Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Co op

Tuesday is co op day.  This is our first year for our homeschool group to have a co op.  Our group started when son was in first grade.

When we first started homeshool, I really wanted to connect with other homeschoolers but the only group I could find in our area at that time was a co op.  It just seemed too much for kindergarten.  I thought maybe later.  When first grade came the co op was teaching ancient history and I wanted to teach American history.  The whole reason we homeschool is teach our children the way we want to teach them.

I met another mom and we started getting together with two other families.  All their boys were older than mine.  They let him play but he was always the little kid tagging along.  He didn't like that.  He always wanted to hang with the older guys. (I'm so proud of him now when I see him including the younger guys in football and other things at co op.)  The other mom and my husband got the idea to start another group. We didn't want to compete with the existing co op but we wanted a group where homeschoolers who didn't want that commitment could get together.  Wonderful Idea!

We started out meeting at night with a speaker for the parents once a month and someone to watch the kids.  It went well at first but started to slack off at the end.  It seemed like I was the only one who could line up a speaker and organize things.  It became my group. The next year we decided it would be better to meet in the day at the park.  We did that for years and it worked wonderfully.  We made great friends and some fun activities.

About 4 years ago another mom had the idea to meet at a church and have some fun but educational classes once a month.  That worked well too.  But last year the older kids let us know that if they were going to do classes, they wanted serious classes.  You can't do serious classes once a month so we went to a weekly co op.  The high school students are taking Biology, Communications and doing some Junior Achievement programs.  We also have a Chemistry Club.  It's only half a day.  The kids love it and they are learning.

I teach the communications class for the high schoolers.  We have been looking at ways to write persuasive speeches.  Today they read speeches they wrote on Why Homeschool is the Best Way to Learn.  They all did so good and I was so proud.  I also divided them up into teams had had them write a commercial for a product.  Next week we will start story telling and after that we will do some informal debate.  They can't wait for that.  They all want a chance to get a good argument going!

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