Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Party

So my first official project with CHEA went A-MAZING!!

I worked with the board to get everything together. We met twice as a group. Once on a board meeting. Once on a field trip. And a few times alone at individual houses and the party location.

We divided up the responsibility. Larissa took over party games and location. (She was able to get a large room at her church for free.) Nekey craft. Penny, entrance game. (Guess how many candies in the jar.) My job? Supervise. I made sure everybody did their part, kept count of adults and children. (We do sign ups on the forum.) Posted updates. Made sure we had enough supplies. Etc. Etc.

It was so easy. And as cheesy as it sounds, I now have the CHEA Christmas box in my garage and I am the keeper of said box until summer break. I feel as if that was my initiation into the group of Moms. All of it. Planning the party. Going to their houses and planning/chatting while Sam played with her new friends. And keeping the box! They trust me to hold on to it. They know we aren't going anywhere. In fact, I was recently offered a spot on the board next year. My dream! It's like PTO, but we plan everything! Or at least help others who want to initiate something. Fieldtrips. Playdates/Socials. Parties. Field Day. (I recommended next year we do a Christmas float. They LOVED it! So next year we are on for that.) I just want to be 100% involved for Sam. Not TOO involved. But still...Involved.

Now I know I sort of got off on a tangent about me, but as a homeschool Mom, it gets lonely at times, and so it really has been nice to gain that acceptance and finally have this group of friends where we sit and chat about, "How long have you been homeschooling?" "What style do you use?" and joke about how we all put addressing Christmas cards in the lesson plan book under reading/writing. So selfish as it may sound to anybody who does glimpse into my life and read this, I need friends too.

The party itself went very well. We spent an hour setting up. All the kids helped. The younger ones like Sam set out food, hooked ornaments, spread out bowls, etc. It was nice to see Sam get involved in it and kind of learn what it is like to set up a party. It gave her a sense of contributing and made her feel proud. 

Afterward, since we showed up 2 hours before the party, we had an hour to sit and chat and make sure everything was just right. Samantha sat with her friend, Julia. They played their iPods, practiced cartwheels, played games, talked about books, and giggled about who knows what. Some kind of elf stuffed thing I believe. 
Once everyone arrived with their dishes-everyone brought something-we welcomed, prayed, formed a line, and started serving. We ate. Sam sat with her friend Julia and 6 other girls. I sat at a table with a few other Moms and teenagers. (Age 10 to 16.) It was interesting to hear them talk about volunteering, applications, reading, schoolwork, and family.

The craft was simple (marshmallow snowman ornaments) so everyone did it at their table.

Everybody enjoyed the games-Decorate the Human Christmas Tree, Snowball Fight, Rudolph Nose, and a few others.

Then we worked together to sort out the food donations for families. (We did that as opposed to a gift exchange.) We had enough to feed 30 families 3 meals apiece.

People began leaving after they did their part of the clean up. (When you sign up, you have to put weather you are helping with set up or clean up. This is nice because it is easier and faster to get things done.)

All the kids were exhausted. We were the last ones to leave. Once the doors were locked, we headed home just in time for dinner and Sam passed out until 9 o'clock. (At which point she woke back up, ate, read some books, played on the computer, and went back to bed with us.)

I'd say we had a good time. Turn out was amazing. 75 People. I haven't seen that many CHEA families together at an event since the Picnic.

This was the last gathering of 2013. Definitely a great way to close out the year. Next year will be full with more playdates, Valentines Skate Party, Geography Fair, History Fair, Science Fair, Field Day, Field Trips -including one to News Channel 12, Homeschool Days at Lake Winnie, Six Flags IMAX, and the Aquarium, Curriculum Fairs,  and more that hadn't been planned yet, but I'm sure it will be.


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