Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homeschool Co-op

This fall we have been part of a homeschool co-op on Tuesday afternoons. When we decided to homeschool, I knew we would need to be part of a larger group for Andrew to have his social needs met. He's a very outgoing child, and I knew he would miss the group dynamic of school if we couldn't find the right outlet. We are very thankful that God led us to this group to fill that need. We have really enjoyed our new friendships with like-minded families. And I was thrilled when the very first week I met another mom who has five boys! You can be sure we've had many conversations about family life and homeschooling!

Each week we arrive and start off with some PE games. The moms took turns leading the group in a new game each week. We played dodgeball, four square, volleyball, soccer, and kickball when the weather was nice. When it was too wet, they played four corners, relay games, and duck duck goose. Here are a few pics of Andrew and the gang. I can't remember what the game was in the first picture.

Four corners
Duck duck goose

Then we broke up into our classes. The group offers lots of different classes each term and the students and parents choose two to participate in for the ten week period. Andrew's classes were about the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and Pumpkins!

In his Pilgrims class, they made a pocket book. I was so excited when I saw what they were doing, since I used to make these with my classes at Woodland Forrest Elementary! Here he is showing off a little of his work.

Each pocket of the book focused on a different aspect of Life in Plymouth Colony. They had new vocabulary words, reading activities, and an art activity of some kind in each pocket. Here he is with a model of the pilgrim house they made.

Here are some pilgrim puppets and a stew of good manners they made. Pilgrim manners really stuck with him and he was able to contrast them to our manners very well.

They also made this handy little tool. If folks fell asleep in church, the usher would brush under their nose with the furry end of the stick, thus waking them up.

But if someone was talking or misbehaving, they got whapped on the head with the hard end of the stick!

In his Pumpkins class, I was a helper, so there are many more pictures of that class than Pilgrims. Here are Andrew and his friend Elijah working on some pumpkin art.

Each week, they read a pumpkin story, had a snack, and did an activity of some kind. The snacks were Andrew's favorite part. Here's a pumpkin they made out of orange sherbert with a tootsie roll stem. The dirt is crushed chocolate graham crackers.

They did lots of experiments and explorations with pumpkins too. Here he is making his predictions about his pumpkin.

And here are Andrew and Hannah measuring around their pumpkins.

We really enjoyed our first co-op, but are glad for a break until January. Tuesdays have been pretty hectic around here! We'll have a fun Christmas party with the group in December so be watching for that post to come!