If you’re a newbie to the HEAV Convention like I was last year, there was one question I had that I just couldn’t find the answer!
My biggest question last year:
I will admit, for my very first homeschool convention last year, this was a big concern for me! I hadn’t been around a lot of homeschoolers before. Were they are all going to be in long skirts and the ever-so-stereotypical prairie style?
I even chose our clothes with this in mind, and was SOOOO relieved to realize we fit right in!
Yes, there is the “skirt” crowd. Yes, there is the “skirt to the ground” and even the “prairie print dress” crowd. My girls were fascinated by some of the Mennonite attendees which sparked some interesting conversations about “head coverings.”
Yet, to balance all that out, there was the contingent from what I lovingly refer to as the “granola” homeschooling crowd. You know, with the teenager with purple hair and black leather boots and the funky clothes!
And no one batted an eye.
That very first day, I was sitting in the hall in line (can’t remember what for now) and just breathed a huge sigh of relief. I look absolutely normal! I fit right in! I don’t stick out – in fact, with my jean skirt and blouse, I was smack-dab in the middle of the dress code continuum.
And I can’t begin to tell you how good that felt. After homeschooling for only year with very little “community,” it just felt sooo good to fit right in.
That all being said, I’ll give ya’ll some advice for you newbie attendees:
a) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! Really. The miles you will walk that weekend will astound you. No one cares if your shoes match or are cute. And after a few hours, neither will you. So, for goodness sakes, be comfortable!
b) APPRECIATE CONVICTIONS OF OTHERS Obviously what I learned last year was there was not an official dress code for HEAV. But, it would probably be polite to at least take others’ concerns about modesty into consideration when packing! I didn’t go out and purchase a new wardrobe, but I did pick clothes that were on the more modest (not that my clothes are all that revealing, in any case). My skirt came to my knee for instance. My shirt didn’t show a lot of cleavage. My girls didn’t wear spaghetti strap sundresses. Again, this is not to impose any rules on you, but to just consider others’ beliefs. That’s all.
And for some reason, I feel the need to say we don’t go around wearing super-revealing clothes the other 362 days a year. After re-reading this, I’m not so sure that comes across that well! I wish I had pictures from last year, but I had forgotten to take my camera with me. Oops. Mental note: add camera to your bag for next year!
c) SWEATER. You might appreciate a sweater in some of those seminars and halls. One you can easily take on and off as the situation warrants, and balls up and be stuffed in your purse easily. But I’m a bit of a cold-nature person anyway!
Today I’m also hosting my very first giveaway and it’s a great one! One Family Registration to the HEAV Conference coming up, June 6-8! (Optional Programs are not included.) This giveaway ends May 14th, so sign up now! Feel free to go to this Rafflecopter giveaway link to sign up now!
Laura F said:
Thank you for the tips- we are in our first year of homeschooling and only visited the book sale portion last year to see what was out there for learning materials. We are excited to join in on more events this year.
Oh, you are going to have a blast.
Emily @OurAwesomeAdventuresAbroad said:
This will be my first convention and I am SO excited. I know I’ll change my mind a hundred more times. I’m really looking forward to the speakers and being around like-minded people.
I was wondering what to wear/pack bcs I don’t own “prairie style” clothes (much less sew a button)! So, thanks for answering the unasked questions! 🙂
I’m really looking forward to hear Jeff Myers!
Sheppard School said:
Thanks for the info! We are looking forward to HEAV. We are new to Va, but have heard great things about this convention. It sound very similar (maybe bigger) than the SE Homeschool conference in Atlanta. Thanks again! Can’t wait!
Welcome to VA! We had just moved here last year right before HEAV Convention as well. Let us know where you are living, maybe we can hook you up with some locals, if you haven’t connected already!
I completely agree with all of your advice (a huge “YES!” to the sweater and comfy shoes) and want to second the mention of dressing with respect to other people’s convictions and sense of modesty. The point of the convention is for folks to learn without distractions, and as a mom of a teen boy I can tell you that some young ladies needed to put on a sweater last year and button it up to their necks, their tops were so revealing…and usually their over 35 moms were dressed similarly.
Freedom of expression is great. Paul says that it is what God has called you to that counts (what some may do, others may not)…but he also says that you should not be a stumbling block, and some tight skinny jeans and high skirts are huge stumbling blocks to some young men. I generally don’t notice many issue with the guys, other than an occasional somewhat rude tee shirt, and I guess that’s all in your perspective.
Really, I do try not to judge, but it can be frustrating. I am sure the women with the head coverings are wondering how we can’t see what they see as truth, but I don’t. I am a part of the long skirt set, though, but not because I have to…because I like it and I feel it’s a balance between the right amount of respect and comfort…for me.
Thanks for sharing the tips. I will share about your giveaway in the morning. I don’t think anyone will notice if I post about it on FB at 2:30 a,m.! LOL.
Oh, one extra thought…downsize your handbag or use a fanny pack (I know they aren’t that cool) or maybe use just a pouch around your neck (like the ones you use at the amusement parks). Keeping track of a purse all day is a pain, and a big one in your book bag takes up valuable book real estate (and is still heavy).
Thanks for stopping by and for sharing the giveaway! One day left!
Cat Blake said:
I have attended HEAV twice. I noticed many mothers wearing jeans, slacks, and capris as well. Let modesty and comfort be your two guiding factors. Happy Homeschooling.
Lynne Bellaire said:
Looking forward to the encouragement we receive at the convention.
Hoping to win so I can attend the convention for the first time! 🙂
Cheryl Baranski said:
I am most excited to see all the speakers, Especially The Duggars!
I’m looking forward to going to some classes, instead of only going on a shopping pass. 🙂
Shelly C said:
I am looking forward to seeing the many amazing speakers and soaking up a lot of wisdom. It has been a few years since I attended the convention.
I am looking forward to the wonderful speakers and encouragement!
Nicole (@nickolleettee) said:
I’m looking forward to gaining information!
Thanks for the tips, I’m excited to attend for the first time!
eliz s said:
I always try to dress in something bright and ask my kids to wear a bright t-shirt as well. It really helps when we are trying to locate each other in the sea of people. Hope to “see” you all there.
I’ve never been to a homeschool convention, so if I get to go this year it will be a new adventure 🙂
This would be awesome :)!!! This coming Fall will be our first year homeschooling in Va, we’re moving there from SC. I was so sad to be moving so far away from the local homeschool conference that we *loved* last year, but the more I look into the HEAV convention the easier it is to get over the old and look forward to the new, haha :).
Last year I had just moved to VA when I attended HEAV as well. The convention is AWESOME. You’re gonna have a blast!