I remember when I first thought about homeschooling, the commonly held belief was that homeschoolers stayed home all the time and never left the house. Many people believed that a homeschooled child would be sheltered and not have enough socialization. Some of those children did (and do) exist, but by far the majority of homeschoolers I have ever met do some parts of their schooling outside of the home with other homeschoolers. These group endeavors are sometimes formal co-ops and sometimes informal weekly meetings for field trips or park days. Some co-ops are academically rigorous covering all topics, others are eclectic, and still others are enrichment opportunities.
This coming fall I am so excited that our family will be part of a new “co-op” we have a wonderful group of homeschooling friends that all are using a Leadership Education philosophy to guide their schooling. These moms are excited to get together each week to give our children opportunities to grow as friends both socially and educationally. In our co-op, we will be having a place for all children from the little ones to the oldest. We will have a mom and me preschool/play time, a game and reading room for kids out of class, and classes for various students.
We aren’t focusing on presenting the 3Rs for our co-op. This is an enrichment opportunity where the teachers are excited about something or see a need for their children and are opening up a class to facilitate providing for that need. I get to teach two classes this fall. The first one is a 6 week class to help Pumpkin Pie and other 6/7 year olds prepare to visit the King Tut exhibit. Why did I choose King Tut? I saw a need for Pumpkin Pie. The King Tut exhibit is making its last stop in the US and Butterfly and Tiger will have an opportunity to take a class to prepare with another mom. Since Pumpkin Pie is too young to attend the other class, I decided to teach it for her and the others that are her age and can’t attend the class for older children. Then, after King Tut, I will be teaching a hands-on math exploration class for 10+. Again, I see a need for Tiger. He loves math and needs some opportunities to play with and be with some older kids whom he can relate to. This class is not a how-to-do math class but rather a project based class to have fun with math.
During the time I am teaching, my other children will have opportunities to attend classes like book clubs for girls using high quality literature, cooking, and playgroup. I can’t wait!