Our first round of co-op

It has been a busy few weeks. Spring has finally arrived here,  and we had our first round of co-op with our homeschool group. It was such an awesome time.

Last year we joined a fairly large group of homeschoolers in our area, we already knew some of the members and the commitment to be part of the group was low enough or better adjustable for me to be able to deal with it. I don’t necessarily have a problem with committing to groups, I just know it can be overwhelming at times (for me). And I know myself and my kids, and we need our days of just being at home. As much as I love to be around people, go do stuff, adventure to complete new places.. I need time to process it all. I am an introvert, in many ways.

So with this group we were allowed to just pick and choose what we want to participate in, sign up, join the co-op or not join the co-op. It is only once a week for 6 weeks, and this happens twice a year. For us that sounded just right, and indeed it was. The 6 weeks went by in a blur.

A year ago I was strictly against joining a co-op. I couldn’t quite imagine how it would work, and I thought it would be too much like trying to re-create public school. Well our co-op sure was nothing like public school.

So you might wonder, why join a co-op ?

First of all I think it’s important to mention that no co-op is alike. Just like the rest of homeschooling, the possibilities are endless. Each co-op will have its own rules, age groups, the way they handle and organize it. Some co-ops happen in churches, others maybe at home or another open facility. Some cost money, some a lot, some hardly anything. What most probably have in common is that the moms will be the organizers and most likely the “teachers”.

These last 6 weeks, have brought me closer to our whole homeschool group. I was able to have some great discussions with all th moms from all the  different kids and really get to know everyone . I was able to participate in classes my own kids wanted to take and I also got some wonderful opportunities to bond with their  friends. I spent time with all age ranges of kids.
What still amazes me every time with homeschool groups, that when all the kids hang out together, they all get along. Watching the teenagers with the elementary kids and everyone getting along just makes me happy and it seems to be a somewhat unheard thing these days. Once on Facebook, I got into a heated debate on how kids could learn from each other, young kids and old kids alike, and I met several comments that completely disagreed with me..  😦 It makes me sad to even think that kids get separated just because of age.

We had some very fun classes this season, a literature class about Skippy John Jones, classes that made math come alive, native American tribes and Egyptians were discovered, cooking classes, science classes, writing classes and even introduction classes to engineering were held, just to name a few.

There’s a great variety of kids in our homeschool group and what I find wonderful is, that if a child does for whatever reason not want to participate, no one will get forced. Nobody will yell, get angry over a lesson plan not happening or being finished, everyone is there to make this a great, fun way to learn in a group setting for the kids . And while I know, that many teachers in public school wish to do the same and work hard to make it somehow possible,  in the end their hands are tied.

I think it is a giant difference when a group of MOMS organizes something like this. There is so much caring and understanding in the group that I haven’t seen at many other places. Also the kids are asked to make suggestions for the classes. Clearly no one wants to “teach a class” that no child is interested in.

For us this first round of co-op was simply amazing and while I wish it would go on, I try to remind myself that it’s a good thing to change things up. Life is open for adventure and we already have lots of other things planned with our group, and the co-op will return in the Fall, and by then I might even join to have my own little class 😉 !

 

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