Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homeschool co-op classes

The last two school years we were involved in a very fun and frugal way of learning. One of our fellow homeschoolers organized a Learning Co-op that we could participate in. The rules were pretty simple: each family that wanted to be involved had to host at least one class (taught be the parent(s) or by a teacher they brought in) and then they could be involved in as many other classes that they chose to be as long as there was room. (We had to rank the classes we chose so that if a class ran out of room whoever ranked it the highest would get to go.) Each family could require a fee for the class they taught to cover material expenses.
I have heard of more complicated homeschool co-ops that cost a lot but I think this one worked wonderfully, the kids learned a lot and it was also a fun time to spend time with other families.
One of the classes we had fun going to was on Nature Notebooking. We each brought our own notebook and colored pencils and then the teacher (a fellow homeschool mom) talked with the kids about the different ways we could observe (using all our senses) and also common sense rules for spending time in nature.
After visiting about it we went out and did it. We tried things like bark rubbing, drawing and attaching little pieces to our pages. Also writing down what we observed and looking things up on our flower guide. We had a good time.
Another class that I taught was on "Fun with Music" where we worked on rhythm and other basic theory through games and other fun activities.
I also had a lot of fun teaching a flower arranging class. (this one I did have to charge for to cover the cost of the flowers but they each brought their own containers.)
Some other classes we have enjoyed have been:


Carol Topp, CPA said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story on your co-op. Sounds like you keep it simple and enjoyable. What a neat mix of experiences the kids have had! I like how each parent contributed her unique talent or interest. That's the real spirit of a co-op.

I find co-ops to be very frugal. Even a more complicated co-op that meets weekly and has regular, consistent classes can be a bargain for what you get. I'm paying all of $40 for my 10th grade daughter to take a chemistry class. I had to buy the book, but I can resell that when she's finished with the class.

From your pictures, it looks like you have a lot of younger children. I hope that as they grow older, you'll continue to enjoy co-op experiences. Some of my daughter's best friends came from our homeschool co-op.

Carol Topp, CPA

Author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out Helping homeschool organizations and leaders Tax and small business accounting

Abbi said...

Carol, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment here. I am looking forward to staying involved in co-ops as my kids get older. Something like a chemistry class would be very nice to turn over to another teacher!


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