Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To Co-op or Not to Co-op: That is the Question

On Monday, our homeschool group's learning co-op hosted an open house. The kids were able to attend and participate in some classes. In our 6 years of homeschooling,  we have never participated in a co-op. Either the classes offered didn't interest my kids or the season of our life just wasn't conducive to having a weekly commitment.  Admittedly,  our current life isn't in a particularly easy season right now since the baby's arrived. However, we have not had an easy time making connections here so the kids and I are hungry for fellowship.
 The co-op had 3 class periods, and you can attend all 3 periods or just attend a single class. There are several classes offered each hour for all grade levels.
First hour, Lynsey attended IEW Writing. I have been struggling to teach her writing since she and I greatly differ in learning styles and strengths. I always loved language arts, whereas she prefers science and math. I thought she would prefer a different approach in addition to the social aspect of the co-op class setting.
While Lynsey had fun doing brainstorming during the writing session, Jackson had his first class called "Magic Carpet Ride". This class focused on learning about different countries and cultures.
 Second hour, Lyn went to book club and Jack went to "Magic School Bus". I was in an informational meeting during this period,  but I caught the tail end of Jack's class. They watched a segment of the "Magic School Bus" show and then did related projects.  The theme this class was the skeletal system so they worked in groups gluing pieces to a skeleton. Jack really liked this class.
  They attended Beginning Robotics together during the final hour. I thought this class was so amazing. The kids learned about electromagnetism and did a hands on activity where they acted out the job of each electromagnet component. They also made a model of an atom using beads,  pipe cleaners, and modeling clay. This class was my kids' favorite. 
 Now all I need to do is decide if we are going to commit and sign up for fall semester.  The one thing holding me back is that we have to sign up by the end of this month, but fall semester doesn't start until September.  So much can happen between now and then. I don't know if Emmalyn's naps will change, and I really don't want to disrupt her schedule since it has made life so much easier for all of us. One option I've been considering is maybe just attending one hour instead of all three, but that means I will have to find a class they both want to attend during that time. I'm sure they would both love to sign up for the robotics class, but I also really wanted Lyn to take writing too.   I'm still discussing it with Jeff and praying about it. I just wish enrollment wasn't so soon and yet so far away from the semester start date!

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