This article was originally posted in March of 2012.
Are you getting as excited as I am? We are just a little over a week away from attending what I believe will be the best homeschool conference of the year. When my husband and I first found out about Teach Them Diligently several months ago it was a no brainer – of course we would go. The speaker lineup is amazing, and the workshops are sure to be inspiring and educational. We went to a couple of homeschool conferences last year with all 6 of our little ones in tow. While homeschool conferences are wonderful for us homeschooling parents, they are a little difficult on the kiddos. They are required to sit quietly for an hour or two. That’s not so bad, but then they have to do it again…and again..and you get the picture. That is a lot to ask of a small child who has a difficult time being still and quiet. There are a few things, however, that you can do to make life a little easier at the conference with your children.
1. Take potty breaks before you go in.
2. Don’t stress out if you miss part of the session. There will be recordings you can purchase at the conference.
3. Make Quiet Activity Kits/Bags for your Children. This has been one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done to prepare for a conference. Following these guidelines will help keep them entertained and quiet during the sessions.
- The bags should be small and soft enough so there isn’t a lot of noise while the child is digging through them. A cloth lunch sack or lunch box will work well. Even a Ziploc bag will work great for this. I keep the smaller bags in a backpack that I carry around and hand them out at each session before it begins.
- If possible include items that the child has never seen before. They don’t have to be expensive. You can get many great items for this at the Dollar store or at the Target Dollar Spot.
- The toys/items should be small, quiet, and not messy. Items like play dough, whistles, and wind up cars wouldn’t work very well. Some great items to keep little hands busy and quiet are Silly Putty, crayons/paper, small puzzles, Rubix Cube, small car(although mine would make car noises if they had these), and Wikki Stix.
- Also include age appropriate/non messy snacks. Snacks will help to keep little mouths from talking while listening to the speakers. Something that won’t make crumbs is a good idea, and try to avoid common food allergens like nuts as a courtesy to the next family that may sit there next. Think small here, one piece of gum or 1 sucker, a few teddy grahams or cheerios PER session will be fine.
- Switch out the items between sessions. There are 3 days worth of awesome speaking at the Teach Them Diligently conference, and we wouldn’t want those little ones to get bored. Drop some extra items in your bag and swap them out when you get a chance.
Holly Syx is a Christian, homeschooler, blogger, coffee lover, wife to 1 awesome hunk & 6 little kiddos call her mommy. Holly and her family will be onsite at Teach Them Diligently with their Homeschool in Minecraft platform, SKrafty.
For more ideas on traveling with kiddos, check out our Pinterest boards and make sure you follow Teach Them Diligently on Pinterest while you’re there!