We have gathered much conference general information on this page to help you find the information you need so understand the conference. Don’t hesitate to contact the NCHE office if you cannot find the information you are looking for.
Twin City Quarter (Benton Convention Center, Embassy Suites and Marriott), 301 W 5th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101—The Benton Conference Center is located in downtown Winston-Salem.
Big News about Lifting of COVID Restrictions for Thrive!
The masks and social distancing are no longer mandatory for the conference; they are recommended. Also, the occupancy restrictions are lifted. We are working to provide a socially distanced section of the workshop rooms for those who would feel more comfortable socially distancing.
Note that their will be no water stations. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle.
Renovations in the Embassy
The Embassy is in the middle of renovations. The sleeping rooms are finished. The Garden Terrace isn’t quite finished and the lower level is just getting ready to start. Therefore, you will find some public areas that are not up to their ideal standards. We appreciate them allowing us to use their space in spite of it not be in ideal condition.
Full Conference Registration—This entitles you to attend the vendor hall, all conference and vendor workshops and keynote sessions, teen and alum activities, the Coins concert, family games and the gatherings.
Vendor Hall Only Registration—This includes admission to the vendor hall, vendor workshops and the gatherings.
Wristbands and Nametags—Attendees registered for the full conference will wear green wristbands. Attendees registered for the vendor hall only will wear yellow wristbands. Speakers, NCHE officers and the conference team will wear green name tags. Vendors wear yellow name tags.
Tickets for Individual Events—If you are not registered for the full conference and would like to attend a workshop session, keynote, teen and alumni games social, the Coins concert and the family games, you can buy a ticket for $5 each to attend these. Purchase tickets at the registration table and then give them to a door monitor.
All Three Days
Conference Workshops—Conference workshops are given by speakers who have been invited to participate in our conference. The topics are usually inspirational or instructional about homeschooling and family. Those with full conference registration or a $5 ticket may attend.
Vendor Workshops—A vendor workshop is given by one of our vendors and usually explains their product but can also cover a variety of subjects. Anyone registered for vendor hall only or full conference may attend.
Keynotes—There are 3 keynotes, Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m., and Saturday 9:00 a.m. in Salem Ballroom. A keynote session begins with a 30 minute period of general business before the keynote address by one of our featured speakers. Those with full conference registration or a $5 ticket may attend.
Children’s Program—The children’s program is provided by Giant Cow Ministries and available to conference attendees for an additional fee. Families register directly with Giant Cow Ministries. Children need to be registered for the conference in order to attend. Onsite registration will be taken if there is room. It is located in the Hearn Ballroom in the Marriott. It is open to children ages 3-11.
Mentoring—Experienced homeschoolers will be waiting to answer your homeschooling questions. The mentor table will be just outside the vendor hall by the main doors. The mentor table hours are 1:15-6:45 p.m. on Thursday, 9:15 a.m.-6:15 p.m. on Friday, and 9:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Regional Gatherings—A time to meet others from your NCHE region will be scheduled between workshop sessions. Find your region in the map and the time and room for your regional meeting in the general schedule and plan to attend the meeting for your region. Here is the link for the regional map https://www.nche.com/community/regions/.
Special Gatherings—These gatherings, scheduled between the workshops, are opportunities to gather with others who are in the same special circumstance. The special gatherings this year are: Military, special needs, single parents, new homeschoolers, parents of preschoolers, parents of gifted children, homeschooling with a home business, adoptive parents, homeschooling with a chronic illness, and multi-cultural homeschoolers. The general schedule will show the time and room for each gathering. Just drop in and meet others!
Leaders’ Luncheon and Workshop—NCHE hosts a special luncheon just for our homeschool leaders on Thursday 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Pavilion. Preregistration is required. Registration for the luncheon does not include conference registration. A leaders’ workshop is from 1:15-2:15 p.m. in the Gaines Ballroom. This workshop is open to all.
Chess Tournament—The K-12 chess tournament is on Thursday from 2:30-6:30 p.m. in Terrace 1 in the Embassy. Preregistration is required.
Teen and Alumni Games Social—A games social will be held in the Pavilion, Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. NCHE will provide cards and board games. Admission requires full conference registration or a $5 ticket.
Alumni Coffee Social—All alumni are invited to join us for coffee and snacks in the event director’s suite in the Marriott Hotel at 9:15 p.m., Thursday, for a relaxing time to hang out with other homeschool alumni. For the room number ask at the conference help or conference registration tables.
College Fair—Students have the opportunity to meet and talk with college recruiters. The fair will be 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Friday and on the Garden Terrace, second floor of the Embassy Suites.
The Coins Concert—The Coins will be in concert on Friday at 7:45 p.m. in the Salem Ballroom. The Coins are a Durham-based band known for their blend of acoustic folk, bluegrass, and Celtic styles. They have performed in many venues in the Triangle area, from churches to cafés. The music of this family band features traditional and folk songs, covers of favorite artists, and original compositions reflecting aspects of their Christian faith. Alexa Carter is a homeschool graduate, and she and her husband, Daniel, are homeschooling their children. Levi Mason is a homeschool graduate and many NCHE members may recognize him as the host of the annual conference talent show.
Family Games—A family games time will be held in the Pavilion, Friday night at 7:45 p.m. NCHE will provide cards and board games. Admission requires full conference registration or a $5 ticket.
Vendor Hall Drawings—There will be 2 drawings on Saturday afternoon.
Signature Card Drawing for $250 in cash, Saturday 1:40 p.m.
Win Two Drawing—Free Conference Admission for 2021 (reimbursed) and 2022, Saturday 3:00 p.m. (Must be present to win.)
Audio recordings—Audio recordings of conference workshops and keynotes will be reproduced in 2 ways: CDs and MP3s. The order forms may be found at registration or at the recording table located in the Winston Foyer.
Purchasing CDs—Recordings in CD format are available for sale only at the conference and must be picked up by the end of the conference. A complete set of all recordings on CDs may be purchased at the conference or online afterwards at a reduced price and will be shipped. NCHE will not ship or mail individual CDs. CDs are $6 each.
Purchasing MP3s—Recordings in MP3 format will be available for a special price of $4 at the conference, and through June 3 online ($5 afterwards). These may be ordered online at the NCHE website as soon as they are available, within 24 hours after each session. A complete set of all recordings can be purchased on a flash drive at a reduced price and shipped.
Volunteering—Please consider being one of our very important volunteers! If you are willing to help out, see more information on the volunteer page.
Workshop Handouts—Some of the speakers prepare a handout (with notes about their talks). These can be found online in May.
Nursing Mothers Room—We have set aside the Shober Boardroom (across from Gaines in the Embassy) for the convenience of nursing mothers.
Conference Help Table—If you have questions about the conference, drop by the conference help table at the entrance of the Benton.
Lost and Found—Lost and Found is located at the registration table and at the NCHE table in the vendor hall, booth 1.
Interpreting Services—NCHE will provide interpreting services if we know far enough in advance to contract for these. The deadline that allows this time is April 30. Please email Debbie Mason, email@example.com, with a list of workshops that you desire interpreting for by this deadline.
Hotel Reservations for Marriott and Embassy Suites for the 2021 Conference—These reservations can be made beginning October 1 of each year at 9:00 a.m. Rooms, especially in the Embassy, will go very quickly, but many times there are more available before the conference as people release their reservations. Note that the dates for the 2021 conference will be May 27-29.