Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post brought to you by Great Homeschool Conventions. All opinions are my own.
Last year, our family attended a homeschool convention. It was a great experience for the whole family. Since I know some of you are a bit hesitant to go as a family due to the inconveniences that can bring, I thought I would share some of our tips.
1. Start with a goal in mind.
A homeschool convention can be overwhelming–the sessions, the speakers, the vendor hall. It’s enough to make your head spin. And, let’s face it, doing something with your small children in tow doesn’t usually make it easier to concentrate. More than likely you’ll fare better if you have a plan in mind ahead of time. Is your goal to be encouraged? To get some practical ideas? To look at all the great curriculum? Decide beforehand what your goal is.
2. Be prepared.
Because my husband and I intended to take our boys (3 and 5 at the time) into the sessions with us, we made sure to bring plenty of activities to keep them occupied. Here are some of the busy bags that I packed along. Lots of quiet activities–puzzles, dry erase board books, an animal matching game, foam puzzle pieces to build boxes out of, and tons of homemade busy bags with felt and other activities.
Here they are with their backpacks full of some activities, ready to go:
3. Divide & Conquer
Both the kids and the schedule! There are so many great speakers covering so many great topics–and that’s not even mentioning the huge vendor hall that you need to make time for!
My husband and I decided to split up so that we could cover more ground so to speak. He chose sessions that interested him, and I chose some that interested me.
We also split up the children, since they tend to encourage loudness in one another.
4. Know your limits
Many conventions open at 8 am and don’t close until 8-9 pm. That is a long day of walking around and sitting in classrooms for an adult. It’s even longer for a 3 year old and a 5 year old! For this reason, we decided to break up our day, so that it wouldn’t be so bad on them. We split up and we each went to all the morning sessions and a couple after lunch. Our children went to 3-4 sessions with us each day. Then, my husband and the boys left the convention for the day, while I stayed for the rest of the sessions.
5. Make time for fun
If you’re going to travel, you might as well do something fun while you’re there, even if it means staying another day…especially if you’re like us and live in a TINY town. This time, we went to a great children’s museum.
If you’ll be going to the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, you’ll definitely want to schedule in a visit to the Creation Museum. They just announced that kids get in free this year!
PS–My friend Meghan wrote this post last year about attending a church convention with her family and I think many of them also apply to attending a homeschool convention. Check it out :)
This post is a part of the iHomeschool Network Reasons to Attend a Homeschool Convention link up. Head on over to the landing page for more great benefits and tips for making the most of a Homeschool Convention.