Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to Homeschool Coffee Break - Not-At-Home School

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Back to Homeschool Coffee Break - Not-At-Home School - part of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, here on Homeschool Coffee Break @ and hosted by the Homeschool Review Crew @

There have been days - weeks, even - when "homeschool" doesn't describe our world very well, because we haven't spent a lot of time at home. I think this is true of many homeschoolers, and there are a lot of opportunities outside the home that enrich our education and experience in a significant way. Home is our home base, of course, but as homeschoolers, we've got the flexibility and freedom to include field trips, co-ops, and plenty of other extras.

Our family relied on our short term spring co-op when the kids were younger. This co-op ran once a week for about 12 weeks during the spring, and was a true co-operative effort among parents. The classes were parent-taught and were a great supplement for elementary grades. For most of those early years, we also attended a homeschool gym class that was a co-op style effort. And then, as students reached high school level, and the academic demands were raised a bit, I had to question whether we could afford the time away from home to participate in co-op, in gym class, in field trips, and just in general. We aged out of that K-8 spring co-op, and there were a couple of years that we opted out of spring semester gym class because the kids were playing community baseball or softball and we couldn't fit both into our schedule.

Here is what we have found worthwhile during high school years.

Homeschool Gym Class - And I am not going to lie, this was about socialization just as much as it was about getting a Phys.Ed. credit and staying active. Often it was more about socialization! The gym class was always well organized and gave the kids a chance to play all kinds of team sports, and earn time towards that Phys.Ed. credit. It was awesome for me too, because while Kennady was playing basketball or whatever with her friends in class, I had the time to pick up groceries or run other errands - and maybe even go out for coffee with some of my friends. Because their kids were also in the class. And afterwards, it was sometimes a job to collect our kids and head back home, because they were still busy socializing! That said, we are not going to be doing gym class any more. We thought the class wouldn't be offered for 2017-2018, and we've already committed to an academic co-op one day a week, so when gym class was reinstated, our calendar had already filled up.

Back to Homeschool Coffee Break - Not-At-Home School - part of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, here on Homeschool Coffee Break @ and hosted by the Homeschool Review Crew @

Chorus and Music Lessons - Kennady has been singing in the Children's Chorus and taking guitar lessons, and both are definitely worth the time away from home! Chorus rehearsals are in the evening, so they don't really take away from school time, but it is a big time commitment for getting to those rehearsals and being well prepared. This coming year it will be an even larger commitment, and a bigger pay-off too, as Kennady will also be interning with the Chorus as an assistant to one of the directors of a younger group. I'm so glad Kennady has been able to study guitar with an excellent teacher that challenges her and is helping her hone her skills. Thanks to the flexibility of our homeschool schedule, we can fit in the lessons and she can play or practice whenever it suits her. Which is most of the time, and sometimes to the detriment of subjects she doesn't enjoy as much, to be honest!

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chorus rehearsal in New Orleans

A New Orleans PhotoJournal on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Academic Co-op - This will be a brand new experience for us this year, as this is the first time we've felt like we could make a year-round co-op day work for us. After many years of half-heartedly wishing that there was a way we could expand that little spring co-op to make it worthwhile for older students, one of the moms took the initiative to start pulling together a year-round co-op, so we're in on the ground level! I'm on the Board of Directors (for lack of a better term!) and will be the instructor for the Composition class. Kennady will be doing that class, and will also be taking French I and Speech & Presentation. Other classes offered include Spanish, Algebra, Biology, World History, and Economics. We're still figuring this out, but we're off to a good start for a first year co-op and we're all looking forward to it.

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How much homeschooling do you do outside the home? Leave a comment and let me know! And visit the Homeschool Review Crew Blog to find all the Back to School Blog Hop posts about how other Crew members get out of the house!

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gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I live in an area where homeschooling is not the norm. As a retired teacher, it is very interesting to me to read about how you plan your school curriculum .

Michele said...

I love the idea of the gym class. I could make time for that! This is the first year we are doing piano lessons with my 10 year old- wish us luck! ;)

Lori said...

Good luck with the academic co-op. Hope it is the perfect fit. I love that she is able to intern with the chorus this year. What a wonderful opportunity! - Lori

zekesmom10 said...

We love our co-op. I hope you both do, too! I ended up sending one punk to public school PE last year. It was a huge hassle, but he enjoyed it. A homeschool PE group would be so nice.

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