I recently heard some moms talking about convention. One was so excited about coming while the other had never attended and just wasn’t sure it was worth her time and money.
As I thought about her statement, my mind wandered back to my first convention. I was excited about starting on a new journey with my children and wanted to know everything I could about this great adventure called homeschooling. I too, was concerned about the cost. After all, I had quit a job just so we could homeschool, and we were down to one income. On top of the registration, I was going to have to get a hotel room, and meals. Would it really be worth it? Only by going could I find the answer to that question.
When I walked through the doors, I was like a kid in a candy shop – so many choices and I didn’t have a clue where to start. I began by walking the aisles of vendors and soaking in everything they had to offer. I made notes of things I really liked and would go back and forth between vendors comparing one curriculum to another and I had only made it down the first row. By the time I reached the third row, I was so overwhelmed I was almost in tears.
That is when a friend spotted me.
I think she could tell I was rocking on the edge and she took the time to sit down with me and help me look through my lists and gave me some great veteran homeschool mom advice. It was like a burden had been lifted. Just knowing I had a friend that was on the same page was comforting. She suggested I take a break from the vendor floor and attend some of the workshops. She even suggested a couple she thought would be helpful. They were amazing! I had a new sense of confidence and was encouraged just knowing that I was not in this alone.
That was 15 years ago, and I haven’t missed a convention since. My kids have all graduated from our homeschool and are almost all out of college now but I still come to convention. I will always be a homeschool mom and there will always be new families at convention that need a friend to come beside them and be their support as they begin the same great adventure I did 15 years ago.
Yes, the cost of convention made me hesitate coming that first year, but the encouragement, confidence, and help I received was far more valuable than anything I could ever have paid. So I encourage you, don’t just look at the cost of convention registration and let that be your deciding factor in whether you attend or not. Look beyond the cost to the value of what you will receive in return. It far outweighs the cost.