We are heavily leaning towards joining a co-op this fall (first time) which would meet one day a week. The kids would have a variety of classes one being history. The co-op will be doing Middle Ages but as a family we’re smack dab in the middle of Ancients. Having never participated in a co-op I can’t figure out if it would be better to jump ahead to the Middle Ages and do that as a family this year. OR keep going with the Ancients the 4 days we’re home and just make sure they get their co-op assignments done. OR do a split schedule…2 or 3 days of Middle Ages and the other days Ancients.
If it were me, I would continue with Ancients and have my kids sit out on that particular co-op class. You want your co-op to come alongside you and complement your home education, and having to change up your history may not accomplish that goal. I’ve had my kids not participate in one class or another at our co-op-we used the time for them to read, assist teachers with younger kids or help clean etc.
We re-did the same history cycle and science topic one year in order to be in a weekly co-op. Since we elected not to be in it anymore after that year it was a bummer:)
But if my kids were young enough and I was fairly certain this would be a long term commitment, I’d probably try to adapt to their schedule, as long as it wouldn’t negatively affect any of my kids. Just my .02:) Gina
I lead a co-op, but I would not want anything that added to my load at home instead of lessening it. I would opt out of that class or choose a different class.
I don’t think we have the option to opt out. It’s a ‘set’ schedule meaning kids from this age to this age take these classes together. The end. No choosing something different. And for the money we’d pay I don’t want to sit out for 2 hours of that one day.
I have no idea if we’ll stick with this or not. My husband wants to see more socialization than the few families they interact with so he’s more inclined to join than not. We both want to see the older boys (one in particular) have kids to compete against. He is famous for doing the very bare minimum to get by although he is a very smart child, he’d rather read or draw (or play video games when we let him) than put actual time and effort into anything more than getting the grade we expect. We think it would be helpful for him to sit in a classroom of peers and feel that bit of pressure to do more. Does that make sense? But we are in no way interested in putting him in public school. And lectures about ‘doing your best’ haven’t worked thus far
Thus my dilemma! In a perfect world I’d find a way to motivate them to do their work and WANT to do more than expected. They’d have tons of friends. And I’d get to choose every bit of material we use and we’d all sing songs of happiness while dancing through rainbows eating cookies and ice cream.
I think if there was a lot of homework or assigned reading involved, I’d jump ahead at home and study the same time period. If everything was done at co-op, I’d stick to the ancients and then maybe they’d be excited to re-read about the same people and events next year.
Well, in that case, I would not double my load, but modify my current plans to accomodate, I think.
Is it possible to do a different co-op? There’s a CM one in Bellvue – I’d go, but it’s just too far of a drive for us. OR you can take classes at the Omaha Homeschool Learning Center and pick and choose what the kids participate in – we LOVE their classes – they are super affordable and don’t require any work on your part!
I hate to be the one to throw a note of caution in here – BUT –
There are co-ops, and then there are CO-OPS. We joined a co-op a few years back that was not at all CM friendly. Membership was limited – you were ‘voted in’.
Everything was structured, everything was worksheets and lapbooks.
The people were great, committed, loving Christians – but my philosophy of education did not line up with that CO-OP. My kids were lost (what the heck is a worksheet?! Can’t we discuss this??)It was like throwing them in ‘SCHOOL’ one day a week. It wasn’t a good fit at all and it made me a crazy mom for the year that I tried to ‘fit in’ with this group of wonderful families whose vision of education I really didn’t share.
The next time around, we joined a very CM friendly CO-OP. What a blessing and joy that experience was in contrast :).
So please be sure the structure of the group will be a good fit for you before you make a committment! Blessings!
The right group can make ALL the difference!
Katrina in AKParticipant
My kids are younger (5&7) but we are facing a similar scenario this year. Our co-op will be doing Middle Ages, and we are just starting module 2 (Greece). We are going to stick with Greece, and I will read a Middle Ages book here and there for leisure reading. My goal for them at co-op is less about the history and more about connecting with other homeschool kids.
If your husband is concerned about social side there are other ways to connect too, athletics, church, hobbirles, clubs of interest… growing up I was HSed and about half my friends were at church (a lot of them HSed) and the other half were at swim team (public school kids). We were never short on friends or time to be social.
My friend tried to get me in a co-op, but it was not a good fit for me. She was so excited about the social aspect, but they are actually busy during the coop, 2.5 hour stretch, the kids really do not have social interaction time. They still have to schedule play dates so the kids can actually play together.
Are they involved in sports or other activites? Those can encourage doing better in school work because if they do not do well they can not play.
Rebekah…tell me about this CM co-op!!!! I’ll have to look at the Omaha Learning Center offerings again.
Thanks for the input all! I don’t worry about socialization but dh does. The boys all have church friends, they have Scouts every Wednesday (with a fairly large group of friends). We have said friends over regularly. Do mini-classes and field trips with several homeschool families. Hang out with family friends, stuff like that.
Mostly we’re frustrated with children who can do more and don’t. And the 9-year-old is struggling friendwise but that’s something WE can change if we try a bit harder. I have never done a co-op because I don’t want to give up my time and control….but it *could* be good given the right group. Finding that group is hard! This is a more classical group with memorization and logic (which I’m not against), but also includes PE for the youngers, art for all, writing, history, some science, etc.
Why can’t we just all live in the same city and do co-ops together?
Wouldn’t THAT co-op be fun!? I know it can be hard to find a good fit. The co-op we are in now isn’t specifically a CM group, but the classes are offered by different individuals and I have found that many of the teachers lean to the CM style. Many of the classical groups have a good blend of CM and classical styles.
Given the problems you are having with your boys’ motivation, I wanted to share something Charlotte said. I ran across it in LDTR under ‘Self-Control’this morning:
“Every effort of obedience which does not give him a sense of conquest over his own inclinations, helps to enslave him, and he will resent the loss of his liberty by running into license when he can. That is the secret of the miscarrying of many strictly brought-up children…But invite his co-operation, let him heartily intend and purpose to do the thing he is bidden, and then it is his own will that is compelling him, and not yours; he has begun the greatest effort, the highest accomplishment of human life – the making, the compelling of himself.” (Vol 1, p. 328)
We are working on this with our boys now, too. Blessings!
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