Our homeschooling would be so different without our homeschool support group. I say this as I’ve just put a lot of finishing touches on our group’s fourth annual yearbook since I’m the editor-in-chief. Shutterfly photo books have, it turns out, a limit of one thousand photos per book, and we had reached the limit without completing all of our pages, so I had to go back and check over what the committee had done and weed out photos that were essentially duplicates so that we had space for photos from our big annual Talent Show and Art Showcase (which is our group’s end of the school year event and serves as our graduation, too).
So what did our group do this year? We had two geography clubs doing hands-on activities, three book clubs (one run by teens, one focused on the Magic Tree House series, and another that built books), a 4-H sewing club, several sports clubs (4-H archery, fitness club, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf), regular park meetings (including events such as Field Day, Carnival Day, Literary Character Dress-Up Day, Science Day, as well as just hanging out at the park and having fun), a cooking club, a Debate Team, a Spanish and a Mandarin Chinese Club, a yoga group, an art club, a knitting club. We had a Dads and More Club that required dads (or other male role-models) to participate and organized game days, lessons in changing tires, kite building, building and racing model boats, checking out a pinball museum, a bike riding excursion, and a huge camping trip. We had our usual World Day (geography/history fair), Mock Trial, Talent Show, and Not-Back-to-School events. We took a lot of field trips, had a yearbook committee, a Student Council, SAT prep classes, and had teens organize a film club and a club that worked on programming through the game Minecraft. We had story times and parties. We included labelled photos of as many individual students and of as many of our families as we could get to participate. I’m probably forgetting some big things, but surely I haven’t overlooked much given the length of the lists.
Did my family participate in all of these events? No! It would have been impossible, though we were in a lot of them. But we have had so many choices of what we can participate in that it adds a deep richness to our homeschooling experiences that’s worth the time and trouble it takes to keep the group running smoothly and makes an occasional bump here or there worth it all. And I hope, that together with the yearbook that documents it all, these have created memories that my children (and those of others in our group, too) will cherish for years to come.