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How to Host a Homeschool Tea: A Grassroots Activist Idea

By Mary Leggewie

June 2001

Can you help promote homeschooling as a viable educational opportunity in your community? Here's a simple idea! Have a Homeschool Tea or Homeschool Open House! I am constantly contacted by parents in my community who don't know of anyone homeschooling in our area, even though there is nearly one family on every block in my area. Let's help get the word out by doing this simple and fun event.

The big challenge for me was how to get the veteran moms there to meet the new ladies--so I added a used curriculum sale! When the boxes showed up, we kept everyone's stuff in their box and I made envelopes for the money to go in with each person's name on it. Ask everyone in advance (give them 2 weeks notice) to label their items for sale with their name and the price they'd like to get for their item.

For you shy gals--having all the curriculum all over the room worked wonderfully as an ice-breaker for everyone! I used shipping labels as name tags at the last minute because many of the ladies didn't know each other. I think it's best to time this event closer to the end of school and before the big conventions.

1 month in advance:

  • Arrange a location--your home, your church, your library. Call the local paper and ask to have your event added to their community calendar (free).
  • If you have any local mailers, like the Pennysaver, they will run an ad for free for community events.
  • Put posters up in local libraries, post offices, and parks if they have bulletin boards.
  • E-mail your local homeschoolers and ask them to help get the word out--let them know if you're doing a used curriculum sale.
  • Call your favorite suppliers and have them send you a stack of catalogs.
  • Get fliers from any conventions coming up and promote them.

3 weeks in advance:

  • E-mail your local homeschoolers and ask them to help get the word out. Ask them to get their used curriculum ready.

2 weeks in advance:

  • E-mail your local homeschoolers and ask them to help get the word out. Let them know you're looking for volunteers to help with refreshments, set-up, and clean-up. Tell them to label their used items. Ask used sellers to RSVP so you'll know how many tables you'll need.
  • See if you can announce your event at church, or put it in the bulletin.

1 week in advance:

  • E-mail your local homeschoolers and ask them to help get the word out, ask for RSVPs, and ask for help with refreshments. I send out a list of what I'd like with a blank spot for them to see what their choices are. (i.e. nametags, flowers (if someone has a cheap contact), napkins, plates, assorted tea bags, cookies, fruit, help with set-up, help with clean-up).
  • Contact the local paper and see if they'll run a regular article about homeschooling an include information about your event.
  • Make a list of the things you'll need to pack if it's not at your house.
  • Type up a handout. If you plan on speaking a bit, then make an outline. Speaking is NOT necessary. You don't need to be nervous to do this!
  • Double check that your location will have a teapot/coffee pot, and punch bowl, if needed.

2 days in advance:

  • Look over your list of refreshments and supplies and make sure everything is covered. If not, go shopping. You don't need fancy napkins or expensive party plates. My first tea cost me $15 because I didn't delegate more--I thought that was a bargain!
  • Prepare supplier catalogs.
  • Make little signs of card stock by subject if you plan on displaying some curriculum.

Event day:

  • Pack up whatever curriclum you are going to display.
  • Arrive 1 hour early for set-up.
  • If you speak, plan on speaking at about 20 minutes after the beginning time.

Day after event:

  • Remove your posters.

If you want to do your own tea...here's what my poster said. I did delete the part about the Used Curriculum sale on the poster at the library because they wouldn't let anything go up that looked like it might involve money (TOTAL discrimination...everyone else posts that sort of stuff).

Homeschool Tea
And
Used Curriculum Sale

Are you thinking about homeschooling?
Already homeschooling?

Come join us for a social time together and a used curriculum sale! We'll have a display of curriculum and software (not for sale) for you to see what's available to the growing homeschool community!

Saturday, June 16, 2001, 2-4 p.m.
Mary Leggewie's home near Grandview School
Please RSVP for directions and details: xxx-xxxx
Or e-mail xxxxxx

No children, please, unless you can't come without them! There is no charge. If you would like to help with refreshments, let Mary know. If you are unable to come, and would like to be added to the e-mail list of homeschool activities, field trips, and events on the mountain, please e-mail xxxxxx

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