Looking back over the past schedules and rosters for Life Co-op brings back so many memories. It is hard to believe that we started over 3 years ago. The Fall 2009 session was one of our largest both in the number of families and the space available. We had 35 families participating that semester with the advantage of 10 classrooms. Because we were still rather new, and our policy is to allow only veteran members to teach classes, we had to be a little creative with the class offerings Otherwise, we would not have had enough classes to offer. The solution to the problem that semester was to offer same of the same classes to more than one age group.
In addition to Art and P/E for all grade levels, we offered the following classes:
Kindergarten- 2nd Grades
Math Games and Projects
Bookmaking and Creative Writing
2 in a Row (Based on 5 In a Row )
Middle and High School Grades
General Art History Survey
Biology Lab *
Book Club (middle only) Surviving the Applewhites
FSU-Science on the Move *
Greek Literature: The Iliad
Three classes I would like to highlight:
Poetry for 3rd-5th grades was a class I had taught previously in another co-op. I have an older edition of The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, and I found a unit study online to go along with it. (here)
The students were encouraged to write poems individually, and some of them did, but the focus of the class was to write collaborative poems. At the end of the semester, we put the poems together into a booklet and gave each student a copy. Because our co-op runs for 10 weeks, I did have to add some lessons to the above unit study. One that I added was acrostic poems using our first names. Both in that semester and in the previous co-op, I was constantly delighted with the ideas and creativity of the students as they worked together to write poems. Some of our reluctant writers drew illustrations to go along with the poetry. Recently, one of the students, who is now 12, sent me a collection of poetry she had recently written. It brought back memories. What a blessing for her to share them with me three yeas later.
Support for the high school grades has always been a major focus for Life Co-op. For the families who choose to homeschool all the way through, high school classes can be quite challenging and expensive. Having parents offer to teach difficult classes or classes that are best taught in groups is always welcome and encouraged. During this semester, a husband and wife teamed up and brought several microscopes each week. The students worked at home using Apologia's Biology text and the experiments were done together in co-op. It was a lot of work. I am so thankful to have had it for my high school daughter. We were able to offer it again last year, on a smaller scale. (Fewer students and microscopes).
An all-time favorite class was when we were able to the FSU's Science on the Move program to come to our co-op. What a treat! They were able to come every other week and provided lesson plans for the alternating weeks. Unfortunately, our schedules have not coincided since that semester so it hasn't worked out to get them to come again, but each semester, we have at least looked into it. If any co-ops in the Tallahassee area have flexible schedules I encourage you to look into getting them to come and visit your group. It is well worth your time. Here are some photos:
If you would like to know more about any of the above classes, or if you would like information about joining Life C-op, you may email me at fourelevenrox at gmail dot com.
The homeschool co-op tab at the top of this page will give you information about how to start your own homeschool co-op and provide links to more class ideas. (or click here)