Today, I toured a church property with a group of seventh and eighth graders as another parent taught us to identify various kinds of oak trees. Afterwards, I helped the eighth grade students in my Newspaper class edit their articles for the first edition of our co-op newspaper and brainstorm ideas for our second edition. Last week we spent the entire class period in an animated discussion of the First Amendment, and sometime after we get the second edition underway, we’ll devote a class time to “Bias”, “Photojournalism”, “Cartoons, Comics and Editorials”, “Ads” and “How to Lie with Statistics”.
When I finally parted ways with the eighth graders, they were getting ready for Drama class, and I joined the Kindergarteners to learn the ASL signs for various animals.
Meanwhile, my kids had the opportunity to learn from people that are not me. Annie’s preschool class studied wind today with books, science projects and crafts. My first grader, Mille, begins her day with PE. In Music class, she played rhythm patterns. In Community Helpers class, a different guest comes each week to talk about their profession. Her last class is Flat Stanley, where she learns about US geography as her paper avatar is mailed all over the country.
In third grade, Maggie played capture the flag , sang about the northern border states, discovered Venus, and listened to the Carnival of Animals.
Gracie went to co-op today excited for her Public Speaking class. She has decided to portray Amelia Earhart at the end of the year wax museum and has already started researching for the project. She also really enjoys her “Building” Class. They did a stem challenge that involved building roller coasters out of straws. Another fun thing from this year was the opportunity to participate in mini society. Some of the kids from her class will be going to the GEM fair at JMU.
Emily has opted out of co-op for this year as her school work and the demands of the EMT class she took were enough. The high school co-op offers a la carte classes, in everything from Physics and Chemistry to British and American Literature, to computer aided design.
It means getting up extra early on Fridays, and time spent planning for whatever class I’m teaching, but when I see what the kids are getting out of it, I feel like co-op is a worthwhile addition to our homeschool week.