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My First Homeschool Convention–What I’m Looking Forward to Most


KT Brison of Lit Mama Homeschool is a 2017 HEAV Convention blogger

I’m so excited!  This June will mark my very first homeschool convention even though it will be my 8th anniversary as a homeschooling mom.

Fitting anniversary gift to myself, isn’t it?  I certainly think so.

The Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) Convention runs June 8-10 this year, and I’m driving 9 hours to be there for at least one, if not all, of those days.  I mean, if you could see me dancing around the house, you would totally throw things at me.

But I’m excited.  Because not only do I get to attend HEAV, I get to go as an official blogger of the convention.  Which means I have all kinds of yummy good stuff coming up to entice you to join me.

You will join me, won’t you?

Here’s the rundown on the HEAV Homeschool Convention:

The convention will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, which is located at 403 N. 3rd Street in Richmond, VA.  On Thursday, June 8, it will be open from noon to 8 pm.  On Friday, June 9, it will be open from 8:30 am to 8 pm, and on Saturday, June 10, it will be open from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Registration is open now, and pre-registration gets you some yummy good stuff.  You can go on your own, with a friend, or with your whole family–and how cool a trip would that be?  (Not that I’m taking my whole family.  For this, my very first convention, I want to experience it without worrying about where my kids are!)

What am I most looking forward to?

The HEAV Homeschool Convention will include a used curriculum sale and the second-largest exhibit hall in the nation

Used Curriculum Sale

Remember that yummy stuff I mentioned when you pre-register?  That gets you a pass into the Used Curriculum Sale.  If you need books or other materials for next school year, HEAV has you covered.  Books for every age on nearly every subject, unit studies, reference materials, CDs, software–you name it, you’ll find the good stuff at great prices during the sale.  When you pre-register, you’ll receive a pass giving you a specific time you can shop the sale.  And you’d better believe I’m pre-registered.  I will be broke by the end of the day.

Just sayin’.

Here’s a list of the general categories:

  • Adult Fiction
  • Adult Nonfiction
  • Art
  • Bible
  • Biography
  • CDs
  • Charts/Maps
  • Children’s Fiction
  • Children’s Nonfiction
  • College Textbooks
  • Computer Software
  • DVDs
  • Easy Readers
  • Foreign Language
  • Games
  • How-to Books
  • Language Manipulatives
  • Large Kits
  • Math Manipulatives
  • Music Instruction
  • Picture Books
  • Poetry
  • Puzzles
  • Reference
  • Religion
  • Science Manipulatives
  • Teacher Resources
  • Unit Studies
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Young Adult Nonficiton

I mean, I can’t even.  Can you imagine the Lit Mama surrounded by all those books and walking away with any money?  Yeah, me neither.  I’ll go broke around the kid lit alone.

Exhibit Hall

I also can”t wait to shop the Exhibit Hall, which is (and this is awesome) the second-largest homeschool exhibit hall in the nation. More than 350 booths! I intend to get totally lost in there.   I think it would take an entire day to look at them all.  I’m looking forward to meeting the reps of a few in particular, though.

The Academy at Bright Ideas Press  We’ve all heard of their amazing products, but did you know Bright Ideas Press offers middle and high school courses to supplement or replace your curriculum?  I can’t wait to see what they have on offer.

BJU Press/Homeworks by Precept  Their textbook kits are to. die. for.  They include a student text, a teacher’s edition, an activity manual, and tests.   Not making that up.  Plus, next week I’m going to be reviewing a wonderful YA fiction book from their JourneyForth division, so I’m pumped to get the opportunity to meet them in person.

Center for Lit  The family that runs Center for Lit is a.maz.ing, and you’re going to find out just how amazing next week when I interview Ian and Adam Andrews.  These guys are going to be giving workshops at the convention and–seriously–I hyperventilate when looking at their incredible website and all they have to offer for teaching literature.  So. Freaking.  Excited.

GeoMatters Because I love geography and can’t wait to see their stuff in person.  As my boys enter high school, I want options for subjects like this that I don’t have to put together myself.  And GeoMatters offers fantastic packages by grade level, so maybe I’ll cheat this year and buy their geography curriculum.

Laurelwood Books Because Middle wants to start learning Latin next year, and I totally need help.

Memoria Press Again with the Latin.

Nature’s Workshop Plus for their science kits and field guides and all the other nature things.

Queen Homeschool Supplies I mean, yeah yeah.  Queen has everything.  From handwriting practice to nature study to history to character training.

Southern Science Supply Because oh. yeah. I love science supplies.  Don’t you?  Though I was told when I was in school that science was not my strong point, I love teaching science to my boys.  And guess what?  I’m not so bad at science.  So take that, naysayers.

Write from the Heart  The fact that I am a writer does not mean I excel at teaching it.  In fact, it hinders me in a lot of ways.  What feels instinctual to me is something I actually learned at some point, either in school, or through voracious reading–but it feels instinctual.  So explaining it  to my boys can sometimes be difficult.  Write from the Heart offers full composition classes that may well be just what I need.The Home Educator's Association of Virginia Homeschool Convention is June 8-10, 2017


Here’s the thing.  You know I heart homeschooling and literature equally.  Homeschooling with lit?  Oh. Yeah.  It’s my all-time favorite thing (even more than raindrops on roses).  So while there is a long list of speakers that will be at the HEAV convention, I am most looking forward to seeing a select few.

Keynote Speaker Michael Smith from HSLDA  Mr. Smith, along with his wife, was one of the original board members of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He is a veteran homeschooler who has been president of HSLDA since 2004.  So he knows his stuff.  His workshops include Remembering the Reason, Renewing the Vision (in which he will outline the benefits of homeschooling and offer suggestions for keeping on track) and Common Core–the Impact on You (in which he reveals the flaws of the Common Core and lets us homeschoolers know how we can fight against it).

Jeannie Fulbright Jeannie is a homeschooling mama still in the trenches and the owner of Jeanniefulbright.com, a go-to spot for all kinds of homeschooling, colleg prep and science information.  Her workshops will include Charlotte Mason: Excellence Without Sacrifice, The 7 E’s for Choosing Curriculum, and Solving Your K-8 Science Struggles. 

Adam Andrews and Ian Andrews from Center for Lit Now, come on.  You know these are the workshops near and dear to my heart.  I can’t tell you how excited I am by Center for Lit.  And these workshops?  Symbolism: Mastering Literature’s Most Powerful Device.   “But What Good Is an English Major?” – A Homeschool Graduate Reflects on the Benefits of a Literary Education. The Socratic Method for Dummies – Become a Great Teacher the Easy Way.  Building the Perfect Reading List – A “DIY” Scope and Sequence Workshop.

Can you say Yum?  My heart is all atwitter.  I wonder if Building the Perfect Reading List will be similar to my Choosing the Perfect Fiction for Your Homeschool Year Course.  I feel like I have so much to learn from these guys.

Want to get even more excited about Center for Lit? 

Come back on Monday and read my interviews with the Andrews family and get registered to win not only a a Family Registration to the 2017 HEAV Convention, but there will be a second giveaway for a copy of Center for Lit’s Reading Roadmaps, a 231-page literature Scope and Sequence manual.

Right?  Yeah, this is going to rock your socks off.

Meeting you

This isn’t  just about me, my friends.  I’m hoping that by seeing all the incredible stuff on offer from the HEAV convention, you’ll agree to join me there.  I mean, I will be letting you know how it all goes, both as it’s happening and afterwards, but my absolute, hands-down favorite thing I’m looking forward to about this convention is getting the chance to spend some time getting to know my fellow homeschoolers, and that includes you, my lovely readers, most of all.

So go get pre-registered.  Or wait to enter the giveaway. But if you don’t win, I’m totally begging you to register anyway and come and meet me.  Wouldn’t that just rock?!

If you follow me on social media, you’ll be privy to the giveaways (in case you get busy and forget to come back on Monday), and if you can’t make it to the convention, you’ll at least get to see me having fun via pics and posts.  So be sure you’re following me on instagram, facebook, pinterest, and twitter to keep up with all this good stuff.

Love wins,




KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
Follow me!

About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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  1. I’ve never been to a homeschool convention either. (They kind of scare me!) Have fun!!! Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!

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