Last fall, Suzanna, one of the teens we know, said to my friend Heidi, “Miss Heidi, we need to have a Star Wars marathon, and watch all six movies in one day.”
This suggestion from a teenager with a lot of stamina was well-received by my friend. Though Heidi couldn’t quite bring herself to watch all six in one day, she did break them up into pairs and invited families to her home to watch the double feature. They began watching the first movie on a large-screen television set up in her livingroom. The group broke for dinner and snacks, then watched the second film.
My oldest son was the only one in our family to go, as the Star Wars series is a bit too intense and violent for my younger ones. He enjoyed going each time, though, so when a more family-oriented movie was presented, we all went.
This past Saturday, moms, dads, and children gathered in Heidi’s home for supper and The Tale of Despereaux. She made a huge pot of chili and another pot of soup, and guests brought drinks, chips, and dessert. It was good to eat and talk with other parents while the kids laughed and joked with their friends. After supper, we all settled in to watch the film.
What a wonderful idea, the group movie night! We have a movie night every week at our house, where we get a movie from Netflix, Redbox, or the library, cook up come frozen pizzas, and watch it together. This movie night was extra special, though — a time for friends to come together, for moms to reconnect, and for dads to get to know one another.
In this way, Heidi’s Movie Night is a great example of the different dynamic that occurs in relationships among homeschoolers. These teenagers didn’t gather at a friend’s house by themselves, with their parents out of the way; they went with their parents and siblings to meet in a home where the host family was present and involved. Parents knew where their children were and what they were doing. It wasn’t strange, it wasn’t awkward; no one’s “style” was “cramped.” Everyone enjoyed hanging out with their friends while still being part of the group.
So if you have a large television and living area, give the group movie night a try. It’s a good, safe way to get the kids together.