About rugrats, minivans, The South, photography, farmer's markets, puberty, Army, snotty noses, blankies, movies, hugs, autism, make believe, homeschooling, sibling rivalry, car seats, weather, in-laws, scribbles, marriage, and somewhere in there, a stoned British reporter.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Co-op Wonderland

Over the past year, Lindsay has randomly been working her way through the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. I say random, because she tends to read two or three books at a time, and I have a hard time keeping up with which books she is currently on. (e.g.-this week, she read through "Anne of Green Gables", she's most of the way through "A Cricket in Times Square", and she's also two thirds of the way through the fifth Harry Potter book.) My little bookworm's appetite has not waned one bit, but instead, has grown in epic proportions.

I LOVE that she loves reading this much, and that she loves the same books I read as a kid. However, over the past year, her love for the Ramona series lead to an unforeseen consequence; she desperately wanted to go to public school.

Ramona makes school seem so fun! There are buses to ride! Lunches to eat! Recess! Lindsay had created this idyllic picture of public school from a mixture of the books, and her vague memories of pre-k. Even her older brother tried to talk her out of it, since he has much more experience in public school and knows how it really is. He tried to explain it to her, but she wanted none of it.

Now, I have always promised that while I love homeschooling, and believe it's what is best for our family, that I would never force any of my kids to stay home. However, with our family's current situation, public schooling would be very difficult to work in. I spent all summer talking with Lindsay and trying to figure out what would be best for everyone. I know my child, and I knew what she was expecting from public school, and I also knew how hard it would be for all of us to not be able to visit the hubby once a month any more.

Then, I did some research and found a local homeschooling co-op. I sat down with Lindsay to explain it, and see if that would be an acceptable compromise for this year. She agreed, and we started last month. It has been great for the whole family, actually. Once a week, the kids get to wear backpacks, play on a playground, bring a lunchbox, have classes. Basically, everything Lindsay felt like she was missing out on. (With the exception of riding a school bus.) It's been fun for me, too. I get to interact with adults and I get some experience teaching kids that aren't mine. (I'm the aide for both the middle school and high school Anatomy and Physiology classes.) It's a very big and organized co-op. The class offerings were kind of amazing. One of Ryan's classes is Latin, and Lindsay is taking a creative writing class.

It's great to be able to give Lindsay something she felt she was missing out on as a homeschooled kid, but to do it in an environment that fosters the ideals I have when it comes to schooling. All the teachers are homeschooling parents, and we work together. Last week, after co-op was over Lindsay said that she really liked it, and thinks it's better than public school. So for now, this works. We're still going to take things one year at a time, but I'm glad for now we've found what seems to be the perfect fit for our weird little family.


Jim said...

Meanwhile, with the twins switching to public school, they DO ride the school bus, and that has made our lives so, so much easier. It's all relative. It has also been much better for them, psychologically and academically. Win all the way around!

Meghann said...

I'm glad things are going so much better for them!

Riding the bus would be easy for Lindsay, as the stop is right across the street, but with all of Logan's therapies, and back and forth to Virginia, public schooling would just really complicate things for us. Lindsay really likes what we're doing now, and feels her needs are being met, so, score!

monstergirlee said...

Good going Meghann- I love that you found an option that works for everyone, including you. How neat!

btw - I like the new design! My eyes were always kind of wonky after reading the white on black, even tho it looks so cool.