Families Came Out for Homeschool Day at Tom Lee Park

All it took was an invitation to homeschoolers to come out, and that is just what they did for the inaugural Homeschool Day at Tom Lee Park that was held on Thursday, March 14, 2024. It was the first time for many families to see the park since it reopened in September 2023 after a $61 million-dollar renovation.

More than 500 people registered for the Homeschool Day that was held to bring students and families Downtown to share in engaging learning experiences in the new Tom Lee Park on the Mississippi River. There were several activities for the families that included a student group playing jazz music, demos about how garbage and waste can make the river “icky”, virtual reality experiences, and children were able to make paper butterflies fly. Another fun activity was seeing how the aquifer cleans water and children were able to ride a bike to power a blender and make their own strawberry smoothies. It was a special day for learning and just having plain fun for the people who attended the event. Children were even able to get a Memphis library card on the spot.

“They really enjoyed the demonstration put on by the university about how pollution affects the water supply,” said homeschool mom Nicole Brown who brought her children. “The booths were very engaging, and the scavenger hunt added an element of fun to the event.”

Julie Stokes brought her daughter who also enjoyed visiting the booths.

“My eight-year-old daughter had a great time! The passport and prize motivated her to see everything and most of the tables really engaged her,” said Stokes.

A lot of planning went into the day and with it being the first time Homeschool Day was offered, the host and visitors did not really know what to expect.

“It was awesome to see the kids and their parents enjoying the learning stations and Tom Lee Park,” said Kim Cherry, APR. “It was wonderful to hear the kids laugh and see their faces light up as they learned — and asked lots of questions. You could see learning as it was happening, with the Mississippi River as a backdrop.” 

Nicole Brown and Julie Stokes both agreed Homeschool Day was a great event. Nicole added that homeschool days, in general, break up the routine and introduce families to new activities and resources.

“We would gladly attend another event at this location. Everything was very well done,” said Brown.

Cherry highly expects another Homeschool Day to be offered in the future.

“We hope the kids — and possibly the parents — learned something.  We hope they’re already talking about their next visit to Tom Lee Park,” said Cherry.

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