Recently I experienced the joyful luxury of a retreat for moms. I’ve had the privilege of attending a bunch of these, so I consider myself a connoisseur of them. This recent one was the cheapest one where I got the most bang for my buck. It was super low cost, like just the cost of some food! Here is how to have your own retreat for moms. As we, my homeschool moms’ liber school group, were doing it to improve our homeschooling capacity I am referring to a moms’ retreat for homeschool moms. You could tailor it for more general purposes if you like. Here’s how to do one for homeschooling moms:
- Find a cheap place. Use airbnb.com. We did this at first and that was only going to cost us $25 a mom if 16 of us went. But then the rental vacation place owners changed the price on us. So we said no and started looking around for a different place. We ended up with the best low cost option of all! We used a home of one of the moms, who happens to have the most children! She evacuated her whole family of 8 kids and one husband for the weekend to visit her mother-in-law, so that meant we had four bedrooms to use plus other floor space. So we didn’t have to pay anything for lodging! Sweet! If you want to save the mom the hassle of washing sheets and pillowcases when you sleep on her kids’ beds then have everyone bring their own sleeping bags and pillows.
2. Assign one of the moms to plan the menu. Our menu planner then used signupgenius.com and asked us all to go there to sign up for food items. We had to bring food for Friday lunch and dinner, and then Saturday’s all three meals.
3. Plan the activities. Alternate between down time to just chat, swim, walk, or exercise, and structured, focused time where you have presenters.
4. Use your own moms as presenters/speakers and musicians! This is where moms get to bring their own genius. I got to present twice, once on my health journey, and once on the power of mother mentoring. We had another mom talk about health, and then one about music and another about her journey of homeschooling. I also volunteered to sing a song! I am getting brave in my old age!
5. Discuss a book that you have read together. We discussed the book pictured below by podcaster Sarah Mackenzie.
6. Watch a guest speaker via YouTube. Our fearless leader Olivia picked Dr. Christopher Perrin who wrote the foreword to the above book and is featured below. Watch it and you will love it! It’s basically the message of TJED in different language.
7. Discuss the guest speaker’s lecture. We now have the theme of “school as schole” for our school year, and our parent meetings are now being called “Schole Ole”, with a nod to Olivia’s Mexican heritage.
8. Bring plenty of chocolate and fun food like cheesecake and berries. We also had non-alcoholic mojitos courtesy of Heidi who has a backyard lime tree. I brought some cinnamon swirl bread, sugar-free, gluten and grain free, from the new THM cookbook, and my THM-inspired skinny chocolate.
9. Have one of the moms play piano music so you feel like you are in a Jane Austen movie, enjoy your time bonding, and plan for another one next semester! I’m a big believer in moms getting together frequently to recharge our batteries. It’s what makes the mom life easier.
10. Send out an email asking for feedback to make the next one even better!