I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Top 10 Things to Pack for a Homeschool Convention

Top 10 Things to pack for a Homeschool Convention {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Tomorrow's the day!

In less than 24 hours, I'll be on my way to my state's annual homeschool convention. Twenty-one hours and fifty-two minutes to be exact. But, who's counting?!

I tend to be a last minute packer...it drives The Hubs nuts. He's more of a pack-the-week-before kind of fella'.

So, as I toss in the last few items into my suitcase, I thought I'd just share with you what I'll be taking with me to ensure a successful convention weekend.

Here they are in no particular order...

A notepad and pen 

While most speakers provide handouts for taking notes, I tend to need a little more writing space. In addition, I love to have some paper handy for writing down possible curriculum ideas and book titles for the future.

A highlighter

The convention schedule is a well-ordered road map of dozens and dozens of great speaker sessions. But, I can obviously only hear one speaker per session. The moment I get to the convention, I quickly scan the schedule and highlight the titles of the sessions that I hope to attend. That way, as I am rushing from the vendor floor to find the correct conference room, I can see the WHO, WHAT, and WHERE at a glance.

Sensible shoes

I'm all for looking nice, but I'll never understand why ladies wear heels to a homeschool convention. By the end of a full weekend of walking from one end of a convention centerto the other multiple times, my feet THANK ME for dressing them in sensible, albeit not as fashionable, shoes.

A laundry basket

I'm not gonna lie, folks. I buy a lot of stuff at the convention each year. In my own defense, most of it is used and purchased at a steal-of-a-deal price. I always bring along a laundry basket to stash away in my trunk so that I don't end up with a bunch of books flying around in the back of my van while I drive home. I can organize them neatly in the basket and know they will STAY SECURE on the long journey back.

Cash in small bills

Most NEW-material vendors accept credit cards, but USED-material vendors prefer cash. By having small bills, I can make a quick and painless transaction.

Address labels

Many NEW-material vendors do not carry their full stock to the convention. Be prepared to order your books to be shipped to you. By bringing address labels, I don't have to fill out redundant contact info dozens of times by weekend's end. I can just slap an address label on the "contact info" portion of each form and be done.

Water bottles

Who wants to pay $2 for a bottle of water every few hours? I am always sure to pack a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. (Consult your convention building regulations first, however. Some centers do not allow outside food or drink.)


I pack for a mentally and physically draining weekend. A granola bar or two can go along way to bolster my energy mid-day.

A backback

While I utilize the coat check to store my too-large or too-heavy-to-carry purchases, I always end up with a small pile of books and paper, as well as my water bottle and snacks, that I end up having to carry throughout the majority of the day.

A shopping list

Prior to the convention, I spend hours researching potential curriculum options. I can't expect to remember all those titles throughout the course of a vigorous weekend. So, I always bring a tentative shopping list with me. I never have to feel married to the list...it's just tentative. But, at least I have a skeletal plan to point me in the right direction as I shop.

Need some help planning your curriculum? Be sure to check out my 5 favorite tips for planning.

So that's what I'll be packing?  How about you?  What's going in your suitcase?


  1. Great ideas, this is my first time going and I have been warned how overwhelming it can be. Thank you for helping plan a little better!

  2. A suitcase on wheels works wonders:)

  3. Great tips! I'll be using them for next weekend! Great name too by the way! ;-)