"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Here's How a Co-op Works!

A little peek today at Cherry Blossom Schoolhouse, our little homeschool co-op that we attend once a week. I've had several requests to share a little about it. Homeschool co-ops come in all kinds of forms and fashions, just like the homeschoolers that make them up.
Singing the morning welcome song together to welcome each student by name.
Ours is a group of homeschooling families (mainly mamas and their kids, but we have a couple of teaching grandparents and dad's involved too) who all gather with their littles once a week at an outside, neutral location where we have rented a "classroom" space. Our children are all quite small and we're all very interested in Waldorf education so our curriculum (self-formed and a bit plastic) is very nature focused, season based and tradition/holiday-centric and our format quite un-intimidating and preschool-esque.
Story time!
There is usually:
  • some circle time where there are some gentle finger rhymes and little songs
  • then a story-time about our theme for the day
  • some free-play with the toys indoors
  • a snack
  • a handicraft project of some kind
  • group clean-up 
  • and then a much anticipated group stroll to the nearby playground for a recess
A little seasonal description in a felt-board fingerplay
 We are lucky enough to have this wonderful little group around the corner from our house so we just pack up the wagon and walk over every Wednesday. I feel very blessed. Some of the things I like best about a co-op are the feeling of community, the weekly connection with other homeschooled kids who are my children's chums, the feeling of an outing, the ability to go someplace but not need the car, and the chance to corporately celebrate the seasons and some of the more obscure holidays of the year, for instance this week we're going to be celebrating Michaelmas together with our friends.
Play-dough fun!

For snack last week we juiced an apple for each child

I love the new generation of homeschooling options, the choices, the buffet nature of it all and the fact that homeschooling no longer means being alone or being separate but instead belonging to a community that is just a little different. Connection is good. I need a village.

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