Friday, September 10, 2010

First Homeschool Co-Op Day/Eka kotikouluryhmäpäivä

The long awaited, first homeschool co-op day!

This is our second year of homeschooling, and last year I was so overwhelmed I couldn't even add any co-op days to our schedule. It was all about surviving. And Not Scheduling. We were burnt out on five years of school, school projects, after-school activities and school homework (even though the school we attended really was a wonderful school!). Even though I kicked and screamed debated long and hard about homeschooling pros and cons, the thought of setting our own homeschool schedule was very appealing.

In our process of moving to Florida, and getting more comfortable with homeschooling, we discovered our church here in Florida has a great homeschool co-op. The more we read about it the more excited we got - it sounded like a great fit for our family! In fact, Florida (and the St. Petersburg area) seems to be very friendly to homeschoolers, there are a lot of co-ops and activities to get involved in!

Little Miss is too young to participate, but our older kids were so excited. They like being homeschooled (we occasionally ask if they'd rather go back to school and they say 'no'), but they are also all quite social, and were looking forward to making new friends. The class selection at the co-op was also so fantastic they couldn't wait to start learning! It was really cute: our older four are used to doing things together, but they all tried to get in different classes than their siblings. They all managed to pick 2-3 classes to be in alone, but in 2-3 they are with their siblings, as the class just sounded too cool to miss. Like Electrical Mischief:

"Welcome to Electrical Mischief!! If you want to learn all about batteries, electricity, connections, circuits, switches, wires, and motors then you've come to the right place. Learn how to strip electric wire and build an engine to power up all the gizmos we are going to create in this class!! Ever had to eat your dinner during a blackout? Or check if you have a steady hand? Well, fear not! Now you can tackle these pesky problems with your own electric gadgets. In fact, you will be building move-by-themselves contraptions, an illuminated fork, a flashlight and a hand fan. What about a Florida snow machine, sink a submergible, pilot a swamp boat or build a super car! Discover switches, tricks and traps as you learn all about circuits. Make kooky creations - after all, the world needs more illuminated forks! Materials fee covers motors, wires, buzzers, bulbs, batteries and other equipment needed." (From the co-op website.)

Or how could you miss Weather & Air?:

"By using, among other resources, Apologia's Physical Science book and a pile of hands on experiments, you will discover why some places and some parts of the year are warmer than others. You will find out what creates wind and why it is sometimes so destructive. You will come to understand air inversion, humidity, snow, sleet, thunder and yes, we will even generate a miniature lightning strike!! We will explore the science of solar energy in the most unique way - by flying a 50ft. solar sausage!? You will put together the instruments you need to keep track of temperature, air pressure, rainfall, wind direction and speed. We will be creating clouds, a rainbow, a giant snowflake and discover the secrets of evaporation. Through hands on experiments you will see the scientific principles behind weather and air, so that you can understand them - from the ground up." (From co-op website)

Figuring out where everyone's class is.

The co-op did a wonderful job organizing the first day. We were directed to the right tables for payment, then signing in, then paying for pizza for lunch. The kids nametags even included which classes they were taking - perfect for Mommy Forgetful and her Forgetful Offspring!

We first dropped Missy off at her first period class. There are five total in a day & the co-op meets every Friday for eleven weeks for the Fall Semester. Missy had picked American Sign Language as her first class. After school she was so excited to share she had already learned the alphabet and quite a few words too! And there was a girl in her class we had met at a picnic in June before we left for New England - and not only that, we figured out our families were in China at the same time adopting our little sisters!! Same hotel and all.. Small world :)

The boys' first class was History's Unsolved Mysteries:

"Have you ever wondered what happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? Did Amelia Earhart land on a deserted island or crash into the sea? This semester we are going to become history detectives and try to solve some of the great mysteries in American History including: Salem Witch Trials, Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. To really be a detective, you will have to do some investigating (homework) between classes. You need to have concrete evidence to back up your theories." (From co-op website)

We had some great family discussions today about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. The boys really enjoyed their class! Some of the other classes they took were: Think Tank, Creating a Board Game, Super Structures, Lighthouses, Tumbling, Nature Crafts, Creative Roaming, & Chemistry. We are so impressed! What a great co-op and what a great first day!!

So.... What did Little Miss & 5ennie do during the school day.......??

Yup! We went to the beach!!! Well, to be honest, we first got groceries, put them away, did laundry, Little Miss watched tv for a little bit while 5ennie checked her email & facebook, then we headed out for a walk at the beach :)

Found a cool, refreshing chair in the shade with a built-in shower head, oh yeah!

Chased the seagulls and picked up shells, walking up and down the soft, sandy beach. The water was so incredibly beautiful! And warm :)

After school and running back to the Mothership for our second load of belongings, we all went back to the beach. What a wonderful way to end a great day!


Minun oli tarkoitus kääntää tämä postaus suomeksi. Mutta. Ei kykene enää! Pitää. Päästä. Nukkumaan. Mutta lyhyesti ja ytimekkäästi: meidän Floridan kirkossamme kokoontuu perjantaisin ryhmä kotikoululaisia (syyslukukausi on 11 viikkoa), jotka saavat ryhmäopetusta eri aineista. Päivään mahtuu viisi tuntia, ja jokainen oppilas saa valita monista eri vaihtoehdoista mille luokille menee. Tänään oli eka päivä, kovin odotettu sellainen, ja se meni loistavasti! Meidän koululaiset tykkäsivät ihan kaikesta, ja odottavat seuraavaa perjantaita jo innoissaan :)
Koulun aikana pikkuneiti ja mama kävivät ruokaostoksilla, tekivät kotihommia ja kävimme myös rannalla kävelemässä! Ja illalla tietty takaisin koko perheen voimin :) Ihana päivä!


  1. Ihan hengästyin kun luin päivän ohjelman ja millaisille tunneille lapsenne saavat osallistua! Olisipa Suomessakin vastaavaa, koululaiset oppisivat varmaan helpommin asioita..

    Ihana paikka teillä siellä. Aah!

  2. Eija, isompi tytöistä sanoi että saisipa tuonne mennä joka päivä! Yksi pojista tosin totesi että kerran viikossa ihan sopiva :)
    Ja on ihana paikka!!

  3. Wow! And I thought Indy was a great place to homeschool. I want to join your co-op! :)