Thursday, July 29, 2010

Joining a Co-op

This is our very first year of home schooling and I am nervous about taking on too much!  There are just SO many wonderful resources out there and I want to try ALL of them!  I want to do a poetry unit, teach the girls Latin, read all of the classics, learn about all the Presidents, all the states and all of the state capitals, clouds, weather....  But I need to pace myself or we will all be overwhelmed and not really like home schooling much.

I am trying to come up with a schedule that leaves a lot of "down time" for relaxing, at least until the holidays, so we can "get our feet wet" and then decide where we can fill in gaps come January.

I was really hoping to join a co-op in January.

I became aware of the co-op we wanted to join from some of the girls who were in the American Girl Club I organized at the library.  I knew of some others in the area, but many of the home schooling families that we have become friendly with this summer are members of this co-op and it is right near my grandmother's house, which will allow us to stop in and see her after co-op!

What I knew about co-ops was that different parents volunteer their unique skills and work with the kids, perhaps on a skill or discipline that the child's own parents are not familiar with.

Jason and I were both VERY impressed about the comprehensive-ness of the co-op we are joining!  They meet once a week for about 5 hours.  An hour is reserved for lunch, which could be a nice social time.  One mom is musically talented and will be teaching the children to play the recorder, which we signed up for since neither Jason nor I are musically inclined.  Latin, Spanish, Science Club, Yoga, Literary Discussion and Drama are all offered, as well.  Each offering has a wonderful, detailed description.  Our co-op offers the same subjects but on different age levels, and they also offer a Pre-Coop for toddlers that includes art and some pre-reading skills.

I had originally inquired about joining in January, but they fill up quickly, so we decided to join in September and not do the home school soccer.  We all agreed this was a good compromise since the girls are used to a group learning situation and may miss their school friends.

Once we decided to join, we needed to fill out an application with our names, the girls ages, our address.  We were able to submit it via email and then had to wait for Board approval.  Once we were approved, we needed to fill out another application with all of the same information, but also what talents we had that we could share, and we needed to sign up for classes and agree to abide by all of the rules.  It was quite simple and straightforward and everyone could not have been more friendly and welcoming!