What to consider when you’re considering a homeschool co-op

co-op

The following is a post by contributor Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

Before my son was born, I’m not sure I had ever heard the word “co-op.”

It speaks to the weird loner-joiner vibe that can hit new mothers, I think, that by the time my son was 2, I was co-op-ing like nobody’s business.

At one point my husband actually asked me: “Is everything we’re doing a co-op?”

Gently, patiently, with the sage wisdom that comes with being a part of something for two whole weeks, I explained that no – everything was not a co-op. Just our two separate buying clubs, and the place I had started doing a lot of our grocery shopping, and a parenting group I had joined that was taking a very democratic approach to its governing system.

Co-op is short for “cooperative,” and essentially means people working together toward a like goal. In the homeschooling sense, co-op means homeschooling families that come together to offer classes or programs, or sometimes just support one another.

It took us a bit of time and a few wrong turns before we found our homeschooling co-op.  But once we did, we knew it was the perfect fit for our family.

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Uncovering my own pride and prejudice

Uncovering my own pride and prejudice ~SimpleHomeschool.net
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”
“And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.”
“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them.”
(Mr. Darcy with Elizabeth Bennett; Ch. 11)

This year I’m joining in with hundreds of other mamas in an online book club hosted by my friend Nicole Bennett (and it’s not too late to join!). Our goal?

To reread all of Jane Austen’s novels in 2014–not just for the fun of it (though it is fun), but to study these works through the lens of motherhood, asking ourselves a few questions along the way:

  • What does Austen have to say about family relationships?
  • What do the mothers in her novels teach us about how to engage with our kids (either by what they do well…or more often, the opposite!)
  • What personal themes, messages, and inspiration can I take away for this busy season in my own life?

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Seeds and saplings

seedsandsaplings

The following is a guest post written by Annie Reneau of Motherhood and More.

“We can think of ourselves not as teachers but as gardeners. A gardener does not ‘grow’ flowers; he tries to give them what he thinks they need and they grow by themselves.”
– John Holt

One day, I was chatting with a fellow homeschooling mom about this analogy of teachers as gardeners.

As she dug into her botany background and began passionately explaining the diverse needs of seeds, I was struck by the depth of this metaphor — not just for us “gardeners,” but for the “seeds” and “saplings” in our care as well.

All seeds have a basic need for sun, water and a place to anchor — much like a child’s basic needs for food, love and shelter.

But beyond that, seeds sprout and flourish under widely diverse conditions.
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Embracing a credit based system for high school

Graduation Credit

The following post is written by contributor Cheryl Pitt of CherylPitt.com.

Homeschooling high school often marks a big transition in the way we homeschool our children. They go from babes at Mama’s feet to independent, self-directed learners. While we, the parents, go from hands-on facilitator to hands-off manager. It’s an exciting time as we watch our children grow and test their independence.

With two seniors at home, I’ve found these high school years to be a blessing beyond measure. Watching the boys learn to drive, go on interviews and land first jobs, start dating wonderful young ladies — it’s all been so exciting to see the first true signs of who they’ll be as adults.

However, even though it’s been exciting and fulfilling, and even though I’m not deeply involved in their day-to-day schooling, it hasn’t been without challenges. My biggest regret in raising my first round of homeschool graduates?
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Shaking the assumptions of the “regular school” paradigm

regularschoolThe following is a post by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Last month the kids and I went to our first homeschool group. I was chatting with the other moms, just getting to know everyone a little better, when the conversation turned to foreign languages.

“Which language are you studying?” I asked.

She took a deep breath. “German, French, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, Spanish.”

Her two girls, ages 10 and 6, were studying seven languages. Seven. 
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