Before you contact us with your question, please check to see whether we have answered it in the FAQs listed below. Thanks so much!
FAQs about our 2021 conference
With all the new information and updates coming up almost daily, we wanted to clarify and confirm several conference-related matters that have come up recently:
1) Will masks be required to attend the conference?
Cass County (where the conference will be hosted) has no official mask mandate.
However, we will be renting parts of the mall surrounding Eagle Creek Church, as well as B&B Theatres, as space for our conference vendor hall and workshops. Part of our agreement with these businesses is that we request for our guests to wear a mask in their space.
Both the mall and the theatres have requested face coverings to be worn for attendance.
We are aware that there are health exemptions to this requirement, and we honor and respect your privacy on this issue in regards to HIPAA. We ask that each family’s needs be respected on both sides of this issue and grace extended to all.
Please register and join us online if you are unable to join us in person this year.
2) Can only a certain amount of people attend the conference each day?
We have no limit on the number of people who can attend our conference in person each day.
This year we also have an online option for those who may not feel comfortable attending in person (please register as an MPE member at the Family tier or higher before end of day Friday, March 26, to receive access to online attendance).
However, our MPEKIDS program this year only has enough capacity to care for up to 100 kids each day.
3) Why were some vendors chosen and some not?
Unfortunately, our new venue is much smaller than our original space at the KCI Expo Center. But our only options were either to have a smaller conference, or no conference at all for 2021.
We chose to have a smaller conference, which meant cutting from 180 vendor booths to 40.
We know this situation is far from ideal, and we are grateful for the understanding and patience we have received from our vendors. We also appreciate the freedom to offer vendors other options in place of their booth (such as discounted advertising). From what we have heard, other homeschool conferences have not offered any economic options or alternatives after cancellation.
4) Why are vendors unable to attend only being offered the chance to use their booth funds for advertising?
In these trying times, we know many vendors have been affected by the impact that this pandemic has had on our economy. We know behind your business, you have a family to care for as well!
That’s why this year, we still want to keep the interests of vendors in mind as we strive to hold one of the only in-person Homeschool Conferences across the nation. It is especially important to our Conference Chairman, Chad Womble, that each and every one of our vendors consider solutions tailored to fit their business and family’s needs. If needed, we will work with each vendor to make sure a satisfactory solution is met for each of them personally.
We pray that all our vendors can experience business growth this year, in spite of the difficulties.
5) Will children at MPEKIDS need to wear masks?
As mentioned above, masks are required by the parts of the mall and theatres that are helping host the children’s conference. These requirements do not extend to children who are younger than 5 years.
We are also aware that there are health exemptions to this requirement, and we honor and respect your privacy on this issue in regards to HIPAA.
6) Why did the volunteer form for MPEKids close so quickly?
Believe it or not, the demand for volunteering at our popular MPEKIDS program far outpaces our supply! We had to shut down the volunteer form as we have already reached the number of volunteers needed.
Don’t forget the lower capacity of MPEKids this year also had an impact on how many volunteers we needed and that we hope to be back to normal next year!
7) Are there other opportunities for my teens to serve?
Yes! We welcome teen volunteers to apply for our Youth Leadership Team here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=2V4ZMctmuk6CHZ5UXs756dvADs9TnZhMn5vaSwpTWtpUN1M5TEtOR0M2TU44TFdFRlhaQUpVSUFYNC4u&wdLOR=cC2CCA0CC-A05F-4F81-83B8-A9A97DD914D9
Despite this season’s challenges, we are grateful to still host a conference to meet the needs of our members and the growing homeschool community in the KC Metro area. We hope these steps ensure that we can continue to host more conferences in future years.
FAQs about homeschooling
- Help – we don’t know anyone who homeschools or where to start! Could you give us a crash course on homeschooling?
Of course – many of us began in exactly the same situation!
Go to our “Homeschool Now” section and read all the information there, especially if you are living in either Kansas or Missouri.
If your child is already attending school, it’s wise to formally withdraw them from the school and request their student records. Sample template letters that you can personalize are on the Homeschool Now section.
You must do this before starting to homeschool, especially if you’re withdrawing your children from public school, or you are technically truant from the school system.
We also recommend you connect with other area homeschoolers as soon as you can. Once you become a member of MPE, you will have access to a list of support groups and coops or homeschool enrichment programs in the local area, and you can choose which ones you would like to visit. These groups will supply you with local information, activities and opportunities, encouragement from veteran homeschoolers, field trips, and more.
You’ll also receive our newsletter 10 times a year, with many activities and opportunities available to homeschoolers in the KC metro area.
- Can you give me some advice on curriculum and what a typical day looks like for you?
The beauty about homeschooling is that every family is different, and one family’s “typical day” will be completely different from another. But take heart! Although it may seem overwhelming at first, you’ll find out what works best for you over time.
Attending our homeschool conference can help you sort out the different curriculum options available.
If you’re starting in the middle of the school year, resources like Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum can help you identify your child’s learning style, so that the curricula you choose will best help your family.
Often the best advice about curriculum and homeschooling comes from area families. That’s why we recommend joining one of our support groups as soon as you become an MPE member. You can post a question on our Facebook page or message us privately, if you prefer.
- If I homeschool my children, how do I make sure they don’t miss out on extracurricular activities?
In the elementary school years, homeschooling families find that most of the important school work (language, math, science, social studies) can be done in the morning, leaving the afternoons for art, music and extracurricular activities.
Many homeschool enrichment and athletic programs exist locally where your children can learn subjects like PE, music, Spanish, art and computers with other homeschooled students.
- Do you offer achievement testing to homeschoolers?
Yes. Two main achievement tests are offered nationally in public and private schools: the Stanford Achievement Test and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, for grades K through 11. After that, the college bound homeschooler can take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or the American College Test (ACT).
MPE has been offering the Stanford Achievement Test consistently since 1991 in April each year. Homeschooling families register for the test by Nov. 15 of the previous year, so we can obtain the bulk discount rate. Registration costs increase after Nov. 15.
Tests are administered by certified testers, the only people allowed by the organization to administer them.
Tests are collected, mailed to the organization, then graded. Results are emailed back to the homeschooling families.
FAQs about MPE
- How do I advertise with MPE?
The best way to reach the local homeschooling community in the Kansas City metro area is to advertise in our newsletter, The Parent Educator, which is mailed 10 times a year to over 1,000 homeschooling families.
For more details such as sizes, costs and deadlines, please see our ad rates.
- Why haven’t I received my newsletter, The Parent Educator, by email?
Sometimes your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will move the newsletter to the Junk Mail folder. In that case, you can usually change your email program settings to accept the newsletter as valid mail and not junk.
Or you may want to have the newsletter sent to an alternative email address from another ISP if you have one (but you may have to check your Junk Mail folder there also) or have it posted by USPS instead.
If this happens again with the next newsletter, let us know and we’ll change your newsletter delivery to postal mail.