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Well, I'm going to have to get over my co-op "thang"....

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We've taken part in sort-of co-ops before; my two oldest took part in a local group's Spanish and P.E. classes for a season, to have some fun with other kids and get practical foreign language experience.


They took a drama class at a co-op in VA.


That's about it.


My preference has been to find good quality instruction in areas we need help in, and pay for it. (Algebra tutoring, musical theater and art classes, etc.) I've had no interest in centering our studies around someone else's schedule, or adding a new list of responsibilities to my already full responsbility plate.




The algebra tutor is going to really add up, if he becomes the geometry tutor, next year.


I think that high school sciences would be better for my kids if they were done in a group, and experiments actually got done. (Blush)


So, when some of my friends brought up the Wonderful Co-op, again...I listened. And applied. I'm waiting for my interview to be scheduled.


This is a high school focused co-op with strict academic requirements. (You have to maintain a certain grade level to stay in). It's also going to provide my oldest daughter with some regular friend face time, and scratch her small--but significant-- go-to-school itch. My oldest son is NOT excited (well, he is excited by the prospect of studying biology under their super biology teacher), but I think it will be good for him to follow a schedule, answer to someone other than mom, etc., in this atmosphere before he tries the community college dual enrollment thing, at 16. (He's a young high schooler, and won't be able to do that for a while).


I'm still just a little edgy, though.


It's only one day a week, and my Littles only do school four days a week, anyway...but I don't like the idea of disrupting their lives. We can work something out, obviously, but I have to admit that what I really don't like is the potential disruption to MY life, lol.


But I do think, the more I look at the facts, that it will be a great thing for my older kids, and their high school studies. With some help teaching higher math and science, I'll have more time and educational energy to go around, something I've been feeling really pressed about.


So, I guess I'm looking for success stories. If any of you have become a "Co-op Person", when you weren't at first...feel free to tell me that I'll get used to it. ;-) Or share how easy it is to balance the needs of Littles with the needs of Bigs. ::Sigh::

Edited by Jill, OK
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I am so not a co-op person. I don't like having to schedule my time around other people. But....this is our second year in a fantastic co-op, and the only thing that makes me nervous is the thought that it could all come to an end. It has been valuable for precisely those reasons you mentioned - social time for the girls, science labs getting done, and motivation for the boy besides MOM. At first, when my friends approached me about it, I wasn't interested. The last co-op we had been a part of together was a TOG thing, and while my kids enjoyed it, losing an entire day and having to put up with OPK wasn't worth the fun hands-on projects that I am admittedly bad about getting done. But when they said they were thinking of having an Omnibus class, they had my attention again. So we now do Latin (I'm the Latin teacher), science, Writing and Grammar including progym, Omnibus and/or TOg depending on the level. I love it. It is a sacrifice for me because I am an introvert, but it has been nothing but good for my kids.

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I too am a total introvert, and I work really hard to open up and talk to others for my kid's sake. We joined a coop a couple of years ago, and has been such a blessing for them to have time with friends and take classes that are fun (knitting, all about bats, ect) that we don't normally do at home.


Have fun! We would like to find a coop like yours for science and math when the kids get to high school.

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Well, Jill, I wish I could have your kids in MY math class!! :-) It will be a rough transition, probably, but it sounds like it will be good for the older kids.


(That would be totally awesome, lol.)


I'm expecting a little transition turbulence...but honestly, I can juggle our current schedule around and not really feel much difference. It's the paradigm switch I think I'm getting nervous about, lol.

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I too am a total introvert...


...when I tell them I'm an introvert, but it's true.


I think I *look* like an extrovert (trying to be funny, enjoying the atmosphere), but the truth is, it takes me time to unwind even after just being with my OWN kids all day, homeschooling.


Perhaps it's time to build that little office, out in the woods, lol...;-)

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With some help teaching higher math and science, I'll have more time and educational energy to go around, something I've been feeling really pressed about.


I think getting some help with a few areas you need it is huge, in terms of stress. It's worth it to me.


We've been in a half-day a week co-op (a tutorial, really - we pay tuition) for years, and my kids have benefitted, for many of the reasons you've listed. It takes the edge off of me, to know that they are getting a little something extra. I use ours mainly for things that I just am not inclined to teach much of, or do a consistent job teaching - art, music, modern languages, etc. We've also had great success taking additional writing classes, government, current events, and classes of that nature that really helped because of the group discussion aspect.


I think you'll be glad you did it. It is a whole different mindset, but I found (after taking a semester off) we weren't using that 5th day to much advantage. We were regularly wasting it, as a matter of fact. It helps keep me on track, knowing I really have to accomplish the bulk of our work in four days (plus some independent work on our co-op day, but I don't 'teach' on that day, because we get home pretty late).


Overall, it's been good for us. I've found the advantages to outweigh the inconveniences. I hope that's the same for you.

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Well, I've never been anti- co-op, but I will tell you that we absolutely LOVE the year-long, academically oriented co-op that we joined this year. In the past we've only done short-term, supplemental co-ops. I am sooo happy with it. I was just telling dh the other day that I feel so blessed to have this option, because our kids really are getting the best of both worlds, school and homeschooling. They made new friends, and get to see them every Monday. They have so much more of the school experience here-- learning academics in the classroom, having to be responsible for homework and tests from an outside source, diversity among the families in culture and lifestyle, hands-on classroom projects, just so many good things. And yet, we get to eat lunch together as a family on co-op day, see each other throughout the day (I help in some of their classes, and my younger two have two classes together), and they're still homeschooling for four days each week. I just love it!!! Hopefully you will feel the same way, Jill. You'll have to let us know how it goes.


I forgot to mention one of my favorite things.. listening to my kids at home having conversations about the various students and teachers they know at co-op. They are hysterical, i.e. "Mrs. XXX is kind of weird-- she's always smiling.She can be really angry at a kid, yelling at him, and yet she has this eerie smile on her face the entire time..." or wild tales of the crazy things other kids claim to have done, etc. It's just a funny, typical-kid sort of conversation about the world outside our home that my kids never really had before we joined this co-op.

Edited by Erica in PA
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