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Educational Co-ops and Programs

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Co-ops and educational programs are such great ways to connect your children and you to other families who are homeschooling. Your children can take classes that you may not want to teach or just don’t have the equipment for, such as chemistry. They are also a terrific way of meeting other homeschool moms. Some of my closest friends are those who I met at a local homeschool co-op. Below is a list of co-ops here in greater Cincinnati. I hope you can find one that you will enjoy. 🙂
CAFE Christian Co-op
Just like a cafe is a place to relax, fellowship and enjoy the company of friends, CAFE Christian Co-op is a place for homeschool families to find help, support and encouragement.
Location: Evangelical Community Church in Mt Healthy
Time: Wednesdays 9:00 am-4:30 pm. 14 weeks/semester (16 weeks for advanced academic classes)
Cost: Family fee TBD. Class supply fee. Teacher paid by each parent not through CAFE
Class groupings: 7th/8th grades, 9th/10th grades, and 11th/12th grades
Contact: Kerry Marsh
Email: Kerry Marsh at marshck1@yahoo.com
Website: cafecoop.weebly.com
Classical Conversations
“Across the United States, Classical Conversations Communities exist to complement your home-centered education and connect you with like-minded families. Each community is facilitated by a trained parent-director, and classes are led by trained parent-tutors who model the classical tools of learning. Tutors have the privilege of encouraging students toward becoming lifelong learners while also encouraging parents in the classical teaching of their children.” – www.ClassicalConversations.com

 Local groups meet in these areas: Bethel; Colerain Township; Goshen; Hamilton; Lebanon; Liberty Township; Mariemont; Sharonville; South Lebanon; West Chester

Clermont Homeschoolers Co-op

Date Organized: 2017

Location: Bross Center for Learning, 4435 Aichlotz Rd., Suite 100; Cincinnati, OH 45245

Description: The Clermont Homeschoolers CO-OP helps to support home education by providing a secular, inclusive, affordable, conveniently located cooperative learning experience. This is a year-round program with flexible, short sessions rather than long school style semesters. Sessions are generally 4 to 8 weeks. Occasionally we will offer offsite activities that may include local parks, or community volunteering and more. In addition, we host occasional parent workshops, holiday or seasonal parties, and Mom Nights!

Website: https://clermonthomeschooler.wixsite.com/co-op

Days of Wonder Our classes will consist of multiple ages that have the same teachers several years in a row.
Location: Batavia
Meeting Times: Preschool and grade levels K – 8 meets 3 days per week: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Our full-time High School (grades 9-12) program meets Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Cost: $190/mo – for first child from a family. $180/mo – for the 2nd child.$170/mo – for the 3rd child. $160/mo – for the 4th child. Plus supply fee $75 per year, per student.
Grades: Preschool-12
Director: Cynthia Day
Email: daysofwonderschool@gmail.com
Website: http://www.daysofwonderschool.org/
Family Christian Homeschool Co-op 
Date Organized: 2012
Location: Fairfield Baptist Church, Fairfield, Ohio
Meeting Times: Fridays 9:00 am -12:30 pm
Cost: $50—Annual Registration Fee/Per Family
$70—Per Semester Fee/Teacher Families $125—Per Semester Fee/Non-Teacher Families. Plus additional fees for some classes
Grades: nursery- 12th grade
Director: Kristen Luckey
Email: fchcdirector@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.familychristianhomeschoolers.org
Help
Date Organized:  2004/2005
Location: Trenton Christian Church Middletown, Ohio
Meeting Times: 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month  from 1:00 – 3:00
Cost: $15.00 for the year  (subject to change)
Grades: Pre-K – 12th Grades
Director: Cherilu DuVal
Email: Duvals@ameritech.net
Website: None
Our members come from Middletown, Trenton, Franklin, Carlisle, and Germantown.

 

Kingdom Builders    

 Address of Location: 12060 Route 42 (Lebanon Rd.), Sharonville, Ohio 45241

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays from Labor Day to end of April with breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas

General Description: We are a Christ-centered community that provides a variety of educational and enrichment classes for home-educating families in a safe and loving environment. We desire to strengthen Christian home-educating families by providing times of close interaction. We co-labor with each other and God to achieve excellence by serving each other through our strengths.

Fees: Application Fee: $70, annual, non-refundable (for all membership levels)
Family Membership Fees:
Standard Family Fee: $110 per semester
Teacher or Director Family Fee: $40 per semester Board Family Fee: $40 per semester
Drop-off Family Fees (all fees are per semester)
$65 per Co-op Class taught by Co-op Volunteer (plus supply fees if applicable) $25 per Paid Class taught by a Professional Teacher (plus paid class fees)
$10 per Study Hall
Contact Information: kingdombuilderscoop.weebly.com
Registration Deadline: variable (Contact through website to be considered for membership.)
Additional Information: Drop-off opportunities are available for students who are 12 and older by November 1 of the program year.
Classes Offered: We offer art, guitar, science, drama, writing, literature, geography, choir, and a variety of other classes for elementary through high school.

The Learning Tree Co-op in Springdale, Ohio
Date Organized: 1997
Location: Vineyard Community Church in Springdale off Kemper Road
Meeting Times: Monday’s 10:00 – 2:30 (2 semesters of 15-16 weeks each per year)
Cost: $70.00 per child per semester (3 child maximum per family) plus family membership fee of $50.00 per semester. Teachers and leaders get one child’s tuition free.
Grades: nursery-12th grade
Director:  Jen Moore
Email: director@learningtreeonline.org
Web Site: http://www.learningtreeonline.org/
Leaves of Learning
Date Organized: 1996
Location: 7131 Plainfield Rd., Deer Park, Ohio 45236
Meeting Times: one to five days a week (parent choice)
Grades: pre-school-12
Cost: $75.00 deposit to hold your spot plus monthly tuition fees
Director and contact: Diana Osborn
Email: info@leavesoflearning.org or 697-9021
Web Site: www.leavesoflearning.org
*You can drop off your child for classes, so it is not
fellowship-oriented for the mothers.  Leaves does not have a Christian emphasis, but does have Christian parents involved.
PATH-Parents in Academic Training of Homeschoolers
We are a Christ-centered group of volunteer home school parents, partnering together with Christian teachers to provide high quality courses for 7th – 12th grade home school students.  Our goal is to have all courses taught from a Biblical perspective at an academic level to prepare students for higher education.
We offer a full compliment of courses from 7th-12th grade, including: Physics, Anatomy, Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, General Science, Composition/literature, American History, American Government, Western Civ I & II, World History, World Geography, Spanish I & II, Advanced math, Geometry, Alg II, Alg I, Alg 1/2, Saxon 87, drama and art.
Website:  www.pathmilford.org

Email: pathpartners@gmail.com ( for course availability and more detailed information regarding pricing, days they meet.)
POINT – Middletown, Ohio 
POINT (Parents Offering Inspiration, Nurturing, and Training
Date Organized: 1999
Location:  Waynesville, Ohio
Meeting Times:  Fridays, 9:30 AM -12:15 PM
Cost:  $164 per student for 28 weeks, $35 annual fee per family, and $15 annual supplies fee
Grades: nursery – 12th grade
Director: Brad and Paula Sanders, Director
Email: director@point-homeschool.orgpointdirector@highstream.net
Website: POINT-homeschool.org
Providence Extension Program (PEP):
Specializing in Classical Education with a Biblical Worldview
PEP partners with homeschool parents to give 7th -12th grade students the knowledge of history, writing and speaking, and biblical philosophy vs. world philosophies they need to convince the world to follow them as they follow Christ.
Experienced tutors
Two-day collegiate format
CORE Concept for Humanities
    National Honor Society, National Latin Exam, National Spanish Exam
    Student activities (prom, ski club, yearbook, etc.)
PEP has a 17 year track record of preparing students for success in college and a life that is glorifying to God. Our strong academics have enabled many of our graduating students to receive college scholarships.
PEP has four Greater Cincinnati locations: Mason and Milford. Please contact one of the site administrators for more information.
Please see our website for a list of classes www.pep1.org Registration begins in early April.
SEED Educational Initiative

A core historical curriculum that includes history, geography, art, literature, and science. Enrichment and life skill classes will develop communication, team building, and rapport building skills while helping our children develop lifelong friendships plus they are a lot of fun!
Date Organized: 2015
Location: Eastgate Baptist Church, located at 717 Barg Salt Run Road, Cincinnati, 45244
Meeting Times: Friday 10:00 A.M. – 6:15 P.M.
Cost: Family Membership Fee per semester
Grades: Nursery – 12 grade
Director: Rene Normand
Email: Rene@seedhomeschool.com
Website: www.seedhomeschool.com

SPARK! Secular Homeschool Co-op

Location: Fort Wright, KY

Meeting Dates: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm.

Description: The structure of our co-op allows for both students and parents to take an active role learning and building our community. The parents and students together introduce and create the schedule for Offerings (Classes). We also offer a variety of daily activities students can choose from to help facilitate their learning when not participating in scheduled Offerings. Offerings and activities are non-compulsory and students have the option to participate as interested, collaborate with others, or follow their individual pursuits. Our co-op parents work with students to set their intentions each day and help assess the progress they have made toward their goals.

Cost: Costs of space, resources, and other expenses are covered by a very modest tuition based on the number of days per week a student attends.

To learn more details: https://sparkcoop.wordpress.com

Contact: https://sparkcoop.wordpress.com/contact-us

Veritas Christian Homeschool Group
Date Organized: 2000
Location:Grace Baptist on Middletown, OH
Meeting Times:  Thursday 9:00 a.m. — 2:50 p.m.
Cost: $100 per family per trimester for a.m. classes; $115 per family per trimester for all day (30 weeks total)
Grades: nursery- 12th grade
Director: Mandy Lail
Email: vchgdirector@gmail.com
Web Site:  www.veritaschristiancoop.org Registration begins in December. You may fill out a Waiting List Application if you have missed the deadline.
West Branch Learning Tree -WBLT Cheviot
Date Organized: 1999
Location: Friendship Baptist Church  Cheviot, Ohio
Meeting Times: Mondays from 9:30-2:00pm at
Costs: $80.00 per child (3 child maximum)
Grades: nursery – 12th grade
Director:  Amy Kearns
Email: kearnsamy@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.homeschool-life.com/oh/wbltcoop
Wisdom’s Gate Cooperative Ross/Oxford/Hamilton
Date Organized: September 2000
Location: West Side Church of Christ on Stahlheber (Hamilton)
Meeting Times: Fridays 9:30am to 2:30pm
Grades: Nursery – 12th grade
Cost: K-12 $50, preschool $40, Toddlers $25, Infants Free (per 10 week semester)
Discounts for teachers and large families
Email: tstatum@woh.rr.com
*You must be recommended to join by someone who attends Wisdom’s Gate.”
Wisdom’s Way Co-op in Milford
Date Organized: 1999
Location: We meet at Faith Evangelical Free Church at 5910 Price Rd. Milford, Ohio
Meeting Times: Monday’s from 1:00 – 3:00 PM for 12 weeks
Cost: The cost is $40 per child (maximum of $120) per family
Grades: nursery – 12th grade
Director: Laura Hoevener
Email:  laurahoevener@hotmail.com
Web Site: www.wisdomsway.net

A Thanksgiving Unit

 

The First Thanksgiving, Jennie Brownscombe

I love this national holiday for several reasons. First, it’s not too commercialized! It’s a bit hard to sell thankfulness, don’t you think? If so, I would order a case or two of it.

Another reason I like Thanksgiving is the history regarding why the Pilgrims came to America;  plus I love to read about the life of Squanto.  He chose to help the race of people who had enslaved him and were responsible (directly or indirectly) for his tribe’s demise. Squanto is one of my heroes! I have included a list of books that I have enjoyed reading to my sons about Squanto and the Pilgrims that I think you will too.

One more reason I like Thanksgiving is because this day focuses on God and the blessings He has given to us. I have included some copywork/dictation pieces for your students to practice their handwriting. Make an extra set and send them to the grandparents as I am sure they would enjoy receiving them.

Would you like to focus on Thanksgiving and do unit study? I have some lapbooks that you can download. I have included two to get you started. Just look over the activities and see which ones you would like to do with your family. I have activities for students all the way from preschool through high school.

Crafts and Art Activities: There are so many ideas that it can be overwhelming. I have only provided you with some we have done as well as a few websites.

Placemats– Make a placemat for each guest that will be attending dinner. Laminate them with contact paper so that the artwork is not destroyed with gravy. Start early on this if you have a large gathering so as not to overwhelm your artists. You can personalize the placemats or make general themes.

Click to enlarge

Thankful Wreath– Using fall colors, trace your children’s hands onto the paper and cut them out. Have each person tell you (if they are little) or write one thing they are thankful on each of the hands. Glue the fingers of one hand on to the palm of another hand. You will need to have several sets as you will want to form a wreath shape from the hands. If you have a larger number of children than you can accommodate for creating a wreath then you can make more or… you can make a wreath with construction paper leaves instead.

Thanksgiving coloring pages. Print off a few to take with you on the long car ride to Grandma if you are traveling.

How about a word find or crossword puzzle? There are several levels of difficulty that are given on this website.

Have you ever seen about.com? I have found them to be an excellent resource for topics we are studying. You are sure to find something on these two pages that you and your children will enjoy pertaining to puzzles and word finds.

Enchanted Learning has a variety of crafts, worksheets, and mini books to create for elementary students.

Here is a crossword puzzle for Bible: Psalms of Thanksgiving . You can use these verses for copywork as well.

History:

Research the first Thanksgiving.  Ideas about how to use this for school: Have student(s) narrate what they have read; ask comprehension questions about the passage; calculate how many years it was from the time of the first Thanksgiving until George Washington declared  a day of thanks.

Here is another site from Scholastic under the heading of Research Starters that has the history and additional websites to investigate. click here This website can be used for middle- senior high students.

Watch a video from the History Channel about Thanksgiving. (for older students) Accompanying the video are questions to answer.

There is quite a bit of information on this website about the Mayflower. You can read the original compact  and also read it in Governor Bradford’s own handwriting by going here: Mayflower Compact. Middle school students can narrate what they have read and answer questions such as: What was the purpose of the signing of the compact ? Why did all men sign and not women? Junior/senior high students can create their own compact. Consider why it would be important to include when beginning a new colony.  Have them create a model of their colony.

Plimouth Plantation (website with many things to do and see) I would recommend you to go to  Just for Kids, but don’t stop there because there is quite a bit to look at on this website. Older students can use this website to research topics.

Scholastic. com has some fabulous resources that contain videos of the Pilgrim’s and Native American’s villages. There are also activities to accompany your unit. Click on the right hand side for activities, lessons, and worksheets.

Research how and when Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

Books to Read:

Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Robert Clyde Bulla  Discuss how Squanto helped the Pilgrims. Squanto reminds me of another man who was ill-treated but turned it around for the good of a nation. His name was Joseph and you can read his story in the bible: Genesis chapters 37-50.  Older students can compare and contrast him to Squanto.

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh This is a nice read aloud for younger students.

Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey  This a great book for all ages as a read aloud for younger students and an assigned reader for older students. Older students can pick a few stories to highlight and tell to the family if everyone is not going to be reading it.

The If You series are books that my children and I found to provide details and factual information in an interesting format. Here are two that pertain to Thanksgiving:

If You Were at the First Thanksgiving by Anne Kamma

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann DeVito

How about including a book report to accompany the reading? Here is a book report form from ABC Teach  thanksgiving book reports

Copywork/Dictation:

Students can copy these scripture passages on to a piece of notebook paper. Glue a piece of construction paper to the back to provide a frame. Hang up the masterpieces and memorize this month.

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Older students: Use any of the documents listed above as a resource  for  copying such as the Mayflower Compact or the declaration of a day of thanks from George Washington.

Here’s a Thankfulness Character Study for your family. Click Here

Lapbooks:

Here is a lapbook for younger students to complete using the book Give Thanks to the Lord: Celebrating Psalm 92 by Karma Wilson. If you can’t find the book you can still use the psalm from your favorite translation.

Another lapbook from homeschool share based upon the book Goody O’Grumpity by Carol Ryrie Brink. Even if you do not use the book that is recommended, you can still use the lapbook ideas.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mess-free Art Activities

art-color

Art seems to be the one activity that gets put off because it can be so messy! I share those sentiments, but perhaps I can provide you with some ways to have your child(ren) do art without causing a huge mess.

Paint squish bags- Put in a sandwich bag two different colors of paint. Close and seal with masking tape. Allow your child to squish it and mix the colors. Little ones love this activity!

Pringles Can Painter- Line an empty Pringles can with a piece of white paper. Put paint on a golf ball and the put it into the can. Roll the can around several times. Take out the ball and wipe off the excess paint. Add another color to the golf ball and repeat the process. Take out the paper and enjoy the design that has been created.

Stamp Art- Stamps can be fun to use and will not be messy if you put the stamps and paper inside a tray.

Pipe Cleaners make great 3-D pictures or models. Your child can make their design and then either glue them on to construction paper or stand them upright to make a free standing model.

Summer Activities for All

Yay! Summer is here and it’s time to explore! This week I will feature local parks, but even if you don’t live in Cincinnati, you can still find a park near your home. Better still, come for a visit to our town!

  • Go on a nature walk/hike. Take along a notebook and find a spot to stop and draw something is of interest. It can be a plant or an animal such as a bird. Pack some identification books to help you with unknown plants and animals.
  • Play on a new playground. Tired of the same ol’ playground in your area? How about finding a different one to take the children to play? It will seem like a mini vacation, but you’ll be home in time for dinner. 🙂
  • Exercise! Pull the plug on the video games and electronics and go for a bike ride or a long walk. Both of the Hamilton County Parks I have listed below also have horse trails if you feel adventurous.

lunkenh

Local Parks

The Cincinnati Parks Foundation has three amazing parks along the Ohio River that are family friendly and give your children the chance to run and play. Not only is there a playground along the walkway, but there are a few large water fountains that your children can play in, and a carousel you can pay to ride. The Waterfront Parks system consist of three major Cincinnati Parks: Theodore M. Berry International Park,  Sawyer Point & Yeatman’s Cove and the  Smale Riverfront Park that is by the Great American Ballpark so you can go and catch a Reds game after you are finished playing.

Hamilton County Parks has done a fantastic job of providing green space in the greater Cincinnati area.  There is a motor vehicle fee to get into the park and you may either purchase a day pass for $3.00 or an annual pass of $10.00 that will give you access to all of the county parks and includes discount coupons to use throughout the park system.

Parky’s Farm has a fully functional farm with horses, goats, chickens,sheep, and bees. There is a garden for children to see and trails to meander along. The barn and outdoor pens allow children to see the animals up close.  If you take some extra money with you, your children can take a horse ride or play in the indoor playground.  Parky’s Farm is a part of Winton Woods that has an outdoor spray park and playground. Bring along a fishing pole to cast your line from either shore or a rental boat. There is also a pontoon boat to take a cruise along the lake. If you’d like to spend the night, there is also a camp site or small cabins to rent.

images-1 woodland-mound-waterpark-slide

Miami Whitewater Forest is  beautiful and is the largest park in county. While it does have an amazing lake with fishing and boating, and a beautiful golf and frisbee golf course, it has something that no other county park has that is quite so nice.  It has a 7.8 mile hike/ bike path that meanders through the countryside (where I grew up) and has spurs off it as well so you can extend your biking experience if you like. If your children are not able to go on the long bike trail, there is a shorter inner trail that is 1.4 miles long.

My friends have a bike shop called West Trail Bikes and it is a quick jaunt off the bike path to their place on New Haven Road. You can rent or purchase a bike if you would like something different than the rentals that are offered at the park. There is a quaint country shop adjoining their shop and a little grocery store (that I worked at when I was in college) where you can get an ice cold drink and a snack. You can hop back on the bike trail at several points from the town of New Haven.

If you have never been to Miami Whitewater Park, make a day of it. Pack a picnic lunch, your swimsuits for the spray/ water park,  and a pair of binoculars for wildlife watching while you are hiking the many wooded trails. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Metro Parks of Butler County has 10 great parks, but the newest park called Voice of America MetroPark is the one with which I am most familiar. There is a nice playground that is next to the air conditioned Wheelhouse, which has bathroom facilities and a vending machine to get snacks and drinks.

There is a nice sized lake and a walking/biking path along it. Fishing is allowed in certain areas and there are benches along the way to stop and rest or just enjoy the nature you will see. During the winter there is also a sledding hill, so be sure and visit then too!