Valentine’s Day Party Homeschool Style

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I miss public school.

Yikes! Not what a homeschool mom wants to hear midway through the first year. A pros and cons list and a little heart-to-heart got us back on track. And, along the way, a tradition was born: our annual Valentine’s Day Party.

We started with a mixture of about twelve kids, mostly public schooled, at our home that first year. Last year we had over 75 homeschooled kids at a church fellowship hall. We’re on track for roughly that same number this year.

candy hearts

photo credit chris sloan on flickr

The basic premise born that first party afternoon continues seven years later. We start with a group of kids, some Valentine’s cards, some snacks, some plain sacks, and a bunch of markers, stickers and crayons. The order of business goes something like this:

  • Enjoy lots of snacks so that all the kids are on a good sugar high. Snacks must include “decorate ’em yourself” cupcakes, brought to the party plain with lots of sprinkles and candies to put on top.
  • Enjoy lots of fun. We like group games like Red Rover and What Time Is It Mr. Fox? just because the kids don’t often get to enjoy group games, being poor, unsocialized homeschoolers and all.
  • Decorate the bags. This is where the markers, stickers and crayons come in. A highlight of the party is decorating the bags to hold the Valentine’s.
  • Exchange Valentine’s with 60 or 70 of your closest friends (you know, the other sheltered, over-protected homeschool kids). The kids bring their Valentine’s signed and made out to “My Friend” or something along those lines, so that no one is left out.
  • Have a little free play, tell your friends good-bye, and go home to spend the next hour or two looking through all your Valentines.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a small affair at home or a big event like our group now does, a Valentine’s Party is a great way to show your kids the relatives that being homeschooled doesn’t mean missing out on any of the fun, social aspects of public school.

 

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12 Comments

  1. What a wonderful idea! You always have the best ideas! 🙂 I so wish that I am as cool of a homeschool mom as you are. This party sounds like so much more fun than the parties we had in public school growing up.

  2. Sounds like fun! We read a Valentine’s Day story on Monday, but I wasn’t going to make a big deal out of it because usually Daniel doesn’t care. I didn’t expect him to enjoy making valentines but that’s what we ended up doing all morning! It was GREAT! He made an extra special one for his Grammy, who lives 4 hours away, even making an envelope and helping to address it. Then, we walked to “the blue mailbox” to send it off. He was so happy and excited! Fun, fun!

  3. That’s way cooler than ours. My two just made each other cards. One saying, “Here.” Their sibling’s, “Well, there ya go.”

    As for me, I bought the teacher a big bag of dark chocolate.

    Just kidding– except for the big bag part. What… I like dark chocolate!

  4. I need to start something like this. My eldest is 4 and has never experienced school, therefore thinks that the big playground and lots of PEOPLE (she picked up a social butterfly gene from some unknown relative way back when!) is all it is. She speaks in longing tones of school, maybe some big parties will help tip the balance in my direction!

  5. My daughters are in a playgroup/home preschool that meets weekly. We love it. It’s especially fun to have parties, we had a Thanksgiving party where the kids helped make mashed potatoes and pie, and a Christmas cookie decorating party. Today we took Valentines to residents at a retirement center and it was really fun! The kids practiced serving others and got to have some fun with their friends. I love parties!

  6. Amen!
    We have about 10 homeschool families at our church. We enjoy getting together for Holiday events and field trips. Last year we did PE and ART every Friday. It went OK but it was hard to attend every Friday. I have a few friends who are ‘new’ to homeschooling and they do enjoy meeting on a regular basis for the support.

    Love your blog!
    Hugs,
    Brandie

  7. Considering our local public schools don’t allow the celbration of Valentine’s Day anymore or Halloween or Christmas, etc…Homeschool parties are BIG deals for us this year!

  8. my 8 and 10 year old have made homemade valentines for the past 3 years for their classmates at our local homeschool co-op. They are in the minority, most other kids just buy the box and practice writing names. The getting together part sounds like more fun. All the homeschool families at my church are involved in different co-ops, so events like that would be a great way to spend more time together.

  9. I was blog walking today, and your site caught my eye. I’m a children’s author and new (one month) to blogging.

    My blog is especially for parents, teachers, and writers. Please come visit! I’m anxious to meet more homeschooling families….

  10. We just had our first Valentine party with our homeschool group this year. I was the one who organized the party because I knew that my kids would miss not having it (since they were used to public school). We had about 36 kids, and everyone had a great time! 🙂

  11. I’m in the process of starting my own local homeschool support group on FB and I plan to create a Valentine exchange next year for the group. In your post here, you said the kids exchanged between 60-70 Valentines? Although sounding like a blast, it also sounds like a lot of work! I’m trying to figure out how (without knowing yet how many people will even join the event) to create an exchange party where you don’t have to make a valentine for each kid if the turnout is really big. That either becomes too pricey for parents on a tight budget or just impossible for a 4 or 5 year old to accomplish. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Some years when we had a lot of kids, we’d split the Valentine exchange into age groups to make it more manageable. Maybe that will work for your group.

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