I instantly knew what I wanted to write about today when the Blogging Through the Alphabet letter of the week at Ben and Me was the Letter "C" .... our homeschool CO-OP.
Are you involved in a Homeschool Co-op? We have the absolute BEST Co-op in our town. Brynne, and even Dawson, absolutely love it! And, so do I!
There are so many different kinds of Co-ops, and I always enjoy reading about what others are doing. There are some that teach classes, some that have literature, science and other fairs, and some that are strictly social. We have all types here.
Our Co-op is a little of all of that combined, but is primarily a Social Co-op. It is designed to get like-minded and like-aged children together regularly to have fun and learn together. It is also designed to give the moms a chance to socialize with others making the same sacrifices they are making for their families. It can be isolating to be a home educator. Your social life revolves around your kids.
Our Co-op offers the following:
- Field Trips. My goodness, we can't possibly go on all of the field trips available or we would never get school done at home! There are so many options! So, we just pick and choose what works best for us. We have gone on some amazing trips! Like, seeing Columbus' ships, touring the Cherokee Heritage Center where the Trail of Tears ended, and seeing the inner workings of local businesses.
- P.E. On the 2nd and 3rd Friday of the month, our kids have a physical education teacher who provides them with a fun class. (Dawson volunteers in this class.)
- Choir. On the same 2nd and 3rd Friday of the month, the kids have the opportunity to participate in a fabulous choir class with a wonderful teacher. They have two concerts a year. Brynne loves choir!
- Service Projects. On the 4th Friday of the month, the kids get together for some type of community service project. Our favorite was making Valentines and delivering them to a local nursing home.
- Support. On the 1st Friday of the month, the moms get together for some "mom time". It's great to stop and talk with fellow sojourners on this journey of homeschooling. During this time, the kids are grouped by age and allowed time to just play together with some of the teenagers providing childcare (Dawson included). Brynne's group plays with Barbies and does puzzles, colors, etc.
- Extra Activities. We also have opportunities to participate in writing and art classes, golf lessons, Lego club, Girls and Boys Club, tumbling, dance, bowling, and photography for the older kids. This summer a private Athletic Coach is going to provide a camp and weekly classes. We also have a few parties a year.
- Adult-Only Fun. The parents get together, occasionally, too, for some fun! This year we hosted an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Another couple is having a couples game night next month. And, the moms are all going on a Ladies Retreat for a weekend. The moms also try to get together one evening a month for some fun.
I love the other moms because we are good friends, but we respect each other in that we are all so busy educating our children and taking care of our families that we don't have a lot of time for phone calls, lunches, gossip sessions, drama, etc. We have a great time when we are together, and are there to support each other when we aren't.
It's also been fun to see the dads get together. We've had to "loosen some of them up". Us moms can get a little wild and crazy. I think it kind of shocks the dads to see us hooping it up when we get together! They wrongly assume that we are all school marms.
If you are not involved in a Homeschool Co-op, I encourage you to seek one out in your area (if not for your kids, FOR YOU!) You can bounce off ideas, discuss curriculum options, borrow books and supplies, and just HAVE FUN! As I said at the start, there are many different kinds of Co-ops, so the important thing is to find the one that is best for you and your family.
I am SO grateful we have found one.