Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

The Whole Family at Co-op

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Yesterday was an interesting day. For the first time the whole family got to go to co-op. By that I really mean everyone. Oz even jumped on board. He wanted to see what exactly we were paying for and why it was so important to me.

Poor Luca decided co-op is no longer fun. He cried when he went to class and every time he saw me he started crying all over again. It was horrible. He seems to think co-op is the worst thing ever. Of course, after four days in a car and crying for over an hour at nap time last week, I can see why he would be unhappy about it. He’ll get used to it in time.

Sander, on the other hand, had a blast.  He loves his art class, science class, and circle time. He was so exhausted that he fell asleep with Minket during the movie hour at the end of the day. He must have played hard!

For the first week of class, Beekee didn’t do too bad. He made an edible map of Africa. Then he had writing with me. He’s obviously way behind on his writing skills. One kid in his class writes in cursive. The other writes better than Corde. He’s doing pretty well if I have him copy what I write, but he’s not really good at paying attention. The comprehension issues are really starting to become a challenge and we just started. Of course, comprehension isn’t so much the issue as listening. I read and he tunes out. He doesn’t like to listen to people read. In science he caught up on his racer and got to do the experiment with the rest of his class. He went from science to lunch, then came back to Latin, which he said was awesome. After that he seemed to be having a good time in art. (Check out Fiber Arts for Kids for info on what Cords and Beekee are doing in art!) Math and memory was such an inspiring class that Beekeepers remembers nothing about it.

It was Corde that was unhappy about the co-op from the start. She thought the classes would be hard and boring. She was surprised at how much she enjoyed it. In art she carded wool. Her writing class got mixed up and she went to the wrong room, but she got it all figured out. She made an edible map of Africa too. She seems to like her history class. After lunch she had Latin, where she learned the days of the week. She also learned what carpet diem meant, though we’d already talked about it in the car on the trip home. I always thought of her as being one of those kids that likes to participate, bit it seems she’s more the kind that likes to sit back and chat with her friends. I’m not sure how much she’ll get out of co-op time. At least I know we’ll get some learning in between classes. After that she went to science. She’s almost caught up on her racer, and by next week she’ll be right on track. I think that’s possibly her favorite class. She complained about math and memory because they’re doing times tables and she’s not good at that.

Next week we go back to literature. I need to find a copy of the lit book we’re using. I think the lit teacher for my class might swap with me to teach math and memory. I’m not so good with the math and don’t know where to start. I’m decent with higher level math. Give me equations to solve and I’m great, but don’t quiz me on my times tables, or even on simple addition and subtraction! However, explaining literary concepts isn’t hard for me at all. I love talking about all of that.

Something else I didn’t realize we would be doing is character cards. Each month a new character trait is introduced. The kids all memorize theocrats and the “I will” statements. Once they memorize it, they recite it. After that they earn a card to put in their math and memory notebook. I think that’s kind of neat. It’s a good reminder of ways to build a strong, positive character.

Finally, I have to start working with the kids on memorizing their poems. They aren’t due for another three weeks, but it may take three weeks to get them memorized. Neither of the big kids have good memories, at least from their own admission. Corde can’t recall something we read about in history five minutes before, but she can recall random facts from six months ago like she just learned them that day. I just want to be sure the kids succeed. It would really stink if they started getting down on themselves because their first real brush with a more traditional homeschool curriculum leaves them far behind. These families are no slackers either. They clearly push reading, writing, and math. My kids have a very different background.

Anyhow, we do have one thing going to our advantage. The history book has a few chapters as a free download, so the kids won’t be too far behind. The whole book is $25, but the Kindle edition is only $10. The Latin book isn’t the cheapest, but we only need one for Corde. I can probably get the writing book for Corde later. I can borrow the books for Beekee’s class. That certainly helps until I can get my own. Three books, one being so much less expensive on Kindle, won’t be too bad. We’ll be back in the swing of things in no time! I really can’t wait!

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

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