Last weekend Naomi had a masquerade party to celebrate her 16th birthday. It was 4 months late but it didn’t really matter! It was late because it took that long for her to get her head around organising it. I have always felt that organising a birthday party – or any family event – is a great learning opportunity. Here are some of the skills that she either learnt or practised.
- She knew she wanted a masquerade party but then she had to work out what this would look like with our family, and her friends. What one person did as a masquerade party wasn’t necessarily going to work for her.
- She created the invitations – after much research on Pinterest. Her invites included math (folding paper / geometry), art, technology (using different tools)
- She carefully worded her invitations so that it conveyed the theme and tone that she wanted at her party
- She ordered masks to be handed out with the invites – after more research looking for the best price and availability
- She wrote several emails to communicate changes to her plans (we had to change the date)
- She researched and made decorations
- She tested camera settings in minimal lighting so her photo booth photos would work
- She chose games that would work with the guests she had invited
- She planned the dessert menu
- She helped with the grocery shop
- She wrote lists for guests, menu, shopping lists, to-do lists
- She cleaned the house in preparation or friends coming over
- She set everything up (with her siblings help): Photo booth, tables and chairs, dessert table, games
- She cleaned up (once again, with the help of her siblings)
This list of what she did isn’t any different than anything you or I would do if we were hosting a party or event. The key is that she did it – and that she was learning.
Our girls have planned parties since they were about 13 years old, mainly birthday parties for their siblings. There have been many different themes: medieval, space, blue, bizarre, backwards, adventure, game parties, pizza parties. Each party has given them opportunity to practice the same skills, but with variety.
Where does this fit in their ‘curriculum’? Well, firstly it is a life skill but if you want to slot it into your formal recording it would come under Home Economics or Enterprise and different aspects would come under English, Math, Art, Technology and Values (Hospitality).
Recording these types of family happenings as learning opportunities is an important aspect of homeschooling.