On Monday, we went to orientation for our new home-school co-op. It was:

Exciting
Scary
A relief
Overwhelming
Refreshing
Exhausting

As I mentioned earlier, we are trying something completely different this year. We are doing the academic program at a home school co-op, which is designed to combine the idea of private school with home school.

For the most part, I loved all of the teachers in my kids’ classes. They seemed energetic, full of ideas and excited about the year. They all talked about their ideas to bring the subject matter in their classrooms to life through games, discussion, projects and activities.

I am a big list follower, so my idea of a successful school year is to complete every page in all of our workbooks. 🙂 I am excited for my kids to get to experience a different approach with teachers who take the subject matter seriously, but also want to add an element of fun.

I also realized how much I enjoy being part of something that is bigger than myself. All of the families gathered in the auditorium where nearly every seat was taken. It made me feel good to be surrounded by so many other like-minded families and all of that noise and chatter.

The kids all seem to have a good mix of boys and girls in their classes, and the class sizes seemed great, as well. Most of them look like they will be between 10 to 15 kids per class, which I think is perfect.

All of the teachers went through their syllabi for the year and our assignments for the first week. I was overwhelmed by how I will keep track of everything, but at the same time totally relieved to have someone else planning out our workload for the year!

From listening to conversations and talking to other families, it seemed like a lot of families had entered this environment from a private school. It made me wonder if I’m part of a new “breed” of home schooling families. It seemed like a lot of people there still wanted the structure and classroom atmosphere of private school, but some of the flexibility of home school. The program is costly, but for those who have done the private school thing before, it seems doable.

Of course, not everything was perfect. But we are ready to get rolling for the year! The first day is Monday, and I’m starting to plan how I will spend those six hours while the three big kids are out of the house. Don’t worry. I think I’ll find a way to fill my time.

aug2011emily

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