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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Responsive Programming for Homeschoolers

Team-building with homeschoolers

Thanks to Kathy Larson from Bloomer for supplying this guest post:

Fall Creek and several other libraries in library land have been offering programs for Homeschool students and it inspired me to think about creating my own. In the spring of 2013, I approached one of Bloomer’s homeschooling moms about starting a program and asked her if she could talk to her co-op about what type of program would be beneficial to their kids and to think about what types of activities I could offer that would enhance their at home curricula. She came back to me several months later with a consensus that the parents wanted their children to have practice working in groups and also speaking to groups of people, both skills that they will need after school when they join the workforce.

It was with those two goals in mind that I started working on activities and programs that would enhance those two goals.  I researched teaching public speaking, and have had some experience with team building activities in some of the educational classes I have taken, and things have been going pretty well.
Readers' Theater

The 2013-2014 school year, was the first year that I ran the program. We met monthly from September through April. A lot of the moms chose to stay and “help” or supervise their children. We worked on presenting ideas to the group, working in teams, and playing a lot of energizers and teamwork games that can be found with an online search. The kids did a reader’s theater, and created their own book we displayed in the library. Kids gave All About Me presentations, book presentations, and a team Would You Rather project that was presented to the large group.
Team structure-building

I am offering this program for the second year and attendance is still in the 20’s each month. I continue to work on teambuilding and public speaking with the kids. I think part of what makes this program work is that I am constantly talking to the parents about what they feel their children need to get out of the program, and tailoring activities to a wide age range (5-11).  This year, the parents don’t come into the program room at all, they tend to gather and talk about parenting and schooling topics in the children’s area while younger siblings have the chance to interact with other kiddos. There is much to be said about building relationships with your patrons.

Talking and listening (and laughing)

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