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« The Boys Project | Main | Product vs. Process Learning »

March 24, 2008

Comments

Angela, MotherCrone

When my children were younger, I really felt this way about co-ops. But as they reached their teen years, I found there were numerous benefits of participating in co-ops. I was very selective in finding one that meets our academics and personal needs, and enroll in only classes that have benefit.

My kids thrive with the theater group of homeschooled peers, as well as enjoy gym class (that isn't a structured focused sport!) . I find it important for them to learn subjects I falter at from people who truly love them (ie. Latin, art, and algebra). While I could manage to teach all those things, I would not be able to do it as well, and the time it takes from lesson prep in other subjects is significant. The benefits also lead into future planning...for if they are planning to go to college, it is beneficial for kids to experience another teaching style, be accountable for deadlines and manage tasks, and to focus in a classroom of peers.
Better still, I found that I love teaching and sharing subjects that I love with other homeschooled kids...writing, nature study, literature, etc. It has been a win-win!

Lydia

I love the fact that you have animals and that the kids get to participate in that and see that all unfold -- it's so valuable for them in so many ways.

I'm interested to know -- how much of this decision do you allow the children to share? At what age do you think they develop the discernment to know what's too much? I find that mine are actually pretty good at saying "We just want to play" which can be interpreted as -- they need the unstructured time.

I think you identify a very central dilemma for all of us when you talk about balancing your own needs and desires in the equation -- THAT is hard. You're the mom but you're also a person in the family.

Tina Essert

Angela,
I really didn't intend for my comments about co-ops to come off as negative. We love our co-ops! We just can get too wrapped up in activities sometimes. I agree with what you're saying about the blessing of co-ops that offer great things that we might not be so good at--one reason I insist my 16yo do co-op Chemistry.
Thanks for the comment.

Tina Essert

Lydia,
You know your kids better than anyone. You know how much input they should have. I find it very simple to reason with Travis/16, about how much we can spend and where he would prefer to spend his share. Martina I have to direct because her favorite thing is always riding lessons but after that it changes constantly. I just have to be that grown up and make decisions there.
THanks for the comment!
Tina

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