View Full Version : Wow! I feel like I've been gone forever

07-22-2010, 04:42 PM
I have been doing an incredible amount of revamping of our program and getting ready for co-op so I've been gone from here for a while. Lots of new people and looks like maybe a name change? I can't believe we are starting school up in 4 weeks. I've already given my high school history class an assignment for our first co-op meeting.

How is everyone's summer going? All of mine have gone to camp in some form or another, I have one going on a rafting trip next week, and we have the state champs for swimming next week. Then maybe I can relax (yeah, right!)

07-22-2010, 05:44 PM
Ann, if you don't mind my asking, how does your co-op operate? (Only asking out of curiosity, so no pressure to answer! :)

Just wondering how many students you have in the history class and how you work that. I am trying to come up with ideas for history classes for two families with 3 different grade levels and it has been a challenge to figure out how best to have a class that works for all of us. I have been a lazy bum this summer and am now paying for it with sense of urgency that school will be starting so soon and there is a lot to be done. Anyway, glad to have you back on site, now that you are not so busy (*wink *wink).

07-22-2010, 07:11 PM
Our co-op started last year with 5 families. At that time we had 2 levels of classes - upper middle school and lower middle school and elementary. We offered a history/science class for the younger kids that covered the ancient world and biology and chemistry using Real Science 4 Kids. The kids also had a lapbooking class and a lego class.

The older girls (we now also have a boy) are going to be using History Odyssey, which we also used last year. This covers history, geography, literature, writing. I will be teaching history and geography. HoodOrnament is teaching writing and literature. She will also be teaching Latin. We are compressing HO into a semester class (block scheduling), so the second semester, we are doing astronomyand logic. Latin is year round. I am also teaching an Algebra class 2 days a week on the days we don't meet. We are also offering a third level - just middle school. I am teaching a unit study class covering the Middle Ages to that age group. The younger elementary kids are just meeting in the afternoon. We are also offering a pre-school class based around Five In A Row.

I'm not quite sure what you are looking for. I hope that answered some of your questions. Are you looking for how we divide up jobs? determine curriculum? set up the schedule? Just let me know and I'll fill in what I can!

07-23-2010, 10:20 AM
Wow thanks Ann for the helpful hints! We are starting an History coop again this year for the teens! Now I just have to plan my lessons for it;)

07-23-2010, 10:36 AM
Thanks, Ann, that was a great look into your co-op. I am just trying to get a sense of how other people handle teaching one subject to different kids at different ages. Do students all share the same books and mimic a class in a public school, with students and teachers taking turns reading sections aloud, etc, or is there more discussion, etc? Our last few years have been a real struggle in trying to find a balance between copying public school at home and then going too far the in the other direction. Sometimes homeschooling really seems to be a balancing act. And just when I think I've got it, someone wiggles the wire!

07-23-2010, 01:21 PM
The students have to have their reading for the class done before the class. I do not give them the information on a particular time period. Instead, we discuss the information and try to guide them in synthesizing it. For example, we discussed the Constitution, why we have the Electoral College, based on what we know about the reasons for it, is this good, how about the amendment process, are the ideas in the Constitution relavent today or does it evolve, which is a big debate now. How about the acquisition of lands from Mexico? Was the Mexican American War justified? I am really not interested in saying "Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution. I am big on learning from history, because, to me, it is all a trickle down situation. I want to know what can we learn, teach the students to always judge actions on the values and beliefs of the times, and how would we deal with it now. Our classes are round table discussions, not lectures. They need to learn and research the info BEFORE the class so they can intelligently discuss it. Our program is not based on grade level, so if the students can handle the work load in History Odyssey and have the maturity to analyze the info, they can take the class.

07-23-2010, 07:41 PM
Welcome back Ann. I've been away most of the summer myself (and looks like I'll be here very infrequently until the end of August at least-real life sometimes gets in the way) but it's nice to see you posting again.

07-24-2010, 01:09 PM
Thank you, again, Ann! That is very thought-provoking. Your method sounds like it works well!