A Day At Our Co-op

It has been a while since I updated our co-op journey. And yesterday, I happened to bring my camera along to our weekly class.

If you don't remember, I am now co-oping with a very dear friend of mine, Kate.  There are only 8 kiddos ages 8-16, with our two families combined (Kate's oldest just began her college adventure).

First up that day was Writing Class.

I am teaching IEW's Student Writing Intensive Levels A and B.

Today the older kids were learning how to do research on a topic and then how to outline to write a paragraph on that topic.

We all read information about whales and then composed a key word outline for them to write from this week.

We LOVE IEW. I have seen so much improvement over the last year with these guys.

 The younger class (Littles) are slowly learning how to "dress-up" a paragraph; I forgot to take photos since our class was so short. We just quickly reviewed the three dress-ups they knew, and I gave them their weeks writing assignment.

Next was high school chemistry, taught by Kate.

They are going through the periodic table and today they talked about neutrons, isotopes, and ions.

During the week the kids read a chapter from the text and watch a segment of the DVD from Chemistry 101...

And then each week they discuss the material, any papers written, and the quizzes.

While the Olders are learning about the chemical world the Littles are entertaining themselves.....yesterday it was making these cute little creatures.

Next up was lunch.

Each week we plan it out and both bring things to contribute to a meal....lentil soup, bean burritos, potato and egg scramble...

Today it was yummy baked potatoes and broccoli.

During lunch we discussed our history lesson; we are aiming the level of instruction to the older bunch, but the younger ones listen in.

We are going through Biblioplan's Ancient History.

Each week the kids read the material, extra literature, and answer the short and essay questions. Then we meet to discuss it, and sometimes, watch a video.

This weeks lesson was on the ancients in the Americas so today we watched a fascinating video about the Nazca's of South America and their amazing geoglyphs.

It is incredible that these have been around for over 2000 years.

It's was also treat time for the Mama's....

Next up was my science class with the Littles.

I am going through Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics.

Today I gathered all the kids together and we talked about polymers. We went through a list and they all guessed how long they thought it would take for these things to decompose.

(Did you know it takes glass 100 million years to decompose?!?)

Then we headed into the kitchen for experiment time.

First, the Littles mixed up their own polymer with borax, glue, and cornstarch.

Then, we blew up balloons (a polymer), and slowly inserted bamboo skewers into them. This was one experiment that I thought wouldn't work. I thought the balloon would pop and you can tell, so did she...

But it worked!

We were able to insert the skewers all the way through. This is because the chain of polymers can be separated and make a small gap for the skewer to be inserted.

And that was co-op.

Of course, there is silliness...that's what makes it fun.

Stayed tuned for more co-op adventures!


  1. Was fun reading through and seeing the pictures charlotte! We are pretty sure we will be homeschooling Alicia next year (4th grade!) and while I'm happily mentally prepping myself for creating school space at home and all the extra activities we will now have time for, I am also anxious about finding a co-op. Nothing around here seems to suit exactly what we are looking for. =( Also I keep debating back and forth with the english program IEW and Easy Grammar. Right now, the private school Alicia is at uses Shurley Grammar which is similar to IEW I think. Very very technical. I see a lot of sentence structure learning but very little actual writing. Any thoughts?

  2. Thanks for commenting, Rebecca! I love reading your blog and all about your adventures.

    Great grammar questions. I went all the way through Shurley Grammar with my older two. I actually loved it for grammar, but didn't like the writing part at all.(The last 3 books I actually skipped the writing.) IEW is a bit different from Shurley...they are similar because they look at grammar/writing from a technical perspective, but I think that IEW does a better job teaching both non-writers and writers. He also doesn't sweat the small stuff, especially with those that struggle with writing.

    The one thing is that IEW does not teach is full grammar, so I have my kids do Daily Grams from Easy Grammar at the same time. My child at the fourth grade level spends about 15 minutes a day writing, and 5-10 minutes in Daily Grams. They actually compliment each other pretty nicely.

    The bottom line is that my son, who hated writing, can now pump out a three paragraph paper, that is at his grade level, in a day or two. And he says that writing is one of his favorite classes. :-) Mr. Pudewa does an amazing job of teaching them and making writing interesting.

    Hope that helps, my friend!


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