Would you like to bring an SWR Seminar to your area?
Our hosts are very special people with a heart for seeing other educators in their areas equipped to use SWR successfully. We are indebted to the many hosts and their support teams who make the SWR Seminars a possibility. As you read through the following, prayerfully consider whether you would be able to host an SWR Seminar in your area.
The first three essential details
We have almost 20 Endorsed Seminar Trainers who are available throughout the United States and Canada. To find a listing of these trainers and their territories, see our Endorsed Seminar Trainers web page. Your first contact would be with the trainer who holds seminars in your state. Please keep in mind that some SWR Trainers have greater flexibility in their availability than others. In some cases their schedules are restricted to a certain vicinity or a specified number of seminars per year.
Contact Back Home Industries to inquire about which alternate trainer you should contact if
- your state is not listed, or
- your trainer is unavailable.
You will need to find a site for holding the seminar. Common places include the multipurpose room in a local church, school, or community center. You would need:
- a comfortable, climate controlled meeting hall/room to seat 10-30+ people classroom style
- tables and chairs sufficient for class size
- tables for refreshments and a book table
- kitchen facilities such as a refrigerator and microwave
- sound system (depends on group size)
- clean wall or a large screen if the trainer uses a projector
- a black- or whiteboard
Some trainers have some or all of this equipment that they can bring if it’s not available through your facility.
Many churches donate the use of their facilities to help support their homeschoolers or the cause of literacy. Some Christian schools will be happy to offer their facilities so that their teachers can more easily attend. Check with the trainer what her budget for the rent will be.
Once you have a trainer and a potential facility, the three of you will need to settle on a date to hold the class. You’ll probably want to have several options in order to find a time that will work for all of your schedules. It is best to plan your seminar at least 2-5 months in advance to allow for sufficient advertising. Check in your area for other events that may conflict with the dates you have in mind. You don’t want to compete with a local homeschool conference or a city festival that would cause traffic or parking problems. It is also best to avoid major holidays.
Once you have contacted your trainer and set a date, she will send you a Hostess Packet with all the details and a checklist specific to her seminars.
In order to host a seminar, you need to guarantee your trainer the equivalent of a minimum of 10 full-paying attendees. Some people are able to attend a seminar at a scholarship rate (see our Seminar FAQ page), so that would need to be taken into consideration when gaining a minimum attendance. The maximum number of people for a seminar is typically dictated by the facilities, but a class of more than 30 people could get cumbersome. If your trainer is new to your area, she will need your help building this base attendance, whereas if she has been in the area before, seminar alumni and her local advertising may fill your class easily.
Depending on the class size, you will need 1-3 other people to help you. There is planning to be done ahead of time, getting the word out in your area, setting up the facilities, handling the registrations during the first morning of class, preparing and serving snacks, helping at the book tables, and cleaning up afterwards. A hostess who tries to do it all herself is typically too busy helping everyone else to get much out of the seminar for herself. Delegation is the key to a successful seminar and a satisfied hostess!
Your Trainer will provide fliers for you to pass out in your area. She will also be able to provide you with a digital version of the flier to send via e-mail or to group boards. Depending on whether your trainer has worked in your area in the past, she may have people on her mailing list(s) who would receive information about the seminar through email and/or snail mail. The class will also be advertised on the SWR Yahoo Group, on the Back Home Industries web site, and on the trainer’s web site, if she has one. However, much of the success of the class will be dependent on your getting the word out in your area and encouraging people to attend. There are many home educators who need to understand how they would benefit from a training class in order to teach their children to read and spell. Many classroom teachers can only attend a class if the administration understands the value of the training. Educators who are excited and enthusiastic about SWR are the best “ads” we could ask for! Your trainer may have additional ideas for how to advertise the class in your area.
Once the minimum class size of the equivalent to 10 full-paying attendees has been met, the hostess has earned a free scholarship for the class and a Hostess Premium based on the number of registrations beyond the minimum. The premium is paid in either cash or with product from the trainer’s book table, if she has one. Specific details of the Hostess Premiums are available from each trainer. In addition, once the equivalent of 15 full-paying attendees have registered, another full-price scholarship is available for (1) one additional helper, or (2) to be split between more than one additional helpers.
Host the Trainer
If your trainer is traveling from out of town to your area, you may need to help find a place for her to stay. Some trainers stay with either the hostess or someone else associated with the class in order to cut down on hotel expenses while other trainers prefer to book their own hotel. If your trainer is flying to your area for the seminar, you may need to arrange to have someone pick her up and deliver her back to the airport.
The hostess usually arranges to have various snacks and drinks on site for the seminar. This can be as simple as coffee and muffins in the morning with tea and coffee for the rest of the day. Refreshments can also include fruit, popcorn, chips, cookies, and so forth. It is completely up to the hostess how much and what she wants to provide. A great way to get delicious homemade goodies is to solicit donations from the other seminar helpers or from friends the hostess knows will be attending. It is imperative that you ask the trainer what kind of food budget she has to cover the cost of refreshments before you make plans or purchases. Obviously, the larger the class, the larger the potential budget.