What are some good ideas for co-op materials?

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  • mtnmama

    We are planning to start a co-op this fall and already have registered a few kids in each grade for K-5, for a total of 20 kids. Since we are starting from scratch as far as lesson planning goes, I’d love to hear what you’re experiences are or if there are materials you think would work well for a group.


    We’re at the end of our co-op year and getting ready for promo night. I have a rough draft of classes for next year, so I’ll give you a list of what I can remember from this past year.  Let’s see, we had a cooking class, Beatrix Potter story time and crafts, American Sign Lang., History, Latin, Geography, Science, Art, Little Hands to Heaven, Meet the Master (art), High School focused classes like: Economics, writing skills of some kind (my kids are still elementary so not too sure on those one’s), Puzzles, Patterns and Pieces for 3-5 yo, Fruit of the Spirit for 5-7 yo.  I’m sure I have forgotten some, but that’s really all I can remember right now. 

     Our group had about 120 kids in the co-op last year.  Not sure what it will have this coming year.  Our family is  not taking on as much this as we did last year.  I really enjoy the classes and all, but I’m looking forward to utilizing that day for socialization, playing on the lawn, reading, maybe some nature study, etc., especially for my 4 yo and soon-to-be 8 yo.  Good luck and if you want more specifics I can try to add more info or send a pm.


    This is long, but here you go.Laughing

    We just finished our first year of a CM inspired co-op and it was a success. We had ~ 50 kids babies – high school, but with the majority under 6th grade. We met 15 weeks per semester and offered 2 hours of classes, a big undertaking with 24 families. Each adult worked one hour & had one hour free for fellowship, unless someone needed a substitute – this did not work well with our small group. Next year, adults will teach/assist both hours & we’ll have “floaters.” 

    We had the following classes:

    • Nursery (babies -2) – both hours
    • Preschool (2-4) – Story Time Adventures & Music and Movement
    • K & 1st – Science Explorations, Atelier Art, PE/Playground Games
    • 2nd & 3rd – Apologia Astronomy & Atelier Art
    • 4th -6th – Atelier Art, Apologia Astronomy, FL History
    • 7th – 12th – Yearbook & Service Hour (lower grades)

    The classes went pretty well, but we found room for improvement. Art was enjoyed, but lots of work & $$$ & storage space. History is hard b/c people are in different cycles and want different things. For the 2010-2011 year, all classes (1st & up) will have a syllabus/schedule so parents know what’s going on and substitutes have an easier time filling in.

    Upcoming Fall Classes…

    • Nursery
    • 2s & 3s preschool – similar to 4s & 5s
    • 4s & 5s pre-k and K – Storytime, Science Experiments, Music, Outdoor Playtime, etc.
    • 1st & 2nd Grade – Science Fun! and Geography & Missions (8 wks) & 101 Things Kids Need to Know (7 wks)
    • 3rd – 8th Grade – Jr. EMT (taught by a fireman dad and nurse mother)
    • 3rd – 5th Grade – Apologia Botany w/ lots of hands on
    • 6th – 8th Grade – Writer’s Workshop
    • 9th – 12 Grade – Yearbook & Apologia Chemistry (outside teacher, college style, not CM style)

    Upcoming Spring 2011 classes…

    • Nursery, 2s & 3s, 4s & 5s – same or similar
    • 1st & 2nd – Etiquette (8 wks) & Paper Construction (Origami) (7wks) & Drawing (7 wks) & 101 Things (8wks)
    • 3rd – 8th – 101 Things Kids Need to Know (taught by different dads for the most part)
    • 3rd – 5th – Critical Thinking Skills (through games)
    • 6th – 8th – Apologia Anatomy (lots of hands on) 
    • 7th – 12th – same as fall

    Other things we did or will do…

    • Monthly mom chats (encouragement and fellowship) that starting this month will also have mini-CM lessons as a part.
    • Weekly park play days
    • At least 1 field trip per month
    • Various get togethers (game, movie, crafts, swimming)
    • CM Seminars. We were honored to have Sonya come for a 2 day seminar in March.
    • Thanksgiving Feast & shoebox service project (name escapes me right now)
    • Christmas cookie party & caroling at nursing home
    • Spring Banquet & talent Show
    • Family Field Day

    To help share the burden, all families will have at least 1 additional job this next year. It might be setting up each week, leading assembly time, collecting Box Tops, etc. We have a big list. This way my leadership team and I won’t get stuck with all of the work. 

    Overall, it has been a privilege to help encourage others and lead this group and I’m looking forward to this next year. So far we have ~ 75 kids for this next year and we’ve set an upper limit of 100. 

    Oh, we also use a great website service to help with communication and lots of other things. It is from homeschool-life.com. If you want to see our page, click River City Homeschool Adventures. You will only be able to see our public pages as it is a secure site, but I highly recommend this co. it is very reasonably priced and well done. 

    We do have a Parent Info. Handbook w/ all of our policies, rules, our statement of faith, statement of behavior & responsibility, etc. If you are interested, I can email those to you.

    This may be more than you wanted to know, but hopefully it helps.




    I failed to say that I start by asking what everyone would like & what they are willing to teach or lead, then we whittle that list. This year only old members are teaching/leading while new members will assist until we get to know them & their strengths better. 


    We use the same website service that Christy uses for our homeschool group.  I left out the nursery time, etc. and spirit days, yearbook, promotion night details, but I guess you were asking more about the co-op classes. 

    We do have new member requirements for teaching (they have to have a one year veteran of the group to teach or be a co-teacher).  Our group has about 120 families and about 1/2 participate in the classes.  In the future I would like to incorporate more CM friendly classes (I’d have to teach them myself, as there are only a handful of cmers in our group). I’m even thinking of having a small/informal mini seminar on CM, but we’ll see.  HTH

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