Saturday, January 5, 2013

Homeschool Co-op Class Ideas for Young and Older Students

Being able to have a high school student in a much needed core subject class at the same time your first grader  plays classroom games, and your 5th grader is building a 3-D model of the solar system with other students his age.....does that sound like a dream come true? That's what L.I.F.E. Co-op is all about, along with many other co-ops that are class based.

My girls are not that spread out in age, they were only 2-3 grade levels apart. However, they did have huge differences in their interests, talents, and needs as far as outside activities and classes. Having a co-op that varies fun classes geared towards socializing (there's that homeschool  buzz word) and other classes with more "meat" was always a blessing for us. Planning a co-op that way isn't always easy, but when we were able to pull it off, we all benefited. Our Fall 2011 semester is a good example.

Today, I'm highlighting some social classes along with one important (and needed) class for our older students.

Do you remember playing classroom games in elementary school?

Head's Up 7-up?
Four Corners?

What about more active games, or new board games that are best played in a large group? Our K-2 grades were able to have fun with all of those types of activities in our Games and Fun Class. These were activities that many homeschool students don't get an opportunity to play. It wasn't academic but it was a learning and growing experience and everyone had fun!

Another more "fun" class idea was Crochet I and II. Yes, in a homeschool co-op setting. It was a very relaxed class where students, from beginning to advanced, were able to work on projects geared towards their level. Having more than one teacher who knew how to crochet was crucial to the success of the class, but we were blessed with several ladies who knew how to crochet (and some who didn't). Everyone learned and shared and the girls (and boys) who took the class came away with a new skill that will stay with them for life. An awesome opportunity especially for those parents who are not crafty but have children who are and want to learn.

While the FUN was going on...I had the pleasure task of touching, feeling, observing, and SMELLING lots of really gross stuff in Biology Lab with a group of high school students. NOT my forte, let me tell ya! In the Fall of 2009, we had a husband/wife team who taught the class. Fall 2011, I did it...with fear and trembling at first, but Apologia Science made it very easy, and affordable for even a crafty person like me to step out of their comfort zone and teach SCIENCE. One day, I'll post my tips, tricks, and links to how I survived and thrived while I taught Biology. We had two really good microscopes (borrowed from co-op members). We all learned so much. It was very different from when my oldest daughter took an on-line course. This was hands-on, VERY affordable, and included interaction with other students. I HIGHLY recommend doing Biology Lab in a co-op setting.

Here is the full list of all the classes we offered at L.I.F.E. that semester:

Fall 2011

K-2 Grades

Games and Fun* - (educational board games, classroom games)
Running Fun and Playful Games - (Outside Games and P/E)
All American- Learn about the U.S. with songs, literature, history, sign language, games, and puzzles

3rd-5th Grades

Math 24 Game
Solar System
Jamestown - A Book Club with lots of projects.

Middle School

Around the World in 80 Days - A book study with activities
Educational Games - Board games including some unique strategy games
Claymation - I'll be posting later about this FANTASTIC class. I hope to include the video they created :)

Middle and High School Grades

Paper Crafts
Presenting 20th Century History – Students present fun reports on 20th century topics, including some crazy props!
Public Speaking
Crochet I and II *
History of U.S. – America, the Story of US videos from the History Channel (with discussion)


To Kill a Mockingbird - book study and discussion
Biology Lab* 

For more information on how to start a homeschool co-op, class ideas, or about  joining L.I.F.E. click here, or the tab on the top of this page.

If you would like details, or "how-to's" on any of the above classes, send me a message at fourelevenrox at gmail (dot) com or leave a comment. I'll be glad to get as much information to you as possible!

Oh and here's a nice photo of a special guest we had....

Mrs. Pig!

That was mean, wasn't it? HA/HA! Well, I figured if I had to suffer, I may as well share the pain! I also figured I better warn you, in case you decide to tackle it yourself.  Really though, it was interesting, not as gross as it looks, kinda cool.  It didn't even stink! Some of the microscope experiments were awful! The dissections were odor-free.  In fact, we did this pig as an extra assignment. It wasn't included in the Apologia  Biology I course. We just wanted to try it. 

You can order dissection specimens and other supplies for Apologia here: 

I was going to cook bacon this morning...but I've decided to wait another day or two. I don't have the stomach for it anymore......


  1. The coop class sounds effective! I remember heads up 7 up. Haven't thought about that in years! Yes, bacon suddenly doesn't sound so good and I love bacon! :)

  2. I actually made bacon the next day, lol.