Homeschool Convention Favorites

by Carletta on May 11, 2011

I am such a home school convention junkie that this year I attended TWO homeschool conventions.  In March, I attended the Mid South convention in Tennessee and met Jimmie, a longtime blogging buddy.  And last Friday, I spent the day at a local homeschool book fair with Jess, a longtime forum friend.

While I always leave homeschool conferences feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready to begin homeschooling again,  I also leave with a much lighter pocket book.  😉

Here are some of my favorites from this year’s conventions:

Pick and Draw

This was my favorite find this convention season, and it only costs $10!  Pick and Draw is basically a deck of cards that contain different shapes children use to draw parts of the face.  It is a fun way for younger children to learn to draw and build fine motor skills, and a great creative exercise for older children.

Pick and Draw

Isaiah with Rich Davis of Pick and Draw

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I love quiet time.  These cards can keep all of my big kids (ages 4, 7 and 10) quietly occupied for hours.

You can follow this link to view a demo of Pick and Draw.

Maestro Classics

One of my long-term goals is to teach my children (and myself) about classical music.  On a whim, last year, I bought Peter and the Wolf, Swan Lake, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Maestro Classics, and they almost instantly became our favorite choice for quiet times and long car rides.

These CD’s don’t only teach children about classical music through story, they help children fall in love with music because the music sounds delightful.  This year, I purchased Handel with a $5 off coupon the company sent by e-mail a week before the convention.

(Yes! It is worth it to sign up for those mailing lists.  Here are some other tips for saving big at homeschool curriculum fairs.)

This year, I had a chat with the company’s creative director, and she assured me that more CD’s are coming!  You can follow this link to learn more about Maestro Classics.

Homeschool Boutique

There is no real educational value behind this product, it is just plain fun!  If other 7-year-olds can wear t-shirts letting others know they are proud to be cuties and hotties, then I don’t see why my 7-year-old can’t wear a shirt letting others know she’s proud to be homeschooled.

Jasmine

Jasmine

You can find the shirt above, along with shirts for mom, dad and the rest of the family, at  Homeschool Boutique.

Lifetime Books & Gifts and
Grace and Truth Books

I strongly believe that one component of good stewardship is recognizing that it is sometimes worthwhile to purchase products at a higher price in order to support worthy businesses.  So although there are many places to purchase discount books online, I often choose to purchase books from homeschool family-owned businesses at our local vendor fair. 

(Check out Barb Shelton’s excellent articles about why it is sometimes wise to spend more in order to support homeschool businesses.)

Carletta and Shirley Solis

Carletta and Shirley Solis of Lifetime Books & Gifts

Over the years, my husband and I have been delighted to spend our money with two families in particular – the Solis of Lifetime Books & Gifts and the Gundersons of Grace and Truth Books.  If your family is really on a tight budget, consider purchasing from Rainbow Resource, a discount book vendor that is also owned by a homeschool family.

Jim Weiss of Greathall Productions

Although we didn’t add to our collection of Jim Weiss CD’s this year, we were honored to hear him speak in person, and delighted to find that he sounds exactly the way he does on CD!  Some of our favorites are Giants, Famously Funny and Sherlock Holmes.

Jim Weiss

Andrew and Jasmine with Jim Weiss

You can follow this link to learn more about Greathall Productions.

Home Educating Family Magazine

Home Educating Family Magazine was a sponsor for my 2009 homeschool curriculum review contest, and this year, my husband and I had a chance to chat with co-founder, Scot Keliher at the MidSouth convention.

Scot told us the story of how his wife, Rebecca Keliher, turned her knack for digital scrapbooking into a full-fledged magazine.  The company also publishes beautiful, yet simple and practical planners for parents and students of all ages.

You can follow this link to learn more about Home Educating Family.

More Homeschool Convention Resources!

Follow this link to find homeschool conventions in your area.

Follow this link to find my tips for surviving and thriving at homeschool conferences.

What were your great finds at this year’s convention?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah R May 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I am jealous that you got to see Rich Davis! He is a friend of ours, and we miss him! We love that game!

Reply

Leigh Ann Wayne May 18, 2011 at 8:42 am

It was great meeting you & your lovely family at the TN convention! Those conventions are such a great place to meet homeschool families, bring encouragement, share ideas, and learn from one another. Hope to see you at one of next year’s conventions! – LA

Reply

Carletta May 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Thanks, Leigh Ann! It was great meeting your family as well!

Reply

Cindy May 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I’ve still never gone to a homeschool convention. I’d love to, but I’m scared of what it would do to my wallet! Much safer for me is using resources like user-submitted reviews (thanks for your review contest, btw!) to decide what I want and ordering it online. I just can’t be trusted around that many vendors IRL.

Reply

Carletta May 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

IKWYM! It is definitely easy to overspend with so many great products around…

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