From Singleton to Many, Lessons Learned

As you, my lovely readers know, I am a mother (and teacher) of one.   I wouldn't treade it for the world, but sometimes it would be lovely to have a group you know?  Like when you are using a curriculum that calls for a group of students, or when you just need an extra hand or ...  (sometimes the solution is to use the cat as an extra body).  But sometimes... more than one child would be great.  It teaches things like taking turns, spurs on creative thinking, gives you another person to bounce ideas off on and so forth.

Since I can't change my son's lot in life (or mine), my solution has been to engage in my homeschool co-op classes that are held spring and fall.


I have to admit that it has been a work in progress.

My first co-op class I thought I would teach something that my lad was interested in.
I made two assumptions
1. my lad would transition well to me teaching a group (not just him)
2. similar aged children would learn the same

Let's just say that first class was a mix a lot of FUN and a lot of FRUSTRATION, and a decision to not have my son in a class I was teaching until he was old enough to understand the difference between how we teach at home ... scattered and experiential and class..more organized, with everyone being noticed. and given a chance to participate.

Lesson ONE: Teaching one child is COMPLETELY different than teaching a bunch of children, even if they are approximately the same age. 


Over the years, adjustments were made on both our parts and he is able to join in my class WHEN he wants to.  Sometimes he does, other times.. not so much, depends on what is available and what I am teaching. 


Lesson Two: Politeness matters. I helped in one class where I was asked to please bring in some bunnies to be models for their photography lessons.   It was an older class where it was VERY apparent which students wanted to be there and which ones did not (and were pleased to let us know this as well).   This aspect of teaching the many I don't like and made a point of teaching my lad that even if you don't like the class, you be polite to the person teaching as they are putting the effort into helping you learn something. Along with Lesson Three: That you can get something out of a class that you don't want to be in if you adjust your attitude.   Learning something you aren't interested in, just might be what you need to learn, to spark an interest, to spur on new thoughts, you never EVER know where learning new information might take you.


Lesson Four: Some classes are just challenging.   Teaching archaeology to a bunch of talkative 6-8 year olds is challenging... I had planned worksheets and question answer times and it was just beyond these children, so one adapts and makes it very hands on with reinforcing the learning as one goes.

Lesson Five: Some classes are just plain fun!   Seriously.  :)   Using regular tempera paint as finger paint and learning to do circles and shading, and experimenting with all the different ways you can use your hands and objects to do art.  :)   This art class was great, teaching youth about different artists and art forms and giving them a challenge to recreate it in their own way.

As I sit here typing I realize something... teaching the many has taught ME as much as teaching my singleton.  How children are different, how adjustments need to be made,and  how it's just as hard to teach many as it can be teach one.  

But boy oh boy...sometimes it's just a hoot!   :)

Many Ways to Homeschool Many

8 comments

  1. This is our first year not involved in a co-op and there are many aspects that we miss! I like your "lessons learned."

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    1. thank you Sheila. :) the lad wanted to do co-op badly as we never know if it will be our last chance.

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  2. I've learned some of the same lessons teaching co-op classes too. Things like - a lot of homeschooled kids really DO need to learn to raise their hand in class! LOL And how to adjust my teaching style for a group. It was so much fun the years I did it, that I'm excited (and nervous, to be honest!) about going back to co-op teaching this fall, when I'll take on a high school writing class. o.O

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    1. I know.. it's so different teaching a group isn't it? ooh.. high school.. have fun with that eh? :)

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  3. Good thoughts and ideas. I really like the point you made that something can be learned even when you don't like the class. Something we all need to learn. - Lori

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    1. Thank you. Your comment precipitation a conversation twixt the fellows and I...and how that sort of behaviour shouldn't be tolerated (the don't want to be here stuff). Politeness is easy enough to manage eh?

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  4. You have some really great ideas and thought. It is much harder to teach a group then it is just one. You are absolutely right we can learn something even when we don't like the subject we are learning about. Sometimes it's just a matter of thinking outside the box. I loved seeing the different things you did in the pictures. I so wish we could get enough people for a co-op here.

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    1. Ah, it's too bad you can't get a co-op going. And thank you for your encouraging thoughts.

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Hi! thanks for stopping by. I love comments, it's good to talk with each other eh?