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Thread: Kids are not liking Co-op (it's boring)

  1. #1
    We have recently split our co-op into different groups and we have a UG/D group. The kids are bored and two families (out of three) are considering dropping because it's not contributing to their learning and is a waste of time. Any suggestions? We try to have a review, kids presenting information, and an activity.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I think the key here is to find someone who has a zest for younger children and creating a class for them.

    I would focus on projects and not have the children review in class as at this age one child's recitation is another child's boring moment.

    Depending on size of the group you might also consider separating the age groups, in the past I've found that with a group with a large age span it is almost impossible to find something every week that all ages will like.

    Finally, how long does the class last? Is it possible that if you are trying to fill the same amount of time for the younger children as the R level children take that you should include a shorter project and then a fun activity which could be as simple as going out the the playground or some other game?

  3. #3
    President, Lampstand Press
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Those are great ideas, Pattie.

    I think that having a conversation where you all get on the same page as to what the goals are for the times together. Do you want to provide opportunities for crafts that moms will never get to on their own? Or, do you want to "go over" the material so moms won't have to at home? The corporate time really only serves if you all have the same goal for it.


    No one can do me a greater kindness in this world than to pray for me.
    --Charles Spurgeon

  4. #4
    A few more weeks into it and my co-leader and I are noticing this trend--there are some serious/intense classical education people, and some who just want a nice co-op. The quality of the teacher presentations is reflected in the families approach. Neither is wrong, but you can tell that the more serious classical educators want different or out. The only solution we have come up with is just have the more serious moms take over the classes which is something neither of us really want to do. I feel like this issue alone is going to make or break this co-op. Do we just throw in the towel? I started the co-op for the youngers so that when they got older, they would be able to have the dialetic discussion. Suggestions on how to resolve this?

  5. #5
    There really are a lot of options. I would agree with Marcia though, the first thing you and your co-leader need to do is sit down and come up with your goals. Then you need to have a meeting with all the moms and come to some consensious. With co-oping there is a give and take. You give up some things to gain others. I have noticed over the years that a co-op almost never fits each family perfectly...but it is a positive addition to their hs which makes it worth the effort.

    If your goals as leaders are different than goals of the other members you all need to decided what is the best way to work this out for all this year. Then next year you can address these issues right from the beginning.

    I think there are a couple of things you could do not knowing the ages of your students.

    First, it is hard to combine UG and D for discussion. I would split these groups right away if possible. If not then I would probably drop the content and just do activities for this year with the goal of having enough students next year to do both groups.

    Another option would be to have two sections of your co-op. One where the kids go over content and one where they do activities. Have the moms that enjoy teaching do the content and the moms that enjoy leading fun activities do that part.

    You could either do both each week. Or meet every other week and do both. Or meet one week for discussion and one week for activities.

    Or the moms that want a discussion could meet and do that and then the whole group could get together to do a fun activity together.



  6. #6
    We don't do the discussions with the UG/D group. It has 6 kids in it with only 2 really being D. So, we don't do discussions at all, but try to keep it older kid fun with more UG activities and games. Just for clarification

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Hi, ladies!
    Instead of discussions for our UG and D students, our co-op holds a Jeopardy game "class" for them. Since they are all BOYS, the friendly competition stimulates them to learning the who's, what's, where's and when's for that week (they usually form two teams; sometimes they all compete as one and 'earn' points towards candy rewards).

    Our second class for UG students is lap books for each week; a two page 'spread' in a binder where the moms design lift-the-flap booklets about the events and people of that week. The kids cut and paste and color and sometimes fill in the blanks. Our D students at this point have a literature discussion class (to ease them in to a formal discussion setting before hitting Rhetoric!)

    The last of the three classes, the UG and D kids join together again and do a project every week. Usually this is a craft; sometimes it is cooking; one week we 'measured' the Statue of Liberty dimensions outside, our last project this year (Year 3) was two 'assembly lines' of kids making banana splits (to tie in the Ford's invention of the assembly line and the invention of the banana split!) They 'raced' to see who could finish first, and then we all ate the rewards!

    It's our older kids who get 'bored' with co-op because all they are doing is discussion-- our younger ones LOVE it!
    Lori in VA
    Raising 4 boys for the glory of God

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