On a beautiful late September afternoon, Granite State Home Educators, a statewide homeschool support group, held their second annual Not Back to School picnic at a park in Manchester. Some estimated the crowd — a mix of parents, teens, and youngsters — at 250! The park was filled with children scampering over the playground equipment and adjacent lawn. Some teens played corn hole while others tossed a frisbee in the parking lot.
Families brought so many goodies – cupcakes, chips, homemade breads, and more — to share, it overflowed the single picnic table and benches.
“What a beautiful day!” exclaimed Michelle Levell, one of the co-founders of GSHE. “I’m thrilled so many families could join us. It’s a great opportunity to put faces to names and just have a fun time together.”
Another co-founder of GSHE, Lauren Lawless, said the following:
“In 2017, GSHE held its first Not Back to School Picnic. It was a fun time with a good turn-out of homeschoolers. Fast-forward to September of this year, and our second annual picnic. The difference between the two events was somewhat shocking and truly inspirational. The parking lot was full to capacity this year, and when walking into the park, I was seriously awe-struck! My thought was this is a homeschool community population explosion. It seemed there was barely room to move with the number of attendees. The playground was overflowing with kids of all ages; running, jumping, and laughing. It was a proud moment. It was another fun and successful event for the GSHE community. And we are, together, rocking this whole homeschool thing!”
As part of the festivities, GSHE raffled off multiple prizes, including gift certificates from Let’s Play Music & Make Art and Mosaic Explore, as well as an embroidered tote made by On-It Sewing Studio. GSHE donated multiple copies of The Tuttle Twins books, and a homeschool parent donated two large baskets of assorted children’s books.
GSHE is looking forward to more fun opportunities for the homeschool community to get together in the coming months including a movie night on December 15 and the annual National School Choice Week celebration in January.
For more information about Granite State Home Educators, find their website, Facebook page, or Facebook group with almost 1.5K members from across the state. They also have a Facebook group called GSHE’s Marketplace to bring buyers and sellers of educational materials together. They also have a free monthly newsletter; people can subscribe directly on their website.