Thursday, March 6, 2014

Academic Co-op

I have so much to write about because I haven't been blogging for a year and it is hard to know where to start.  The most profound change in our homeschooling life has been our attendance at an academic homeschooling co-op (Phoenix).   This co-op is a collaborative of like minded families who desire tutor/teachers to teach their children particular subjects as part of a homeschooling lifestyle.  The co-op is designed to run for 60 days (2 days/week) during the school year, from 8am-5pm.  There are three levels (primary, prep, honors) and children slot in where they have the best academic fit.
Our co-op at St Marguerite's
We decided to choose an academic co-op because Claire was tired of spending so much time on the computer taking courses.  She wanted to take advanced courses but felt she needed the stimulation and motivation from other students and good feedback from her teachers.  She wanted to take part in group activities and have more social opportunities.

She still wanted time however to write her book and keep Lucky Tails running smoothly.

Tristan wasn't quite as enthusiastic about joining the co-op.  He would rather stay home and play Minecraft!! however he has seen the benefit of participating and feels his skills have improved a lot, especially his writing and his ability to work independently.

In the honors program Claire does AP Biology, Biology labs, World Literature, World History, Algebra 1 and dance.  (She also does Adobe Photoshop at the Potter School online, French and a ton of theatre arts classes.)

In prep Tristan studies Modern Literature, Modern History, Architecture, Science Club, Critical Thinking, Language Arts and private Math tutoring. (At home he does Science, French, Destination Imagination, Theatre Arts and dance)

The co-op also provides opportunities such as Model Congress, Model UN, 4-H clubs, many fun nights and parties, school trips and a prom.

Now heading into spring I have to say that this co-op has been a good match for our family.  Claire has found the work challenging, yet invigorating at times...a little dry at other times.  But on the whole she feels that the co-op is preparing her well for college and feels confident that she is on a good track for her.  Tristan said that he would give me another year... lol.   He is not 100% in.  So I am enjoying fun activities with him on days he is not at Phoenix.  I like the idea of a hybrid homeschool model: academic/project based homeschool.

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