Well, I have to apologize to everyone who read my post and went to the convention thinking it was "free". I just came back from there, wanting only to browse the exhibit hall, and was turned back at the door. I heard, "Oh, the exhibit hall is never free". I would have had to pay the registration fee of $45 just to see anything. I am floored by this! At the very least they could have lowered the price to just browse. I guess this CAPE convention is only for those homeschoolers that have a huge budget and can afford to not only pay the registration fee but an extra $12 for each family member they want to bring. Oh, and don't bring your kids, cause they'll clog up the works. GRRRRR. Do I sound upset??!!
I was very disturbed to hear about this...yes, I found this out Last year and felt the same way! Their argument when I called to complain was "we have to pay for renting th e space"... ok, understandable, but at $40+ a head the space you have rented can be MORE than paid for! or maybe have it some place less expensive...Its unfortunate thsi world we live in that everyone wi out to make a buck...yet another reasone why we are homeschooling, I dont want my kids learning this mentality from others.
Thanks for posting. From now on I'll be sure to tell people they have to pay the LARGE amount to look. I had been asked by a couple of people, and told them I thought they could get in free if they weren't going to any of the lectures. I'll know for next time. Angelica
I'd like to tread very carefully here because until I actually attended convention I felt precisely the same way. †However, in their defense I would like to say that this is not exactly something that can be put on much more inexpensively than it already is. †CAPE does not make much of a profit, if any on this and a portion of this convention is still free (family night on Thur., graduation, NM Debate and getting started workshop). †This is not a small convention, at least 2000 families in attendance (with the average family being 5 or more and many of the workshops offered are for homeschooling teens so they attend as well) -- when Hoffmantown refused to host this years convention, CAPE actually came into Calvary and measured each classroom and consulted with what the new renovations were going to do to see if convention would fit -- it would not have fit before the additions that Calvary made to its building. †Each of the key speakers (usually nationally accredited and nationally known and requested by the homeschooling parents from the previous year) are brought in from around the country at a cost. †More than 50 workshops take place for 2 1/2 days and over 60 vendors come from across the nation. †Each session is taped and the information they give is so very valuable for encouraging, admonishing, training and reminding us as homeschool parents that we have a much higher calling and a huge respondsability. †The NM Statewide Homeschool Graduation ceremony takes place and must be able to house anybody and everybody who would like to see their graduate attend (remember, APS hosts graduation at the Pit to accomodate everybody and a homeschool graduate is no different - in fact more in attendance). †The NM Speech and Debate usually also goes on during this time. †These are all things that need to be and should be showcased at convention. †Yes, convention is expensive but compared to other conventions I feel it is reasonable and very worth it's price. †(As a side note a recent 1 DAY convention for my previous job: $150). †There are ways to make it less expensive -- booking early, volunteering to help, allowing out of town guests to stay with you and assisting CAPE, all lower your cost. †You may argue that you only want to SEE curriculum and shop the vendors but there are many places you can do that now without going to convention -- TitleWave, ERC, the library, used curriculum sales, Abeka fairs, online, requesting catalogs ect. † It is my experience that I am not just looking at what the vendors have to offer but I am also getting very qualified, courteous, and expert ADVICE on what is right for my families homeschool. †These vendors have read all the books and make recommendations not just for the SALE. †After each and every workshop I attended this year, I wanted to kiss the lecturer and thank them for their essential support that every homeschooling parent needs to hear and get. †Homeschooling would be awfully tough without convention and I will gladly pay it again next year. †Its renewing, rejuvenating and enlightening. In His grace, Jacque Ward † † † † †
As the coordinator of New Mexico's inclusive homeschool conference two years ago (the Fall RGHN conference-different than the Spring CAPE conferences), I have to point out a couple of details that might enlighten some:
* We had fundraisers all year to help off-set our convention prices, which still totaled over $3000 for the space and required coffee service, etc. (required by the space rental).
* This did not include printing expenses, paying child care workers, etc.
* Our ticket prices were $35 per family and $9 for child care per day.
* Our vendors paid for half the price of renting the facility.
* We still went into the negative on the conference.
I don't know what the conference committee will decide about this Fall's conference, but I'm guessing they're hunting for a much smaller and less expensive location to keep costs down. If you have suggestions, please consider coming to the planning meeting this Thursday (posted under "announcements"), or email me (email@example.com) and I'll pass them on.
I can understand why CAPE's conference is $45, but I think the money's worth it. It's once a year and if I glean some info or save that much at the curriculum swap, it's worth it. Am I wealthy? Those of you who know me know that I'm a single mom who homeschools and I'm careful about where I spend my bucks. But I wasn't born knowing how to homeschool well, so I figure opportunities for me to learn how to be a better home educator and where the resources are for us are definately worth it. Okay, I'm off the soapbox.
I too am going to tread lightly here, but felt very badly the need to respond to this latest thread. Everything that wadrus has expressed and more goes into the planning of this convention. Time, which is of the utmost importance to all of us since it is so precious to us, is freely given up, and I stress FREELY, by the CAPE board. They are not a paid staff yet they work diligently to better all of our lives. Those of us who homeschool and remain nameless to them. They fight every year in Santa Fe for our constitutional rights to homeschool and 2 years ago were successful in doing away with mandated testing. Every year they lobby the senate and house to get new and better bills passed giving us our freedom to teach our children at home as we choose.
The CAPE convention does not make money off of you, they pay the building fee, the speakers, the food to feed the speakers, there's printing costs, utilities and on and on. For those families that have a huge budget? No that's not accurate either, sorry I don't mean to upset anyone here, yet this homescholing family of 5 children (used to be 6) work on a very moderate budget with a small (and I stress small) income from a side buisness, keeping my husband gone 7 days a week from his family. There is never enough money for the extras, and every penny counts. Yet not going to the convention would be like not going to the dentist if your tooth was killing you with infection. The encouragement is overwhelming, especially the longer that you homeschool and can relate to the speakers topics. You find your self crying right along with the speaker and laughing as well. You come from the covention uplifted ready to tackle another year, month, day, maybe even the next hour, and all this because they care enough to work as hard a s they do and weather the huge headache that this convention can be. These strangers who dedicate their time and energy for us. No, I've never been on the board and never will, I don't have the energy that they do, or the knowledge. Heck they already have next years dates set as well as the site. And there is very limited space to hold the vast amount of people that will attend each year from all over NM as well as Texas, Arizona, even Colorado. They have no control over the cost of the building and yes, Hoffmantown would not let them use their buildings this year so there is also very limited selection as where to hold this convention.
The no children under 12 except dependent nursing babies, has also bothered me in years past. Kind of like the one in some stores that say no public restrooms right after you've spent money buying they're items for your children. Yet there are rules for everything and if you think about it as I had to, you will understand, that this is all for our children and the bettering of their lives. Yet our lovely, beautiful children, who we ourselves are striving to give better education and lives, can be rather noisy and disruptive at times, we all have to admit. And for all of us, even those that will never read this posting, we have to appreicate that for one baby to be crying or screaming can take away from the concentration of so many, and multiply that by even just 2 children per family that attends, (yet there are more families with many more children) it would be a very loud convention. Then more space would also be needed to hold all of the children, and then a bigger location would be needed to hold everyone, the cost of the building would go up with the size and it's kind of a snowball effect here. So they have rules, not ones that all of us like, yet they are understandable and explainable as well.
Again, I am not a member of the board, I do pay $20.00 a year for their newsletter, and I paid $50.00 to go to this years convention and then the night before there was a family emergency and we weren't able to attend this year, (I'm crying, as I say yes I can help you to Great, Great Aunt Mary, knowing I paid the $50 bucks) yet I know that it is to a great cause that my husbands hard earned money went to, and we just swallow and vow that next year we'll volunteer to stuff envelopes or set up tables so that we can get that credit to help defer the cost for us.
This is long, and I in NO WAY am trying to put off anyones feelings with this. This is just this veteran homeschooling mom of 11 years putting her thoughts out there, to maybe help those that are new and questioning things to see it from a different persepective.
I'm glad to read the responses from other people on this issue. †I appreciate hearing the "other side of the coin". †I still have some fundamental problems with the convention but understand that this is just how this particular one is run. †What was also upsetting me was that I thought that this was the only convention for me to go to. †I felt like I HAD to pay this fee to be able to see curriculum before I purchased it. †I'm glad Chris posted so I know that there is another one to look forward to (with a better price because it includes the whole family).
I do wish CAPE would separate the lectures and entertainment from the exhibit hall though. †I know the entertainment was free to the public but I'm not interested in that and don't feel that someone who just wants to browse (and possibly purchase) should shoulder that cost. †I don't have a problem helping pay for the location because of the debate and the graduation, either. †Having said all that, if the logistics are just too difficult to make this possible, I'm just going to have to be one of those people who doesn't attend. †
I'll keep in mind the warm fuzzies that some of you have come out of the convention with. †I just have a bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing. †Maybe one day I'll have a different perspective.
I went to the homeschool convention and I found it to be a very positive, encouraging and informational event. I would highly recommend paying the money to go. I believe that the fee was minimal considering it is our children's education. I am not "wealthy". However, I am wealthier after I attended this conference and experienced the encouragement, support and knowledge that I otherwise would not have found. It is wonderful to talk to people who are out there that have been doing this for 17 years! In closing, this group does a lot of wonderful work, fighting the battles for homeschooling in our state that otherwise may not be taken up.
I must say, I found this thread to be very interesting. I had planned on attending the convention, but was unable to get free from my kids until saturday afternoon. Everyone that normally would help me out with childcare had stuff come up Thursday and Friday, and Saturday morning was just crazy. I was willing to pay the $ to attend, but when I did not get over there until 11:30 I figured I would just check out the exhibit hall. I assumed that it was free as did the first poster.
Like with many things, there are two sides to this and I can see the point on both. CAPE has to do what works and this seems to be set up very well. I am sure as a package deal with the lectures and all this in an excellent deal. I would have liked to check out the exhibit hall for free or maybe a reduced price, but understand completely why this would not be allowed.
I did purchase 6 of the tapes and have listened to 2 so far. The tapes are great and I wish I could have gone. Next year I will get my registration in early and line up childcare well in advance, (with alternate too).
Jess getting more and more pumped up about homeschooling this fall