Saturday we had our Unit Celebration for our Unit 3 work. For the very first time we invited a group to share with us. As you can see by the above photo, it was a rather large group of family and friends who joined us on Saturday afternoon. The set up was minimal. We put out samples of our projects and some special displays that the boys had worked on over the course of the last nine weeks. I put out some chairs and we just enjoyed seeing more of what the boys learned over the unit. I was the narrator and kept the presentation moving.
We served Boston Baked Beans and had apple and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Here are some photos of the event.
(Big thanks to our friend Char for sharing her photos of the event since I was too busy to remember to take even one photo myself.)
As part of their literature study for Pilgrim’s Progress, I asked them each to write an additional episode in Christian’s journey. They chose one of the episodes to make into a skit to perform for the unit celebration. Christian, on the left, is meeting up with Gluttony during his quest for the Celestial City. The boys really enjoyed giving this performance and I considered it a form of narration of their reading in Pilgrim’s Progress.
One son read the Mayflower Compact and one shared interesting facts about the Mayflower voyage.
This unit also included a study of Antonio Vivaldi who lived and wrote music during the time period we learned about. My son performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Minor, First Movement. Everyone in attendance thought it was a wonderful way to learn about history…to mix history, literature, music study, and artist study all into one big unit.
Another Vivaldi project that we completed during this unit was to listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and then use oil pastels to make drawings for each season inspired by the music. The boys made small drawings and then mounted them on black paper to display.
We also shared our some of our science knowledge by putting out their marine biology collections and a poster board that my oldest son painted of the coral reef. My younger son wrote a tri-fold brochure with the names and descriptions of the creatures featured on the display board.
He used watercolors and acrylics to paint a coral reef scene. I found that he had to do a lot of research to make an accurate depiction of the reef. This was a great follow up activity to the actual textbook work.
I received two sweet thank you notes the next day from families that had attended. They expressed their gratitude for being included in the boys’ school presentation for this unit. I loved how they gained a deeper understanding of exactly what it is that we do all day long in our homeschooling. I actually had two adults come to me at the end of the event and say that they wish they could come to my “school”. I considered those expressions, in the notes and in person, to be the highest compliment to our homeschooling efforts.
I absolutely think that Unit Celebrations or Open Houses are very much worth the effort. I see the pride that my boys have in their work and it feels good for them to share what they know with others that are appreciative. I also see a rise in support for what our family is trying to achieve in homeschooling. One guest said that she would love to come and be a “guest speaker” during our next unit and share her knowledge of antique buttons….she has a collection of buttons from Colonial times as well as buttons from military uniforms that she would like to share with the boys. Wahoo! Sounds great to me and the boys were interested as well.
I hope this inspires you to come up with your own way of sharing with your family and friends a little of what you are doing in your homeschool year. We have been successful this year for the first time in having a Unit Celebration for each unit but you could just as well do one big “open house” sort of event at the end of your school year. Ask your children what they would like to prepare for the event…you might be surprised how motivated they get when they know that others are coming over to see what they are up to.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom