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.
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.
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.