what a great year! Having the opportunity to continue the good work of the Westgate Homeschool Group (all 17 years of it) was a huge privilege. So we started out in Term 1 2016 with a giant leap of faith, by adding four new classes in Term 1. And yes, there were a few nail-biting moments in January when we wondered how/if it would all work, but we had a fantastic response from the homeschool community when we reached out to people via our Facebook page and website, and general word of mouth. Which means that we've been able to grow the group, add on more new classes and bring something a little different each term.
It's fantastic to be part of a group who can reach out and connect with visitors and new families. I always hope that anyone visiting us will feel we're inclusive and friendly. We look forward to welcoming more families in 2017.
Highlights? For me, it’s meeting so many wonderful families. It’s feeling a sense of belonging and warmth in the group, watching others meet up and of course getting to know the children.
It's seeing the way our children gather in groups to eat lunch together and play.
It's being able to connect with families who are just starting out with homeschooling, or still making the decision. It helps so much if people know that they can connect immediately with a supportive and friendly group – with people who will share their experiences too.
It's having teaching seminars during the year to support parents as teachers. Special thanks to Dorinda for being an amazing part of what we do, and a huge help and inspiration to so many.
It's seeing the group grow to the point where we can offer around 23 classes each week (including 4 YMCA classes). Each term we usually fill well over 250 class spaces per week.
Loved the Christmas Craft Show – the way families got on board and created something amazing. The way that children managed their stalls, and the awesome things that were presented. Huge talent, creativity and an awesome energy on the day!
And to round it all off - our end of year picnic. We had demonstrations from Dancefit, Karate, Spanish and Maori Culture. Plus, loads of fun in the sun that went on until after 4pm.
A huge thanks and acknowledgement to all the talented tutors who have been involved with us in 2016:
Taryn – Dancefit and Toddler Toes. Both were new classes that were presented with energy and fun. And thanks Taryn for bringing something very special to our little ones :)
Pete – Karate awesomeness. Karate students have done SO WELL! They are an impressive group, and we’re so proud of their amazing progress in such a short time. This says so much about Pete’s understanding of Karate and his ability to teach this. We know how much focus and discipline Karate requires, both to teach and be taught – great effort.
Judy – It’s been wonderful to have the very talented Judy Remacha with us. Judy has brought Spanish and Crochet to the group and we are loving these small classes. Crochet fever well and truly broke out last term.
Karen – thanks for introducing the fun new Board Games class, and for the ever popular Junior Art & Science. Also teaching Drama and Christmas Creations, which looked like a lot of fun!
Chantelle – as always, Chantelle is a wonderful tutor for the French language, and thank you for bringing us the beautiful art of Calligraphy this year.
Alison – we were very lucky to have Alison with us for a term. It was great to be able to use the outside space as a “classroom under canvas” for something totally different, and we loved the Poi, weaving and Maori culture.
Mandy – thank you so much Mandy for always being inspirational and innovative for our older children’s Visual Art. Loving the art installation which was a definite highlight and always makes me feel so proud of our collaboration as a group when I see it.
YMCA – thank you for being responsive to our changing sports needs! For bringing Gymnastics, Basketball and Soccer when we needed it.
Yoko – what an absolute treat to have the beautiful art of Micro Macramé brought to us (even for adults). We have loved seeing the crystals and amazing creativity each week.
Thank you especially to all the families out there who have supported the group - who are motivated to come along each week with a sense of expectation, goodwill and friendship.
Thank you so much for all your encouragement and kind words. We really appreciate it.
SO looking forward to this year – to finding new ways to grow the group and deliver a wide range of affordable class options for homeschooling families. And I guess, ways to cope with the challenges of limited space :)
As always, we love your feedback, and we love to hear from you.