Our 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.
- 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”.