Co-ops for Spring: Things to Consider

school-clipart13I always post on Mondays, but there is some time sensitive information that I need to get to you before then. Have a great weekend!

If you live here in Cincinnati and were hoping to get into a co-op for the spring, I have good news for you! There are two co-ops that have openings. I will post the information below. If you don’t live here, look into seeing if you can get into a homeschool co-op. Now is the time for spring sign-ups for most co-ops. If you are wanting to wait until next fall to join one, contact the co-op now for information on when sign-ups are for the fall session. They are usually in late winter, either February or early March.

What if you have never been in a homeschool co-op and want to try one, but you aren’t sure where to begin? I was a co- director of a large cooperative here in town and a member for 16 years and understand your caution. It is better to have your questions answered before jumping in. I’d like to offer some advice on things to consider when inquiring about co-ops. No two are alike and if you aren’t satisfied with one, look for another if there are more one in your area. :)

  • Where do they meet? Consider drive time. How far are you willing to be in your vehicle to get there and back?
  • What is the cost? The cost of co-ops varies widely, so be sure and ask.
  • What day of the week do they meet? Will that day work for you? Most moms have every intention of getting some school in the day of co-op, but in all likelihood, it won’t happen. Can you plan for a four day a week school or go to school on the weekend if you have to have a five day schedule? Carefully consider this because you will be frustrated and anxious if you were planning on having school on the day of co-op. I was able to have my sons do math before co-op when they were young because they got up at 6:00. As they got older and slept in, I had to adjust my schedule and not count co-op days as a day to get our regular schoolwork completed.
  • How many weeks is the co-op?
  • What are the hours they meet? 
  • Do they have childcare for your little ones? Some co-ops don’t have nursery capability, so if you have a little one and they don’t, will your baby or toddler need to be with you?
  • If the co-op is a full day, can you come for part of the day or do you need to be there all day?
  • Can you come and check out the co-op before signing up? You can get a better idea of how the co-op runs and if it is a good fit for your family by seeing things for yourself.
  • What are the classroom sizes?
  • Do they have a maximum number of students that are in a classroom? You don’t want your child’s class to be overcrowded.
  • What requirements are there for you to join? Do you have to teach a class? Do you have to be an aide? Do you have to be a member of the church?
  • Do you have any free time when you are there? Some co-ops have a policy that you work all the hours you are there, other co-ops say you have an hour free, etc. Co-ops are a great place for you to develop friendships too! I loved going to co-op and visiting with moms. I got a lot of terrific advice and camaraderie from the ladies who I saw each week at the co-op. I still have friends that I meet with as a result of being in a co-op.
  • Is it religiously affiliated? If so, do you have to sign a statement of faith? Some co-ops have you sign a statement of faith, and some do not. If it meets in a church and you are not interested in a worldview that the co-op would be teaching, then you would want to look at a different co-op.

Here are the co-ops that have openings this spring. Be sure the classes you are interested in are open to take new students. You don’t want to put all that time into considering and discussing the classes with your children only to find out the class is not available. Click on the links to obtain more information.

Wisdom’s Way, Milford, Ohio (registration is November 17 and 18) Faith Church

HELP Milford, Ohio  Milford Christian Church

Taking Care of Business: kids and business ideas

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Do your children want things you don’t have the money for or have they asked you how they can generate income for something they want? It can be difficult to come up with ideas and have the know-how to help them do this. Maybe you have a child who has great ideas that you think could actually work. I have discovered some organizations and websites that can help.

Does your child have a great imagination and is always thinking of ways to improve something? Does s/he want to take apart things to see how they work? Plug them into networks for young inventors. There are many  organizations students can join to get hands-on experience in being an inventor and entrepreneur, including Odyssey of the Mind and First Robotics. Plus, organizations like Girl ScoutsBoy Scouts and 4H also develop a lot of these leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

And, there are tons of competitions they can enter that will give them a good starting point. Intel and Google each have a science competition. By Kids for Kids is basically a clearinghouse for all kinds of competitions sponsored by companies — not just math and science competitions, but in all different types of categories including arts and athletics. Even if they don’t go on to become an entrepreneur or kid millionaire, it will build valuable life and business skills. Plus, there’s usually a cash prize involved, which gives a nice boost to their piggy bank to help fund their invention, pay for college or help them get a jump-start on saving.

The Secret Millionaires Club is also a part of the By Kids for Kids website that is a cartoon, but has great episodes for young entrepreneurs. The ones I watched were on starting a lemonade stand business and having a business plan.

Perhaps you feel that their interests in this area seem like a distraction to your school day. If you see this as an opportunity for practical applications for  math and science, you can allow this to be a benefit and enrich your curriculum.  Remember, you are exploring and finding the areas of strength and interest that your child has been given. Textbooks are terrific, but look beyond that to see the possibilities of what you child can do. Who knows but that your child has an idea that could revolutionize our world?:)

~Lisa

The Power of Unstoppable Faith

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Nick Vujicic is a remarkable man. I was drawn to him at first because of his physical disability; he was born with no arms and no legs. But, what makes Nick even more remarkable is his wonderful outlook on life and his powerful message of faith in God. In his latest quick-read booklet, The Power of Unstoppable Faith: Your Keys to a Fulfilled Life, Nick tells his story of wanting to give up because he felt his life had no purpose, but with the Lord’s help, he found it.

He puts forth a challenge to the reader by saying. “You and I were put on this earth to serve something greater than our narrow interests. When our focus becomes self-centered, we lose our greatest source of power. Our God-given talents are meant to benefit others.  When we use them for that greater purpose, we put faith into action to fulfill His plans for us. We make a difference in this word that helps prepare us for the next.” Nick’s encouragement is needed today in an age where the need is great and we can help bring hope by serving others, thus finding fulfillment.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review and wasn’t required to give a positive review, but I loved Nick’s encouraging words and highly recommend it. :)

If you have never heard of Nick or seen his videos, I’d recommend you watch them [videos] on you tube. I show one of his videos to my junior high class because his words of loving yourself and others is life-giving and powerful. I have included the video link below in my comments box.

~Lisa

Family Fun Night Ideas

A_Family_Playing_a_Board_Game_and_Eating_Popcorn_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100221-120804-577053With the evenings growing longer and the children being cooped up in the house, Family Fun evenings are a welcome idea. How about trying one of these?

  • Twister  When is the last time you played Twister? Your kids will love watching you look like a pretzel!
  • Bingo make up your own Bingo cards and use math problems, history facts, trivia questions, etc., to cover the board.
  • Popcorn and a movie  Pick a movie you haven’t watched in a while or rent a movie your family didn’t get to see at the theater.
  • Board Games or Card Games can be fun. Some oldies but goodies are Sorry, Trouble, Outburst, Charades, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Euchre, Rook or Pit.
  • Start a wild tale and let the next person add to it. Ideas can be to talk about a vacation or an adventure your family would go on together, or an exotic pet you brought home to live with you.
  • Telephone If you have never played the game before, your kids will love it! Whisper a rather long sentence in the person’s ear next to you and do not repeat it. Go around the room until everyone has had the person next to them whisper what they thought they heard. The last person who receives the message and is to the right of the person who said the sentence originally says it out loud to the group. I bet it won’t be the same sentence that was told the first time!

Have fun and be sure to take pictures to capture your wonderful evening together!

~Lisa

 

 

Fire Safety Month

Unknown October is Fire Safety Month and there are many websites that provide printable and online activities for your students. This might be one may of those topics that you just can’t seem to get to throughout the year, but  it is a required subject for us who homeschool here in Ohio. I have a list of websites that have games, coloring sheets, and activities for your students.

Websites

Fire Safety Lapbook If your children like to create lapbooks, then this lapbook has all the important ideas you want to cover with them concerning fire safety. There are also some books that you can read to your children about Stop, Drop, and Roll and campfire safety.

Ohio Division of Forestry has coloring and activity pages as well as lesson plans for teachers that pertain to wildfires. There is even a certificate for your child when s/he has completed the lessons.

National Fire Prevention Association  The NFPA has online videos, ebooks, and a phone app to help students learn about fire safety.

What about taking your children on a tour of your local firehouse? The firemen are happy to have visitors, just call to see when you can come for a visit. This would be a good introduction to your young ones so they won’t be scared if they see a fireman with his oxygen mask and helmet on since the firemen take the time to let the children see them put on their coats and masks.

Remember to change your smoke detector batteries and practice fire escape routes at your house. Above all, be prepared and safety conscious. :)