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Thread: Small Celebrations?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Last year was our first year with TOG, and we did Year 1 Redesigned. My kids are still LG age. Well, each time we tried to plan a unit celebration - inviting family and close friends - nobody was able to come. Even when we tried to reschedule around them, they weren't. "Funnily" enough, when we planned birthday parties, they were smashing successes! But not Seder meals, or Greek Olympics.

    This year, instead of being discouraged and just giving up on any kind of celebration, we're going to just plan small, immediate-family-only celebrations, and then invite anyone who wants to come, to come. That way if they don't show - like last year - we won't have wasted the money or effort.

    Are any of you in the same boat? Have you just done small celebrations, or sometimes none at all? Please let me know if you think this is a good idea. I do want to reward my kids for their hard work, but we're up against some cultural obstacles here, most likely. (Oh, there aren't any co-ops nearby, before you ask. )

    Oh, and if you have any suggestions for making our Year 2 celebrations fun although small, please post them!

    Wife of Chris, Mom of 13dsd, 10dd, 8ds, 5ds, 3dd and 6dcat

  2. #2
    Hi Bekah,
    My family has always just done unit celebrations with just our immediate family. My dc enjoy them immensely, and it's kind of like an open house for Dad. TOG usually has some great ideas for all sizes of unit celebrations in the unit intro.
    Our celebrations always include display of lapbooks or projects and presentations of writing projects (sometimes these are plays or speeches). We usually cook something from the period as well, but maybe just a dessert, as opposed to a whole feast. We rarely do costumes because my dc prefer cooking to sewing. So in a nutshell, just scale things down to meet the interests of your family.

    For Yr 2, unit 3 (Colonial period), each child taught a different Colonial game that we all played. For unit 4 (Revolutionary), we played a board game we created and watched Johnny Tremain (TOG's ideas).


  3. #3
    field trips

    I am going to make our unit celebrations field trips to Medieval festivals or eating place like Medieval Times. That is my plan.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Hi Bekah!

    I say if at all possible, plan something. We are very fortunate to have several TOG families in our area, and 2 who live within 2 miles of our house and study the same Year as we do. So, we have gotten together for some projects, field trips, and videos/discussions. But, by far, our childrens' favorite memories are our Celebrations. We had a Medieval Feast, and since I'm not naturally creative, we closely followed the TOG recommendations. We were able to pick up some costumes the week after Halloween on sale, and borrowed others. Everybody dressed up, which really added to the excitement! We had the Bills of Fare printed and a sort-of-script for the adults to follow that included the order of events. We had introductions of the children as King Hudson, Queen Bethany, Sir William (Billy), Lady Lydia, etc., also most of the suggested foods, served as suggested. The children performed the St. George play, and then they gave reports. These were Medieval topics they were interested in, their very best penmanship, writing, etc. This event was in a home, in a finished basement. There were 15 of us. The other Celebration we had was also at a home, and we actually had the meal outside in the spring. This time there were 18 of us, and we did go inside to the family room to give reports at the end because it started to rain. A little crowded, but it worked! It was a Colonial Feast, again with everyone dressed up. My friends purchased costumes from an internet source, and they looked very authentic! I did not want to spend much money on costumes, and I don't sew, but got white pintucked shirts at a thrift store for my boys, and cut off some old navy pants at the calf to make knickers. I then folded a cuff, pinned it with safety pins and stitched a large gold button on the outside of each cuff. They had tri-cornered hats (Vision Forum) and toy muskets. My friend picked up some long mens' socks, which worked great with the "knickers." Even the baby boy wore a day gown, as all Colonial children wore dresses until they were six! We had Yankee Pot Roast, Southern Fried Chicken, Clam Chowder, and other colonial dishes that we found suggestions for and recipes for off the internet. We had a couple of games, and made the tin lanterns as described in the suggested book, Steven Caney's Kids' America. Then, the children impersonated a famous person from Colonial times and gave first-person reports. One 9 year old boy surprised us all by delivering Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty", which he had memorized! At each of these celebrations, we did have lapbooks and other prized work samples strewn about for others to see. I realize we are very blessed to have others to enjoy these experiences with, but if you could round up even just a couple of neighbors or family members, or maybe another HS family, that would give your children the excitement of talking about and demonstrating some of what they had learned. Honestly, we would celebrate even if it were just us! I'd record it to watch at a later time. Celebrations give everybody something to work towards (I want to do my very best on this report, recitation, etc, so other people will understand what I've been learning), and gives great closure to the year. *We did spread Y2 out over 2 years.* Even simple desserts from the time period, and reports or recitation of poetry (MR of Paul Revere?), with costumes, if possible would be worth the investment.

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