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WWYD Co-op issues!!!!


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Hi Ladies, I've finally come out of lurkdom to actually post something :P

 

I really need helpfiguring out what to do. Here's the situation. I'm a leader of a VERY small Charlotte Mason inspired co-op, this is our 3rd year, and we meet year round, outdoors in different natural settings, because of this, I've tried to keep it small and tried to be very careful about who we accepted in the group, I hate drama, and wanted this to be a very laid back but yet committed group. We do circle time, poetry, nature show and tell, handiwork, and nature study along with some type of Movement. This is for 6-11 year old girls.

 

So the first year we had a lot of people decide it wasn't for them, (only had 14 kids to begin with) I did practically everything, but had helpers. 2nd year, it was just 4 moms, 8 kids, and 3 moms rotated everything, on a month to month basis. I would always do two subjects though, so a lot more prep than the others, plus leading the group along each class, emailing the moms, etc.

We had a GREAT year last year, even if it was such a small group and we all preferred it that way. Lots of people wanted to join, but we were very careful who we accepted. Not everyone feels like dragging themselves out in the rain and wind to do nature study!

Ok so this year njust got off to a rocky start, one of the moms got pregnant, another has cancer, and another new mom who didn't want to do anything. Plus one more mom that has been with us for the three years, decided to be a flake this year. That left just.... Me!

 

Long story short, the mom that was pregnant helped as much as she could and then left in Dec. the lady with cancer had 2 little ones, but could barely walk to her seat, let alone take care of her kids. We were responsible for her kids the whole 4 hrs, if they needed potty breaks, and taking them on walks, etc. she just couldn't help. (we finally told her last month it was too much and and she ended up leaving)

The new mom was hit or miss, showed up 1ce or twice a month -more regular now.

My other mom who up till this year has been a regular, never attended the planning meeting, didn't show up for the first two months, totally disregarded her rotation, it was always some excuse ( shes a preachers wife and says too much is going on with her, but she would flake out every week, and sometimes not bother to email ) When she did show up, she never had anything prepared for nature study so I always had a back up. I was also doing circle time, AND handiwork AND coming up with a PE AND nature study : /

 

I was doing it ALL myself.

 

So I'm burnt out and not sure what to do. I feel like quitting this year, but have made a commitment. Everyone pays up front $30 per child for the art supplies. Plus $50 for the state forest parking pass. One mom has 3 kids so that $90, plus parking and i know moneys tight for her. Because its been so hit and miss (everyone keeps canceling) we have a ton of supplies left. To top it off, the flaky moms daughter broke her pelvis and is in a wheelchair and is now bored and needs to get out of the house. So now she decides she wants to come again.

 

Not only that, but now we can only meet at one location, where it's wheelchair accessible. She wants the whole group to meet 1 1/2 later but then we still leave in time. Can't really take a nature walk, as her dds in a wheelchair and we cAnt go far. Still doesn't contribute with ANYTHING. So I'm doing EVERYTHING each week. I have to pick out and prep the poetry, find a nature study, and right now we are doing water colors. So now finding a watercolor project. (this was supped to be this moms job. She literally has not done ONE single thing this year)

 

Now the mom with the baby is telling me she wants to come back every other week, and can contribute only picture study. (I like her and she does as much as possible)

 

These moms are supposed to check their emails the night before and respond by 8 that night, they don't. So I don't know if I should stay up planning or not. They oftentimes don't get back to me until midnight or the next morning.

I'm burnt out, and feel really stressed about this situation. This is/was a great concept, these are things I would never do with just my dd alone. But even she doesn't enjoy it anymore, I think she's picking up on my stress, plus she says it's not the same. We don't do as much now that we have to meet later.

 

See the mess I am in?

 

So WWYD? Stay and finish out the year, or call it quits? I've tried over and ove r sending our reminders, etc.

I don't want this to be a rule based co-op. I want it to be laid back, but I feel like I'm getting walked all over. It's not a co-op anymore, these people are getting free classes!

 

 

ETA. My dd is an only child and desperately needs this, which is why I've done in so long in the first place!

Edited by Spouty
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I feel your pain. :grouphug:

 

But you are too nice. :-)

 

My vote is to e-mail everyone and give them "guidelines" (since you don't want rules): co-op will start at this time and end at this time; all parents will participate or leave the group (and make a list of things which must be done); parents who ignore their rotations will be dropped; you will make a list of who has signed up for which activities, and you expect people to do their part--no more e-mail confirmations the night before, and if they don't do their job the day of, then y'all will just party in the park.

 

Your dd's need for socializing is not desparate enough for you to put up with this kind of stuff. Really. If this doesn't work out, find something else.

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That is a tough situation.

 

My only suggestion is to be more open to possible members. This way, with more in attendance, it's not as big of a deal when someone doesn't show up.

 

For next year, maybe ask for a designated person to split duties with you for the whole year instead of a rotation? Someone as commited as you are?

 

I would take a break for awhile, do some pondering, and try again. It sounds like a wonderful activity for your daughter.

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It's not really a co-op. Whether the other moms can't or won't help doesn't matter: the reality is that you're doing all the work.

 

I'd say there are several options:

1. Have a heart-to-heart with the moms (who show up or care), and let them know that this thing is winding down unless they contribute in a meaningful way. Spell out exactly what that means. If they don't, go to next step.

 

2. Let them know the co-op is not working due to lack of participation of parents. If you (meaning YOU, not them) can finish out the year, go ahead and do that. If you can't finish out the year, either give a partial refund, or distribute the supplies you have purchased among the families who paid.

 

3. More options from people here. I'm sure you'll get some great ideas I haven't thought of yet.:)

 

You have to draw a line somewhere. No rules for them means you do all the work. It's not working. If it can't survive without you, it's really not a co-op.

 

I hope you can find other opportunities for your kiddo. :grouphug:

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Would it be easier/less confusing if each mom was repsonsible for a certain task each week, instead of rotating each time? For me that would be a lot easier and I'd be more likely to follow through. I could look up a bunch of stuff to do at once, and have it ready to go, rather than having to come up with something each week from scratch.

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I like what everyone has suggested so far. I would also take a really hard look at my expectations and ability to understand/empathize with these mothers. You have an only child who is not in wheelchair,are not having to juggle the responsibilities of a being a Pastor's wife as well as homeschooling mom, and you do not have cancer. There is a lot to be thankful for.

 

Maybe being a little less picky, with a simpler structure that others cannot through off as much would help.

 

:grouphug:

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It's not really a co-op. Whether the other moms can't or won't help doesn't matter: the reality is that you're doing all the work.

 

I'd say there are several options:

1. Have a heart-to-heart with the moms (who show up or care), and let them know that this thing is winding down unless they contribute in a meaningful way. Spell out exactly what that means. If they don't, go to next step.

 

2. Let them know the co-op is not working due to lack of participation of parents. If you (meaning YOU, not them) can finish out the year, go ahead and do that. If you can't finish out the year, either give a partial refund, or distribute the supplies you have purchased among the families who paid.

 

3. More options from people here. I'm sure you'll get some great ideas I haven't thought of yet.:)

 

You have to draw a line somewhere. No rules for them means you do all the work. It's not working. If it can't survive without you, it's really not a co-op.

 

I hope you can find other opportunities for your kiddo. :grouphug:

 

:iagree: How old is your dd?

 

as the parent of an only child, I agree that you need to be proactive to keep your child involved.

 

However, I've also seen parents of only children go overboard in the "she/he need socialization" department. Stressing yourself out to provide those opportunities is not good. You still have to teach, right?

 

I would try to finish the year and just not renew the group. It sounds like life is happening (which makes it hard to do anything, believe me), and priorities in the group are shifting.

 

How does your dd feel about the group? Does she crave the social outlet? What other opportunities (ones you don't have to be in charge of) are available in your area? I would search those out.

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Hi Ladies, I've finally come out of lurkdom to actually post something :P

 

I really need helpfiguring out what to do. Here's the situation. I'm a leader of a VERY small Charlotte Mason inspired co-op, this is our 3rd year, and we meet year round, outdoors in different natural settings, because of this, I've tried to keep it small and tried to be very careful about who we accepted in the group, I hate drama, and wanted this to be a very laid back but yet committed group. We do circle time, poetry, nature show and tell, handiwork, and nature study along with some type of Movement. This is for 6-11 year old girls.

 

So the first year we had a lot of people decide it wasn't for them, (only had 14 kids to begin with) I did practically everything, but had helpers. 2nd year, it was just 4 moms, 8 kids, and 3 moms rotated everything, on a month to month basis. I would always do two subjects though, so a lot more prep than the others, plus leading the group along each class, emailing the moms, etc.

We had a GREAT year last year, even if it was such a small group and we all preferred it that way. Lots of people wanted to join, but we were very careful who we accepted. Not everyone feels like dragging themselves out in the rain and wind to do nature study!

Ok so this year njust got off to a rocky start, one of the moms got pregnant, another has cancer, and another new mom who didn't want to do anything. Plus one more mom that has been with us for the three years, decided to be a flake this year. That left just.... Me!

 

Long story short, the mom that was pregnant helped as much as she could and then left in Dec. the lady with cancer had 2 little ones, but could barely walk to her seat, let alone take care of her kids. We were responsible for her kids the whole 4 hrs, if they needed potty breaks, and taking them on walks, etc. she just couldn't help. (we finally told her last month it was too much and and she ended up leaving)

The new mom was hit or miss, showed up 1ce or twice a month -more regular now.

My other mom who up till this year has been a regular, never attended the planning meeting, didn't show up for the first two months, totally disregarded her rotation, it was always some excuse ( shes a preachers wife and says too much is going on with her, but she would flake out every week, and sometimes not bother to email ) When she did show up, she never had anything prepared for nature study so I always had a back up. I was also doing circle time, AND handiwork AND coming up with a PE AND nature study : /

 

I was doing it ALL myself.

 

So I'm burnt out and not sure what to do. I feel like quitting this year, but have made a commitment. Everyone pays up front $30 per child for the art supplies. Plus $50 for the state forest parking pass. One mom has 3 kids so that $90, plus parking and i know moneys tight for her. Because its been so hit and miss (everyone keeps canceling) we have a ton of supplies left. To top it off, the flaky moms daughter broke her pelvis and is in a wheelchair and is now bored and needs to get out of the house. So now she decides she wants to come again.

 

Not only that, but now we can only meet at one location, where it's wheelchair accessible. She wants the whole group to meet 1 1/2 later but then we still leave in time. Can't really take a nature walk, as her dds in a wheelchair and we cAnt go far. Still doesn't contribute with ANYTHING. So I'm doing EVERYTHING each week. I have to pick out and prep the poetry, find a nature study, and right now we are doing water colors. So now finding a watercolor project. (this was supped to be this moms job. She literally has not done ONE single thing this year)

 

Now the mom with the baby is telling me she wants to come back every other week, and can contribute only picture study. (I like her and she does as much as possible)

 

These moms are supposed to check their emails the night before and respond by 8 that night, they don't. So I don't know if I should stay up planning or not. They oftentimes don't get back to me until midnight or the next morning.

I'm burnt out, and feel really stressed about this situation. This is/was a great concept, these are things I would never do with just my dd alone. But even she doesn't enjoy it anymore, I think she's picking up on my stress, plus she says it's not the same. We don't do as much now that we have to meet later.

 

See the mess I am in?

 

So WWYD? Stay and finish out the year, or call it quits? I've tried over and ove r sending our reminders, etc.

I don't want this to be a rule based co-op. I want it to be laid back, but I feel like I'm getting walked all over. It's not a co-op anymore, these people are getting free classes!

 

 

ETA. My dd is an only child and desperately needs this, which is why I've done in so long in the first place!

 

There are other options for socializing. If *I* were in your shoes, I'd be done with it and find another outlet for socializing, or turn it into a park day, possibly including some extremely relaxed nature study that does not require a ton of planning. For example, bring some tree, insect, etc. guides and explore. Or, bring sketchbooks and decide on one thing to draw/sketch. No more exhausting planning.

 

I have 2 children and Dd is extremely social (Ds can take it or leave it), but we opted out of co-ops long ago b/c we faced many of the situations you described. If I had to do it over I would have dropped it even sooner than I did. Dd gets her socializing at 4H, choir, horseback riding lessons, and church plus special arrangements I make for her to get together with friends. It's so much easier than co-ops and now I have the free time to plan for my Dc instead of all the kids at co-op.:001_smile:

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I'm trying to wrap my head around asking a mom with cancer to leave the group. It doesn't sound like there is much of a bond between the moms so of course one ends up doing anything. I cannot even imagine a situation where I would ask one of my friends with cancer to leave our homeschooling group and I am part of a small group. Did this group meet daily???

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I agree the gender/age range may be difficult. Personally, I would be in for my committed amount of time especially given there was money involved (I assume you'll be done in the spring?) and then wash my hands of it or look to start up in a different way. Or if your daughter needs social, I'd just organize or find a playgroup instead of making so much work for yourself. I wouldn't hesitate to send out reminder e-mails though while you're finishing up your run.

 

Many homeschoolers have a hard time making commitments like this and sticking to them. And a pregnancy and cancer :crying: are valid excuses to make changes in your routine. I just don''t do much organizing any more unless I personally know everyone involved and I know they kids will click together.

Edited by kck
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Honestly, this is why we have rules in our co-op. Because, in order for it to be "laid back" for everyone, including the organizer there have to be rules. The fewer rules/strict expectations we had, the more work the directors did. Unfortunately, a lot of folks will take advantage particularly if they have a lot going on. You cannot do it all. The others may not be able to do more than they are. That, sadly, means that the co-op cannot work.:grouphug:

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I was on the board of a local support group, and this was always the story. It really showed me how independently-minded homeschoolers are because there were always debates about too many rules or not enough rules, require people to work or not require people to work, etc. etc. Ultimately the disagreements drove a lot of the people away.

 

I decided from that experience that you either have a very small group of like-minded friends who co-op, or you do something very formal with a strong leadership team. In between doesn't work well.:D

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This group is supposed to meet once a week, but more like twice a month because every week people cancel, usually without warning. I just don't feel like taking on a bigger group is the solution. We tried it bigger at first, and it was just too much, too many kids, we wanted it smaller and a chance for the kids to play more in a smaller group setting.

 

As far as the lady with cancer and asking her to leave... We meet in the forest, we also take a nature walk, and the kids were EVERYWHERE. We let them run on ahead of us as long as we can hear them, but this lady's kids were younger and then she was bringing her toddler grandd and so one mom would be waAay behind everyone else. The whole purpose of this group was the nature study. With the younger kids there, it wasn't happening, they didn't have the attention span, they were all over the place, we had to watch the littlest like a hawk as she would wander off. The mom would stay at the gazebo while this was going on, the WHOLE co-op. All the while, my own dd would need me and I couldn't help her as I had other kids to deal with. I hated being in this position, by the other moms were very frustrated and it felt like we were never able to focus on anything long enough as her little ones were constantly interrupting and just didn't have the attention span. The other moms actually requested this. :/

 

Anyhow, that was a tough call, we tried it, it didn't work. None of these people I knew before they signed up for the group.

As far as the dd in the wheelchair, I do understand, but at the same time I feel like if she would have been there before and participating, i wouldnt feel so taken advantage. BUT she flaked out the whole fall and winter and never contributed anything. My dd is also dealing with chronic Mono and I have her on the GAPS diet, so I have my hands very full myself, and to plan, and then have no one else put even a teeny bit of effort is discouraging.

 

The rotations run 3 months at a time, (or were supposed to until no one was doing their job) with the schedule layed out ahead of time. So for the fall we did nature study, the mom could pick out any subject she wanted each week from HAnbook of nature study blog, something simple to direct the kids.

 

For handiwork, also 3 month rotation, but with monthly blocks we agreed ahead of time. So for s

The spring it's watercolor, acrylic, embroidery and then crochet (mom also free to pick any project of her choosing within theses blocks)

 

Anyhow, I'm thinking I'm going to take a break, as it's stressing me out so much to the point where this week I cancelled, and have no desire to go. I dread it actually. I'm so stressed at the end.

None of these moms are close to me so no we don't have a bond. I'm trying to provide this for my dd. she used to LOVE co-op but with all the changes, and me doing everything, she says it's not the same, and she misses the old way of doing things.

I have all the supplies at my house, which I bring each week, so I could divvy them up. I just feel guilty about doing this and not following through if I've made a commitment especially if people have paid.

 

I also am such an idealist, and really wanted this to work out long term. THINK charlotte mason meets Waldkintergarten in Germany???

It's such a nice concept, but soooo ha getting people to commit let alone put in just a little effort.

 

Thanks for the help ladies!

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I have been through a similar experience with the local home ed group I ran for a couple of years. In the end I gave in and stopped the group, it has been a huge relief. Carrying a group like that is hard work without everyone being equally committed. I found I've continue to see a few families for social stuff and activities and it has been a much better experience.

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I haven't read all the other posts, but I guess I would try to finish out the year since people have paid. I would require an RSVP 48 hours before the event so I would know whether I needed to plan. If no one RSVPs, then there would be no coop that week. When does your coop year end?

 

I would not do it again next year. Instead, if you are looking for social opportunities for your daughter, pick one or two children she likes and work on scheduling regular playdates with them. The children could just come over to your house and play or you can plan an outing, depending on how much you want to put into it. You might even get lucky and find a mom who will reciprocate and have your daughter over as well.

 

It has always been very important to me that both of my children have friends and I have made it a huge priority to go out of my way to invite children over who my kids like and establish a relationship with their parents. Obviously, it is important to you too, but it sounds like what you are doing is just too much.

 

Lisa

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I'm sorry, it just sounds like this was formed around YOUR daughter and not really to make it a survivable co-op. To be honest, I would never be able to join, simply for the fact that I have more children than just what fit your age/gender expectations...what would I do with my other children? So you've narrowed the field so much, that it really doesn't surprise me that one pregnancy and one illness would cause it to go bust. Have you considered looking for a different co-op and do the nature walks and crafts on your own?

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It's not a co-op if you are doing all the work. EVEN if you made a commitment, I think that was contingent on others doing their own part of the commitment, which is just not happening. I would do one of a couple of things. Either 1) Tell them that you will continue to show up but will only be responsible for one or two classes and that you will need someone else to take on the other classes. If no one else takes the responsibility, I would do what I agreed to do then let the children have free-time/nature study. 2), Tell them that this is the end then take all the craft supplies etc., and divide them equally among all those who paid for them.

 

Also, I hate that the little girl is in the wheelchair, but I don't know that I would let that dictate the entire co-op. I would plan a couple of activities around her and then take the nature walks, etc.

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Oh, and one more thing. I have come to the very strong conclusion that the only co-op I would be involved in is one with a group of other moms who have some of the very same and strong visions that I do for my children. It just winds up being a bust otherwise. I'm in one that is this way, and it is small, laid-back in a positive way, and it works. I have also been involved in one that was permissive in areas I wasn't okay with, strict in areas I didn't care about, and had such a long list of requirements and do's and don'ts that I just had no time to read through them all!!

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Ok... So I already feel Sooo much better. I emailed the group and let them know that because of all the changes this year, in order to continue coop there needed to be some changes.

I offered to continue planning for circle (which in itself is a lot of work) and them suggested that we do an informal nature study/ walk.

I also said that if we wanted handiwork to continue, someone else would need to take it over, otherwise we could divvy up the supplies and do them at home.

 

I didn't go in to a lot of details, I basically acknowledged te fact that we have all had a lot going on, and because of the changes this year, i was stretched thin and couldn't do it all myself anymore.

What I'd like to do is quit, as I feel their will be some resentment with one of the moms there, and also guilty, even though we all made the commitment to have this cooperative arrangement!

Thanks for all the feedback, it helped just putting it out there. I think next year I'll do this with dd alone and have a wild day... Or else just more play dates.

 

Dd is also in dance, and gym but doesn't get a whole lot of interaction in there. She does go to our bible meetings where she has friends but they are in Ps.

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I'vE only read throught the first page, but everyone has great suggestions so far. Another option to think about for next uear, plan on doing it yourself and charge for it as a class, not a co-op. of course, that's only if you *want* to do it all. (but planning to do it all is nicer than doing it all because everyone else is a slouch. But you need to eather change the structure and charge for a class, or institute a few rules so that there's a bit of accountability. Right now it's very easy to just back out; you just take care of it. You're being too nice. And if changing the time and location doesn't work for he group, don't change it. The wheelchair family can join you when they can

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It sounds like the nature study is an important part of what you're doing. But I would consider if the importance is the activity or the interaction.

 

I skimmed over it in the first part, but maybe you should consider the focus of the group, if you want it to stay a group. Having cancer sucks, I've been there, thankfully at a time before kids. It takes everything you have to get through the day without kids, I can't imagine trying to keep up with kids on a nature hike. To be honest, it comes across as a little cold to not reach out and HELP instead of asking her to quit coming. As to the child in the wheelchair, well you could say the same thing.

 

I think you should consider what the educational opportunity is that you have. Since you mentioned bible study, I would assume you are christian. How could you change contact with these families that are experiencing trauma and chaos? Could you go to them with activities so they don't have to get out when timing is wrong. You mention the woman staying in the gazebo, well she has cancer, sometimes you're doing good to get out of bed. I can't imagine on top of that telling the kids, no we can't go to co-op because no one, especially people that are supposed to be our friends, is helping out.

 

You may need to see this as a ministry, serving opportunity instead of just a social outlet.

 

I don't mean this to sound harsh, but as someone who has experienced unexpected chaos in my life, if that turned out to be the reason I was asked not to come to a group, I wouldn't be holding you in very high esteem. Again, not to sound harsh, but sometimes we can't see how we are coming across. Obviously all the info I have is what is presented here.

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It's not that I don't want to help out, I've been solely handling the co-op for 7 months now, long enough to get burnt out doing it for sure. I tried, really tried to push past these issues for the sake of keeping it going, but it's now too exhausting for me. tIt's no longer a co-op though, and I also have things going on in my life. My daughter has chronic mono and is on a very time consuming diet so I have my hands full, believe me.

 

I just don't want to do this anymore. I started this coop for the regular class time, but in a natural learning environment. It takes work to make it succeed and unfortunately people don't want to help.

I would love to show up to a free class each week. But I would never do that :/. My time is too valuable to contribute time and energy hours ahead of class an then during class for ones who don't seem to appreciate it. Even when they COULD help... They didn't.

Aaah, I'm sorry just venting here. I think next year I'll have park days!

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It's not that I don't want to help out, I've been solely handling the co-op for 7 months now, long enough to get burnt out doing it for sure. I tried, really tried to push past these issues for the sake of keeping it going, but it's now too exhausting for me. tIt's no longer a co-op though, and I also have things going on in my life. My daughter has chronic mono and is on a very time consuming diet so I have my hands full, believe me.

 

I just don't want to do this anymore. I started this coop for the regular class time, but in a natural learning environment. It takes work to make it succeed and unfortunately people don't want to help.

I would love to show up to a free class each week. But I would never do that :/. My time is too valuable to contribute time and energy hours ahead of class an then during class for ones who don't seem to appreciate it. Even when they COULD help... They didn't.

Aaah, I'm sorry just venting here. I think next year I'll have park days!

 

Ultimately if we are the only ones doing what it takes to be in charge, we have to reassess the value of the group to ourselves and others. Sounds like you're in a position where the others don't/won't have the time either.

 

I would finish what you have and look for more informal ways to getting your dd together with these girls, if she has that interest.

 

Groups can be so hard. :grouphug:

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I'm trying to wrap my head around asking a mom with cancer to leave the group. It doesn't sound like there is much of a bond between the moms so of course one ends up doing anything. I cannot even imagine a situation where I would ask one of my friends with cancer to leave our homeschooling group and I am part of a small group. Did this group meet daily???

 

I cannot believe it took until the second page that this issue was addressed.

 

Honestly, I don't think you or anyone else should be doing a co-op that would kick a women with cancer out of the group. If the ladies in the co-op are so concerned with their own lives and stress that they would do that, end the stupid co-op.

 

I am sure this will not be a popular opinion so flame away.

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It sounds like the nature study is an important part of what you're doing. But I would consider if the importance is the activity or the interaction.

 

I skimmed over it in the first part, but maybe you should consider the focus of the group, if you want it to stay a group. Having cancer sucks, I've been there, thankfully at a time before kids. It takes everything you have to get through the day without kids, I can't imagine trying to keep up with kids on a nature hike. To be honest, it comes across as a little cold to not reach out and HELP instead of asking her to quit coming. As to the child in the wheelchair, well you could say the same thing.

 

I think you should consider what the educational opportunity is that you have. Since you mentioned bible study, I would assume you are christian. How could you change contact with these families that are experiencing trauma and chaos? Could you go to them with activities so they don't have to get out when timing is wrong. You mention the woman staying in the gazebo, well she has cancer, sometimes you're doing good to get out of bed. I can't imagine on top of that telling the kids, no we can't go to co-op because no one, especially people that are supposed to be our friends, is helping out.

 

You may need to see this as a ministry, serving opportunity instead of just a social outlet.

 

I don't mean this to sound harsh, but as someone who has experienced unexpected chaos in my life, if that turned out to be the reason I was asked not to come to a group, I wouldn't be holding you in very high esteem. Again, not to sound harsh, but sometimes we can't see how we are coming across. Obviously all the info I have is what is presented here.

 

I agree. To me it would be devastating to be suffering with cancer with little children. To get my butt moving and going so I can take my energy filled kids somewhere. Then to just be happy to get there and hope my friends would help out. I mean, isn't this the time where your community should be surrounding you and supporting you? Then, blamo, you get kicked out of the group because your kids are to high energy. If you really think about it, those kids are probably working off steam because mom doesn't have the energy to help them work it off in other places.

 

Tragic.

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If you would have read my messages you would have seen that i DID try. For 7 long months. One person can only do so much though. It also got to be dangerous. I personally don't feel comfortable running through the forest with 3 energetic kids who are not my own. Theres rattlers in our area, one of her girls fell in the pond, I just don't want to be responsible if something should happen. If all the other moms would have been willing to help out, we probably could have continued, but it's not reasonable to expect one person to lead a free class each week from start to finish, AND keep others safe.

 

The whole point of a co-op is that everyone contributes in someway. This is supposed to be a CO-OP. not a ME-OP.

I also could plead the pity party if I wanted, my daughter has chronic, severe mono for a year and a half, and Oma super specialized, time consuming diet. I also have a host of health problems that doesn't mean I expect others to do everything fOr me.

 

If the mom w the dd in wheelchair was helping before her dd accident, well now, things would be different. She didn't do ANY of her jobs for 7 months :/

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I cannot believe it took until the second page that this issue was addressed.

 

Honestly, I don't think you or anyone else should be doing a co-op that would kick a women with cancer out of the group. If the ladies in the co-op are so concerned with their own lives and stress that they would do that, end the stupid co-op.

 

I am sure this will not be a popular opinion so flame away.

 

:iagree:

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This thread is demonstrating one of the reasons I don't do co-ops. Honestly, we need so much flexibility in our lives and love homeschooling freedom, co-ops would be "just a break in (our) stride." A hindrance. I would feel like we were giving up freedom if we joined a co-op, and freedom in how we are schooling, when, and even IF, during a particular week, is something we love and need as a fam.

 

Everyone is different!

 

In your situation, I would quit and divvy what is left. Sure, they paid and you committed, but no one did / or could keep the committment except for you. Even Steven in my book! Quit torturing yourself, and move on, imo!

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I can turn my back to anyone when pushed. I could never turn from a cancer fighter and as far as I am concerned I don't care who does what because NONE of you are fighting her fight. That is selfish tragic and down right heartless. Your "burn out" is nothing compared to hers.

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Thanks Mimm, it WASa nice idea. And yes, I think I'll enjoy my new found freedom and time. It's too hard to be committed to something when other people are not.

 

I agree cancers tragic... I do have to say though that we watched her kids for 6 months before she even had cancer.... Cause she still didn't want to participate then either. My heart goes out to her, but at the same time, I have to think of my own family's best interest first. That includes my own well being, and this was ultimately more output, and I wasn't receiving anything, nor my dd either, than it was worth. Period. That goes for the coop as a whole not the lady with cancer.

Now if I could only find just a few COMMITED people wouldn't things be so different?! I've seen a lot of HS want/ expect things for free, and my dh says that if it's free, people will treat it like its free, unless we all have the same output invested whether its time or money. I'm willing to do say 65% of the workload but not 120%

I don't feel like the benefits are outweighing what I'm giving up any longer.

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One more thing.... I would never keep this co-op open just for the lady with cancer just because she has cancer. My priority is to my dd her *burnout* I know is on a whole different level than mine I'm sure, but I have my own set of problems, and that doesn't make me obligated to continue doing something that is unhealthy for me, just because she has cancer.

So I'm not sure why I'm being attacked here when I stated that I have done everything to make this succeed for the group as a whole. Unfortunately the rest of the moms in the coop ignored their part of the deal. I can't change that. I think if you were in my position, you would want to drop this like a hot potato as well!

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One more thing.... I would never keep this co-op open just for the lady with cancer just because she has cancer. My priority is to my dd her *burnout* I know is on a whole different level than mine I'm sure, but I have my own set of problems, and that doesn't make me obligated to continue doing something that is unhealthy for me, just because she has cancer.

So I'm not sure why I'm being attacked here when I stated that I have done everything to make this succeed for the group as a whole. Unfortunately the rest of the moms in the coop ignored their part of the deal. I can't change that. I think if you were in my position, you would want to drop this like a hot potato as well!

 

It doesn't sound like the group has ever gelled into a cohesive unit, a community, or people that are generally greatly concerned for the well being of others. Honestly, if I'm involved in a group and the first thing they see when I'm going through a crisis is how uninvolved I am or how not with it I am, I'd chose to drop the group. I'm old, I don't have time to be around people that don't value my presence, not just my adherence to rules and protocol in the light of chaos.

 

It's coming across that the people in this group don't really care about one another, they just care about what they are getting out of the group. Sad, really.

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One more thing.... I would never keep this co-op open just for the lady with cancer just because she has cancer. My priority is to my dd her *burnout* I know is on a whole different level than mine I'm sure, but I have my own set of problems, and that doesn't make me obligated to continue doing something that is unhealthy for me, just because she has cancer.

So I'm not sure why I'm being attacked here when I stated that I have done everything to make this succeed for the group as a whole. Unfortunately the rest of the moms in the coop ignored their part of the deal. I can't change that. I think if you were in my position, you would want to drop this like a hot potato as well!

 

:iagree: I have read all the posts in this thread. I will not attack you one bit! Divy up the supplies. Drop the co-op. Find other ways for dd to socialize. Save your sanity and let it go. No guilt. I am hugely impressed that you have continued for so long. BTW, YOU ALREADY HAVE helped the mom with cancer. You already have given her x times of watching her children at the expense of your own. That doesn't mean you must continue to do so.

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I agree on the OP being attacked, and I think those attacking her are not only missing the point but being slightly ridiculous to boot - the OP is running a co-op, not a social service agency. It's easy to judge if you've never been in the shoes of the OP, doing everything for everyone month after month after month.

 

I have been (somewhat) in the shoes of the OP. I, too, have discovered how amazingly low most hs parents place the group education opportunities for their children. Oh - they LOVE for their children to have the opportunities...as long as someone else is doing all the work. When it comes time for them to help out....well, helping out just never makes it to the top five of the priority list....it's one of the reasons why I chose to do the state's ALE (Alternative Learning Experience) ps program for dd and ds - they have one day a week with ps enrichment classes and reporting requirements - as opposed to "pure" hsing. I will never do another coop......

 

Yes, cancer is a horrible, scary experience. But the OP DID help out the cancer mom for several MONTHS by carrying the burden for her. None of the other moms chose to help at all.

Edited by Happy2BaMom
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I agree on the OP being attacked, and I think those attacking her are not only missing the point but being slightly ridiculous to boot - the OP is running a co-op, not a social service agency. It's easy to judge if you've never been in the shoes of the OP, doing everything for everyone month after month after month.

 

 

 

:iagree: There are ways that the OP can help this cancer mom that don't have to have anything to do with this co-op. Working her tail off in order to make this thing work doesn't make any sense if seen in the light of helping out her friend with cancer. If I were the OP, I would still drop the co-op and maybe do some personal things to be helpful to the mom who has cancer but consider the co-op as a separate issue!!

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I cannot believe it took until the second page that this issue was addressed.

 

Honestly, I don't think you or anyone else should be doing a co-op that would kick a women with cancer out of the group. If the ladies in the co-op are so concerned with their own lives and stress that they would do that, end the stupid co-op.

 

I am sure this will not be a popular opinion so flame away.

 

Well, I was trying to be a bit more tactful in my first response, but I am in shock myself. This whole thing is completely out of my reality. I have 4 kids of my own, between them and their friends it is no big deal for me to be out in the woods with 5+ very active kids. Not to mention that nature study can be done from the confines of a city park or any place that is handicap accessible.

 

I do not think the OP had to take on as much responsibility for the cancer patient, but not going out of your way and asking her to leave, are worlds apart.:crying:

 

There is also a difference between attacking a poster and being genuinely shocked and confused.

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I have to say I am a bit stunned by the attitudes towards sick women and injured children. The study in compassion could arguably be more beneficial than the nature study. Homeschooling already draws fire for the My Family First and Foremost mantra.

 

Aside from that, it sounds like NOBODY is happy with this co-op. If your daughter isn't enjoying it and you are stressed out, there is no good reason to continue. You could easily distribute the supplies (do it on ONE park day) and be done with it.

 

If you want to keep it going, just scale back a bit. Weekly is clearly not working. When i teach kids, i have a guideline for myself: If ONE kid is off-task, the kid is a problem. If ALL of the kids are off-task, then I am the problem. Meet once or twice a month. Have each mother plan ONE lesson. If two people show, have two lessons then enjoy the walk. Lower your expectations or find a group that shares your vision. No good can come of dragging people along.

 

FWIW, I have been the organizer who did everything and clearly cared more than anyone. (The organizer has to get that she will care more than everyone else.) More recently I have become the mother of the child in the wheelchair with the chronic, degenerative disease. Being the organizer is MUCH MUCH less work and stress by such a margin that the Organizer Stress feels frivolous and manufactured.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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:iagree: There are ways that the OP can help this cancer mom that don't have to have anything to do with this co-op. Working her tail off in order to make this thing work doesn't make any sense if seen in the light of helping out her friend with cancer. If I were the OP, I would still drop the co-op and maybe do some personal things to be helpful to the mom who has cancer but consider the co-op as a separate issue!!

 

Yes, this is how I was looking at the situation too. I'm sure there were plenty of people going through issues when I stopped teaching at co-op. I did not feel obligated to continue just because they were having issues.

 

Somehow, I missed the part about asking the mom with cancer not to come back :confused:. I feel so badly for those enduring cancer and other serious illnesses. I'd probably end up dropping the whole thing rather than singling out the mom who is enduring so much.

 

Still, I don't know this woman or her situation. People with illnesses can take advantage too and there are a lot of kids from our old co-op I would not want to be supervising out in the woods. I didn't even like supervising some of them in a classroom! :D

 

I'm also agreeing with others here that it seems there isn't much of a bond in this group, so why continue? I also missed the fact that money was involved. I like the idea of sending an email each week and meeting only if someone else is coming, finishing out the year and then being done.

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I agree on the OP being attacked, and I think those attacking her are not only missing the point but being slightly ridiculous to boot - the OP is running a co-op, not a social service agency. It's easy to judge if you've never been in the shoes of the OP, doing everything for everyone month after month after month.

 

 

 

I've been the one doing things month after month. I got to "help" be the one to squash a group that was no longer productive too. It was a group decision, but it was my recommendation. It's a hard place to be.

 

But I've also had cancer and been involved in a group setting at that time. You know what I remember? The ones who brought me and dh dinner when I couldn't get off the couch, the ones that wrote notes of encouragement and prayed for me. I still have one note that got passed around in a group meeting. It meant the world to know others were thinking of me and missed my presence.

 

I think nature study is an important part of education, but I think modeling compassion is more important. I'm not saying the OP needed to do it all, sounds like others weren't doing it either, but someone could have reached out to this mother and offered to take her kids and let her stay home and rest. If that dynamic was not happening, then it doesn't sound like there was anything beyond superficial socialization.

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I'm trying to wrap my head around asking a mom with cancer to leave the group. It doesn't sound like there is much of a bond between the moms so of course one ends up doing anything. I cannot even imagine a situation where I would ask one of my friends with cancer to leave our homeschooling group and I am part of a small group. Did this group meet daily???

 

:iagree: i am heart broken for this woman! She is too weak or in too much pain to take care of her kids so you kick her out? All moms should have banded together to help her. How awful.

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There was a handicraft supplies fee of $30 per child for the year. This was contingent on the fact that we would all take turns leading the handiwork. I simply can not do all this any longer.

As I've stated previously, it wasn't a matter of kicking the lady out of the group. She was a part of our group even before she had cancer, we watched her kids for months before, and months after she found out she had cancer. She never participated in any way before... Nothing changed, except I couldn't physically prepare , and plan for hours, teach for hours for free, watch peoples kids in the woods for free. As I also said before, where's the co-op effect?

We didn't ask her to leave because he had cancer.... When you can't do something, you can't do something.

 

I've emailed the group and let them know I'd be willing to do circle time and nature study would be done informally unless a mom would like to take the lead in this. Otherwise, I'm dropping handiwork, and divvying stuff up. I feel like I have gone above and beyond what most would do in my situation am still I'm getting attacked! I've been so hesitant to post here for so long, because I've seen so many rude remarks that people would never say to someone irl. I honestly dOnt get it.

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I've been the one doing things month after month. I got to "help" be the one to squash a group that was no longer productive too. It was a group decision, but it was my recommendation. It's a hard place to be.

 

But I've also had cancer and been involved in a group setting at that time. You know what I remember? The ones who brought me and dh dinner when I couldn't get off the couch, the ones that wrote notes of encouragement and prayed for me. I still have one note that got passed around in a group meeting. It meant the world to know others were thinking of me and missed my presence.

 

I think nature study is an important part of education, but I think modeling compassion is more important. I'm not saying the OP needed to do it all, sounds like others weren't doing it either, but someone could have reached out to this mother and offered to take her kids and let her stay home and rest. If that dynamic was not happening, then it doesn't sound like there was anything beyond superficial socialization.

 

IMO the other mothers should have steppec up to the plate more so the mom with cancer could have stayed. The OP shouldn't have had to be so overwhelmed by her.

 

I am not a take charge type person but I am a fantastic helper. I can't i agine sittong by in this situation. These women would not be women I would want to spend my time with.

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There was a handicraft supplies fee of $30 per child for the year. This was contingent on the fact that we would all take turns leading the handiwork. I simply can not do all this any longer.

As I've stated previously, it wasn't a matter of kicking the lady out of the group. She was a part of our group even before she had cancer, we watched her kids for months before, and months after she found out she had cancer. She never participated in any way before... Nothing changed, except I couldn't physically prepare , and plan for hours, teach for hours for free, watch peoples kids in the woods for free. As I also said before, where's the co-op effect?

We didn't ask her to leave because he had cancer.... When you can't do something, you can't do something.

 

I've emailed the group and let them know I'd be willing to do circle time and nature study would be done informally unless a mom would like to take the lead in this. Otherwise, I'm dropping handiwork, and divvying stuff up. I feel like I have gone above and beyond what most would do in my situation am still I'm getting attacked! I've been so hesitant to post here for so long, because I've seen so many rude remarks that people would never say to someone irl. I honestly dOnt get it.

 

:grouphug: You picked a doozy for your first thread. Don't let it scare you off. Being outspoken can be misinterpreted as rudeness online. There are a lot of outspoken people on this forum, but overall we're a great bunch, I promise. Please don't take it personally! :grouphug:

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This is not a co op if one person is doing all the work. I would be as blunt to say it just like that. You cannot let people take advantage of you.

 

I know you weren't saying that you "kicked the lady with cancer out"...I'm not sure why you are getting attacked about that. How in heaven's name are you supposed to make all the plans, have all the materials, and WATCH SOMEONE ELSE'S KIDS (in the woods) during the class that you are teaching?

 

If I were you, I'd throw in the towel. Although, I wish I lived near you because it sounds like a fabulous co op and I am not a sit around and do nothing sort, I would be one to help.

Edited by 5forMe
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I've emailed the group and let them know I'd be willing to do circle time and nature study would be done informally unless a mom would like to take the lead in this. Otherwise, I'm dropping handiwork, and divvying stuff up. I feel like I have gone above and beyond what most would do in my situation am still I'm getting attacked! I've been so hesitant to post here for so long, because I've seen so many rude remarks that people would never say to someone irl. I honestly dOnt get it.

 

That sounds good! I am interested in hearing how the other moms respond. It does sound like a wonderful idea for a co-op and wish had worked out the way you had envisioned :grouphug: How old were the girls?

 

I am sorry you feel attacked too :grouphug: Not that it means much, but I would be tired of all that work.:grouphug:

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I feel like I have gone above and beyond what most would do in my situation am still I'm getting attacked! I've been so hesitant to post here for so long, because I've seen so many rude remarks that people would never say to someone irl. I honestly dOnt get it.

 

People come to this board from all walks and seasons of life. For me, I'm in my 40s, I've been around people that sugar coat things, pat me on the back, agree with me about everything, and then walk away and talk about me behind me back or never talk to me again.

 

I prefer honesty, even if I get bristled in the meantime. There are a lot of people on here who do post what they would say in real life, some would not consider it rude, but honesty.

 

If you've been reading and not posting then you've probably seen "venting" threads. If you're not looking for advice and you just need to vent, say so, it's okay. If you're posting for advice and you think everyone will agree with you, well, that's probably not going to happen on this forum. I've seen maybe two instances in four years where EVERYONE agreed.

 

I would assume that someone who posts this topic as their first thread has a little thicker skin than to get offended or feel attacked because people aren't agreeing with you.

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