Here are my last minute survival tips!
1. Have your shopping lists ready! Break it down into your “must get, “would like to get,” and your “I wish I could get” categories! Have a little extra fun money for a few fun toys or surprises, if possible!
Also, break down your list of “subjects” in case you decide to change your mind completely while you’re there. For example, I know I want to teach the girls music theory next year. (Seriously the best way to help a kid understand fractions. I know my background in music was the only way I got through math in 4th and 5th grade!) I don’t exactly HOW I want to teach it or what “books” I want to use. But I know I want to. So, I’ll keep an eye out for that topic while I’m searching the Used Curriculum Sale, etc..
1a. Be sure the convention recordings are on your shopping list. YOU NEED THEM. REALLY.
2. PACK the following: Earplugs so you can sleep peacefully sharing a room with your snoring, “talks in their sleep” family, a good pillow, your camera AND the charger to your cellphone!, and very comfortable shoes.
2a. You guys might think I’m joking about the earplugs and the pillow. But getting a GOOD night’s sleep is vital to surviving a homeschool convention without a mental breakdown. Plus, HEAV starts a solid hour before my brain is fully functioning! (I’m not a morning person. At all. Ever.)
3. Do you have your fun “I’m cool because I’m a homeschooler” T Shirts packed to wear? Because this is the best place to wear them!
4. Make your list of places for dinner! We always take the opportunity to scout out good BBQ. It’s sooooo worth it.
4a. By the way, the convention area is NOT the most gluten-free-friendly area. If you have dietary issues, PLAN AHEAD. Bring your own snacks and be sure you bring more than you think you will need. Oh, and those hotel breakfasts? They are going to be swamped and they’re not gluten-free either. I made the mistake of thinking I was going to be able to eat at the hotel last year. Last year, I had two days of salads with no dressing, and nut bars. I got a bit cranky after eating the 6th nut bar in two days – I need real food, LOL. I will plan much better this year.
5. Plan for sanity breaks. The hallways are wide and you’ll find many folks taking breaks in them. I would also recommend having a hidden stash of chocolate on hand and I plan to bring my “serenity sticks” I made with my essential oils (like a lotion bar). A few Advil for the headache you’ll get staring at math curriculum. Earplugs for listening to music if you need to zone out and decompress for a while.
6. Stock up on Redbox movies on the way for the kids! Definitely worth the price for peace and quiet during the car drive down!