Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Homeschoolers use First Stage to enhance curriculum and life skills!

Homeschool students Owen and Tenzin
by Erica Davis 

Jessica Jaglowski homeschools sons Owen (age 9), Tenzin (age 7) and Nathaniel (age 3) and considers First Stage an integral part of their studies. “We love First Stage productions and attend almost all of them,” she said. “We include them in our curriculum by reading the books that the plays are about and doing various activities related to the themes, including many in the Enrichment Guides provided by First Stage. Seeing the play is a wonderful way to bring these stories literally to life, and it also incorporates theater and appreciation of the performing arts.”

Amy Bluhm who belongs to Milwaukee Area Home Learners, an active homeschool group, has been coming to First Stage for over 17 years. She homeschools three children Kieran (age 14), Ananda (age 11) and Lulu (age 4) and sets up field trips for the group to see First Stage plays throughout the year. “Our kids see almost every play and it has enriched our lives and homeschooling in so many ways,” said Amy. “There have been historically provocative plays like JACKIE AND ME and TO THE PROMISED LAND; plays that are great for wrestling with ethics like THE HUNDRED DRESSES and THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER; and even stories that inspire building projects (one of us is on a Rube Goldberg team this year) like NANCY DREW and SHERLOCK HOLMES. In homeschooling, we peek at different subjects through different lenses: theater allows us to see things through an engaging and very alive lens!” Amy also likes that there is almost always someone from their homeschool community performing in the plays. 

Eamon, Molly and Mary 
In addition to experiencing live theater and using First Stage’s educational resources, some families find the Theater Academy an important part of development. “My daughter is relatively new to Academy classes, and hasn’t been in a play, still I was astounded by how quickly she gained confidence and community, as well as knowledge about theater,” said Mary Boyle, a homeschool mom of Molly (age 12) and Eamon (age 9). “Although she may not go on to become an actor, I know that the skills she is developing through First Stage Theater Academy will serve her well. It truly is ‘life skills through stage skills!’"

Amy agrees, “Ananda has been involved in the Academy and this year is in the Touring Company. I see that she is able to be part of a really positive, growth-oriented community. Fortunately for us, our homeschool community is also this way, but doubling up on positivity never hurts!”


Visit our website for more information about Field Trips (a minimum of 10 students is required for school group rates), educational resources and First Stage Theater Academy.

Don’t miss STARGIRL now through February 15, a story about a fascinating homeschooler that celebrates first love, individualism, and the similarities that connect us all. For ages 10 and up.

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