Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So, What Do Your Kids DO In A Co-Op

I shared pictures of our Co-Op Valentines Day party last week, this week I thought I would explain how our co-op works. Since co-op stands for "cooperative" us moms are never lazin' around. The classes are taught by moms and run by moms. The teacher is always the same for a particular class and for a particular semester and then each week a different pair of moms take a turn as a helper. The classes that are offered at HomeTeam are chosen by the moms in the co-op. About this time of year we begin giving suggestions of classes we might like to have available to our children. We can just suggest them or we can suggest them, list the curriculum and supplies we will use, and volunteer to teach the class. Then the moms all vote on which classes we should offer.

We have co-op every other Tuesday and yesterday I was working with Peanut's class, the kindergartener's and first graders. This group of kids has 4 classes total which include a class called 5 In a Row (a type of curriculum), in this class the teacher reads a book and then they talk about various things in the book and do a scrapbook page relating to the book and follow by a snack. For example, a few weeks ago the teacher read Snowflake Bentley to the children. Mr. Bentley grew up in Vermont so they had a map of Vermont in their book that they colored indicating any mountains, rivers, etc. They also had a close up photograph of a snowflake and talked about how many sides they have. Their snack was french toast with real maple syrup - since Vermont is famous for maple syrup. After 45 minutes the kids switch to another class.

Then the kids go to gym and do....gym stuff! Peanut loves gym (as does Sissy). They love playing the games and running around like animals.

The third class this semester is one of my favorites, Art. The program that is being used is Storybook Art. Again, the teacher reads a story and then the kids do a craft that relates to the story. This week the book was all about a brother and sister who made cookies with their mother and they were all set to eat 6 cookies a piece (YES! 6!) when friends started coming over to share and they had to divide the cookies up among their friends.

Here the kids are working on making their own "cookie". The "cookie" is a round piece of corrugated cardboard that they "iced" with white paint and confetti "sprinkles". Of course they couldn't forget to pipe "icing" on with the paint that was in squeeze containers. It was a great craft and one of those things that I wish I could think of myself! (And be willing to do! Art is so messy!)
Their final class is studying the human body. The teachers started the class by having us trace the kids body out on butcher paper. Each time they meet they will learn about a different part of the body, color and cut out the "organ" and glue it where it belongs on their paper body! Isn't that great!? The kids have talked about the brain and how it works, the heart - veins and arteries, and this week they talked about the kidneys and bladder. Here is a photo of Peanut inserting her kidneys and bladder.
One things the kids in this class really like is the model of the human that you can take apart. They love taking all the organs out and seeing if they can put them back in!
We all really love co-op. It is one of those things that helps me see other homeschooling moms and talk about challenges, curriculum and ordinary mom type of things. More importantly it is allowing my kids to socialize, learn about things I may not think to teach them and learn to follow directions and listen to a teacher (they get a lot of this at church as well, but you can never practice these skill to much!)

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