It’s time to decide whether to attend the Annual CHEA Convention. As a new homeschooler, you may look at the list of workshops and all the activities and feel like it will be too much for you. Or you have been homeschooling for a number of years and think things are going so well you don’t need to attend. Maybe you’ve attended several Conventions in the past and wonder what you have to gain.

If you’ve never been to a large homeschool convention like the Annual CHEA Convention, it all may seem overwhelming. Just the list of wonderful workshops, not to mention the many varieties of venders in the Exhibit Hall, can be confusing. Don’t let the enormity of it keep you at home. The Convention offers so much more.

If you’ve been before …

I know, it’s easy to think that you can buy recordings of workshop sessions, or look at a curriculum product online. But before you succumb to the idea that everything available at a convention is available on the Internet, consider what you can’t get online.

  • ASK QUESTIONS. Speakers who may not be able to come to your local area are often at larger conventions. Many speakers make themselves available during breaks to chat or at their exhibit booth to answer questions. You may get an opportunity to ask a question that has been burning in your mind and heart.
  • NETWORKING. Maybe trite, but it’s true. God created us social creatures. We need to be around others who have the same values as we do. It’s good to know that you are not alone: it’s even more encouraging to be among hundreds of like-minded parents. If you are new to homeschooling, you can learn as much from these other parents as you can from the speakers.
  • REFRESHMENT. If you are discouraged and about ready to quit homeschooling, going to a convention may be what you need to renew your vision. Chatting with other people who have traveled the same road is uplifting.
  • ENCOURAGEMENT. It’s nice to hear that you are doing o.k.
  • FRESH IDEAS. You’ve been using unit studies for several years and your family is getting bored with it. At the Convention, you can attend seminars about particular methods and get fresh ideas. Maybe you’ll learn a new approach to something you set on the shelf last year. Or you can explore new teaching methods. In addition, many of the exhibiters have workshops to explain their product.
  • BUY CURRICULUM. You get the opportunity to look at the material before you purchase. Sometimes the author of the material is available to answer your questions. Better yet, it’s not unusual to chat with other parent educators who have tried the same product.
  • A FAMILY VACATION. The Annual CHEA Convention has activities for the whole family including a Children’s Convention and a Teen Convention. This year the Annual Convention returns to the Pasadena Convention Center in family-friendly Pasadena.

CHEA offers the largest Convention in the state of California. Don’t let another year go by without taking advantage of the opportunities of attending a convention.