Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something New

Something new. Something new. (Something borrowed, something blue.) You know, maybe I shouldn't try to do my writing at the end of the day.

The biggest new thing we're doing this year is that we have joined a co-op. We've never participated in one of those before. Mostly because our schedule always seemed so full, the thought of adding something to it had no appeal. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Ok, it might have appealed to the Sweetling, but it didn't appeal to the Mommy. As far as the Mommy was concerned a co-op meant extra fees, extra driving, extra commitments...since the parents have to sign up for something...extra work, and a whole day away from our chosen curriculum. So, pretty much, a lose-lose situation.

BUT, this year, we've joined a co-op that's made up of families all using the same curriculum we are using. So now, instead of the co-op being a burden, its a huge help. Instead of losing time away from school, we're gaining time...since some subjects will be almost completely covered during co-op.

Today (Thursday) was our co-op "kick-off" party. We walked into the cafeteria, and though both children had been waiting and waiting for co-op, both children became shy and nervous. Toa of Boy *clung* to me, absolutely petrified. In response to his repeated questions, I had reassured him over and over again as we walked from the van to the building that I was not leaving him, that I would be with him the whole time. Yet still he clung to me tighter than a velcro monkey. I don't think he's done that since our first month home from Guatemala. He refused to look at anyone or anything, but just buried his face in my shoulder. It struck me then, he would never, ever have been ready to go to a traditional school this year. As well adjusted, confident, and out-going as he normally is, he obviously still has anxiety separation. Forcing him to go to kindergarten on his own away from home might have only intensified his fears.

After the Pledge and songs and prayer together, we divided into groups by grade to go to our classrooms. Sweetling headed off with the fifth graders and I went with Toa of Boy and the kindgergarteners. In kindergarten, we sat at a table together and colored with our brand new school supplies. Toa of Boy shared his crayons. (Toa of Boy got over his fears as soon as he met the cute little blond girl in his class.) We teachers chatted a little with the kids, trying to gently draw them out and get them comfortable. It was a nice half an hour.

In the meantime, Sweetling's class put away their supplies and played Hangman on the chalkboard. Sweetling went first in the game. Her word was "duplicate." No one guessed it. The next girl chose "enchilada" as her word. The class guessed that. Then a boy went up and chose "maniac" as his word. That eventually stumped the class. As the game was progressing, the boy decided to draw a maniac hanging from the hangman's giblet. At one point he put huge ears on his stick figure. Sweetling asked, "Are those mouse ears?" Another girl chimed in, "Who is he? Dr. Two-Brains?" I'm so glad Sweetling is in a like-minded group of children. She's going to have a great year. (For those of you who don't know, Dr Two-Brains is one of the villains on Word Girl, Sweetlings favorite show.)

One of the mom's organized some carnival type games with prizes, and we all went outside. I worked on of the tables, and Sweetling and Toa of Boy stayed together to play the games. Then we all went inside for pizza. Yum :)

I have pictures, but they are still on the camera. I'll ask the Jedi to grab those for me tonight. Then I'll edit my post to put the pics up.


A family of boys said...

What a great experience! I would love to find a coop near us that would use the same curriculum we do, but apparently I'm odd. As if, homeschooling wasn't odd enough, right?

Kaber said...

that's great! everyoneusing the same thing. we tried a co-op once and it was just like you said- a burden, it had math and science and writing and I already taught all that-DIFFERENTLY- so it messed with our schedule. We are in a support group this year and they have a few 'elective' co-ops. like 'ELECTIONS CLASS' my boys will be taking next month. and I will be teaching a Sign Language Class
HAVE FUN with your co-op.

Kerri said...

My kiddos love Word Girl too! I was rolling my eyes for a while, but they have learned quite a bit from that show. And now they are looking up new words in the dictionary all the time!

Glad you are having fun in co-op!

Impossible Mom said...

sounds like co-op will bea great time! Awesome!

Trouble keeps sitting with all girls in his regular K class lol!

SuzyScribbles said...

Oh, I do like it when you post on Memoirs. I like the lilt of your writing "voice" (gee, that sounds cool, doesn't it?).

I went to co-op today, but it was fun because I didn't have to bring any children with me!!! And I got paid (a lot if you go by bodies) to teach my writing workshop. It's 12 weeks and I've got 2 great groups of writing kids. Next week we dig into the lessons. Today was intro day. I walked around the church gym afterwards, trying to find the facilities director so I can get an overhead (no deal, sadly, so I must bring ELMO, our personal overhead. He's pretty old and has gone through a bulb transplant at middle-age, but seems fine now). I saw all those parents and kids and lunch and toddlers and thought, "Wow! I get to go home now!"

We didn't have co-ops when I was homeschooling except for the small ones I ran myself (I must be a control freak). They were at my house. (REally a control freak!)LOL

I even did a 2-day a week one at our church, invitational only (I guess I'm an exclusive control freak). I invited the moms and kids I hung around with and with whom my kids got along with. Another teacher/mom joined me and we had a wonderful year!

forgive rambling....

Knights & Fair Maiden Academy said...

sounds like fun!!!

Victoria said...

We just began a co-op this year - are absolutely thrilled! Hope we all still feel the same way come February!:)