Over the years our local group of home educators has increased. This year we have 10 families and 35 kids.
We have been meeting as a group of Home Educators for a couple of years now. We use the term Home Educators as the group is a mixture of homeschoolers and families who work with School of the Air. We meet once a term with the idea of support for mums rather than activities for the kids – they get to play and look after each other. It has been a fantastic time of sharing and support. This year, with our group has nearly doubled and we thought it would be good to start a Co-op day once a month with the idea of activities for the kids.
We are going to keep the Support Meeting once a term (during holidays) but meet once a month as a Co-op. We are going to do a Character trait session, Oral session, Morning Tea, Activity and then free play/social time (for all including mums). We are planning to use some local human resources in our activities such as an artist, maths teacher, science teacher, visiting musicians and entertainers, TV crew, bird watchers and so on. We aim to cover 7 of the 8 learning areas over the year (everything except LOTE)
We are first and foremost a group of mums and that is the atmosphere of our group. We aim to be a support rather than a programme. This means that if one mum, who may even have a responsibility / task to perform, if she is called away by a grumpy kids, a dirty nappy or just plain too stressed, then she has the freedom to do what shes gotta do, and someone else will step in for her. This is what we do as mums towards other mums outside of the homeschooling setting; this is who we are full stop Mums.
So we have now had our first Co-op meeting. We had it in our home 45 kids and 11 adults! It was a full on day but a total success.
We started off with Cautiousness in our Character session we memorised a poem with hand actions, listened to a story where cautiousness was shown by the main character, and we watched a play performed by some of the children.
We then had our Oral Presentation session where we divided up into loose age groups and each child shared something. These presentations ranged from Show n Tell to book reports, to poem readings, to telling stories, to reports on something of interest.
We took a break for morning tea which the kids had outside and mums had inside!
Then it was our activity time, which focused on the Physical Education learning area. One of the mums had planned a lot of co-operative learning and getting to know you type games. After these games the kids were very very hot so we ended the morning under the hose with a black plastic slide and lots of detergent!
We all look forward to next month where we will follow a similar sequence of events though we will be looking at Boldness and doing either Art or Math. The plans are still in the making!