Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our first day of co-op...

Not a picture was taken today for me to share with you.  I wanted to.  I really did.  In order to take a picture of your children, you have to actually see your children and I saw very little of them today.  They were too busy learning, moving from room to room, floating in their new groups of friends, lunching outside, playing in the grass and enjoying their newfound independence. 
It was our very first day of co-op.  When my girls came out of school, co-op was top on their list of things they wanted to do at home.  Fortunately, one of our friends began a co-op years ago.  It is established, organized, offers a-mazing classes, and is filled with some pretty a-mazing families.
For my family who may be reading and may or may not know what co-op is, a co-op is a cooperative formed of families who are willing to pool their talents in order to offer our children unique learning opportunities.  For example, one mother is a film producer.  She offers a class in film critique.  A coach of elite gymasts offers a class in gymnastics.  There are classes in theater, yoga, beading, journalism, herb remedies, baking, sculpture, spanish, finance, french, biology, astronomy and more.  Some classes require the hiring of outside teachers.  Lilah is taking cartooning from an expert in this art genre.   The children sign up for four classes they want, based on prerequisites or age limits.  Each class is 55 minutes, with an hour for lunch/play.  The parents are required to submit two courses descriptions per semester.  Since I was late in registering the girls, my contribution this semester is as a teacher’s assistant to the physics teacher and I have lunch duty! Part of me feels inadequate next to these women.  I am not sure what class proposals I will submit for the spring semester......our goal is to offer classes the children will want to take, rather than what we would like to see them learn. Thankfully, I have plenty of time to figure it out.  

So what did my children learn today?
“We talked about what you like taking pictures of, and we learned about the kid’s cameras.  We are going to set up a kodak account where we can upload our pictures and comment on each other’s photos!” (Digital Photography)
“I learned how to do a feather line.  My teacher even had Life of Fred! I miss Life of Fred.  I might pull that book out again.” (Geometric Constructions)
“Oh...physics!  So much fun.  It was with two of my best friends, in a team for the rest of the semester!” (Rube Goldberg Physics)
“It is really cool because we are going to make our own newspaper.  I am going to submit a haiku, a cartoon, a movie review, a book review and a word search.” (Journalism/Newspaper)
“Switching classes was easy.  All you do is look on the chart and find your class.”
What was I doing while they were taking classes?  I was knitting, drinking organic coffee with organic half and half, making new friends, connecting with old friends and surrounding myself with women that inspire me, comfort me and make me appreciate every minute of this amazing journey.  
I think that would qualify as a great day.  

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