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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Invite the World to Your Homeschool Group

2 minutes

Summary

Here is a fun way for your homeschool group to go around the world while staying local and a great way to show gratitude to God for His remarkable creation.

I live outside of New York City, in one of the most ethnically diverse places in America. It’s been my good fortune to know people who hail from other places or have strong ethnic backgrounds of which they are very proud.

This broad range is a blessing because, while travel certainly broadens your horizons, it also costs money, and as a mom of a large family, I don’t globe hop too often.

Keeping it Local

I can, however, take advantage of the beautiful people in my local homeschool groups who have been born and brought up in other countries or who have traveled extensively.

Fortunately, we are getting back to in-person events in our area, and we can revisit International Night, an event that has been an enormous success. I’ve laid out some simple steps for you so you can plan a similar event for your homeschool group.

For our event, we invite several local friends from other parts of the world to speak about their experiences growing up in different places and how it differs from what children in America may experience in America.

We have a mom from Taiwan, a family from Russia, a grandma from France, a mom and dad from Ukraine, a Korean dad, a local parish priest from Nigeria, and a marine family who has lived all over the world. We are excited to hear about these places.

I am always a huge advocate of taking advantage of local resources. Parents, grandparents, parishioners, and people from the community are usually delighted to share their knowledge and experience with others, so why not plan a few events around the locals who can share their experience and widen everyone’s horizons.

It could inspire your family to travel or study in another country or at the very least give you a glimpse into the lives of God’s children in other lands.

Planning International Night

Depending on how many people participate, scheduling the event in an ample space such as a church hall or community room at the library might be worthwhile.
It will be more fun if many families both participate and attend so that an ample space can be helpful. A big backyard or local park would work as well; make sure to have a rain date in mind.

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Ask each family to pick, in order of preference, three countries which they would like to represent. These choices will allow the organizer to assign each family a country they want to study and avoid having multiple presentations of the same country.

Assign a small family fee to cover expenses. Ten or twenty dollars per family should be plenty.

Give each family specifications on how much space they can use. Should they bring one or two six-foot tables? Can they have a pop-up tent? Decorations and signs? Is there room for a game or a dance demonstration? Encourage everyone to be as creative and colorful as possible with their displays.

Create one aspect of the region that each presentation must include. For example, each country must have some information about the patron saint of that country.

There is no such thing as a party without food, so it makes sense for each family to bring a dish representative of their country to sample. Any dishes with allergens should be labeled clearly for safety’s sake, and they should be easy to eat in a festival-type setting.

Giving Glory to His Work

The real goal of your homeschool group’s International Night is to share how our brothers and sisters in faith live and celebrate around the world while having fun, should not be lost in the details of planning. Start small with a few families, and let the momentum carry you through.

The world is large and beautiful. Showing our gratitude to God for His remarkable creation by learning and sharing about other cultures gives glory to His work and helps us better understand how loved we all are by our heavenly Father.

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About Mary Ellen Barrett

Mother of seven children and two in heaven, Mary is wife to David and a lifelong New Yorker. She has homeschooled her children for eleven years using Seton and an enormous amount of books. She is a columnist for The Long Island Catholic and blogs here . Meet Mary Ellen.
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