I went to CHAP this year with 2 good friends. This was a big adventure for me because I'm not a big fan of leaving my children for more than a few hours. (I do let the bigs go to Grandmom's for the weekend but my little hasn't left overnight yet.) Thankfully I have a WONDERFUL husband that is AWESOME with the kids including our youngest. So I felt safe leaving just a bit sad.
We left the night before the convention because it was almost 3 hours away from home. I think next year I will consider location a little more because it was a lot to come in late at night on Thursday and get up early to start a LONG day.
We had some traffic/getting lost issues both days mostly because there was a huge accident that caused a road with a bridge to be shut down. Of course our SIRI and the GPS didn't take that into consideration so lots of circling until we found our way. So we did miss the first few sessions.
CHAP puts on a big production. 100s of vendors was quite overwhelming. I was honestly not a fan of the Farm Show building it was HUGE - like football field huge - possibly 2 of them. It was also a little gross with animal smells. We had to park far too and with all those books you buy that was a pain. There was a book check which I did the 2nd day but you do have to pay for that.
This years classes weren't all that interesting to me. A lot of learning disability talks which doesn't apply to me at all. I still liked the handful I sat in on and did learn a lot from Sandi Queen on learning styles.
So what did I do? I SHOPPED!! There was so many bright and shiny curriculum places to look and browse and SPEND!! HA! I managed to get a bunch of stuff on my list which is awesome.
All in all it was a great experience once I got over the used book sale part. I love bargains but that place was not worth the stress AT ALL! People were beyond rude and would not move on - just stood there doing NOTHING but being in the way.
- Wear comfortable clothing/shoes
- Have a list of what you need - because you will buy WAY more if not
- Check prices before you go - some are great at convention and some are awful!
- Take breaks to sit and eat or get a drink
- Plan time to shop because you might find something you have never seen before
- Look for the Kid Entrepreneurs and try to support them - we got an awesome pillow from one young lady that was handmade - probably my favorite purchase!
So I'm heading to another convention this weekend that is a little closer and a little smaller. I'm going to compare the two and see which suits me better for next year. This one has several workshops I can't wait to hear so I'm super excited!