Saturday, August 11, 2012

Co-op for optimal benefit

When I look back on my homeschool years, the time spent learning with others have been the cream. I love cream.  It is not necessary, but it sure makes everything better.

How do you start a co-op?
Find people who are using the same program.  Tapestry of Grace year 2 (for example), or the same science program, or writing program.
Clearly define expectations, goals, dreams for the group
Once a quarter, have a planning meeting.
During that meeting, we would go week by week delegating out the planned activity or field trip. If you only can meet every two weeks or one a month, plan accordingly.  We would also have a parent be a baby watcher while the others were teaching.
When the students get to the older years, have a parent assigned to facilitate the history discussion.  

Fun stuff to think about
I found it so helpful when my children were younger to have to wait and under the authority of other teachers.  In a group setting, larger than your family, it is a great way to have your learn respect as your child is not the center of attention.
Those crafts or role plays, become the hooks where your teaching becomes implanted into their life.
Encouragement of other moms to pray and to spur each other to become more like Christ.
Use the creative gifts and passions of other women to make your homeschool amazing.  For example we had some experts in singing, drama, sewing, etc that I don't possess.
It gave us the accountability to finsh strong throughout the year.
Science experiments is fun to tackle with another mom or dad to help.

I just listened to a webinar about using a co-op to share your writing.  We will be doing that from the key word outlines made from Institute in Excellence in Writing and Tapestry of Grace writings.