Monday, November 28, 2016

From the High School Lesson Book - Considering Co-ops

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From the High School Lesson Book - Considering Co-ops on Homeschool Coffee Break @

I'm later than I'd like in writing my Lesson Book post today, and I have so much more I need to get done today! One thing on my to-do list for this week is to gather some information and get my thoughts together in preparation for a meeting to discuss the possibility of our homeschool group's co-op expanding to offer some high school classes. One of which I might be teaching.

For the most part, I've found co-ops to be easiest when my kids were younger. After all, the academic schedule doesn't need to be as structured, so our small 12-week co-op was a wonderful break from the usual routine. We moms shared our interests and abilities so that kids could get art instruction or hands-on science even if their own moms weren't particularly good at those subjects. In those days, I taught a couple of geography and history type classes, and even a little bit of science. That wasn't too intimidating for me as a teacher, because I could choose to teach subject matter with which I was reasonably comfortable; and even if I wasn't an expert, I had a pretty good knowledge advantage over my students just because of their age.

From the High School Lesson Book - Considering Co-ops on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Middle school Finance/Economics co-op class

A few times over the years, someone would throw out the possibility of offering high school level classes during that co-op, but the idea never went very far. Practically speaking, we realized we couldn't offer something in one afternoon a week for twelve weeks that would have broad enough application and value for a decent number of the high school age students to find it worthwhile. Well now, the idea is being revisited, as we are now entertaining the possibility of doing the once-a-week co-op year round. That would open up the high school level course possibilities too. And so, this week, we will start brainstorming about how we might be able to make it happen and what classes we might start with. I've been asked to consider teaching a high school level Composition class, so by the time we meet this (already very busy) week, I need to have some idea of how I would organize that and if I really think I could pull it off.

Being involved in co-ops has been so rewarding for us in the past that I'm looking forward to this challenge. And it really would be a challenge as well as an opportunity! It would be a weekly commitment of preparing lessons and grading or evaluating student work. It would also be a weekly commitment to block out that afternoon each week and get to class, which would be about a 45-minute drive one way. So on a personal level, I need to be sure it's worth that time and effort for me and for Kennady. I'm sure it would be, but I have to be honest that losing the control over that portion of my calendar over an entire school year gives me pause!

From the High School Lesson Book - Considering Co-ops on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Elementary grades Art/Geography co-op class

From the High School Lesson Book - Considering Co-ops on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Gym class - ours is a co-op!
From the High School Lesson Book - Considering Co-ops on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Middle school biology lab at co-op
 Do you participate in co-ops for high school level classes? Leave a comment and let me know! Then please link your posts about homeschooling high school here - I'd love to see what you are working on! (FYI - this is likely the last week that the High School Lesson Book will feature a link-up. I've decided to limit my link-up hosting to the Virtual Fridge and Homeschool Highlights for now. Thank you to all who have participated in this link-up in the past, or have joined the Homeschooling High School Blog Roll. As I think ahead with our co-op plans, I'm also starting to think ahead to what the High School Lesson Book might look like in 2017.)

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