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I wear a few different hats, and one of my favorites is the hat of a homeschool group organizer! I love organizing events, planning, and bringing families together to learn & serve others.
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I was recently introduced to a new art medium using chalk pastels to draw and create, what I found so exciting about this type of art was how simple the setup is. I have confessed before that I am not a “fun” or super creative mom, so when I saw how you could combine a wide variety of ages for this creative and easy to learn art medium; I knew I wanted to do a workshop with my local homeschool group.
One of the amazing things about this chalk pastel curriculum is the amount of options to choose from, there are so many different choices, but we decided with the kick off of our first semester for this homeschool year and glimpses of fall weather we would do a FALL Art Workshop!
When organizing homeschool co-op events, if we can incorporate preschool through high school it’s an absolute win! So I want to share with you our tips and set up so that you can easily create a workshop for your group as well!
We use the Meetup system to organize RSVPs and event details. So when we open the workshop up for RSVPs, we already have all the details worked out, and clearly explained for the attendees & their parents.
- Choose your venue. For this particular workshop, we needed a venue with a screen or monitor large enough for our students to see the screen since a large part of this activity is being able to visually see the instructor and hear the directions. We used a local church facility, but when choosing venues make sure you always scout the venue out in person first to make sure it will work. Decide on maximum headcount or search for a venue to accommodate the size of your group.
- Technical. The next thing I wanted to do was check that my computer had the right cords, and capability to stream the tutorial videos onto their viewing screen. Check wifi capability etc.
- Announce the event to your group. We use Meetup.com to organize our events and RSVPs. It is the most simple way to organize if you have 30+ families or more, and over the years I have tried a few different platforms to organize our group. We set up the event on the calendar using very specific event details; when, where, and how. People like to know what to expect, and an organized event is always a pleasant one. Include everything, cost per person and what the cost covers. For this event, the cost per person included the usage of the licensed tutorial, all the supplies, and a small love gift to the church for the use of their facility.
- Supplies. For this event we used dollar store table cloths, we wanted an easy clean up, so these were easy to pull off and toss in the trash. We used a few large packages of baby wipes; you could do one per table or share. We ordered a large package of chalk pastels and broke the needed colors in half to make more to spread around the room; we placed them on paper plates in the center of each table. We purchased construction paper and printer paper in bulk. That’s it! Super simple.
- Siblings. We chose a separate room in the church and used toys & books for all the siblings too small to participate. We had a couple of moms volunteer to read stories to keep the littles occupied.
- The Event. Preparing in advance allowed for an easy setup. We used five tutorials overall, three tutorials that were preschool friendly were done first that way the younger kids could retire to the story area once their attention spans were exhausted. That left the older children two tutorials that were more extensive in time & instruction. This took our group of a dozen students 1.5 hours that also allowed time for pictures and stopping to replenish paper and clean hands between each tutorial.
I have organized hundreds of events over the years, and this one was not only fun but so easy to set up & cleanup too! I highly recommend using this art curricula for your group. There are themes for all seasons & holidays, various areas of study, and biblical choices too. You could use with your youth ministry groups as well. I should also mention…you are going to fall in love with Nana, the instructor. You will want Nana to adopt you; she is the sweetest and most talented art instructor. She’s the cherry on top!
If you have any questions about setting up an event for your coop, reach out to us. There is no better feeling than bringing homeschool families together to learn and experience something new.
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