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About MJmom

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    Hive Mind Larvae
  1. One more thing, I don't envision separate classes like many co-ops. I see this as a morning where the kids work in a large group and break into smaller groups as the subjects flow. I want to facilitate friendships and keep the organization needs low.
  2. Thank you, Lori D. You offered a lot of wisdom and I'm going to take time to think it over. Regarding the Microsoft class, it was a little one who couldn't read, just an example of an inappropriate age range. I think it's fine to work with various levels, but in the same age range. I don't know why so many classes are 5-15 here! It just doesn't work. I get the feeling that the organizers are just very kind and welcoming, but even they are getting a bit frustrated at the outcomes. I think you're right about the older teens. My kids are both entering the logic stage so that is my focus. I don't mind welcoming hs kids, because it's not like they would be distracting and they might get something out of it. My purpose is to build this around my kids. I think getting a chance to interact with peers and build class discussions would be helpful now. I also see it as a chance to test the waters and make connections that might allow the group to grow into something more appropriate for high school. By that, I really mean someone to run great science labs and a chance for my children to build relationships with teachers who could write letters of recommendation. If it doesn't work, I might consider the long schlep to a group that's has an amazing teen program. (It's an hour away, so I'd rather not.) Many families do DE here and we may explore that as well. I agree with potentially hiring teachers. I really want this to be a quality program. If the people who have expressed interest follow through, I think we'd have some highly qualified teachers for this fall. My concern is some of us (including me) also work from home which means we are stretched pretty thin. I want to avoid a situation where I am taking time away from my work and family to teach someone else's kids for free while they get work done. In that case, I would want to charge for my time. Our local culture makes me wary of people not showing up on time and blaming traffic, so that's another reason to want parents on site. I don't know how to do things slapdashed, so I'm sure my classes will take time to plan. My first choice would be to keep costs low by everyone contributing, because I know cost eliminates some families' ability to participate. I guess I'll have to see.... I appreciate all the comments. I've been lurking on these boards, saving posts, and scribbling recommendations for a long time. I wish it was easier to find like-minded mamas with children the same ages as mine who have the exact same schedule locally. Until then, this forum is very helpful. 🙏🏻💕
  3. Thanks for the encouragement Stacyobu! It's great to hear what you've done. I guess hassles are unavoidable, but I'm feeling called to do this. I think it could be really great. Eek. I just can't seem to steer myself away from crazy ideas. 😜
  4. Thanks calbear. That sounds like sound advice. Start small, see how it goes. Square25, I've been putting out feelers with some of the families I know and people have been really excited. My approach is to be really clear about expectations and basically have people choose how they will contribute from the get-go. I'm hoping that because there is a lack of opportunities in our area that it will be a high enough value for people not to flake out.
  5. I don't have a plan for younger siblings. There are a number of families here who have siblings in an older age bracket, although of course, some people have a wider spread. This might be hosted in houses and I know I can't accommodate little ones, just don't have the space. We've also been to a lot of classes in which littles acted in totally age appropriate ways that completely disrupted the classes and left us very frustrated. I think there's a growing feeling that it would be nice to just have something just for middle and high school students here. Parents can swap or find child care for their younger ones. Down the road, I'd be open to a mom with younger kids creating a program for them, but I just can't see devoting energy to that personally.
  6. I have 2 sons who will be 10 and 11 this fall. We homeschooled preschool, went to a private school, and have homeschooled for the last 2 years. We plan on homeschooling through high school. We have never joined a co-op because they are far away, although we live in a major city. I guess the outlying areas got it together better. We do belong to several groups, our main one being a weekly park play group. I actually love that they just get to play without pseudo teaching. We are in a few other groups that offer various nature classes and cool field trips. But they are getting older. Watching the teens in our group get older has shown me how boring and sort of pointless park day can be at a certain point. Also, those nature classes frequently end up being 4 hours if you add in commute and social time and they basically get 5 cool facts and some fun out the experience. It's not exactly worth it, but I do want to provide my kids with chances to play and engage with friends. I think as they get older, it'll be more important. That's why I'm thinking of forming an academic enrichment co-op, just for ages 10 and up because that's also an issue. 6 year olds are too disruptive to tween and teen classes. (Some people enrolled kids in Microsoft Office classes and the kids couldn't even read!) My idea is to meet every 2 weeks as a co-op to door some of rfwp's problem-based learning (so cool!), a Spanish conversation club, a science lab and maybe art history/art. In the future we could add Shakespeare, debate, logic. Basically, group activities that are hard to replicate at home. I'd also like to have us do 1 social and 1 service activity a month. I really don't need or want another project and I've heard horror stories about co-ops, so I hesitate. On the other hand, if it worked out, I think it would be really good for my kids and maybe even grow into something that could help in high school. (I'm a former English teacher; another mom is a former science teacher!) My plan is to keep the co-op smallish, parents must stay, parents will either teach or plan events. The social and service could be open to more families. My question is, do you think it would work? Would it just be a big headache without enough payoff? Any words of wisdom from the trenches? Thanks. 💕🙏🏻
  7. I wasn't referring to the curriculum dropping in quality or being incomplete. The feeling of the company leaving me hanging was more about the next step. Should I complete standards 6 or switch to dm6. Should I wait until 7? They do not provide clear information and I've asked in their fb group to crickets. Also, math is not my great love and I haven't taken math in decades. I rely upon my hig, so it's a disappointment to not have it available, because I don't have the time or inclination to figure things out on my own or sort through a TM for appropriate plans. I like that SM is open and go. (It's the only part of my curriculum that isn't pieced together.) My friend has DM in a lower level and struggles to make a balanced work flow through her lessons. I don't know if that is particular her grade level, her teaching, or her children's needs, but it seems cumbersome to me. I don't doubt the quality of DM. We have been very pleased with the excellent foundation SM gave us, but after wrestling with the questions I had for months (how many threads are there about what to do after standards 5?!), I just felt that I was trying harder to make it work than the company (from a customer service perspective: no hig, no outline of the next step to reassure me). I got excited when I looked at MM and I think it will be very telling to see how well my son's transfer their math knowledge into a new curriculum since we've never switched before. This will also enable me to not to have to directly teach (I hope) into hs math. I always planned to outsource (video, online or tutor) the upper levels.
  8. I’ve been back and forth on this issue so much. We’re finishing up Standards 5b. I really don’t want to pay more for less, which it what it feels like to buy the TM for 6. I also just don’t have a great feeling about DM. As I researched our options, I realized I needed to work backwards from hs. I haven’t taken a math class in decades, so I know I want help for hs. In the end I decided we’ll do Math without borders. To get us ready, MM 6 &7. It’s funny, my son could easily pass AOPS prealgebra test, but the MM6 end of year exam has a lot that we need to cover (haven’t finished 5b, so maybe we’ll cover more of it than I think). Anyway, I want to make sure my kids have a very solid foundation. I like the price of MM and the fact that it’s written to the student and still has lots of mental math. I’m also curious to see him transfer his knowledge to a different curriculum. I loved Singapore, but I’m frustrated that the HIGs end and also that it’s unclear what to do after 5. I feel like the company sort of abandons their customers and all of us are scrambling to figure out the next step. That’s playing a role in us leaving after 5b.
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