Friday, September 9, 2011

79 enrichment opportunities in one place

I did manage to feel rather exhausted by the end of the day. I would like to think that it is my age but all the parents looked a bit whipped at the close of the day. I am going to be brutally honest in this post.

Our co-op is called St. Clair County Christian Home Educators (SCCCHE) and I know that last year there wer a little more than 180 families. I heard it said that we no are around 200 families strong, and as our leadership team clearly states, we have 3-8 kiddos on the average per family. There are parents who have been educating at home for over 20 years. I cannot imagine how difficult it woulld be to do this 20 years ago.  We also have an enrichment program called Master's Lyceum and there are 143 families registered to participate this semester as of 9/1/11.

Lyceum is an enrichment opportunty that I feel is like no other. Of course, I do not have others to compare but it is a blessing to be connected with this group.  This year there are 79 classes offered plus a group PE.  We use two floors of their classroom section and they have a huge classroom section.  Some classes are very artsy crafty, some are logical and thought provoking, some are direct learning of a particular subject, some chalenge our bodies to bend and flex. The leadership team is very clear that this should enhance what we are teaching in our homes and should never be in place of what we teach at home. Julie, our rock, makes it cleat that "we are not a school, we do not aspire to be a school, we come beside you as you teach you child".  (oh her voice is so firm but soft and sweet when she says this). 

I have two classes I lead this semester but the subject is the same. We do a lapbook all around the book Curious George Rides A Bike.  At the end of the ten weeks they will learn about the story sequence, ordinal numbers, general information about monkeys, ostriches and have an opportunity to recreate the story as a group play.  I have Curious George party face mask that we put on when we are feeling curious about something. I identify that George is a monkey and point out as the story goes along the opportunity that presents itself and how George could have made better choices. After all, this was written in 1952 and nobody gave second thought to George hopping into a truck with strangers.  We will weigh and measure each child and compare height and weight and we will create classification cards as well as we separate items with one, two, three and four wheels.  It always amazes me that so much can be done from one simple storybook that children love to read and hear. 

G enjoyed her first tumbling class very much. She has seen her girl scout friends doing cartwheels and such so of course she wants to be able to do this too.  She was full of energy and tried it all.  Her second class is a beginning scrapbook class.  She loves to do crafty things but I am very weak in this area.  There are only three girls who are taking this class and I must say that there were so many good choices during this time slot that it was hard to make a choice. As the adult there were other ones I would like to see her do but we us this time for what she wants to do.  We sent our photos of the Missouri Botanical Gardens but they expect to do four projects and so I have to get more picutres once she knows her theme. From there was ballet class. This class is taught by a professional but this year they are both in the same class due to age breakdown. All I can say is that we expect a prayer intervention as they sure did not do well in the same class together.

--off topie--why did they have issue in the same class...they are next to each other every day when we have lesson faces one wall and the other faces the opposite wall...there elbows nearly touch as we put the desk in the middle of the entire room ---back on topic---

Following ballet G went to group P.E. and then joined K and I for a picnic lunch.  During the next hour of class, G was in a book called "Read a book, Make a craft" then to a class about the Solar System.  At the end of the day, when she is beginning to drag she finally reaches a class with an academic nature.  She enjoyed her day very much but it is long as she has five classes. 

Next is F, who enjoyed her first experience with FIAR.  She has outgrown the Learning Centers time and this was a natural progression for her.  Then there was the famous ballet class as discusse above, followed by P.E. and picnic lunch. After lunch F was in tumbling and then Solar System.  They did well in Solar System class but K was there to help out in that class.  F was not as tired although she did have to get up just as early. Nope, not true as she was still asleep and K was helping G to get ready when I arrived at their house so maybe those extra 15 minutes made the difference.

So what about the brutaully honest part of this post?  Here it goes!  Homeschoolers have certain stereotypes that we face. Well folks, the reason that stereotypes exist is because the NORMAL people blend in so well that no one can tell we homeschool.  It is the extreme one that stand out in the crowd and prompts others to look and observe what is going on. With 143 families I am certain to run into some. Now let me say before I say...that.... I appreciate the individual wonder of every family God has created, that I do NOT live in a glass house so I am not trying to toss stones...BUT......BUT

If you have a child who has serious medical needs that you must attend to and you do not have the time to pick up your child from his class as you must keep the sick child away from others. PERHAPS you should not participate or find another family that is willing to take on the responsibility of your children.  If you have a child with a learning disability then you should participate in the class with your child as I am only a grandparent or parent and I am not educated in the special teaching methods for your child.  OH and do not wait until after the first class to tell me that your child has a learning disability.

IF you tell someone you will help in a busy class that has lots of cutting and glue then you should show up and stay for the entire class. 

If your child does not learn to contain his wildness or learn to accept accountability then you should keep him in the walls of your home as you are harming the future view of homeschoolers and ultimately harming the future of homeschool. 

I feel like I am making up a bunch of  "red neck" jokes.  Seriously though, some parents just do not have a handle on managing their child in public yet it really is not the child.  It is the adult.  Adults that make poor choices and their choice effects other people.  They must have a headache every night unless God has shielded them from that possibility. I wonder how some manage to get from home to church when they cannot read a map of a building and understand that 203 means it is on the second floor while 309 is on the third floor. 

Back to the kiddos and families that do not drag the homeschool community into the lime-light.  It is amazing that these children make it through the hallways in a somewhat orderly fashion and no one breaks out in a fight or pushes others out of the way.  I know that in the next two weeks almost all the children, even the four year olds will be able to move from room to room with east.  BTW the doors have monitors and no one leaves without the proper adult or enters without the proper ID. No one walks a hall without a name tag, and trust me if Julie finds a person without a name tag she has the perfect solution and is not afraid to initiate operation name tag sheriff to the offender.

I must say that my class went smoother than I had anticipated and I am ready for next week.