A Little Cooperation, Please?

We haven’t done a lot out of the house in our homeschooling up to now. We did Daisy Girl Scouts when they were first graders.  Quite a good deal of ballet.  Some gymnastics.  Church activities.  Baseball.  One year, we were working on the same curriculum as another family and we got together once a week to share the hands-on activities.

There are those families who have activities almost everyday..  Seems to me, that if you are home schooling, that implies being at home and schooling your kids. Quite frankly, I don’t know how families do it. In our state, you have to record 180 , 4 hour, school days AT HOME.

This year, we have joined two co-ops.  Since this isn’t a homeschool blog (I couldn’t dare), Educational Co-operatives are organizations that offer classes in subjects that are difficult to teach individually or that the parent will lose her will to live if she has to feels unwilling or unable to teach.

One is on Mondays, the Divas take Theatre and Speech, and there are classes for Small Fry.  The organization is in its second year, and has tripled enrollment since last year.  We have met a whole lot of new people. There are enough familiar faces to keep it from being too intimidating. Tuitions are low, and the volunteer burden is high and rising weekly.

The second, meets Fridays, and is strictly high school.  It is a serious, structure oriented group.  The organization is more than 10 years old. There are a lot of familiar faces and it is still intimidating.  The Divas take Geography and Composition.  I babysit during co-op hours in exchange for tuition for those classes.  Tuition is high and the volunteer burden is highly structured, once per semester.

The Divas are learning, maturing, and having an utter blast.  Yes, they get too big for their britches from time to time, but that is per developmental schedule.  Small Fry gets to goof off with the other little dudes in his classes and wrap teachers around his little finger.  He needs the time and so do I.

I am.  Wiped.  Out.

I visited with a friend who is also doing co-ops for the first time, and her son is in a class with the Divas at both co-ops.  We agreed, that there are two fundamental hurdles right now:

1. Adapting to having only three days a week.  By the time we get home on Monday, the day is shot.  That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to teach the other subjects and prepare for Friday.  By the time we finish on Friday, I need a stiff drink to be away from people for a little while to take a nap.  My friend works all day on Friday.

2. There is a difference of opinion between us and our children regarding participation in subjects that are non- co-op classes. Algebra and Science will get done.  Health, give me a break.  Just finish it.  Literature?  Diva.  Please.

This is a major adjustment of time, energy, money and how we do life(I’ve let myself go, and can’t invite people over cause the house is an embarrassment.)  It is a good adjustment and exactly time for it to take place.

 About two weeks into the second co-op, it dawned on me that this is really the only way to fly.  Someone else does the scheduling and the grading, I get to do the teaching.  That is all I wanted to do anyway.  I’ll get some Red Bull. We’ll adjust to the new weekly schedule.  I’ll stop sleeping. We’ll have time to accomplish the other things we need to do.  It is worth it to all of us.

Stay tuned for the “Socialization” post… Bwa ha ha ha ha.


  1. I don't think I would ever be able to homeschool.

  2. I am still traumatized by our co-op that we were in years ago. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of pros to do it but it kicked my can. Not to mention it was the Mary Poppins of homeschooling – practical perfect in every way. I didn't measure up in any way, shape, or form. We seem to have to be hermits to get all the work done or try to balance and still fall behind.

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