Tag Archives: co-op

Homework? What’s That?

cohdra100_1473 This week marked our second full week of co-op. Elementary students can sign up for one morning a week of enrichment-type classes, but for middle school and high school students, the co-op follows the university model. Students choose individual classes, attend class one or two days of the week, then work on their assignments at home. So while my younger three might be doing a  science experiment, art project, or PE class, John, who’s in eighth grade this year, is taking Geography and Physical Science. And it’s been a bit of a rough start. 

Each class requires quite a bit of work at home. Homework? We hadn’t used the word very much before this year. John brings home workbook assignments, reading assignments, study questions to answer… all of which he has to turn in to someone else besides me. He has deadlines now; he doesn’t get extra time to complete his work if it’s not done. He takes quizzes and tests just one time – there’s no opportunity to try the problems again. And he’s responsible for writing down his assignments and finishing them in a timely manner. 

How’s it going? Well, he told me he worked on his assignments all week, but the night before they were due, he stayed up two hours past his bedtime trying to finish. He tells me briefly about his current event and lab reports, then tells me he’s not sure when he’s supposed to turn them in. Sometimes he doesn’t even understand the assignment. “Why don’t you ask your teacher?” I ask him, but he just replies, “I don’t know.” 

So do I think these classes are worth it? I’d have to answer with a resounding “Yes!” No matter what grade he receives, he’ll have had an experience that requires he manage his time well, complete a project by a due date, and speak up when he has a question. And from what I’ve seen so far, he’s up to the challenge. He’s beginning to understand what’s expected, and he’s working hard at it. And hopefully next week will go a little better.

First Day of Co-op

y 039aWe joined a co-op again this year for the first time in several years. Today was the first day for my oldest son, John. He had a one-hour class in geography that started at 9:00 am. He didn’t want to go; he doesn’t know many people at the co-op. “But,” I reassured him, “this is going to be good. You’ll see.”

All I had to do was get him ready with his supplies and get him to the class on time. Then I had an hour to wait before I picked him up and headed home again. The rest of the children will start their classes on Monday, so this was to be a good trial run.

Well, it should have been. I remembered reading in an email that he needed to bring a notebook and pen, but it’s been a busy week, month, — okay, summer, and I forgot to look over the list again. John reminded me to do it last night, and when I checked I saw that he needed a workbook too. We had no way to get it in time.

I felt sick inside. He was going to his first class with students he didn’t know, and he’d be the only one without a book. In my panic, I emailed the teacher, asking if she had an extra I could replace later. But that was all I could do. I gathered the rest of the supplies and went to bed, quite discouraged.

I woke up all the kids early this morning, so we could be sure to leave early in case I had to meet with the teacher. I checked my email once more and whew! — there was her note, saying they didn’t need their workbooks today. I took a deep breath, and we headed out the door anyway, just to be sure we’d be on time.

When we arrived at the church where the co-op is held, I didn’t see very many cars — and we weren’t that early. Where was everyone? Then I remembered another email I received earlier in the week giving instructions on where to park. I had briefly read over it at the time, and now I couldn’t remember. We followed another car into a lower lot and tried all the doors. They were all locked.

“Well, we’re getting off to a great start,” John said. All we could do was laugh and keep looking for the entrance. It wasn’t a good start at all — I was disorganized, un-informed, and confused.

But, the good news is, we did start. We found the door, the classroom, the teacher, and he went in for his first class. On Monday, though, I have to get all four to class. Hmmm….

I Think We’re In…

pencils2Last week I received an email stating that the co-op we visited had enough openings for the next school year – they have a place for each of my children if we decide to join (we were actually put on the waiting list last year).  The cost of the classes is minimal and they offer a variety of courses from elementary through high school. 

Just a couple of days before, I had spoken to a friend of mine who had registered her children at another co-op and was still waiting to hear if they had the room. We talked about starting our own co-op, and she seemed excited about the possibility. We both knew other families who might be interested, and we discussed location possibilities. 

My children were especially excited as they thought of attending classes with their close friends. While they recognized a few faces at the co-op we visited, there were many students they didn’t know.                                    

Then I opened the email, and I wondered what to do. I was glad they had room for us, but now the other plan was taking shape. 

I spoke with my friend again, and I found out she had been accepted into another co-op. They are going forward with that one, so the plan to start one of our own has been placed on hold. Although I’m a little disappointed, I’m also relieved – starting and running a co-op is a lot of work. This past year has been a very busy one, and adding such a big responsibility to my list probably would have become overwhelming.   

We officially have until June 1 to decide whether we will join the co-op or not, which gives me a little more time to think and pray about it. But it’s looking really good to me right now, so I think we’re in…. I think we’re in… we’re in?