Homeschoolers have a reputation for frugal living, and we’re all for ways to save money – especially at our annual homeschool conference!
First is our list of suggested tips, then we’ve addressed some FAQs from the homeschool community below those:
1. Register at the earlybird rate – not at the door!
The biggest way to save at our homeschool conference is to register early at our discount pricing. After March 24, prices rise to $60 at the door.
The only exception to paying at the door is if you want our vendor-hall-only passes, which are $20 per family. Those are available only at the door (no online registration forms available).
Use with caution, though, as some people have found shopping the vendor hall only without access to the workshops can be a little overwhelming!
2. Carpool and share lodging with friends.
If your friends or extended family are coming, do everything together as much as possible! Join our Facebook event page and see whether any of your friends are also planning to attend.
Parking at the KCI Expo Center is limited, so share cars and rooms if you can to save money.
3. Consider purchasing workshop recordings in advance.
If you pre-order all our conference workshop recordings in advance, you get a special discount!
If you prepay before April 6, you can save nearly $30 off conference prices.
Just pay $50 for MP3 files of all recorded sessions (more than 75 sessions altogether!). You’ll receive an email with a download link within a week after the conference.
Go to this page to learn more.
4. If you’re the parent of preschoolers, get free admission.
We’re excited to extend our special offer for parents of preschoolers this year – FREE admission to the conference!
This is a more than $60 value. It is equivalent to a full conference pass, which includes entry to the vendor hall and full access to all conference workshops.
Please note that this is only for parents whose children are all 5 years or younger. If you want to register online, make sure you do it before March 31 when online registration closes.
5 and 6. Save by planning accommodation and meals in advance. In addition, plan your curriculum purchases!
Each year we negotiate discounted conference rates with area hotels (this year’s deadline is March 5). We also post information on meals offered at the KCI Expo Center.
Here are some other suggestions from our Facebook audience:
- “If the weather is nice, pack a lunch and picnic outside rather than going out for lunch. Make a list of curriculum and extras you plan to purchase and stick to it. Use the extra money you saved by not going to lunch and purchase curriculum from the vendors who answered your questions and invested their time in helping you, even if you could get the same materials for less money online.”
- “Come with a list including online prices so you can compare. Be sure to include whether or not you will pay shipping from your online sites.”
- “Research books/curricula online and check the MPE site for the vendors map to make a plan. Make a list of what you’re looking for and have a budget. Pay with cash. Some vendors offer conference discounts (like HSLDA) you’ll want to take advantage of.”
- “Don’t bring money into the curriculum hall until the last day. Keep a list of what interests you along with prices and then decide what to buy and what to wait for before going in on the last day. And bringing an empty suitcase on wheels is not only totally acceptable it is wise!”
7. Explore your childcare options.
Our fantastic MPEKids program cares for children ages 5-12 (4-year-olds can join if they come with an older sibling) while their parents attend the conference.
Preregistration prices are $25 per child, per day. Every child after the first two is free to register!
If your children are 13 or older, they are welcome to volunteer as conference youth hosts. Deadline to volunteer is March 24.
Below are a list of FAQs for people wanting to save on registration:
I don’t live in the Kansas City area and only want to attend the conference, not become an MPE member. Is there a discount for that?
We don’t have a discount on registration if you live outside the Kansas City area. We already do our best to keep registration fees low, and we think you’ll find our earlybird rate of $50 per family a bargain anywhere in the United States!
We have many reasons for combining membership with conference attendance. Some of the most important ones:
- It helps us reduce paperwork and keep administrative costs low.
- As a nonprofit organization, the conference helps us raise much of the revenue that keeps us in operation (and allows us to continue serving our members!).
- Even if you don’t live in the Kansas City area, you may still be able to enjoy many of our member benefits, such as a discount off HSLDA membership, participation in our high school graduation ceremony, access to state and area support groups in different counties, and annual events.
Can I attend the conference for only one day and pay half-price?
Unfortunately, no. We have already cut registration to $50 per family if you sign up in advance.
We have minimal office staff to process registrations, and each variation that we add to registration (such as signing up under a Parents of Preschoolers program, vendor-hall-only passes, or the usual “full conference” option) means more work and costs to process everyone in time.
Do you have other suggestions on how to save money at the conference? Let us know in the comments!