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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some homeschool co-op fun

Our home school science co-op is finished for this school year.We used Jeannie Fulbright's Exploring Creation with Astronomy book, which is an excellent science book, suitable for any age up to high school.

There were 4 families who gathered every other Friday, with 2 moms doing all the teaching, and I did the weekly vocabulary review, along with devotions each week.

We have such a good time getting together, and the children really retain so much of what we are doing in co-op class, that our home learning time is mostly review. I have to give the gals credit for the wonderful teaching job they did this year. Both moms decided to share each lesson, and even when we combined chapters, it seemed so much more peaceful and the lessons flowed so well with both ladies teaching during the class time.

In the past, we had always split up the lessons with each mom taking a chapter, and then she was pretty much in charge of the entire afternoon's activities. That could get pretty all-consuming, and intense for the planning, so we are really content with how things went this year, and look forward to continuing that way next fall when we do Anatomy.

Another thing we really enjoy with co-op is doing the Live N Learn Press folders for the book we are studying. They are lapbook type folders that we can do in class together, and they are all review of the things we have learned that day. We have found that the hands-on reinforcement of the teaching is a great encourager for memory-recall.

Our 2 hour sessions usually lasted 2 1/2 - 3 hours, and we incorporated a snack and sometimes an oral report at the end of each week's lesson time.

The hands-on experiments this year were simple, and very effective-they really demonstrated the truths of what we were studying, and what child doesn't like doing experiments? Exploding rockets, creating hurricanes, making clouds, causing an eclipse, and creating a crater were just some of the in-class experiments we did.

I have to say, of all the science books we have done so far, Astronomy completely wowed me with the awesomeness of God's creation. Our visit to the planetarium really showed the immensity of our universe, and our limited knowledge of what God has created. It also amazed me with our miniscule-ness, yet God knows us, sees us, hears our thoughts, and counts the hairs on our head. Pretty amazing, and what an awesome God we serve!!!

Our first day of co-op, everyone was getting into the schooling, even Isaac

The children created covers for the binders that would house all the papers they created and finished during our study of Astronomy

Our kitchen table was the class room for our science time, as we had to do it all together, and we need a lot of space to get our pages all done

our first day of class time-sorry for the blurriness-my 17 month old tends to jiggle the camera

Patti loves to teach, and she does an awesome job

Tyler is usually all smiles at co-op, he loves visiting with the other children-he is a very social child and it was his first year of participating in co-op time

Kathy did a great job helping teach-she has such a sweet, helpful spirit, and enjoys the hands-on activities

all lined up to see how a crater is made

such studious boys

learning about the earth revolving around the sun as the moon rotates around the earth

we had 4 extras our first co-op class, and thank goodness, there was a room for them to play in while we taught their older siblings

don't you just love the attentive looks on them?

demonstrating the magnetic force around the earth

showing the effects of the sun, moon, and earth when they are all lined up

Nick giving his oral report

Kendell gives her report on astronauts

Getting ready to create a volcano

yes-it worked!!

mom time helping fill in the folders-there are a lot of big words in Astronomy vocabulary

the vocabulary review board

such intensity-I am so glad they show so much interest and pay attention so well

I love that smile!!

there is a lot of writing for some of the folders, and we moms are kept busy helping our younger ones fill in all the info

helping makes for some great mommy time

little brothers have to get in on the act too

so this is how clouds are made

Nick put a spherical puzzle together-he loves puzzles, and 3-d was a new experience for him

probably the favorite hands-on of them all-MAKING ICE CREAM!!!

I had no idea it was really that simple to make ice cream-and the children LOVED it

Not sure how thisis going to work-but by the end, they were all smiles, and licking their lips with delight-it was sweet, cold, and worth the 6 minutes of coldness to get it made

showing how stars move around our night sky

making their own constellation boxes

we ended the year the week of Kathy's and my birthday, and what a lovely cake the class surprised us with

Our home demonstration of the sun, moon and earth

We have had such a good time with co-op classes. We ended this year on New Year's Eve night with a family night, and the children re-created all the favorite experiments for their dads, they did all their reports, showed off their binders with all their completed projects, and had a great night of food, fun and fellowship!!

Thanks for taking a tour of our co-op afternoons!

Until next time

Blessings in Him



Annie said...


What beautiful faces all working together and it is clear that they are really concentrating! These photos are great and say so much about how you can really take time and be creative when homeschooling, I can see.

Lexi said...

Thanks for sharing your blog! Your coop looks wonderful. What a great group of kids and what fun projects. I wish I could find a coop here. I'll have to keep looking...
I'd love to see pictures of how the folders worked for you all. I think those will be the way to go for us as well.