Posted in Homeschooling Corner

My Homeschool Meet and Greet

 

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Poetry tea time display

Last month I felt inspired to offer a homeschool meet and greet in my community. I wanted to give curious parents a chance to meet experienced homeschooling parents, such as myself, so they could see what homeschooling can look like, freely ask questions, learn about a local co-op, and see some of the different curriculum available. And, to be completely honest, I wanted to invite some of my dearest friends, who send their kids to public schools (as I once did mine), to meet other homeschooling parents and hopefully see that we are actually normal (certainly not super-moms).

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I printed out favorite education/homeschool quotes and posted them throughout my entryway and living room.

As soon as I came up with this idea, I mentioned it to several friends in both camps (homeschooling and public schooling) to see if there was even any interest. Everyone was in favor of the idea so that encouraged me to go for it. I then emailed two local homeschooling co-ops in my community and invited them to participate. One said no because they are full, but the other said an enthusiastic yes. πŸ™‚

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Unit study display

I chose to make this event a two-hour open house so it would be informal and relaxed. I chose an evening on a Thursday in May for a few reasons: First, I thought May was perfect timing for the summer months, giving parents time to ponder and plan for the school year ahead. Second, I thought a weeknight would mean dads could join in after work, and also, I wanted to avoid the craziness of the weekend. I chose to host in my own home because it’s homeschooling after all. πŸ˜›

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art and music curriculum table

As I was planning this event, I brainstormed ways to bring homeschooling to life. I was already creating a beginning homeschool resource packet, but I wanted something visual to offer besides curriculum samples. That’s when I had a light-bulb moment- I would create four main displays highlighting my favorite aspects of homeschooling: poetry tea time, unit studies, morning baskets (morning time), and read alouds. I just want to mention here, that none of these are requirements for homeschooling, although there are so many benefits to reading aloud to your children! These are just awesome ideas which many families embrace at one time or another in their homeschooling.

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Morning “basket” display

I love to design displays so this did not feel like work to me. I started setting up my displays two days before the event (I could do that because I don’t have littles at home anymore). Another visual I added to the walls were photos of our homeschooling in action.

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I put together this morning treasure chest and made it a give-away.

Along with each display and table, I put out info. cards (5×7 index size) for parents to collect if they so wished. I even hole-punched them and provided binder rings to keep them together. Each info. card briefly outlined the concept displayed (such as morning baskets) or listed some popular curriculum choices to consider. In the packet, I included reasons to homeschool, common homeschool myths, Utah homeschool laws, a little blurb about dual-enrollment, and a list of homeschool blogs which I find encouraging.

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Read aloud display

I also provided refreshments and a children’s table. I covered my kitchen table with Kraft paper and set out bowls of Legos, and washable markers and crayons. This was a bit hit with kids of all ages who came along with their parents. For refreshments, I had a fruit tray, veggie tray with ranch dip, cheese and gluten-free crackers (I knew one guest eats gluten-free), and a s’mores bar (individual bowls of Golden Grahams cereal, chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, fruity marshmallows, regular marshmallows, and Teddy Grahams which could be scooped into snack cups).

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I certainly could’ve had more guests, but by my calculations, 13 showed up (five were experienced homeschooling moms) and everyone seemed happy to be there as questions were asked and answered, curriculum handled and discussed, and sad pubic school stories shared. I heard from two different moms that there is a homeschooling growth or “surge” (the exact word one used) happening in our community, and if that is true, I think it’s wonderful. I have been homeschooling my son for nine years now. I wouldn’t trade those days/years for anything. Anyway, I’m calling this event a success. πŸ™‚

β™₯ Here is something I’ve learned about myself over the 26 years of my marriage- Not only do I enjoy hosting, but no matter how early I start preparing for a gathering, I end up working until the very minute it starts! It’s just the way I roll because I’m such a thorough planner and cleaner. Do you like to plan and host gatherings? How perfect does your home have to be when you have invited guests coming over? Thanks for visiting my blog! β™₯

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Author:

I am a wife and homeschooling mama, an auntie and a friend. I am a chocolate lover. I am a crafter, photographer, reader, and a traveler. I am a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (I am a Mormon).

34 thoughts on “My Homeschool Meet and Greet

  1. I just wanted to leave a comment, as someone who homeschooled one of my children. He is now 28! He has very slight autism and was bullied from the time he started school, not consistently but often enough to badly impact upon him. We spent 5 years back and forth trying to get it stopped but nothing worked. it always started up again. He had become depressed and wasn’t learning a thing. We made the decision to home school him and it was the best thing we’ve ever done. His depression left him and he academically thrived. He went onto to college and is now a member of the Master Carpenter’s guild (in Britain) he works, drives, does voluntary work and is currently studying the piano and is a confident young man. Thankfully he says he doesn’t remember much about his school days at all. A lot of people were against us taking him out of school, but I said it then and I still believe it now, you can get an education anytime, you only get one childhood, and it’s the quality of that which shapes the rest of your life. My only regret is that we weren’t aware of the homeschool options when he first started school, we wish we’d never sent him in the first place. We are are grandparents now and our daughter, who did very well in the school system says that if our grandaughter has the same problems that our son did, then she will homeschool too. I know this is a long comment, but I just wanted to let new homeschoolers know how well my homeschooled son has gone on to do, I hope people are encouraged by it. x Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your son’s homeschool story with us, Ernestine. It is indeed encouraging and a testament that homeschooling works. πŸ‘πŸ»

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      1. You are welcome. It’s heartbreaking to have a child that doesn’t fit in, and I hope people see that there is another viable option for them. Good luck with all your work x

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  2. I’m so impressed! I especially like the idea of demystifying homeschool for the parents of public school kids. Even if they aren’t interested in trying the method, it’s a great idea to show that homeschoolers can just be normal people.
    Also, your displays look really great!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love this idea! What a marvelous way to bring people together and your displays are delightful. We are wrapping up our 19th year of homeschooling and will have two 10th graders next year. I would love to do something like this in our community.
    Blessings, Dawn

    Liked by 3 people

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