Most of our classes are geared for an hour of fun and learning. There are some subjects that simply cannot be taught in one hour's time. Not unless you are incredibly talented and patient, like one of our Dads who taught beginning guitar to a room full of middle and high school students. One of the things that is beautiful about a CO-OP is the fact that we each give of our talents and abilities. The father who taught this class usually offers lessons in his home for a higher fee than he charged for the students in our homeschool co-op. In fact, it really wasn't a fee if you ask me....$10 for the full ten weeks! He rearranged his work schedule to come in for an hour each Friday morning before going to work. It was hard work to get it all done in one hour, but after 10 weeks, they did a little performance that showed...it can be done!
Another class that seemed nearly impossible? Auto Shop. Yes, Auto Shop is taught in schools during one hour periods, but the class rooms are already set up and equipment is available. For us, another incredible Dad came in, taught our high school students the basics using a workbook approach, and then actually let the students work on his own car! Hands-on experience. They changed tires, changed oil, and even learned the how the engine runs! My teenage daughter can actually talk cars now with my husband. If our car makes a strange noise or has an issue, she suggests what it may be...and she hasn't been very far off with her suggestions since she took the class. Yes, my husband could have taught her himself, but there is something official about taking an outside class with a group of students that makes it more interesting and engaging. We had quite a few happy parents that semester... especially the fathers of girls!
Two moms taught another great class in the Spring of 2012. This one really couldn't be done in one hour, so we got creative with the scheduling and gave them two periods to teach 4th grade and up students how to SEW! I'm not a fan of sewing. I thought they were crazy. I tried and tried to discourage them (great co-op leader that I am) but they insisted they could do it, and the students could learn in 10 weeks. I walked through each week before and during class, singing their praises and shaking my head in disbelief at the projects they were about to attempt. What happened? Girls who knew NOTHING about sewing in the beginning walked away with a love AND ability to sew! And what did I get for all my nay-saying? Well, I walked off with this:
At the end of our 10 weeks, during our presentation time, they presented me with this beautiful quilt and matching pillow. They each wrote a special thanks or message on the yellow squares. Here's a close-up of some of them, you can see their fabulous work:
Not only did they make the quilt (without me seeing it), they each made several projects.
It took some effort to get to co-op early, set up for these special classes and stay longer to clean up, but wow...those classes were worth it!
Below is a list of the other classes we taught that semester, I really don't know how we did it with only 7 classrooms, one of them being a nursery and preschool area. What an awesome group of families!
Spring 2012 Classes:
Take Off With Flight: From birds to airplanes, learning about flight from the historical and scientific perspective with fun activities, biographies, and experiments.
Classroom Games and P.E.
Spanish: Alphabet, pronunciation, vocabulary, and fun!
History the Video Way: using Nest Videos with activities
P.E. and Classroom Games
Arts and Crafts
Artist Quest: * This is a class I taught, we learned about geography and artists with fun activities, not always involving art. I adapted this lesson plan to work in a co-op setting. We did more geography than art, learning about culture, food and time periods of each artist. You can do A LOT with this idea!
Florida Unit Study: This can be adapted to any state. History, crafts, worksheets and activities
Middle and High School
Claymation II: I'll post soon about this class.
If It Ain't Baroque, Don't Fix It: A study on the art, architecture and music of the Baroque Era.
LIFE'S Story: * Another class I taught, descriptive writing, short story elements, the class wrote a short story together.
If you have questions or would like more details about any of the above classes, leave a comment or message me at fourelevenrox at gmail dot com. I'll be glad to answer any questions. I hope our schedule has given you some homeschool co-op class ideas!