Saturday, June 27, 2009
For years now, I've thought that it would be a great adventure to have a local homeschooling conference. Or vendor fair. Or seminar. Or workshop. Heck, it'd be nice just to have a local organized group. We local homeschoolers are spread fairly thinly 'round 'bout these parts.
I know, it would be 'easiest' to just build it and they will come. However. When the kids were at Montessori, I learned a very valuable lesson. It's very easy to become responsible for all these great ideas and soon, all your time and energy are focused on pulling off an event instead of taking care of the things you're supposed to be focused on. Like your kids. And making dinner at a reasonable hour. And having clean laundry to wear. And kissing your husband.
So, with that in mind, I've been careful to organize what I can, but not to take on too much. I like a little social time with other like-minded moms, so there have been evenings of coffee and chatting. I've organized sessions at the Nature Center when my kids were interested in some local environmental science. I've tracked down and hired a French tutor for small group lessons this past year when our French work needed a little boost. Little bits, here and there, when I see a need in our family. All other visions of grandeur have been firmly placed in the back seat of my mind. For sanity's sake, you see. (And also because Mr. B told me if he ever had to see that crazy woman who though it was ok to have a hundred things on the go while her children whined and grabbed at her ankles while she was on her way out the door to do something un-family-related again he would have to pull rank and put his foot down and make her do it his way...whether I liked it or not.)
Over the years, I've visited nearby cities for their local book sales and conferences. This spring, I even stepped out of my box and attended a curriculum and used book sale as a vendor. My friend and I had a great time at this particular sale. We paid attention and decided that such a thing couldn't be that hard to pull off.
When we returned to town, my friend was particularly jazzed about having a used book sale for the local homeschooling community. The response to a 'feeler email' that was sent out to gauge interest in a local home learners book sale was amazing. Suddenly, there were 17 vendors. People we'd never heard of surfaced.
A few weeks later, there we were, early on a Saturday morning at a local church basement, hanging signs, hauling boxes and arranging tables. I went to the sale not expecting to make any money. I didn't bring very many things. Just two lightly packed bins and some gently used fiction. Friend and I shared a table. I made $40 and spent $20 of that.
So, Friend and I are very excited about the first local home learners book sale for a number of reasons. Nearly everyone who had a table there made a little bit of money. Their feedback was positive. They want to do it again! We drew shoppers and vendors from out of town. Those who weren't homeschoolers came and bought stuff.
In future years, I can see a local sale being bigger and better. I can see it expanding to include a guest speaker or a workshop or seminar. I see an opportunity for connections and networking and brainstorming.
I'm so glad this first sale was so well done. It's a great stepping stone to a regular local homeschooler presence. And, now that my kids are older, I can afford the time and effort to help organize such a thing while keeping up with Mt. Laundry and my husband-kissing responsibilities. Fun times!