The number of homeschool groups and programs here in our new city is astounding. Every church and every school district offers programs. All the opportunities are wonderful...and overwhelming!
After checking out the websites of different programs and talking with some other homeschooling moms, we visited a co-op in November on their last day of fall semester classes. We liked what we saw and applied to be able to join the co-op this spring semester. I liked that all 7 of us could be there on the same day together. (One co-op I looked into would have my kiddos there - because of the range of their ages - on three different days during the week...not o.k.)
This is a co-op, meaning not a "drop your kids off and have some free time" program, so I am there helping the whole time. The classes are by-and-large enrichment classes...not academic ones. It will meet for 9 weeks, and then we will host an Expo, where the students display or have performances of their work for the semester.
The children are taking 4 classes each, and we meet on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. (With a break for lunch between the third and fourth classes.)
(**the class she wanted - baton - ended up not being offered after all...
so E opted to do Study hall over any of the remaining options for that hour)
My right-brained girl is going to have a blast this semester. If she had her way, we would have had her in voice lessons, gymnastics, dance, baton, drama, etc. etc..... for years! But that is not possible, so I am so very thankful that she is getting exposed to these classes through this co-op.
General Science Lab
My introverted guy has surprised me with his interest in drama. He loved working on a video skit that he and the yearbook committee put together last year, so he wanted to sign up for this class.
And I am so glad he is able to take this General Science Lab class! This is based on the experiments in the Apologia General Science textbook (which he was already studying this year anyway)...so this is perfect! And that I was assigned to be in there as a T.A. was just the hand of God (I didn't request it).
Noah liked the sound of the Money 101 class, but he hopes that they talk about something he "doesn't already know." With Jas and I both being finance majors, we do talk about money quite a bit with the children...but I am pretty convinced he still has some stuff to learn!
Daniel has always loved drawing. He has an amazing attention span and attention to detail. But still, it wasn't until I was looking back at the spreadsheet of (40!) classes (5 children x 4 classes x 1st and 2nd choices for each) that I realized D was requesting THREE drawing classes. I checked with him to make sure that sounded o.k., and he said "yes." I am glad for him to get some instruction in this area and explore this talent more.
And then...Legos. He is in heaven.
Wild About Rainforest Animals
Whirlwind Tour of Europe
Lily Kay loves all things animals and science. She has tossed around the idea of wanting to be a vet ever since BeBe was attacked several years ago, so she has been really excited about the Safari Animals class. And P.E., of course...right up her alley. But coming out of the first day of classes, she surprised me by saying that she loved the Europe class. (They got to drink a cup of hot tea, which she loves - because England was their first stop on this tour.)
And then...Lego building. This girl is basically in heaven with all of her classes.
Arts & Crafts
This is Gabriel's first exposure to any sort of class-type setting. So I was interested (anxious, really) to see how he liked it...and how he behaved.
I am with Gabriel during his recess class. I assumed this would be a sort of free-play time. It is not. The teacher is great, and very structured. She had two different picture books to read with the children, and after each one we did little physical activities inspired by the story. Gabriel seemed very rambunctious during this class. I don't know whether this is because...
1. He had been (relatively) still for the first two classes, and was ready to MOVE
2. I was in there (I am convinced he shows out more when I'm around)
3. He was the only boy, surrounded by 7 girls...so maybe he just seemed real rambunctious compared to those 7 sweet little girls (because he is ALL boy!)
I asked his other teachers how everything went, and they all assured me he was fine.
Abigail was so excited to start "school" with the big kids. When we got their backpacks/bags ready the night before, she insisted we get out her cute little backpack (given to her months ago by LaoLao) and put her diapers/wipes in there, instead of in the diaper bag.
I get to be in the nursery with Abigail during the first hour, for which I am very thankful. While she is only 2.5 yo, it does seem like she would be capable of doing some of the activities, like Recess or Music...and I wish she didn't have to be in the nursery the whole time. She does come with us to eat lunch between the third and fourth classes, and it is so nice to get to see her then. But that made it harder for her to go back to the last class (which is normally nap time at home). She cried when I left her there for the last class, until she (in very short order) fell asleep on the nursery worker's lap in the rocking chair.
I help out in these classes...
General Science Lab
The number of lists and spreadsheets and more lists it took for me to coordinate the children's first and second choices for each class, and then the supplies that we need to bring, astounds me. I don't know how moms of public school kiddos coordinate everything...and then get their children to school so early every morning!!