Our family is about to complete our thirteenth year of homeschooling. I think that’s right… I’m honestly not quite sure. We had a lot of life happening in those first few years and I’m not fully sure when we actually, officially, really started homeschooling. We moved to Western North Carolina when my oldest was six (he’s 17 now). I found out about a local homeschool association and went to a parent meeting. I was so nervous. Even as adults, it can be so nerve wracking to walk into a room where you know no one. I quickly realized, however, these were my people. I sat and learned about all the things our county had to offer homeschooling families. It was very eye opening! I signed up to join the group and got involved… well… as involved as you can get when you are pregnant and have three little children at home. It ook a couple of years for us to fully get in involved.
One of our favorite aspects of the group was the enrichment classes. The way our group was set up was to have eight weeks of enrichment classes in the fall and eight weeks in the spring. These were parent led and and assisted. Parents were invited to take charge and bring their talents to the table. You got a deep discount when you chose to teach or assist. Classes were offered from preschool- 12th grade. They even had a tot time/ baby room so moms could know their littles were cared for while they were teaching.
Over the years, I taught various ages and subjects and had so much fun. My kids had a blast too and looked forward each week to our Friday classes.
We have been involved in other co ops as well. When my older two were 7 and 5, we were part of a co op with three other families that met weekly and went through My Father’s World, Exploring Countries and Cultures together. We all did the core work at home and then got to together to do the crafts, cooking, and science.
Currently, I am a co-director of a year long program that serves 4th-12th grade. This serves more like a hyrbid situation. Students come to class once a week for the bulk of their instruction and then commit to doing work at home on the other days.
We just got finished planning our year for next year and opened our registration. I have co op on the brain right now and wanted to share a list of classes I’ve either taught or considered teaching, my kids have enjoyed, or my friends have taught. I hope this can be helpful to you as you seek to teach in your homeschool community.
My main resouce for finding materials for teaching has always been Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Music and Movement- Explore Instruments and different styles of music
- Art Like the Greats- Learn different Artist and Create Art in their style
- Story Time Show and Tell- Have a different story each week and invite kids to bring an object that goes with the story
- Community Helpers
- Life on the Farm
- Transportation/ Things that Go
- Dr. Seuss
- Animals of _____________ (fill in your state)
- What’s In the Bible
- Magic Schoolbus – Watch the Video and then talk about the Science/ Do experiments
- Little Green Thumb Gardeners
- Play Doh Fun
- Let’s Make a Mess Art Class
- All About the Alphabet
- Nature Science
- Nursery Rhyme Fun
- All About Me- Learn about the Human Body
- Tiny Tumblers- Gymnastics
- Lego Challenge
- Stem Challenge
- Hot Wheels Speedometry
- American History with American Girl
- Star Wars Science
- Beginning Writing Poetry
- A Book study
- Go out west with Laura Ingalls
- Colonial America
- Tae Kwon Do
- Famous Artists
- Famous Composers
- Christian Heroes- Use the Christian Hero Then and Now Books from YWAM
- The Science of Roller Coasters
- Animal Habitats with Wild Kratts
- Nature Journaling/ Science
- World Cultures
- Lego Challenge- Create a New Challenge each week- learn about landmarks, architecture, STEM, etc.
- STEM Challenge
- Flat Stanley
- Finger Knitting
- Face Painting
- Intro to ____________________ (musical instrument)
- Marine Science
- Snap Circuits
Middle School/ High School
- Intro to Graphic Design
- Cake Decorating
- Survival Skills
- Writing a Resume/ Interview Skills
- Botany/ Horticulture
- Wood printing
- Jewelry Making
- Math Help
- Creative Writing
- Auto Repair
- Life Skills- This was one of my favorites! We did sewing, budgeting, conversation skills, survival skills like building a stretcher and starting a fire, car maintenance and more.
- Intro to Blogging
- Reader’s Theater
- Escape Room- I made this one up for middle school. Each week, we had a different theme and set of puzzles that had to be solved within the time limit of the class.
- Food Around the World
- Intro to Film Making
- Brain Games- My friend teaches this one. She is a game wizard and brings games each week that reinforce critical thinking and communication skills.
- Financial Literacy
- Historical Research
- Learn to Use Google Tools
- Civil Rights
- Sewing a T Shirt Quilt
- Intro to ____________________ (Foreign Language)
When I plan classes, I always look at what my kids need or enjoy. I ask their friends what classes they would want to learn. Some other things to consider when planning a co op class:
- Length of Class (45 minutes, an hour, etc.)
- Duration of Class (8 weeks, 16 weeks, 32 weeks, etc.)
- Focus of Class (academic, elective, etc.)
- Classroom Space- Do you have the ability to spread out, sit on the floor, go outside, etc.
We ALL have something to bring to the table. Maybe you aren’t super great at leading a class, but you are an amazing assistant. Or maybe you’d like to be a hall monitor! Maybe preschoolers aren’t your jam, but upper elementary is where you thrive! Maybe you aren’t a science person, but you love art! Where are your passions and interests?
I have to say… being involved in my childrens’ school whether at home or in a co op class is a blessing I don’t take lightly. I get to know them and see them as they figure out life. I get to watch them with their friends and get to know their friends. It is not lost on me what an amazing gift this is.
I hope this list has helped. Do you have more ideas??? Leave them in the comments below!