Science for High School

Homeschool Conferences and Book Fairs, Part One: What to Expect

We are coming to the end of the school year, and you may be looking ahead to a Homeschool Conference/Book Fair.  It could be exciting, fun, but also overwhelming!  For those who haven’t been to a conference/book fair, I would like to give you a “head’s up” about a few things, to prepare you for what might happen.

First off, be prepared for all those new curricula with the fancy bells and whistles and hundreds of vendors ready to show you why their curriculum is the BEST for your students.  I remember walking through a book fair, after homeschooling for 12 years, and feeling overwhelmed.   After 12 years of book fairs!  I remember thinking that what I was doing was not enough and the new fancy curricula were much better. If you anticipate feeling this way, you can be prepared to deal with it!  Often the vendor will try to convince you that their curriculum is perfect for everyone. (Hint: No there is no curriculum perfect for everyone).  You need to try to be objective and ask yourself if what you ARE doing is working.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Is your student learning the material?
  • Does your student “enjoy” the curriculum you are using?
  • Would you want to use the next available sequence of that curriculum?
  • If it did not work, why did it not work? (were you not committed, was it on an inappropriate level for your student, did it not teach to your child’s learning style, etc.?) What other curricula is out there that might be more appropriate?
  • Think about what things have worked for your student in the past and what things do not work. You may want to write a list of those things to refer to when talking to vendors with their “new” products.
  • Do you NEED a different approach/method?

Often you can do a google search for curriculums and get a “heads up” to look out for specific curriculums that might meet the needs you have recognized. Looking at them online COULD give you basics for what each curriculum uses, etc.