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Great Homeschool Convention


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#1 cato

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

Hello, I was thinking of registering for the Home School Convention in Greenville for March and didn't know if anybody has been? They have individuaI registration and family. ?? Wasn't sure about family b/c sounds like they have something set up for kids And you leave them w/ wrist bands. Sounds like they would have fun though. I'm pretty sure what I'm going w/ next Yr for curriculum but would love to see it first before I buy. + always love to learn more. Just wondering whay'all might know about. Thank You!

#2 Dianna

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:21 PM

Hi Toni,

 

I've never been to it, but conventions are a great way to see curriculum up close. The workshops are also worthwhile to learn about different products and homeschooling methods. A homeschooler recently blogged about the difference between the two SC conventions here: http://thecrazylifeo...ol-conventions/   I think she mentions the kids programs.

 

Warmly,
Dianna



#3 swright953

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 04:01 PM

Our family began homeschooling two years ago and I can tell you, without a doubt in my mind, that there were two things that made it a successful experience: Carolina Homeschool (Dianna, you rock!), and the Greenville Homeschool convention.

The first year, we concentrated on following their homeschooling 101 speaker track and learned SO much that helped us feel confident getting started. We also spent a great deal of time in the vendor hall, which can be completely overwhelming (it's huge and loud and huge). The second year we spent more time going to hear the speakers, and especially enjoyed Andrew Pudewa (IEW), Adam Andrews (Center for Lit), Martin Cothran (from Memoria Press), and Steve Demme (Math U See). This year's speakers are going to be incredible...all of the ones I mentioned, plus Dr. Ben Carson, Matt Walsh, Susan Wise Bauer, and tons of others. It is the best $50 I spend every year. I have found curricula that I never would have known about that my kids ended up loving, and there's no substitute for getting to hold the stuff in your hands to see if it's really what you want. The vendors will answer your questions until the cows come home.

We are very fortunate that we live in Greenville and can attend at will. We take our time and have a plan for each day. You can download the speaker schedule closer to the conference and plan which speakers you want to hear and when you want to be in the vendor hall. If you decide to go, wear comfy shoes, bring a notepad a pen, and pack lunches and water. There is a food court which has pretty good food, but it's very expensive. In the past parking has been free, and you are given a wrist band to wear for admittance throughout the entire weekend.

Their little kids program has a good reputation and fills up quickly, though I've never used it. There's a teen track of speakers that our son has attended with his friends that he really enjoyed. As you might imagine, the convention center is filled with kids, and everyone is prepared for that. They have activities for the kids at many of the booths (to get you to come talk to them about their products), and many kids just stay with their parents in the sessions. In the vast majority of cases, the kids are very well behaved and color or play quiet games with each other, or do school work.

Whether you decide to attend by yourself or sign up the whole family, it is worth the money. I liked the ability to get my kids' input on some of the things I was considering. In a few cases something I thought looked pretty cool looked lame to them so we picked something else.

Hope this helps you on your decision...
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#4 kohlby

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 04:46 PM

swright - do you know if it's a full day on Thursday?  I can't tell from their website.  Also, do they have speakers on that day or just Fri/Sat?  I'm also considering going but would need to go without my kids so I'm trying to figure out how much time my husband would need to take off from work.  There's two speakers I'm very interested in so I want to make sure I'm there to hear them.


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#5 Dawn Forman

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

I have been to both conferences.  I went to Teach Them Diligently in 2012.  I found the kids program to be very lacking and not engaging.  I found too many kids running around and in sessions where they had no business and their activity and presence took away from the speaker and the others who were in attendance.  The food court that the organizers have set up is nice.  I ran into a few religious homeschoolers who were rude there and very ugly with their words when they found out I had an only child, not knowing why. 

 

Went to Great Homeschool Convention last year.  My son and I both LOVED the kids program and he and I were both very nervous after our experience with Teach Them Diligently's children program.  I loved the parenting conference with Kirk Martin and Dr. Rosemond.  There was so much more room in the area to look at and purchase curriculum.  We stop and get Subway Subs and then head to the conference for the day.  Food picking are limited.

 

We signed up for Great Homeschool Convention as soon as it was announced for March.  My son and I are looking forward to hearing Dr. Ben Carson.  My son is also excited about the children's program. 

 

We drive up from Atlanta to attend these converences, which means that we are also paying for a hotel.  It's worth the money spent to be rejuvinated and to learn more about homeschooling and to see materials in person.  Also love being around other homeschooling families. 

 

Thursday is not a full day.  It begins after 3 or 4.  I can't remember the exact time with sessions and shopping open until later.  I mark off the speakers that I really want to see, and then go around the exhibit hall or to another speaker that catches my fancy depending on my mood. 


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#6 Laura Launius

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:22 PM

WE LOVE IT!  I went the first year sporadically - the next year I went to more sessions and took lots of time in the vendor hall with each dc individually.  Last year I was hooked and registered the entire family.  Now, dh didn't attend bec he owns his own business and leaves the hsing part to me.  He did attend the Sat. night Tim Hawkins Live event and loved it along with the kids :)   I signed my teens up for the teen track and they went to a number of the session, but they are in sports so had to work around practices.  I wasn't sure about the Children's Program - but went ahead and signed my youngest (9 at the time) up.  I really thought that he'd beg to go home or leave with a sibling when given the chance --- but NO WAY!  He loved it, made great friends, did craft projects, sang awesome songs, had a wonderful message, etc.  he's already requested to go again.  Now, you may think that's not such a big deal -- but first I don't generally let him go w/ anyone that I don't know really well bec he has some health issues along w/ severe allergies and asthma and I just don't chance it w/ him being around people I don't know well.  He also doesn't like to do a lot of things that he views as useless or "boring" and he's more of a "hang out w/ my select friends" kind of kid.  He also isn't one to like to get up early to go to anything but he was up and raring to go Fri and Sat of convention -- he has told anyone that will listen what a great program it is and I was so impressed w/ the way they dealt with that many kids. 

 

As for the schedule - it generally opens up around 3 on Thursday w/ the first speakers and then the vendor hall opens around 6 from what I recall.  Friday and Sat. the sessions will begin around 8:00 or 9.  I can't find my copy from my list last year - so I'm just going from memory. 


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#7 Dana

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:08 PM

swright - do you know if it's a full day on Thursday?  I can't tell from their website.  Also, do they have speakers on that day or just Fri/Sat?  I'm also considering going but would need to go without my kids so I'm trying to figure out how much time my husband would need to take off from work.  There's two speakers I'm very interested in so I want to make sure I'm there to hear them.

Last year Thursday  there were some speakers starting at 3:30 (registration opens at 2pm). The exhibit hall opens at 6pm.

 

We've attended twice. Once when Luke was in 2nd grade and then last year when he was in 5th.

 

Susan Wise Bauer was there the first year but she isn't speaking there this year (or last year)   :(  She's a great speaker.

Michael Clay Thompson is excellent & his vocabulary session is great. I also like his poetics session.

Jim Weiss is fun to listen to.

 

Rainbow Resource has a booth in the vendor area. They didn't have as much stuff last year as they did the first year we went, but if there's something you particularly want to look at, I think you may be able to contact them in advance and ask if they'd bring it for you to look at.

I bought quite a lot :)  Some people bring rolling bags to store things.


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#8 swright953

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:38 AM

swright - do you know if it's a full day on Thursday?  I can't tell from their website.  Also, do they have speakers on that day or just Fri/Sat?  I'm also considering going but would need to go without my kids so I'm trying to figure out how much time my husband would need to take off from work.  There's two speakers I'm very interested in so I want to make sure I'm there to hear them.


As a few before me said, Thursday is not a full day, but they will have speakers. If you need to go without kids, and if it's feasible, I'd suggest having the Hubs take Friday off so you get more bang for your buck. In my opinion, something is worth more than nothing. The convention doesn't "sell out," as far as I know, so even if it's a last-minute decision, you'll be able to go for something. The advantage to that is being able to keep an eye on the website as they release and update the speaker schedule. Be forewarned that it does change, though. I know that I had planned to go see one particular speaker and it was changed, so just keep an eye on the website and the date on the PDF file for the speakers to know if it's changed.

#9 kohlby

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:42 AM

. I know that I had planned to go see one particular speaker and it was changed, so just keep an eye on the website and the date on the PDF file for the speakers to know if it's changed.

I hadn't seen this pdf file, so am I correct in assuming it hasn't been written yet?  I will have my husband take Friday off.  (And not work Sat, they sometimes make him work random Sat).  I'll also start looking for a babysitter just in case we find we need to go up Thursday.

 

 

Susan Wise Bauer was there the first year but she isn't speaking there this year (or last year)   :(  She's a great speaker.

Michael Clay Thompson is excellent & his vocabulary session is great. I also like his poetics session.

Jim Weiss is fun to listen to.

 

 

Sounds like we have similar tastes.  The speakers I was most interested in are Michael Clay Thompson and Zaccaro.  Those two alone were my motivation for signing up.  Kathy Kuhl is another one on my list.  I was fine with SWB not being there because I'm not a classical homeschooler, though I do use some curriculums that classical homeschoolers like.  I do love the Well Trained Mind forums too.



#10 Dana

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:26 AM


Sounds like we have similar tastes.  The speakers I was most interested in are Michael Clay Thompson and Zaccaro.  Those two alone were my motivation for signing up.  Kathy Kuhl is another one on my list.  I was fine with SWB not being there because I'm not a classical homeschooler, though I do use some curriculums that classical homeschoolers like.  I do love the Well Trained Mind forums too.

 

I forgot to mention Zaccaro. I spoke with him some at his vendor booth last year and attended two of his sessions. I like him. My son also enjoyed the sessions with him & won an Einstein finger puppet for getting a math question right :)

 

If you do Latin, Christopher Perrin is also neat to see.