Ten Great Events to Plan for Your Homeschool Group
One of the biggest benefits of being part of a homeschool group is being able to take part in group events that you just can’t pull off in individual families.
Over the course of our homeschooling years, we’ve had a lot of events that have proven very successful and popular with the kids.
Following are nine of them and one that always sounded fun, but no one ever quite got around to organizing it.
1. Around the World Day. This is the first year in many, many years that our homeschool group hasn’t had an Around the World Day. It’s always been a great break from our regular studies, while also providing great practice in areas like research, organization, presentation, and public speaking.
I’ve shared tips for planning an Around the World Day on The Homeschool Classroom. I’ve heard of many homeschool groups planning similar events in the evenings so that dads and grandparents can attend.
2. Book Club. Our homeschool group has enjoyed several book clubs. I think the most popular have been the American Girls book club for girls and one for boys based on popular guy-friendly books, such as Percy Jackson.
The girls usually meet and discuss the book and do a craft. The boys have enjoyed things like talking about the book, then, watching the movie that was based on the book.
3. Night at the Museum Fair. This is one of the most fun events our group has done. I think a couple of reasons it was so fun were that so many of the kids enjoyed the Night at the Museum movie and that it was so open to interpretation. Some people did presentations on time periods (we did the Middle Ages), while other people did places (New York City or the African Plains) and still others did historical events (The Civil War) or famous people (Teddy Roosevelt).
Such an open-ended study is easy to work into what you’re already doing in your own homeschool.
4. People and Places Fair. Another great open-ended event we had was a “people and places” fair. Kids could choose to do a presentation on a famous person or a place, such as a state or country, which made for a low-key spring fair that was easy to fit into each family’s existing studies.
I’ve offered some tips for spring homeschool fairs at The Homeschool Classroom.
5. Show and Tell Day. A “show and tell” day is a great way for kids to share the highlights of what they’ve been doing. They can do a presentation about the people, places, and events they’ve been studying, artwork, crafts they’ve been making, a science project – whatever it is they’re excited about. This makes a great event to invite the grandparents to see what their grandkids have been learning.
6. Family Game Night. It’s high time our homeschool group had another family game night. I keep thinking that I need to plan one. This is a just-for-fun event. We usually do them on a Saturday evening. Everyone brings some of their favorite games and some food to share.
Everyone gets to enjoy some time just hanging out, playing games with their friends. It’s a great time for homeschool moms and dads to get to know each other a little better. The moms tend to know each other, but dads often feel out of the loop. A family game night makes a great, no-pressure way to get to know other homeschooling families.
7. Valentine’s (or other holiday) Party. We starting doing Valentine’s parties our very first year of homeschooling. It started out in our house with some public school friends of Brianna’s and some new homeschool friends. Later it grew into a homeschool group event that draws upwards of 100 kids.
The kids bring Valentines made out to “My Friend” and signed with their name to hand out to their friends. They also bring a paper lunch sack and craft supplies to share. The kids decorate their bags, hand out Valentines, and enjoy snacks and group games together. It’s always a big hit.
8. End-of-the-Year or Back-to-School Party. Our group has two annual parties – one at the end of the school year and one at the beginning. We usually meet at a local playground where the kids have plenty of room to play – the teens enjoy just hanging out together, even if it is at a playground. Everybody brings some food to share and we spend an afternoon catching up with old friends.
You can read my homeschool group planning tips at Real Life at Home.
9. Craft/Life Skills Club. Megan is looking forward to a new club starting out in a couple of weeks. There are two different clubs for her to choose from. One is more of a social event where the girls will make fun crafts, doing things like stamping, beading, and finger-knitting.
The other group will be focusing more on life-skills, such as sewing and knitting complete projects. We’ve done cooking classes in the past, as well. All these options offer both opportunities to foster friendships and to learn a skill or just enjoy a fun craft.
The cooking classes were attended by both boys and girls. While boys can certainly learn to sew, they would probably more enjoy a wood-working class or a Lego club.
10. P.E. Day. Finally, a P.E. day is always enjoyed by kids of all ages. Some ideas are an actual calisthenics-type class or outdoor group games like flag football, dodgeball, kickball, Red Rover, or relay races.
Over that last decade or so, I’ve planned dozens of events for our local homeschool group and I am happy to share those ideas with you! I have put together a 22-page guide to planning activities for your homeschool group – whether it be a formal group of a few hundred or an informal group of a few families.
52 Weeks of Homeschool Group Activities offers an idea for each week of the year, loosely organized by season, along with planning tips for events and field trips. I’m offering this resource as a free download to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers subscribers.
To get your copy of 52 Weeks of Homeschool Group Activities for free, just enter your email address below to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with download instructions. If you’re already a subscriber, be watching your email for an opportunity to download your free copy.
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What group events has your homeschool group hosted that have been a big hit with your kids?
This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday.
Since our group is large, we have done a Pen Pal Day where a couple weeks prior we send out the announcement to get members to sign up. Then, we match up the kids and set a date for everyone mailing out their letters, art, crafts..whatever they wish to share!
This is our second year doing a banquet in the spring. The best part of this is that we invite grandparents and other family to help recognize all the kids for their accomplishments and experiences that year. Last year we brought in as many of the books we read that year as possible and had a HUGE table covered in books. It was cool but alot of heavy lifting. We also collected pictures from the year and had a slide show. Round it off with a great dinner and cake for a perfect evening.
Our homeschool group did a baby shower for a local women's shelter. I think all the kids enjoyed picking out the baby's presents, playing the games, and of course eating the cake.
What a great list! I'd love to set up a Night at the Museum Day for our local group! We have participated in several events similar to the one you mentioned. Other favorites for us include a Civil War night- every participant researched a particular area of interest and presented it. We had a Civil War reenactor that spoke to our group and a campfire where we cooked a huge pot of soup that we ate with hardtack. Of course, we also dressed the part. It was an evening that my kids still look back on fondly.
LOVE these ideas! I'll be sharing them with our church homeschool group coordinator! This year, we did a science fair and a talent show, both of which were very popular with the kids and the parents. Yes, we had all different levels and abilities, but we're homeschoolers, so it was better than all good. And by talents, I don't just mean singing and electric guitars; we also had backing, karate, drums, and photography.
Love this list! Thanks! 🙂
Love your 'Around the World' idea. We've always loved to do a focus on one country around Christmas time. Exploring their holiday traditions in addition to everything else adds a great flavor to this activity.
Our homeschool co-op does an "expert day" every spring, where students in grades K-6 can choose any type of topic to become an "expert" on and share a display and a 3 minute presentation with small groups. I love a lot of the specialized fair ideas (science fair, around the world fair, literature fair, etc) but the cool thing about the expert day is the huge variety of topics students choose — various animals seem to be a popular topic, but there are always projects related to hobbies (video games, legos, art, etc), history, favorite books, etc.
We also have a spring art fair where students can bring in arts and craft/hobby projects they have created throughout the year.
Your group does so many amazing things! You're really blessed to be part of it! (I'm going to have to share this link on the Homeschool Classroom FB page.)