5 Simple Steps for a Successful Afternoon
Two years into our homeschooling adventure, my father asked if I was going to plan something similar to Grandparents Day at public school. He wanted to feel included in the grandchildrens' homeschooling, see what they were learning and witness some of their challenging achievements.
After some discouragement that I was being asked to turn my home into a public schoolroom for a day, I realized this opportunity would be great for the children, as well as our extended family. I decided that Christmas break would be the perfect time and decided to call our afternoon the "Holiday Homeschool Open House."
1. Choose the Right Time
You might choose anytime during the school year that accommodates your family needing a break, doing something fun, and showing off their hard work. Winter or Spring Break, Memorial Day weekend, Thanksgiving, or an end of the year open house would fit naturally into the normal school year schedule. Choosing a time when family is already planning to be in town for a holiday or vacation means less stress on you trying to find that perfect time.
2. Plan an Activity
Deciding on an activity that everyone can participate in is ideal. Younger children will want to be included and no one wants to feel that what they work on has to be just right. For our holiday homeschool open house, we made Christmas tree ornaments from popsicle sticks, ribbon & paint. It took less than half an hour and everyone had an ornament to take home as a token of the day. Choose an activity that uses up materials you already have in your supply closet, such as stickers, sequins, cut-outs - everything you thought you would use during your school year but aren't!
3. Showcase Talents
A few talents will be enough to satisfy curious family members. Playing a piano piece, describing one of the lapbooks your child worked on and teaching a small lesson from Latin grammar are all indicative of what you are helping your children accomplish. In addtion, letting the smaller children perform a dance piece or colorful drawing adds humor and some creativity. Reading a story or book report, passing around a few of the workbooks or performing a spelling bee are other options that will be interactive and fun to share.
4. Share Schoolwork
Sometimes it's difficult for extended family to understand that anything gets accomplished in your chaotic household! I took the opportunity (about 5 minutes) to pass around a few lessons so that our family could see how the children read each lesson, pass the exam, and move on to the next lesson. Our curriculum is all about mastery; you cannot move to the next lesson until a perfect score is reached on the current one. So, showing your family the actual work the children read is quite reassuring to concerned or interested family members. Passing around recent Spelling tests, a book list of what the children are or have read recently, even Mathematic worksheets is a tangible way to showcase schoolwork.
5. Eat Together
As a homeschooling family, chances are you eat most of your meals around the kitchen table. It's one of the gifts I'm thankful for every day, to be able to share my meals with my children. No matter how much or how little we accomplish each day, we sit together, share a prayer of thanks and enjoy many meals as a family. By beginning or ending your homeschool open house with a meal around the table, you are sharing one of the extraordinary highlights of your typical homeschooling life. Your guests will appreciate being a part of that bountiful, chaotic blessing!
Copyright 2012 Erin Giddens
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