This mama hasn't been so raring. I guess between prepping for Angled and early pregnancy challenges, I'm a little (lot) nervous about fitting school back into our days. Oh, well.. I always say you have to make time. It's never just lying about.
This year we're trying something totally different. As I type, my friend Laura is gathered at the table with six kiddos, ranging from 2nd to 4th grade. Miss Laura is the history teacher in our freshly minted co-op. She loves history, and you can tell. So much so that I can't help but eavesdrop a bit! They're studying Vikings, jumping between several engaging books, interspersed with discussion and hands-on activities. I happened to have the perfect dowels for the Viking longboats squirreled away in my laundry room! Everything just seems to be falling together so well.
Honestly, I never really liked teamwork in school. I'd much rather do my own work, at my own speed, to my own standards, than navigate the interpersonal challenges of working as a team. You might say I have a fiercely independent spirit. I work for myself. I homeschool my kids mainly because I have my own beliefs about what makes a meaningful education. I'm all for alone time.
And yet, teamwork has its advantages. Our co-op is just three families, already close friends, who happen to homeschool with a similar style. Each mom brings something different to the table, a passion and an interest as a teacher that the other moms don't share. We agreed on three subjects to teach on our co-op day and selected curriculum as a team. Because each mom is teaching from an area of strength, we're collectively bringing a better experience to the children. And, there's also the accountability of being ready on a particular day to serve particular (other) students. It does help one stick to a schedule.
I'm teaching writing, with an emphases on work that is honest-from-the-heart. I'm hoping to create space for these students to write about things they care about, even at this young age. Today I got to engage with my 3rd and 4th graders one-on-one to improve their in-progress writing assignment. Such a privilege! These children already know me and trust me, and I'm already familiar with their ability as writers. It's a great situation for us all.
|science scavenger hunt|
The third mom is teaching science, in a 2 hour block that includes time for a weekly experiment. Aria's in heaven! She's my little scientist. So our co-op is science, history and writing, mostly completed for the week in one full day. Yes, we do have some homework each week to meet our goals, but really we get a ton done in this focused time with a passionate, prepared teacher and such a small group of students.
The kids' favorite part? Recess together.
|at the pear tree|
|shaking down the pears|
I'll have to let you know how our co-op fairs this year. I'm sure they'll be challenges and tweaks and brand new ideas, but I'm very optimistic and very thankful to have these friends, this time and this space to learn together.
Another year, began. How quickly each one tumbles along.