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GraceMom

A weekly co-op for K-3

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Good day everyone,

So excited to have a forum like this.  I am wondering if anyone out there is part of a weekly homeschooling cooperative that focuses exclusively on K-3.  Anyone?  I am looking for details on materials and schedules that have been successful for you.  Please respond when you have time.  Peace, Michelle

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We have not participated in a full co-op, however, for the past two years, a few families have gotten together as a Feast Day Fridays. We mostly focus on nature study, rotating our locations for hikes or natural experiences. We journal our focused findings. (The Law's Guides to Nature Drawing and Journaling is a wonderful resource!) We recently began using Exploring Nature with Children as an outline for our focus. We have used short picture studies to see what each family is studying in art. We have occasionally recited poetry or memory work each family was working on as well. We kept timing to around two hours to encourage focused attention and to not infringe on daily schedules too much.

I am not sure if that is much help, but good luck in your search! - Shannon

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Shannon, your cooperative sounds wonderful. We tried using Law's Guide a few years ago, but it fizzled out with the cold, rainy weather. Currently, we are part of a liturgical co-op. I have a class of K-3 with only 8 children. This semester I am using an online resource of short biographies, coloring pages, maps, and games for North American missionary Saints of the Orthodox Church. But any historical, scientific, literary biographies could work. My emphasis is to read the biography to them as they color their picture. Then we discuss the account. Then we use a globe or an atlas to see where they came from and where they served or traveled. I have a US map puzzle we play with as well. Before the semester is over I really ought to work more on them recognizing regions of the US and at least some of the states. I haven't done any review of he saints either. My goal wasn't for them to memorize anything about any one of them, but just to know men came from other places to minister to people in the United States. And for them to be familiar with maps. 

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I do a bi-weekly co-op with my friend. All 3rd grade and below and 5 children. We recite IEW poems together, alternate with some art or history activities (using Tapestry of Grace) and natural walks or science activities. Then the kids have free time to play and we have lunch together, while my friend and I chat about homeschooling, etc. It's relaxing for us and we love to build relationship and do something fun together.

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How do you all see the transition into the next level going? Do you have ideas about what you will do next or what you need to do now to prepare for what you children will do after K-3?

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I found after our first semester at our co-cop that I am a little burned out and I wonder if my younger children weren't a little overwhelmed with leaving the house twice a week as well. They love it while they are there, but it seems to add a lot of anxiety preparing for it, after we get home, and then the time we have to make up for because we are gone so long. It takes us 45 minutes to an hour to get to our co-op and it lasts till 2. Because I have older children also, some of the schooling I want to get done, doesn't happen there. So we have to try to get it in other times. I'm considering not going back for the second semester. Anyone else struggle to be part of a co-op with the rest of life and other children?

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On 12/27/2018 at 2:02 PM, Cheryl Floyd said:

I found after our first semester at our co-cop that I am a little burned out and I wonder if my younger children weren't a little overwhelmed with leaving the house twice a week as well. They love it while they are there, but it seems to add a lot of anxiety preparing for it, after we get home, and then the time we have to make up for because we are gone so long. It takes us 45 minutes to an hour to get to our co-op and it lasts till 2. Because I have older children also, some of the schooling I want to get done, doesn't happen there. So we have to try to get it in other times. I'm considering not going back for the second semester. Anyone else struggle to be part of a co-op with the rest of life and other children?

We ended up going to meeting once/week instead of twice. Everyone seemed happier. We extended our day till 3. Next year we are going to try to have a class or two that is for everyone. I will be offering an art and music appreciation class. Everyone can look at a painting or sculpture and listen to a piece of music and start to pick out the various instruments and note timing and dynamics. I will assign older students some research and rhetoric projects. 

Any other ideas for classes that could involve a wider range of ages for a co-op?

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