Co-op teaching is a completely different world from public school teaching. Although my local co-op does include some homeschooling mothers who once worked as teachers in the school system, we meet once a week, make our own curriculum, and are more family focused.
Having this freedom has allowed me to incorporate the students’ interests into lessons so they are more engaged and excited about learning. My elementary writing class has been a breeze. Even the students who aren’t so keen on writing have fun filling in blanks, doing mad libs, creating character designs, and illustrating scenes and then writing about what’s happening.
My journalism class definitely needs this flexibility. Teaching high school students is different. They can be harder to please, but also more thoughtful. Nonfiction isn’t widely popular even with adults, so going over news articles doesn’t always keep the teens appeased.
BUT, because I like to mix good news with the bad I have found that they love satire, and especially cat stories. Uplifting or silly animal stories keep everyone awake. So those have entered regular circulation and for our last class of this semester I promised to reward my students by bringing in only animals stories and funny reads.
It’s something that I believe adults need to do more. We get obsessed with the sensationalized news media and forget all the good out there when arguing over politics and divides. I slightly hate to say it, but the world was a much better place when people just used social media to share cat videos — as silly as that sounds.
Even so, my student’s reactions remind me of the better aspects of life. We need to have fun and remember all the soft squishy things that make us want to purr.
These classes have flown by and I can’t believe we’re already wrapping up our fall 2022 semester. (We start in August and take a break from Thanksgiving through mid January). Of course most families keep teaching their kids at home until later in December and there are plenty of holiday based lessons and activities that can be incorporated into curriculum to ensure that learning is fun.
I give my kids a week off for Thanksgiving, and then we have 3 more weeks until our winter break. Our breaks run longer than typical public school schedules, but we also do summer school to keep our minds working year round. I say “our” minds because I never wish to stop learning. Teaching itself is a learning experience for those who embrace the intelligence of their students.
Being able to help my kids learn, as well as teach within my community, fills me with unbridled joy. It’s funny because another self-entitled “resister” recently questioned my credentials since I am not a government approved academic “expert.” It makes me laugh because, I’m having more fun teaching math, science, English, and history. Meanwhile the “experts” are telling little boys that they can be girls and teaching children that skin color is more important than how they act or what they do in life, so if my lessons are considered sub-par compared to these ridiculous new public school standards, then I must be doing something right.
I’ve loved every second of my teaching experiences. That goes for my years educating my own children at home, and during this past semester. I am so excited for next semester! Sure, there are moments that test a person, but they pass quickly and improve one’s ability to problem solve.
For anyone who is just starting homeschooling, or thinking about it, there is no greater time to test the waters.
Best of all there are co-ops everywhere. If you don’t have a community led homeschooling group to offer support, starting one is as simple as contacting your local library or getting a few moms together to form a plan and get a website up on: https://www.homeschool-life.com.
Education is a lifestyle. It’s not an institution or some government initiative. Parents can provide knowledge and wisdom in ways that no one else can.
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