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.
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! :)