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  1. #1

    Default starting a school for homeschoolers

    Hi everyone!
    I need help. I'm starting a school of sorts. Three days a week. 9 to 3. The focus is on science, technology, conservation, and computer science all at the elementary early middle school level. And of course as much outside time as we can muster.

    Basic plan would be to have a focused activity in the morning (science/movement/leadership/fieldtrips) and then allow free time following that.

    The room will be equipped with stations, some rotating some not. A computer with drawing tablet and image software. A clay table. A LEGO robotics table. A Rube Goldberg station. A reading nook. A math games station.

    I like the Sudbury school model but I don't have a awesome space that would carry that.

    My goal is to get kids working together and building stable relationships. Since I really think that is more important than any one thing to learn. (Though I do have a friend who is a reading tutor I'd like to use too. Reading might be the one thing well and math too.)

    I just found the rental space. One room school house. It's above the children's museum looks over the harbor. And next to a big open space park.

    I'm thinking 2 adults and 10 to 20 kids.

    Would any of you send your kids? And if not what don't you like?

    Thanks in advance group think!
    Mom to:
    DS 7 (2nd grader, PS up until mid 1st grade)
    DS 5 (Kindergartner)
    DD 3 (Pre-schooler)

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Enlightened Soulhammer's Avatar
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    Default

    Cool!

    Th co-op we most enjoyed met one day per week. We tried a two-day one, and I felt like all the running around defeated one of our primary purposes for homeschooling (the desire to slow down).

    I like the STEM focus since gathering materials is one of the stumbling blocks I have when it comes to science; our best year with hands-on science so far was with a co-op.

    Does your state have laws about adult to kid ratios in educational settings? That's worth checking.

    Here's to your school

  4. #3

    Default

    I live in the LA area of SoCal and we have quite a few of those type of programs. They have various models and seen to be very popular. Some are more academic, and others are more for enrichment. They work well, but most are paid through our public charter funds, so cost is the only issue I see.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    I would love to send him somewhere eventually, but probably only one day a week. I like your ideas for STEM and collaboration. The centers sound great!

    Twenty kids in one room sounds like a lot, especially if there's a range of ages. What kind of field trips would you do? Price might be prohibitive depending on how much the class is, how long of a commitment, and what supplies I have to provide. If it would cover a year's science curriculum (for example) that might balance it out.

    Idk what your state laws are, but I'd be the anal person checking if all the background checks were done, the school (or daycare or camp or whatever it is) licensing is correct, etc. Florida is pretty tight about who can watch your kids and how many. Though we are pretty willy nilly about everything else, lol.
    [SIZE=3][FONT=Palatino Linotype]I'm a homeschooling enthusiast excited to start an epic 1st grade-ish year with DD4 and DD2 tagging along. My homeschool superpower is ferreting out secular science resources.

    My site is somerandomlady.com and these are my 100 favorite books of all time.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Default

    I would also send my son to something like this. I really would like him to have more chances for collaborative learning. I'm not sure I'd do 3 days a week. We did a micro school last year, and two days (partial days, even) per week were fine for him. I'd also check on ratios and the legalities. I recall with the micro school that it could get pretty crazy, even with fewer kids, so I'd think about whether 20 is the right number for the space, especially on days when everyone gets a bit crazy...

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  7. #6

    Default

    I would sign up my kids for something like this, but for no more that 1-2 times a week. Also, I would like a shorter time too. 9-3 would be way too long. I would much prefer no more that 2-3 hour long activity and no lunch-time there (so I do not have to pack it, kids can just come back home and eat).
    mom to 3 girls: DD9, DD8, DD5

  8. #7

    Default

    Why not split it into 2 different groups, each 1 day a week. That way you can have fewer kids per adult? As night owls, mornings seriously suck for us, but I could definitely see us doing it, but 20 kids is just too many for my son to deal with.

    That said, anything STEM would be awesome!

  9. #8

    Default

    We have tons of these programs which started small, just like yours and grew into really active and interesting options. Would you like me to link to some of them so you can see what we are doing so cal? (And hopefully it won't make others jealous.)

  10. #9
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    Default

    I love the idea - we don't have anything like that here. I think science would be one of the best things to offer/foster - hardest, I think, for most homeschoolers to do well and feel confident about. And one of the best things to do in groups - collaboration, equipment and supplies, etc.

    I agree with the others, though, 3 days a week would feel more like school-school and we homeschool for a reason. But maybe you have a line on a group of kids/families for which this almost-but not quite- full time school would be attractive to? What about 1.5 / 2 days and do 2 separate groups as others suggested. Keep the kid/adult ratio down and still fill the space/time/recoup costs?

  11. #10

    Default

    Oh, I love the microschool concept! If I had a bathroom you could get to without walking through a bedroom, I'd totally open one in my house.

    I like all of your ideas, though I might rethink the ratio. Have you looked at Jade Ann Riviera's website, or her book about opening microschools ?

    Ready to Start Your Own Micro-School? - Jade Rivera

    Micro-schools Book - Jade Rivera

    There is a school local to me that seems to contain a lot of your structural ideas, and may give you some other ideas on how you'd like to run things. I'd check out the website, and maybe try and get an informational interview out of the founder:

    Microschool - In+Addition Educational Center

    I'd love to know how things develop, so please check back in when you can!
    FKA Hordemama
    Stay-at-home-librarian parenting a horde of two sons: Marauder 1 (M1) born in 2007, and Marauder 2 (M2) born in 2012.

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