FAQ (2020 info will be up soon, please check back!)

When does the 2019 Conference start and end?

You can check in and pick up conference packets beginning Thursday at 5 PM, August 8th.  The Conference concludes on Sunday evening, August 11th, after our Closing Slideshow held at 5pm.

How do I register to attend?

Registration opens on Black Friday, November 23, 2019. You may pre-register online to take advantage of early bird discounts or pay at the door.  All the details are on the registration page.

When can I get my badge and do I have to wear it?

All attendees must check in at the Registration Desk to pick up their conference badges. We recommend that you plan extra time for this before the conference begins. Registration will be open:

     Thursday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

     Friday  8:00 am to 4:00 pm

     Saturday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Attendees must display badges in plain sight to attend conference functions. Replacements can be purchased for $20.

You must wear your badge in order to take part in any of the conference activities.  If you do not have your badge, you will be asked to retrieve it.

Can I a refund or transfer my registration to another person?

All registrations are non-refundable. There is a $20 fee per person (not per family) to transfer registrations. Please request a transfer by completing this form.

Do I need to be a member of HSC to attend the Conference?

You need to be a member of HSC to attend the conference.  For info on being a member, please go to www.hsc.org.

Is this Conference for a particular type of homeschooler?

No, this is a fully inclusive homeschool conference with something for all folks within the glorious spectrum of diversity of the homeschooling community.  All homeschoolers, and those interested in homeschooling, are welcome!

Will anyone else be there?

Yes! Hundreds of folks will attend the conference!  It's a blast!  Be there!

Help! There're too many great things going on at once, I don't know what to do?

It is common for both new and veteran conference attendees to be momentarily stunned by the sheer quantity and quality of options available to them during the conference.  Conference volunteers sweep the premises in search of homeschoolers frozen by the sheer awesomeness of the HSC conference.  They are trained to combat overwhelm through guiding attendees to take a few deep breaths, consider all of their family needs, choose something, and go enjoy it by focusing on what they are doing instead of what they might be missing.  So, just breathe deep and know you will be okay.  Also remember there is always next year!

Do I have to wear shoes at the hotel?

YES! It's the hotel's policy, so we've got to keep our shoes on!

What should I bring to the Conference (other than shoes)?

Snacks for the little ones and maybe even some to share.

A family emergency plan -- how and when to find each other in case of an emergency.

Sweaters for you and the kids for evening and the powerful air conditioning

Musical instruments

Props for your performance in the Talent Show

Empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls - drop them off at the Construction Zone in the Epic Playspace

A camera - or your smartphone

Cell phones or 2 way radios to keep in touch with family members

A great attitude and a willingness to try new things and have FUN!

Should I bring the whole family?

The HSC Conference is uniquely designed for all ages -- from babies to grandparents.  In fact, grandparents attend for free!  There are complete conference programs designed for all those two years and above, and the littlest ones are welcome by your side.  Be sure to bring the whole family!

Is there childcare provided at the conference?

We do not offer childcare, and it is important that all children under 14 have an adult nearby throughout the weekend.

Families are welcome to use cooperative childcare in order to attend workshops.  You are responsible for meeting and making arrangements with the other families.  HSC and agents assume no responsibility or liability for the cooperative childcare.

Can I bring my friend's kid along with me? What about sending my kid with my friend's family?

HSC events are first and foremost FAMILY events. We strongly encourage families to attend together. However, we do allow families to bring an extra friend or two along with them. Every child or teen must be staying with a registered responsible adult.

If you bring an extra child or teen, it is very important to understand your responsibilities.

You will be asked to sign a statement saying you are the “registered responsible adult” for each extra child/teen. You must be at least 25 years old. If you sign this statement, you are agreeing that any child or teen who is with you is entirely your responsibility. You should know the extra children/teens and their parents well. They should be staying with you at the event (in your hotel room at conference, for example), and you should be supervising them the same way you supervise your own children. As the responsible adult, you are legally responsible for them and should be sure to have a medical release form from their parent.

We do NOT allow children or teens at events unless they are being supervised and cared for by a registered parent (at least 25 years old) who has invited them to stay with them and will take full responsibility for that child or teen’s safety, welfare, and behavior.

Can I bring my dogs to the conference?

Yes and no.  Your canine companions are welcome at our hotel; however the hotel asks that you do not leave pets unattended in your hotel room.  (Dogs don't usually like this either.)  Dogs are not permitted in conference space - that means no dogs in workshops, sessions, in the registration area or at the dances and big events.  (Dogs that can be contained in a sling or backpack are welcome in these areas so long as they are kept entirely in-arms.)  Of course, service animals are welcome everywhere. 

Why?  Allergies.  We love all kinds of critters, but HSC Conference is intended to enrich the lives of our human participants first.  We are grateful for your understanding as we strive to keep our conference environment friendly for people who are allergic to pet hair.

What are some ways for all family members, adults and kids, to best enjoy the conference?

The HSC Conference is really five conferences in one with full programs of activities for all ages of kids over two, as well as adults.  Sometimes it takes some arranging to make sure all family members are taken care of.

Based on experience, here are some suggestions:

One adult may go to an adult workshop while the other goes to family workshops; if a workshop is really good, you can purchase a recording of it to listen to together later.

Sometimes, you may find both adults ending up with the kids at the family workshops because they are so fun.

Many families take part in cooperative childcare with other families (this can be arranged onsite and is a great way to meet other families).

Some folks bring along a grandparent or another caregiver along to watch the kids while they attend adult workshops.  Grandparents attend free!

Some families leave the kids at home with a sitter while they go and enjoy an adult learning vacation weekend.

We encourage you to choose the approach that works best for your family.

Relax, there's no way you can attend everything at the Conference even if you weren't lucky enough to have your wonderful kids with you.  However, if you are fortunate enough to have them with you, enjoy this weekend together.

How can I keep my kids and the conference safe and comfortable for all families?

Be sure that all children are wearing conference badges.  Write your pager or cell phone number (including your area code) on the back so that we can reunite children with lost parents in the event that you do get separated.  If you should run across a lost parent or child, please take them to the conference Registration Desk.  Don't leave children sleeping in the hotel room alone.  Do not let children play on the escalator or elevators or run down the halls.  Keep your children seated or on your lap if you're eating in the restaurant.  Those waiters have to move fast with heavy trays of breakable dishes and pots of hot coffee.  If we get in the way, it can be scary for everybody.  Carry healthful snacks and maybe some to share with new friends. Bring sweaters for yourself and your child because the hotel air conditioner can be really cold.  Speaking of clothing, everyone must wear shoes unless they are swimming.  Don't leave any child under 14 alone or with older siblings at the pool.  The hotel says that all children must have an adult supervising at the pool.  Do not bring anything to the conference that has wheels except your car, a stroller, a wheeled cooler, or a wheelchair.  That includes skateboards, roller blades, skates, bikes, and scooters.  Please report any suspicious person to the conference Registration Desk or a staff member.

What about Advanced Sign-ups for Limited Enrollment Workshops?

Following the requests of our members we have eliminated advanced sign-ups for almost all workshops and are offering a greater menu of workshops than ever.  Of course, some workshops will fill up, but we've tried to do our best to accommodate as many attendees as possible.

Will my favorite speakers books be available at the conference?

Most likely!  The Speakers' Booth sells books written by our past and present speakers.  This year's speakers will be available to sign their books at various times throughout the weekend.  Related books, audio and video recordings will also be available.

How can I win some cool stuff to take home?

The HomeSchool Association of California is again sponsoring a raffle as a fundraiser for the organization.  Some of our exhibitors have generously donated fabulous prizes to our raffle!  We also have raffle items donated by others in our community available to win at the HSC Info Table.  Please visit the Information Booth to discover what you can win and drop your raffle tickets into the boxes of the prizes you most desire.  Tickets will be sold at the conference all day Saturday and until 11 AM on Sunday by the Exhibitor Hall and by friendly folks milling around the vendor hall and other areas.  They are $1 each, 12 for $10 and 25 for $20.  All proceeds go toward HSC’s important work supporting and protecting homeschooling in California.  The winners will be posted Sunday at noon.  Please claim your prize by 2 pm.  You must be at the conference to win.

Can we swim in the pool?

Yes, you can swim in the pool.  We ask that attendees do not wear swimwear in the lobby.

Can I stay up all night making loud noises? 

Only if you go home to do it.  If you are staying at the hotel, we ask that all attendees honor a 9 p.m. curfew in the hallways, if you want to stay up later, please use the atrium level gathering space until they close at 1:30 a.m., after which all socializing must move to private space (hotel rooms).  Let us let parents and little kids get a good night's sleep.  Please remember that not everyone staying at the hotel is with the conference.


If I don't like a workshop, can I get a refund?

No refunds of registration or other fees will be made.

Can I just come to the DoubleTree and hang out?

No, current registration and a badge are required to be in the parts of the hotel being used by the conference or to attend any conference activities. You may attend the Exhibit Hall, which you can browse for free.

Do I have to purchase my own conference pass to attend with my teen?

We are so glad you asked!  If your teen is 13-17 years old, they must be accompanied by a paying adult caregiver (not another teen sibling or friend.)

Can I help?

We'd love to have your help! Go to the volunteer page to find out how!

How do I join the Homeschool Association of California?

Just go to http://hsc.org/join-hsc.html and all the info is right there.

Who is the HomeSchool Association of California? 

The HomeSchool Association of California (HSC) is a statewide volunteer-driven organization whose mission is to:

honor the diversity of homeschoolers

support and promote the entire spectrum of homeschooling

provide information

monitor and influence legislation

offer opportunities for families to get together

empower families to make the choices that respect the rights, needs, and aspirations of their children

The HomeSchool Association of California is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Tax ID #68-0137455.

When and where is next year's conference?

The 2019 conference will be held August 8-11, 2019, at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose.  See you there!

What if I have a question that wasn't answered on this extraordinarily helpful F.A.Q. page?

Go ahead and send an email to hscconference@gmail.com and we'll do our best to get you an answer.