No cupcakes in the classroom. For homeschool families, birthday parties are a different story. Accommodating the needs of a homeschooled birthday party can be complicated. With friends in several different age groups, and stronger sibling ties, many homeschooled families have birthday parties that look very different from the ones we’re used to seeing. Learn what I (A homeschooling mother of six) have learned about homeschool birthday parties over the years.
Let Kids Help Plan Parties
Enlist the help of siblings in decorating. Your homeschooled kid will be impressed with the grandeur of a house that looks different and splendid, and the other children will enjoy serving their sibling and creating a spectacle. Kids feel special waking up on their birthday to a decorated house. Let the siblings stay up late decorating the night before.
Cheap Birthday Planning
Create a birthday box filled with decorations, paper plates and cups. Buy them on clearance, and at discount. Birthdays arrive every year on a predictable schedule, there’s no reason to shop at the last minute. Most homeschoolers are a one-income family and I think it’s just courteous to the person bringing home the income.
Birthday Party Social Skills
Allow your homeschooler to invite several of his or her friends to the house or to the park for a birthday party. You might be surprised when they ask to invite kids of all ages, and even adults. One great reason for homeschooling is to provide children with reality-based socialization, so don’t be tempted to edit their invite list to meet your school-based vision of what a birthday party should be.
Birthday Party Games & Activities
Create a list of games and activities for the party. Ask you child to help you determine what kinds of things they’d like to do. You can make homemade bowling games with empty 2 liter bottles. You can have a dance contest, you can do arts and crafts projects together. Many kids just want to play in the yard and visit.
Party favors for a Homeschool Birthday Party
Give your child a budget for party favors. Be creative about the gift bags, instead of just buying the plastic party favors that everyone knows are wasteful, consider a box of crayons, markers or other art supplies. Crafts kits are also popular. If your party has a theme, then choose items that coincide with your party’s theme. Our popular bug party. plans include directions for making a bug-catching box that can be used as a party favor or an activity.
Homeschool Birthday Party Tip:
Make homemade thank-you cards from the heart, and be sure that your child sends them out to his or her friends after the party. If you’ve taken pictures during the party, or if you’ve got a photo of the birthday kid enjoying their gift, include it with the card.Have one of your other children videotape the present-opening or keep a list of who gave which gift, so that the information is available when it’s time to send thank-you’s.
Recognizing the differences between a homeschool birthday party and a traditional birthday party can give you the freedom to plan wisely, scheduling a time that works best for all of your guests and activities that are designed to cater to the wide variety of age groups and attention spans that make up your favorite families.