A Homeschool Open House?

Homeschool_Open_HouseOur local schools have recently all hit the “Open House” phase of the learning year. Do you remember Open House? I do. Vaguely. Only our elementary school seemed to find this necessary, and it has been far too many years since I’ve been there to have a clear picture. What I do recall are billboards overflowing with examples of fine work; instructors explaining their grand plans for the coming year; and hoping my teacher would tell my mother I had made a good impression thus far. No need to start the year off on the wrong foot.

As homeschoolers, how do we show our work to those around us? Or do we bother? Are we concerned that family and friends know what our children are learning? It’s possible we’re not troubled by what the world thinks of our schooling, but enjoy sharing the grand adventures we’ve had. Perhaps this might be the best opportunity to share why we do what we do and how we can better accomplish this goal through homeschooling.

We’re curious…

  • How do you feel about “Open House” as a homeschooler? Is this something you enjoyed in your own education and miss the opportunity, or find it entirely unnecessary? Have grandparents, or other family members, expressed sorrow at having missed such an event?
  • Would you find an “Open House” beneficial in sharing what your children are learning, or that this is best left to a more organic moment?
  • Do you think a homeschool event similar to an “Open House” would be personally helpful – allowing you a glimpse into other people’s learning – or a distraction/stumbling block to the path the Lord has placed your family?
  • In the age of social media, do you feel “Open House” happens pretty much every day via Instagram, Facebook, and other sites?
  • Unless you participate in a PSP which has an organized “Open House” event, how do you choose to share learning experiences with family and friends? Do you have a homeschool room where visitors may catch of glimpse of the fun or a portfolio your children enjoy sharing? Perhaps a large chalkboard graces your walls, with lovely illustrations focusing on the current learning topic.
  • And lastly… How often do family, friends, and visitors ask to see what your children are learning? Not from a critical standpoint, but through genuine interest.

Our PSP has never hosted an “Open House”. Friends’ groups have, and they are lovely. We did used to have display tables available on Promotion Night. Unfortunately over the years fewer and fewer families have expressed interest in keeping up this tradition. It is a deal of work and that night is already quite full. It’s understandable. In our own home, we do keep portfolios which we readily shared when the kids were younger and each was filled with colorful illustrations, maps, and diagrams. These days they are filled with tests, notes, and writing assignments, and we are less inclined to pull them out.

Every once in a while the notion of hosting our own “Open House” strikes me. It might be fun for the kids to host their own event, planning out how to best display our projects and offering insight into their learning. Who knows, maybe one of these days we’ll try it.

“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
~ Philippians 4:9

Your Turn!: We’d love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts on all things “Open House”.

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13 thoughts on “A Homeschool Open House?

  1. We call it an open day here in Australia. We’ve never participated in one of these for homeschool. I’m not sure I would be ready to do so either. The reason being the higher amount of comparison and competitiveness that plagues homeschooling. Some kids are pretentious and obnoxious. I’ve noticed this slightly in my own kids and am working very hard to address it. This is toxic, and it largely goes ignored in some homeschool families. Having said this, I think it’s important to be transparent. One of the ways I do this is through social media. I aim to be real, warts n’ all. That goes against earning myself popularity, but that’s not I’m using social media for. We have also tried to have end of year celebrations where we gathered with family to display our work for the year. That depends on the schedule and availability of others.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What I remember of Open Houses (during elementary school) is that only engaged parents would show up. We always knew who would go & who wouldn’t. Kids went with their parents & it really was just to show off progress or more exceptional pieces of work. There would be some food & drinks and info about upcoming PTA meetings and such.

    I think most people use social media as a sort of Open House Forum now; personally I don’t see a need for a formal Open House within a homeschool, unless friends & relatives would enjoy it rather than seeing it all via YouTube or Instagram or whatever. Especially with the internet now, & the ease of sharing video, it seems much easier/simpler to just record children’s interviews about learning & share progress that way, instead of coordinating the Open House, the visitors, & everything physically. I could see a ‘Homeschool Open House’ tag doing really well on YouTube!

    Of course I’m very introverted so that colors my view, lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting thought! I’ve never heard of an open house for homeschooling! It might be fun to be a part of an open house night with a group of families…where you can tour each homeschool, and maybe even serve a different type of food (of even a course of dinner for a smaller group) at each place like a progressive dinner. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My daughter is now in 6th grade. We are working on her creating a newsletter about her homeschooling experience, what she finds interesting (as an 11 year old), etc. I blog about our homeschooling adventures and I post to Facebook as well. With two chaotic dogs, it’s the only way friends/family can see her work without me having to clean and my needy pit-mix bellowing like a seal for attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The homeschool co-op my kids and I belong to has an Open House night twice a year. It’s nice for dads and grandparents to come and see the completed projects and/or hear presentations from some of the classes.
    As for our own home, I believe that homeschooling makes a home messier, so I’m not in favor of an open house there:) I don’t really think many people are curious about what we learn exactly. Most people don’t get past the idea of homeschooling to wonder about the specifics. And I’m okay with that. Most of the time what the kids are learning needs time to germinate, and it’s not something to show off, like an art project.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We did a couple homeschool open houses at church with other families when our kids were younger. It was so much fun for the kids to choose what they wanted to share, invite friends and relatives, and display their work. We just set up long tables and brought our books and choice pieces of work. Super easy! Of course, it’s also a great opportunity to get in some socialization (tongue in cheek here).

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good theme. But problem that mom have no time. Moms have too many works, such that child care, husband care, cooks care, home care, etc & moreover self-care (skin care, body care, face care, nail care, hair care, etc). When mom can study in your school & how? 
    But I know that, how mom can it! 

    Like

  8. Pingback: 2017’s Top Posts | A Homeschool Mom

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