To give you the best homeschool conference experience possible on April 5-6, we’ve collected these helpful tips:
1. Sign up for the earlybird conference discount.
Now is the time to register before prices go up! After March 23, registration will be $60 at the door as opposed to our earlybird admission of $50. In all, you save more than 15 percent if you sign up early.
Note for newcomers: When you register for the conference, you automatically receive a complimentary MPE membership for a year!
(If you’re coming from outside the area and don’t wish to receive our newsletter, which features local events and opportunities, you can opt out of receiving it in the form.)
2. Get the most from our workshop sessions.
Most of our attendees struggle with the question of which workshop session to attend, because they’re all so good!
If you have a session that you want to attend during the 9-10 a.m. Friday block, for example, there’s a good chance that you will also want another workshop session going on … at exactly the same time.
Well, we’re excited to offer a solution this year. For 2019, Rhino Technologies is pleased to announce a special pre-conference discount if you purchase all session recordings ahead of time. You can save nearly $25 off conference prices by paying just $60 for MP3 files of all recorded sessions!
3. See whether you can carpool with friends.
Parking space is limited at the KCI Expo Center, and every year we fill up the parking lot to the brim! Check out our Facebook event for the conference to see whether you can join any of your friends in driving there.
4. Make childcare arrangements ahead of time.
We have a number of childcare suggestions, based on the ages of your children:
- Nursing babies are welcome. We have a nursing moms’ room available throughout the conference. We may ask parents to leave, however, if their babies begin crying during the workshop sessions and disturbing other people’s concentration.
- For children ages 5-12, we have an MPEKids program. The children’s schedule is designed to fit around our conference schedule so parents won’t have to miss a single session! (Parents must be registered for the conference and are responsible for their children’s meals both days.)
- Children ages 13 and older and welcome to join as conference volunteers. It’s a great experience to serve the homeschool community and add to their growing resumes!
5. Plan for any accommodations in advance.
Hotels are filling up fast. Sports tournaments are also going on the same weekend as our conference, so make sure you plan all accommodations ASAP! Deadlines for our hotel discount rates expire March 6-15.
See available lodging and accommodation rates here. (Scroll down to the “Hotels” section.)
6. Carve out time for fellowship and networking.
The best conference experience always leaves time for rest, relaxation and refreshment!
Meet some of our fantastic mentoring moms in person at the conference, who are all homeschool veterans. This year we have the LOUNGE available during one of the conference workshop sessions, so you can build time to network right into your schedule.
Other moms also recommend planning reunions with other homeschool families who are attending the conference, to make this an outing for the whole family.
If you’re attending the same workshops or browsing for the same types of curriculum, you’ll have additional topics for discussion!
7. Invite anyone who’s interested in homeschooling, particularly parents of preschoolers.
If you have any friends who are thinking about homeschooling in the future, now is the best time for them to come to the conference.
This year, conference admission is free for parents of preschoolers – a $60 value! They can sign up online here.
8. Plan specific times for the vendor hall.
Many first-time attendees report being overwhelmed at first by the sheer size of our vendor hall – let alone visiting with each booth!
To make it a little less overwhelming, give yourself some grace. Plan at least 1-2 passes through the hall, to get the most from your experience. (We’ve published the vendor list ahead of time so you can familiarize yourself with the vendors and start planning your shopping.)
Also, take time to visit personally with the people at the booth. Many of them are homeschoolers too, and have been in your shoes at some point in their lives!
9. Take time to unwind!
The conference is one of the highlights of the homeschool year, so make sure to build in time that weekend just to go over everything you’ve learned.
This will also help you implement your new tips and techniques in the remaining months you have before summer!
This blog post was originally published Jan. 14, 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and comprehensiveness.