Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homeschool Curriculum Day

Our homeschool support group hosted our first (likely annual) curriculum day on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was a great opportunity for us to gather to discuss, share, and learn about various teaching resources and methods. More than 50 women attended and it was a great day!

The Curriculum Day was organized in three parts:


 For several weeks five volunteer moms had been collecting used books and other learning resources from our members. The members labeled each item with a card listing their name and the price they wanted for the item. We had quite a great selection of things to sell! When items were brought to the check out, we removed the cards. Last night I used those cards to tally each member's total sales and then wrote checks to be mailed out. This was an easy and efficient way to manage the sale. I think it will be even bigger next year. Many of us were able to buy things we need at significant discounts.

The picture below shows an entire room that was filled with FREE books and materials donated by our members and a local Catholic school. We were able to get TONS of great Math manipulatives from a school that was trimming down their collection.

Under the leadership of a true super hero among us, we had a group of moms work together to provide truly delicious refreshments. Isn't this display beautiful?

We had a lovely room in which to relax and visit. We also had an awesome slide show of various group events past and present.

 In addition to the hospitality room, we also enjoyed lovely goodie bags which included a brand new group newsletter, a candle, a prayer card, candy, and other items.


Rather than bringing in speakers for this event, we asked many of our members to share their experiences and materials with others. It was AWESOME to witness the learning and sharing that took place. We seldom have the opportunity to sit down without children and really discuss these things. And we were blessed to have many new homeschoolers with us who were able to learn from the "veterans." This day truly couldn't have happened without the hard work and generosity of SO MANY women who brought their materials and took the time to talk with others.

We had two sessions of "Conversation Circles" led by one or more of our members. The topics for these were: Homeschool Preschool/Kindergarten, Avoiding Burnout: Taking Care of Ourselves, Junior High, Homeschooling Children with Learning Disabilities and Special needs, Living the Liturgical Year at Home, Getting Organized - Tips for Home and School, High School, and Juggling Extra-Curricular Activities. Guess which circle was PACKED with participants? AVOIDING BURNOUT! I'm told it was a great conversation. As moms we really need to help each other and take care of ourselves so that we can be good parents and teachers for our children. We had people take notes at each of these sessions and we'll be publishing those notes for our members soon.


We had one session of "Curriculum and Methods Showcases." We used almost every room of the school (we were very blessed to be able to use a parish school building) to set up displays. Experienced moms were available to talk with participants about the materials. Our displays were organized as follows: Catholic Curriculum Providers, Religious Education Resources, Chastity Education Resources, Misc. Curriculum Providers, Classical Education, Unschooling, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Online Schools. We also had our group lending library displayed and available. We even had an author and representative from Catholic*Heritage*Curriculum who attended, set up a large display, and gave a door prize!
I am so blessed to share this homeschool journey with so many wise, holy women. Without their encouragement, advice, and support, I would be lost. The Curriculum Day was truly worth all of the planning and hard work because it helped lots of moms get the encouragement and support they need for homeschooling. I can't wait until next year!

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