|Little Red Hen 2010|
For the past four years, our homeschool co-op has put together an end-of-the-year spring program for family and friends. We do this for a number of reasons...
1. It gives our children a chance to develop some public speaking skills.
2. It allows them to showcase their completed projects for someone other than mom and dad.
3. It provides an outlet for congratulating them on a job well done.
4. It supplies a "traditional school" element for skeptical family and friends.
5. It establishes a finality to our school year.
Each year's program has proven to be much different from the last, and yet all have had a number of similarities.
|Display Table 2011|
In the past, the children have preformed group skits or individual talent/scholastic presentations such as a poem, historical reading, or memorized Scripture passage. Each family has hosted a table displaying various projects that they have completed throughout the year.
In addition, we have always set aside a portion of the program to honor the kindergarten graduates.
This year's program began like all the rest, with a welcome and recap of a few of the 2011-2012 co-op highlights. Then, each mother came to the front to present awards to her children. The kids were honored with certificates for academic improvements as well as character development.
Next came the presentation of the kindergarten graduation certificates. After each certificate was passed out, the Hubs gave a prayer of blessing over the four Littles moving on to first grade.
For the main theme of the program, we, mothers, decided to try something new. Each family chose a topic that they had been studying throughout the year, made a themed-project board displaying their new-found knowledge, and shared oral presentations.
For the past two years, here at the Unlikely Homeschool, we have been learning our way across the United States. Creating a U.S. Geography notebook has been a highlight of our day and was a natural choice for our booth. As it would be nearly impossible to create a display spotlighting every state in the union, we narrowed our thoughts down to the state of Minnesota.
Two months prior to the program, the kids brainstormed what kind of elements they would like to incorporate into our booth. If you could see our three...yes, THREE...dress up buckets, you'd know that costumes were a definite MUST.
With a few alterations to some clothing that we already had and a couple of pleas to borrow from family and friends, we whipped together likenesses of Laura Ingalls Wilder, celebrated writer of Walnut Grove, Minnesota; Charles Lindbergh, famed international pilot of Little Falls, Minnesota; a Scandinavian Viking touted with being the first European to explore Minnesota, and an entirely different kind of Minnesota Viking.
Each family took turns sharing their booth with the crowd by giving simple, informative presentations. Sweetie Pea had conducted some extensive research on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and shared a biographical report that she had written.
Super Boy had written an acrostic poem entitled M is for Minnesota. Each letter spoke of a historical or geographical landmark of the state. By adding a few illustrations, he turned his poem into a book that he read to the program guests.
The Deputy's family chose to share some highlights of the American Revolution.
One benefit of a FAMILY presentation was that every school-aged child was able to share something according to their skill level and interest.
The Architect's family had been studying World Geography for most of the year and chose to share two of their favorite countries.
A few of the youngest children made their presentations with the help of an interview-style discussion with their mom.
The Radio Announcer's family chose Texas and the Texas Revolution for their display.
In years past, we had provided guests with sweet treats. This year, each family shared a themed food element at their booth. Guests were invited to enjoy Johnny Cake from the Colonial times, international breads and cheese from France and India, beef Jerky from Texas, and bowls of Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from Minnesota.
All in all, this year's format of hosting academic booths was a huge success. It took a lot of pressure off us, moms, as we did not have to spend additional school time practicing a theatrical performance. We were able to simply expand upon a topic we were ALREADY studying together with our families. The children were still able to display individual projects, but in a much more family-focused format.
I'm curious to know if you are in a co-op, and if so, have you ever hosted a group program? What worked and what didn't?