Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Co-op

I made the decision some time ago that I would not return to co-op. This after having stated that I would ALWAYS be in a co-op. Not the first words I've ever eaten. Today they had a planning meeting at lunch. It hit me. I'm not coming back. To this beautiful group of ladies who have mentored me with their organization and preparation. They mentored me in a you-don't-have-to-do-it-perfect-but-you-have-to-plan-and-organize way. It was just what the doctor ordered. It has been fun, frustrating, challenging, and everything in-between. I have learned so many things and when you compound that with what my kids have learned-it has quite simply been a good thing. SOOOO-why leave?

The reasons for that are as varied as the reason to homeschool. Reason number one is that this co-op functions in the Classical Christian arena. Very heavy on history, writing and literature-especially in the upper grades. As my most reluctant reader/writer will begin 7th grade next year, that would mean big time changes for her. Changes she simply can't make. Add to that the fact that I prefer an education more in line with what public schools used to teach (before they taught feelings, sex-ed, global warming and our country sucks), it is just not the right thing for us now.

So now, I face lots of new and exciting decisions. I homeschooled for 2 years before co-op so it isn't as though I am a rookie. However, teaching cooperatively does eliminate the decision making in many subject areas. Since I very seldom talk about the specifics of homeschool, I thought I would throw out some of the directions we will be heading in next year.

Math: Teaching Textbooks-I am trusting my friend Sandy on this one. She has five kids and they have tried alot of math through the years. She and I share the "work independently" requirement so I feel like if it meets her needs it will probably meet mine.

History/Social Studies/Geography/Political Science: My friend Stephanie recommends this series for a wonderful United States history. I will also continue on with lots of ecclectic things to pull in Geography, government and many things I have on hand such as state and continent studies along with U.S. Presidents.

Reading/Literature/Writing: Hello library. We already see you about twice a week to fuel our reading habits-do we dare visit more? We know the librarians by name. They inquire about our health if we go too long between visits. I am going to attempt to read with more purposeful objectives, covering some of the same sort of things they have studied this year and also work into some research type writing.

Bible Study: I have decided to use my church library's vast collection of Bible study materials to do one with my children. If they could start really delving into the word like I have through the Bible studies I have done-it will be an early start to some really positive things!

Science: Apologia, you had me at hello. I really like this series of books. My kids do too and that is a big factor when studying science!!

Spelling/Phonics: Spell to Write and Read served us well when we were doing it. We will return to it and see if it still works for us. It accomplishes so much with such a small time investment!! We may also look into spelling time to make things a bit more fun for Lilly. I believe spelling is a highly under-rated skill!!

Lastly, I will also begin to incorporate keyboarding, logic, sequencing, computer languages, etc into our school as well. This will be learning time for all of us. They are very interested in these things by nature so it will just be a matter of making it fun and interesting.

I do know I will plan out my year before it begins. I will have planning and organizing done before we crack open even one book. In fact, I am already doing some planning because the most important thing co-op has taught me??? If you plan it ahead of time, you will follow through on the days when you really don't feel like doing anything. And let's face it, we all have those days. Some times a whole bunch of them all smacked together in a row.

Perhaps, in our spare time, we might pursue a friendship or two.

2 comments:

Mama Mia said...

oh I hope we are on that list for frienship pursuing! Just a thought but maybe we could do something co-operatively together. A book unit study hmmm what literature covers ages 6-13? Lets brain storm.

~ Stephanie. said...

My suggestion for literature? Buy a copy of Jim Trelease's "Read-Aloud Handbook" then use the book lists like they are your best friends!