School

10-Rules-for-Homeschool-Convention-Etiquette-Featured

Ten Rules for Homeschool Convention Etiquette

I believe every situation calls for some etiquette, and homeschool conventions are no exception. Often, vendors represent small, family-run businesses, and sales at conventions provide their largest source of revenue. When customers follow these ten simple rules, everyone benefits.

Ten Rules for Homeschool Convention Etiquette

The next time you enjoy a homeschool convention, I encourage you to practice these ten demonstrations of courtesy. As you do so, you can be sure that you will bless and encourage the vendors and your fellow attendees.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #1

Make sure checks or credit cards are good, or pay in cash. Most vendors are able to authorize credit cards at their booths. However, if your credit card does not go through, valuable time will be lost in rectifying the situation, so make sure your accounts are in good shape before you go to a convention. If a check bounces, fees are charged and both the vendor and the customer have to deal with the account balance problems. Many vendors prefer cash, which sometimes helps vendors pay for immediate needs associated with convention expenses, such as such as food, gas, hotel expenses, etc.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #2

Handle all products carefully and respectfully. The vendor’s inventory is expensive and should be handled gently. If items are damaged, vendors may not be able to sell them. One way to appropriately inspect books would be to open them up gently, not spreading them completely open, thereby keeping their spines intact and preserving the “new” feel of the book. Of course, it is always best to peruse sample copies when they are available.

After reviewing a product, put it back in the same location where you found it. If you don’t know where it goes, hand it back to the vendor, or ask where to put it back in its proper place.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #3

Don’t shop before the vendor hall officially opens. Many vendors are scrambling to “set up shop” right up until the moment the convention sales officially begin. Honor the starting and ending times posted for sales, and don’t rush the vendors. They are eager to serve you, but they need to get organized first.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #4

Diligently supervise your children at all times. Take advantage of the wonderful children’s programs that convention coordinators have provided for your children. The convention sponsors may also offer babysitting services, or the hotel may provide those services. You can also share “babysitting duty” with another mom: one of you watches all the children while the other mom shops; then you trade off. If you prefer to keep your children with you, be sure to keep them within reach—literally—at all times, for their protection and for the protection of the vendors’ products as well.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #5

Shop, don’t study. Vendors understand that you would like to browse through a book before buying it, but to stand in front of the booth and read through the entire book is rude. Not only will the booth be less accessible to other potential customers while you are there reading, but it’s likely that the book will look “used” after you have read it from cover to cover, and no one else will want to purchase it. If you are thoroughly “sold” on a product, buy it and use it at home.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #6

Keep the traffic moving, as much as it is in your power to do so. Don’t congregate with friends (new or old) directly in front of a booth, especially with your shopping carts or strollers in tow. Vendors are dependent on person-to-person sales, so be polite and congregate elsewhere; avoid creating traffic jams that can rob vendors of business.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #7

Remember that the vendor needs to talk to as many potential customers as possible. Vendors love to talk with you, especially when homeschooling is the topic, but remember that the time they have available to interact—hopefully with everyone at the convention—is limited. Be friendly, ask your questions, and step aside so that the next guy can ask his questions.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #8

Expect to pay for good customer service. Vendors who don’t deal with high-volume inventories are often more willing to discuss their products and personally answer your questions. If a vendor “sells” you on his product, buy it from him—not from the high-volume-sales vendor on the next row, who was too busy to answer your questions. Pay for what you get, and don’t take unfair advantage of helpful people—instead, support their businesses with your purchases.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #9

Support the speakers. Most speakers at homeschool conventions receive no compensation for their contributions to the event. In fact, many speakers are required to pay a fee in order to conduct a workshop, demonstration, or class at a convention. Take advantage of the information and encouragement the speakers can offer, and if you like what you hear and see, seek out their booths and consider trying the products that impress you the most.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #10

Please honor the established closing time at the convention sales. When the vendor hall is closing, make your purchases and leave on time, like the way you “kindly make your way to the circulation desk” (sound familiar?) when the public library announces it “will close in fifteen minutes.” You can be sure that most vendors are very tired after a long day’s work and are eager to get off their feet too. Make your final purchases . . . and come back tomorrow, bright and early.

Most convention vendors love what they do or they wouldn’t be there. Many regard the hours they spend interacting with, and explaining their products/services to, potential customers as ministry. I encourage you to practice these ten rules of etiquette to enhance not only your shopping experience but the vendors’ experiences too!

See you at the conventions!

 

Linda Brodsky and her husband Mark have owned Brodsky Ministries for more than ten years. They sell curricula, T-shirts, U.S.-made toys, natural health products, and more. Their children can be found at homeschool conventions painting faces and making balloon sculptures. They have five children on earth, three in heaven, and are praying for more. Visit their website at www.brodskyministries.com.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free TOS apps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.

25-Alternatives-To-A-Traditional-Book-Report-Featured

25 Alternatives to a Traditional Book Report

The words “book report” can elicit groans from students at any age. Writing a summary of a book isn’t necessarily the most effective way to demonstrate learning in the digital age. With summary book websites online, the traditional book report is no longer an enriching task. Here are 25 alternatives to the traditional book report for students to demonstrate their comprehension and deeper understanding of a book.

stomp rocket science lesson plan(1)

Stomp Rocket Science: Free Lesson Plan and a Giveaway

After being cooped up all winter with textbooks and indoor activities, even moms get spring fever! With the sun starting to make its debut and the weather turning warmer, now is the perfect time to get out from behind those text books and get some hands-on science lessons outdoors.

Give Spring a Science Boost with Stomp Rockets

Maybe you remember Stomp Rockets as a kid, or you’ve seen them in the store? After all, they have been around for almost 25 years. If you have’t played with them yourself, you can tell it’s going to be fun, just from the name. Stomp Rockets!

Stomp Rocket Ultra LED is 100% KID powered: Run, jump and STOMP to launch these rockets up to 150 feet in the air! Click to turn on the powerful LED light inside, and these Stomp Rockets will really shine in the night sky, so it’s fun to play outdoors after dusk and on gloomy days too. Light up the night with vibrant color. The LED lights inside these rockets make them bright enough to double as a flashlight! Stomp Rocket Ultra LED is strong and durable, and great for active, outdoor play. Stomp Rockets have won lots of awards from industry experts, including iParenting Media, Dr. Toy and Creative Child Magazine. Includes a Stomp Launcher and 4 foam-tipped Ultra Stomp Rockets with bright LED lights inside. Refill rockets also available (item #20502). For kids ages 6 and up.

As if running, jumping, stomping and launching rockets into the air wasn’t just great all by itself, there are a TON of science experiments and concepts to learn from all of this fun.  Concepts include force, gravity, trajectory and so much more.

You can do a quick Google search to find some activities but did you know there is a corresponding curriculum you can use with your Stomp Rockets???

Use the “Stompin’ Science” book with Stomp Rocket Launch Sets to make science a blast! Kids can learn about things like gravity (what goes up must come down), trajectory, force and more by running, jumping and STOMPING to launch rockets — so learning is fun, interactive and active! Plus, the “Stompin’ Science” book makes teaching easy. It contains lessons for students of all ages and grade levels. Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents who’d like to have some educational fun with their kids.

Here’s a peek at the lessons included in this book:

  1. Top Secret Toy Testing (grade K-8)
  2. Exploring Force and Motion (grades 3-12)
  3. Exploring Force and Mass (grades 3-12)
  4. Angling for a Stompin’ Good Time (grades 3-12)
  5. Speed Rockets (grades 3-8)
  6. What Goes Up ….. (grades 3-8)
  7. What Goes Up … May Not Come Down (grades 8-12)
  8. Up, Up and Away (grades 8-12)
  9. Get a Blast of Energy (grades 10-12)
  10. Analyzing Projectile Motion (grades 10-12)

Those are just the lesson plans. There’s another 16 pages dedicated to science fair projects!

Aren’t you super excited to get outside and use your stomp rockets to teach science now?!?!

To give you even MORE motivation, I’ve got a two special treats for you!

First, I’m give you lessons plans to teach Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion using your Stomp Rockets. This lesson plan has 3 adaptable experiments you can do in your own back yard and note booking pages to use too. This lesson plan is free, but for a very limited time only, so be sure to grab yours while you can (link at the end of this post).

Here’s the other special treat (I’m giddy with excitement!) …. one lucky Modern Homeschool Family reader is going to win his or her own Stomp Rocket set and science project guide!

Enter to Win Stomp Rocket Science

[contesthopper contest=”4910″]

If you just can’t wait to get started using Stomp Rockets and the lesson plans, you can find them on Amazon Prime:

Stomp Rocket Science Lesson Plan with Printable Worksheets and Notebooking Pages

As promised, here’s the lesson plan. Don’t forget, it’s only free through May 3rd, so download yours now!

What-to-Teach-When-Homeschooling-Second-Grade-Featured

What to Teach When Homeschooling Second Grade

Though some parents do choose to teach preschool and first grade at home, first grade is the level at which most parents begin to focus on academics and learning milestones. Here’s a simple guide for what to cover and develop in first grade.

Click the link below to read more!

how to help your child prepare for the sat featured

How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT

How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT | High school juniors across the country are preparing to take the SAT in the next few weeks. At this point, you may be wondering what you could possibly do to improve your score. Here are some steps to follow in the next few weeks to make the most of the remaining time.

Click the link below to read more!

5-Vocabulary-Games-For-Middle-School-Featured

5 Vocabulary Games for Middle School

One of the most effective ways to improve test scores, writing, and reading comprehension is to improve vocabulary! Why have students copy down definitions or make old-school flash cards when they can learn new words with some fun games? Here are 5 vocabulary games for middle school students you can try in your homeschool!

Click the link below to read more!

Share your homeschooling journey with people like you.

Contact