Going to homeschool conventions can be overwhelming.
I actually had several friends from my local homeschool co-op, who went up to the Great Homeschool Conventions Fort Worth one together and roomed together. I knew that was a possibility, but wanted the downtime of retreating to a solitary hotel room at night.
I say this because bookstores are my retreat, like the empty hotel room. The vendor hall is large, noisy, and intimidating. You want to make the best decisions about where to spend your money, and you want to find books and curriculum that align with who you are as a homeschooler. It can be over-stimulating.
The Realm Makers Bookstore booth was a nice oasis for me at the convention. I stopped by their booth several times during the Fort Worth Great Homeschool Convention to browse their books.
As a Christian who loves fantasy books, you get a couple of different reactions when you talk to other Christians, especially homeschoolers.
There’s the “Not fantasy! What about that whole ‘suffer not a witch to live’!” response.
Then there’s the “I’m okay with fantasy as long as it is Tolkien, Lewis, or a biblical allegory.”
And finally there’s the “You too! Who’s your favorite author!”
Browsing Realm Makers Bookstore, I got to discuss with the authors and the people running the booth the books we love reading, exchange favorite authors, get book suggestions that are like favorite authors, talk about themes we enjoy, and philosophies of parenting and sharing books with kids. (I like to slowly expose them to concepts that contradict the Bible, so I don’t dump them in uncharted territory with no clue other than a few proof-texted verses on what the rest of the world thinks.)
But you know what was the coolest feature for me (aside from filling my backpack with books to read)?
My daughter wants to be a writer when she grows up. She has book ideas, and plans. A lot of plans. I got to talk about their writer’s convention, and learn all about the teen track, and hear how the teacher from the writing curriculum she uses sometimes teaches the teen track. I got a bookmark (yay bookmarks!) with a link, which I, of course, looked through when I retreated to my hotel cave that night. I thoroughly enjoyed poking around the website and signing up for Lorehaven, and seeing all the bits and bobs there were.
So far, I’ve read two of the books I bought at Realm Makers. I have two more to read, and then I’ll start ordering sequels. I was restrained and only bought the first book in several series!