Wednesday, April 21, 2010

End of the Co-op Year

Yesterday was our last co-op of the year. This is where I need to insert lots of sad faces. Co-op is one of those things that keeps us going through the year. It is different from our normal, we get to hang out with our friends, we get to learn things we normally wouldn't.

This year was different in a lot of ways. We added a new member. We lost two established members. We stepped outside our comfort zones and have decided to do some new things for next year. The great thing is-we get to start again in September. Here's the wrap up.

The year started without one of our members. My friend N decided, after much prayer, that is was time to send her daughter to school. So we started without her, heavy hearted and missing mom and daughter. She had presented composers the year before, making each of us a CD with a sample of the composer's music. My kids still ask to listen to them. That was something I had never shared with my kids, and they soaked it up like sponges. So N, if you feel the need to make more CDs, call me! That's a hint by the way.

We added our friend C. C and her husband had adopted a daughter from Ethiopia. She had decided, after much prayer, that homeschooling was the best route for them to begin with. What a blessing to all of us they have been. She was nervous about presenting. I don't blame her. I'm nervous every time. I don't know why, but there it is. She started out the year presenting oceans. That was fantastic. We learned so much about oceans and the wonderful creatures that live in them. We even learned that there is a new ocean! What?! She ended the year with states and we did a great Florida lap book that was really cool. And she made it up all by herself. Way to go, C!

My friend B started the year out with states. B is the one that always raised the bar for us. Good grief, that woman is talented! She had the best PowerPoint presentations, the best crafts, and snacks like no body's business. We learned tons with her. I learned about states that I had never visited or really thought much about. She opened our eyes to what this great country has to offer. B decided after Christmas that it was time for a break. There were issues between her son and the baby and it was best for them. I understand, but still miss her. That's how C ended with states.

We learned about the kings and queens of England through my friend D. I had never given much thought to them before to tell you the truth. It had always seemed so convoluted. Not anymore. It is convoluted, but at least I understand the intertwined history of them better. The kids reenacted battles, we made a set of battle gear over the course of the year with shields and swords, all Styrofoam. We made Guy Fawkes dolls and learned about how England still celebrates Guy Fawkes day. They played dress up as kings and queens. It was so much fun.

And M. She has been our leader for the past two years. She is the one that wrangled this group together and put the schedule together and so many other things. She presented countries of the world. That was fun, too. As a Navy brat, she traveled as a child and got to see many great places. She shared her travels with us and taught us about different places at the same time. She made a passport for each child. The kids would glue a picture of the country's flag and a picture of a the country's most famous landscape or architecture into the passport. So many countries, so little time.

I presented inventors and we did a big three folder lap book. That was quite the chore, but they came out beautifully. I had never really studied about inventors or their backgrounds. As a matter of fact, I took alot of things we have for granted. But talking about how they worked for years to perfect something you learn about tenacity and self esteem and confidence. And we learned about some pretty cool inventions.

Next year, we will learn about Ancient Rome, states, discoverers and explorers, and the ancient wonders of the world. At least for now. We may all change our topics by then. You never know with us. I just know that I am looking forward to a little break over the summer, a little down time. Then we travel all next year through our country, through other countries, and through time. What a cool trip that will be.

Have a great day!


StephieK said...

Sounds wonderful! You have been very blessed to have such a wonderful group of ladies to join you on this adventure. What are your plans for next year? I love hearing what people are planning.

Cristy said...

You can go to to see our curriculum for next year. We are going to try to add more field trips and hubby wants to add a hunter's safety course. You go on with that, Hubby. We'll see how it goes. I liek to see what other people are doing, too, to help spice up our school life. That could always use some spice.