Southwest Home Education Ministry

Convention FAQ

Convention FAQs

Here are the most commonly asked questions about the annual SHEM Homeschool Convention. If your question is NOT addressed, please send an email to We will be happy to add it to our list.

Exhibitor Hall – What Happened to Thursday Night?

Due to the constant rise of prices to the exhibit hall, travel expenses for exhibitors and low Thursday night attendance, and in order to avoid having to pass the price on to attendees, it was deemed in the best interest of all to provide exhibitor shopping on Friday and Saturday only.


Can I bring my children to the convention?

Children of all ages are welcome at the SHEM Convention and will be charged at the individual price or included in the family admission price, dependent upon the pass purchased by the parent. Children are required to remain with their parents at all times, unless they are a teen that has been registered for the Teen Convention. Children are welcome in any of the adult sessions provided they are not disruptive. Each family must make their own decision regarding babysitting. Remember, this is meant to be a time of renewing, information, encouragement and training for the parents.

Why is there a charge for children and teens to attend?

The convention is geared toward adults. We understand, however, that some cannot arrange child care and we want to give them the option to register their children. Missouri is part of a shrinking minority around the country in extending this option during home education conventions. Please be respectful of the Expo Center property and staff since they have been so gracious in allowing us to continue this practice. Teens (13-18) may attend the Teen Convention for an additional fee. The Teen Convention has been expanded to hold a LARGE number of teens.

Are nursing babies allowed at the convention? Is there a charge for them?

Nursing babies – ages 1 and younger – are included at no charge as a part of either an Individual or Family registration, as long as the infant is NOT in a stroller. Nursing infants in strollers will be counted as an individual due to the space accommodations needed in the session rooms. A nursing mother’s room will be available at the convention for your needs and privacy.

** Please note that SHEM requests that any fussy or crying babies or children be immediately removed from any SPEAKING SESSION or from the EXHIBIT HALL so as not to ruin the convention experience for those around you, or interfere with the session recordings. All children ages 12 and under are to be accompanied at all times by one of their own parents.

As a parent, am I allowed into the Teen Convention?

Teens have a unique opportunity to attend the Teen Convention. This is a separate event at the SHEM Homeschool Convention. There is an individual fee for the Teen Convention. Parent’s may purchase a Parent Pass IN ADDITION to their individual pass to be able to attend portions of the Teen Convention with their child.


How do I register to attend the convention?

You may register through the mail after receiving a brochure, or printing the form from the website and mailing it in. You may also register online using PayPal. Or you may register at the door. Early registrations are automatically entered to win SHEM Bucks and a one night stay at the University Plaza Hotel on Friday night of the convention. Winner will be notified one week prior to the convention.

How do I receive the early registration discount?

By mailing your registration postmarked before the pre-registration deadline date. Brochures are mailed in latter March.

Can I register on-line?

YES! We have provided a link to PayPal to register online. Payments can be made from your PayPal account and by credit card online. Be sure to print your receipt. This will serve as your confirmation. SHEM will not be emailing or mailing out confirmation.

Can I register at the door?

YES! NOTE: Cash, checks or credit cards will be accepted for payment at the door.

Is there a discount if I can only attend one day?

No. We have one price which includes either day, or both. Our fee is quite reasonable even if you are only able to attend one day. For two days, it is a real bargain! Your registration even includes graduation attendance.

Is there a discount for admission to the exhibit hall only?

No. We sell admission as a package deal. One price gives you access to all!

What is the admission price for grandparents?

We understand the importance of grandparents in the homeschool process. Grandparents are always free if they attend with their adult children!

What if I cannot attend after I have sent in my registration?

Registration Refund Policy: Written cancellations received prior to April 15 will be refunded less a $5.00 per person ($15 per family pass) processing fee. Please make requests for refunds in writing to the SHEM Conference Registrar at the address on the Registration Form.


What do you do with the information from the completed surveys?

We use this information to help us make future conventions an even better experience for those in attendance. We also compile statistical information from certain questions.

Is it true I can enter a drawing if I turn in my completed survey?

Yes! Complete your survey, turn it in with your name, address and phone number and you may win a pass for the next year’s convention.

How will I find out if I won?

Notifications will be made through email or postal mailing to individuals who have won a free pass.


What types of exhibitors are permitted to have booths in the Exhibit Hall?

We focus on exhibitors who assist and encourage parents in their efforts to teach their own children at home. A few groups who enrich the homeschool experience are included as space allows. We encourage local homeschool groups to purchase a booth.

What changes will be made this year?

Our exhibitor coordinators work very hard all year to create an organized, efficient and exciting exhibit hall. They will make whatever changes are necessary for that goal.


Can I bring my own food/lunch to the convention?

The Springfield Expo Center has a contract with on-site food vendors that prohibit any outside food from being brought in. However, you may bring your own lunch if you do not eat on the Expo Center grounds.

Where can I purchase lunch?

There is an on-site concession stand as well as many restaurants nearby, most within walking distance.


What if the session I choose is full?

Sometimes a speaker or topic is particularly popular and the session fills up fast. To ensure you get to hear all the topics and speakers you are interested in please be on time for each session. If you can’t make it to a session, you may purchase the recording on site. You will then have a chance to be blessed even after the convention and bless others.


What do volunteers do at the convention?

The SHEM Board members, pages and events staff are completely volunteer. Our volunteers are vital to the convention. They staff registration counters, count the number of attendees in rooms, assist speakers with various needs (including sometimes staffing their booths), and monitor rooms.

How long would my shift as a volunteer last?

A minimum of 5 hours. Generally people work between 5 and 10 hours.

How do I sign up to serve as a volunteer?

Contact our volunteer coordinator through


How do I purchase CDs of specific workshops?

Workshop CD’s are sold in the main lobby during the convention. Most sessions are available for sale. After the convention, you may purchase CD’s from the taping company via their website.

Why are certain speakers’ CD’s only available for purchase at the convention and not afterward?

Some speakers request that their tapes only be sold at the convention. This prevents web sales from our convention from competing with their own sales. We respect our speakers’ right to apply this restriction if they wish. You may generally buy recordings of similar sessions directly from the speakers in this case.