Have you been to any virtual conferences lately?
I have been able to attend several inspiring conferences recently, because I can do so without ever leaving my home, paying for a hotel, or gas.
While I LOVE meeting fellow Catholic homeschool families in person, I will say that all too often I did not get to attend any due to either bad timing or the expense.
The GREAT thing I discovered is that I actually have gotten MORE out of these virtual events, because I am more intentional about what I focus on and what I take away from them.
While in-person events still hold a special place in my heart, for community, for reunions with old friends, and for making new friends, virtual events have a new place in my heart too!
Meeting the Universal Church
Through the magic of virtual events, I have met people from ALL OVER the GLOBE. It is a small Catholic world, truly universal. They have affirmed for me that I am not alone in wanting to bring joy, discovery, and wonder into my homeschool life.
What I discovered is that the REAL benefits I can get from virtual events come about when I apply some fundamental strategies, which I now share with you.
Here are my top 5 tips….
- Come prepared with the “I can always learn something new” attitude. Even if a talk looks like it’s something you already know, remember that you are now at a new place in your life, with a bunch of new experience and needs! You have a new set of eyes, to learn something brand new and beneficial for your family!
Tip # 2:
- Cut out your distractions! Most likely you will be viewing this conference at home, and not able to keep yourself secluded from your family! While it is tempting to hide in a closet, let’s get real; they will find you! So, try the next best thing, wipe out those tiresome, little distractions that you can cut out. When you sit down to listen to the talks or visit the exhibitors, turn off all notifications. Say no to your social media screens, close your email, and any other digital distractions.
Tip # 3:
- Watch the talks with a friend, your teens, or your spouse! Invite your spouse to a “date with Catholic speakers.” Or ask your teen for some special one-on-one time to watch and discuss the talks. Yes, by watching with others, you are certain to boost your motivation, increase your attention to the talks, and provide some accountability in applying what you learned.
Tip # 4:
- Spend some time in prayer and reflection, BEFORE the conference goes live, on defining your “WHY.” It is super easy to just concentrate on the “what and how of homeschooling.” The talks and exhibitors will provide plenty of great answers to those questions. By having a clear, and focused, “WHY you are choosing (thinking, or curious) about homeschooling,” helps to direct your attention, set your goals!
Tip # 5:
- Schedule replays and review time. Yes, repetition does build mastery! When you hear a talk that really resonates with you, watch it again, and take more notes! You will pick up even more! I know that this tip may be hard to do in the few free days of the conferences, BUT the good news is that you usually can get unlimited viewing at a LOW early bird price BEFORE the conference ends if you do run out of time! I also know in my heart that you will want to refer back to many of these talks, over and over again, throughout your homeschool journey!
Share with us YOUR TOP TIPS for attending virtual conferences in the comments below!