of people who are walking a similar pathway is empowering, educational, and encouraging. These events can provide the perfect fuel you need to begin the school year with enthusiasm.

We reached out to some of our staff to learn what benefits they have gained from attending homeschool conventions. Here are a few of their responses:

I loved attending homeschool conventions for many reasons, but a huge motivator was the "pep talk" that I might not have even known that I needed. Sometimes you can grow weary and unenthused without even recognizing it. Then you attend a convention, and some workshops can feel a bit like a pep rally. You really ARE doing a great job! You HAVE made the right decision. Your children ARE learning! This is the kind of feedback that your children rarely provide … at least until they're much older! Truly, the road trip I took every year with my best homeschooling friends was the weekend I looked forward to all year long. It is highly motivating to have a "band of brothers" in the trenches with you. Three days at a convention with girlfriends, sharing notes, talking about and looking at curriculum, sharing stories, and "cutting no one's food but your own"? Priceless! ~ Kim Murphy, Online Instructor

Oftentimes the responsibility and my strong desire to excel in homeschooling our daughters felt daunting. Every single year what made an enormous difference in my journey was attending the homeschool conference in my area. Receiving encouragement, hearing the presenter's wisdom, and viewing the curriculum in person was invaluable. Additionally, attending with my friends was enjoyable and a great way to strengthen my circle of support. I came away from each convention energized and excited to get started with the new year. ~ Debbi Hall, Hybrid School Team

In the last few years, conferences have had to look at new ways to reach families. At the same time, families are looking for alternatives in order to be connected with speakers and vendors. Virtual conferences have provided a unique opportunity for families to participate. There is no long-distance traveling, no hotel stay, and no paid parking. The commute to your computer is quick. Virtual conventions offer accessibility to speakers and vendors, and anyone from anywhere can participate. All one needs is internet access. The cost of a virtual convention is usually very reasonable. Perhaps my favorite part of virtual conventions is the real-time ability to interact with the speaker and with others attending the conference. Often these conferences have a team monitoring chats, and they can respond to questions or forward them to the speaker to address. ~ Renee Vasher, Hybrid Schools Consultant

Attending conventions helped me see that I was part of a larger community. It was my reminder of why I was homeschooling and making the choices for my kids. I came home from a convention (spring convention in my state) excited for what I could work on for the next year. I attended my first convention when the twins were three. I didn't purchase anything, but it gave me a feel for what homeschooling resources I would have available. It became the highlight of my teacher planning. ~ Marci Harris, Online Instructor and Homeschool Educational Consultant

It was at a homeschool convention that my wife was exposed to classical education as well as to IEW! We would not have had such early exposure to these ideas and resources if it wasn't for the opportunity that was afforded us through a homeschool convention. Ours happened to be theTPA convention in Wichita, Kansas. ~ Nathan King, Project Manager

When you homeschool, it is important to gather with like-minded individuals to fuel you for the year ahead. It always gives me a burst of enthusiasm and reminds me why I'm doing what I'm doing. Over the years I've had the opportunity to connect with many different people and hear various perspectives to help me on my homeschool journey. Lastly, it is always such a treat to touch and feel the curriculum before you buy it. Being able to flip through books in person is a big plus for me! ~ Terra Tyler, Customer Service

Attending homeschool conventions allowed me to explore the curriculum with all my senses. I could see the books, touch the pages, hear the comments from others regarding the curriculum I was considering, enjoy the smell of the new book, and figuratively taste the success my children would have with my newfound purchase. Also, attending a convention allowed me to have a support group of other families in the same season of life, literally and figuratively walking together with me and helping me with decisions. They were also a great excuse for an overnight getaway! ~ Allyson Heins, Online Instructor and Homeschool Educational Consultant

Attending the homeschool convention was always the highlight of my homeschool year. The speakers encouraged, educated, and motivated me. Being able to closely look at curriculum made it so much easier to choose materials that fit my children’s needs. I left excited and empowered! ~ Sabrina Cardinale, Editor and Online Instructor

The best thing about going to an in-person convention was getting away to focus on goals that I wanted to set for the coming school year for my children. I liked talking to vendors about the curriculum that I was planning to use for the approaching school year, especially if it was a new product that I had never seen before. Another highlight of being at the event was being reminded and affirmed that there are other like-minded parents out there. Lastly, I always enjoyed listening to speakers to help me hone my teaching skills for my children. In the end I always went home with more books than I needed, edified and ready to tackle the coming school year. ~ Cynthia Lescault, Homeschool Educational Consultant

One year my husband and I attended a homeschool conference together. I think it was CHEA in Santa Clara. We made a weekend out of it, which was great by itself, but also my husband heard firsthand how character development should be first and foremost. This changed the trajectory of our homeschool. Academics became secondary because we chose an excellent curriculum that helped with character development. The emphasis of the keynote was spending time with your children, reading, sharing, learning—developing their character. I think we also heard Andrew speak long before I knew anything about IEW! ~ Tina McMahel, Online Instructor and Homeschool Educational Consultant

  • March 17‒19: Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville, SC*

  • March 24‒26: Great Homeschool Conventions in St. Charles, MO*

  • April 7‒8: Wisconsin Dells, WI*

  • April 20: IDEA Homeschooling (virtual)

  • April 21‒22: IDEA Homeschooling in Anchorage, AK

  • April 21‒23: Great Homeschool Conventions in Cincinnati, OH*

  • April 21‒23: Called to Teach Homeschool Convention in Allen TX

  • April 25‒26: IDEA Homeschooling (virtual)

  • April 28: IDEA Homeschooling (virtual)

  • May 13‒14: Homeschool Wyoming Convention in Cheyenne, WY*

  • May 19‒21: Christian Home Educators Association of California Convention in Anaheim, CA**

  • May 26‒28: Florida Parent Educators Association in Orlando, FL*

  • May 26‒28: North Cucation in Winston Salem, NC

  • June 2‒4: Called to Teach Homeschool Convention at The Woodlands, TX*

  • June 9‒11: Home Educators Association of Virginia in Richmond, VA*

  • June 16‒18: Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario, Canada*

  • June 16‒18: Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference in Denver, CO

  • June 25: IEW’s Summer Conference 2022 [Live and Online]*

  • July 7‒9: Great Homeschool Convention at Round Rock, TX*

  • July 15‒16: Arizona Families for Home Education at Phoenix, AZ

  • July 29‒30: Southeast Homeschool Expo, Atlanta, GA

  • September 17: IEW’s Fall Conference 2022 [Live and Online]*


* Andrew Pudewa will be presenting.

** Julie Walker will be presenting.


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