I began a CM support group & co-op in Jan. 2009 and share a bit here of what we do for what it's worth. We have 39 families and 100 kids participating in weekly classes w/ another 10 families & 30 kids joining for events/field trips, etc. This is double from last year and we are at capacity.
- 9:30 - 9:45 Assembly (Pledge, Hymn, Parable, Poetry, Prayer)
- Dismissal to first hour classes w/ teachers
- 9:45 - 10:45 1st Hour Classes
- 10:55 - 11:55 2nd Hour Classes
- return to Sanctuary for dismissal
We have the following classes
- nursery 0-2
- 2s & 3s Story Time Adventures (read a good book, have a go along activity, sing some songs, play outside)
- 4s & 5s Alphabet Adventures (similar but with Alphabet themes) & Game Time (playground and group games)
- 1st & 2nd Geography & Missions and Science is Cool (all hands on experiments)
- 3rd-8th - Jr. EMT taught by a paramedic/fireman dad - very hands on and practical
- 3rd-5th Apologia Botany (lots of the experiments & nature study; reading done at home)
- 6th - 8th Writer's Workshop - very gentle writing class using games, poetry, and more to nurture these skills
- 9th - 12th Yearbook
- 9th - 12th Apologia Chemistry w/ hired teacher (this is a typical textbook class which is what our moms wanted to give the kids a taste of before college)
Now, the pre-k classes have short segments of events, but the other classes are 1 hour long. However, it isn't typical lecture/drill/worksheet, but more discussion/narration and hands on stuff.
We go to the park after classes for lots of exercise & fresh air (when we can), we have monthly field trips and Mom Chat fellowship evenings as well as periodic gatherings. Last night I had 3rd-8th girls over to play with sculpey clay.
We don't require all of our families to be CM homeschoolers, but we do state that we are a CM inspired group that supports CM style education. We aren't interested in doing things that wouldn't support the philosophy we've chosen.
This spring, we hosted Sonya from SCM for a 2 day seminar and in March 2011 we are hosting Jan Bloom for a 2 day seminar. I'm always looking for opportunities to help others learn about this type of education.
This is, of course, just what our group does, but maybe it can give you some ideas. This is the 5th year that I've been in a co-op or running this one and I've found it a bit like a jumbo jet. It takes a bit of work to get it up and running each year, but then it flies along pretty well on its own.
I think it sounds like you've got a good plan, but may just need a bit more structure to help control the larger group. It does take a few weeks to get into a good rhythm, so give yourself grace.
Blessings in your endeavor,