Friday, April 13, 2012

Homeschool Co-Op

The first thing I did before we were even wholly moved in down here was to research homeschool support groups in the area.  We're so fortunate that there are several in the area, so we were able to choose one that was a good fit for our family.  I can't tell you enough how important it is to me to have a group of kids and moms who are fellow travelers on the journey ~ every time we get a chance to talk I'm amazed that they have or have had the same challenges as we do as far as parenting, schooling or family relationships.
Younger homeschoolers getting ready for a nature walk
In Alleghany, my girls were some of the youngest in the support group and I benefited from the experience of the moms with older children.  Unfortunately, there weren't many cooperative learning (co-op) classes in which they could participate.  I don't think they were necessarily missing out, but I know as the time grew closer to when we actually moved to Franklin County, Han had started to ask for more opportunities to interact with kids her age.
(Isn't she just beautiful?!)

After a field trip to see "The Velveteen Rabbit" ~ a game of D, D, G in the food court of Center on the Square

Here in Hardy, we belong to CHEF ~ Christian Home Educators of Franklin (County), and what a blessing it is to us!  We literally thank God daily for the relationships we are developing among this remarkable group of families.  These are "real people," (my favorite kind) who pray for one another and share their struggles...
hmmmm, reminds me of:

Galatians 6:2:  Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the Law of Christ.

Probably easiest, most natural, and most enjoyable precept I've ever followed!

A whole 'nother post could be written about the elephant who sidles up to the (very predictable and not uncommon) conversation when someone finds out we school at home:

THEY:  And where do your girls go to school?
US:  We homeschool.
THEY:  (awkward pause)
US:  (in my mind:  "Here it comes....")
THEY:  But aren't you concerned about socialization?
US:  Well, they're in AWANAs, Sunday School, Children's Church, co-op, and they take other classes in the community....
WHAT I'M REALLY THINKING: (Yeah, like I really want them to go to a government school, learning all sorts of disrespectful, non-Christlike behaviors from their same-age peers, artificially separated into groups by age, developing a type of "us vs. them" mentality, being exposed to ____________ all kinds of garbage -   not to mention teachers/admin who can't/don't share our desire to put Christ FIRST, etc. etc.)

So, uh, co-op helps to mitigate some of that.

We meet one day a week for 15 weeks a semester for two classes, and then it is (often) off to the park where the moms chat and the kids zoom.  We have monthly field trips and other impromptu get-togethers ~ most importantly, a monthly "Mom's Night," where we do a lot of that "supporting, bearing and encouraging."

Speaking of Biblical mandates, I saw this verse applied to a co-op group a bloggy friend attends, and I can't imagine a more perfect verse for this topic:

Hebrews 10:25:  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, 
but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

It gives me a shiver of a thrill to read that!  Me, who would much prefer to live a hermit-ly life, staying home all day every day and poking around the house and yard ~ I don't need to be encouraged to meet together ~ for the good of my girls or for my own (very needful!) good!

1 comment:

  1. What a LOVELY post! (I love caps, can you tell?) I am so glad you have joined our group. Truly it is a community. Which I just wrote about on my blog, then came here and read this.:) Blesses my heart. LOVE having you a part of the family. And those sweet girls, well I just can't say enough.


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