Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Challenging Teens to Think Deeply

One of the best ways to encourage teens to think deeply about differing belief systems is to intentionally add worldview discussions to teen co-ops.  Or, better yet, organize a co-op centered around worldviews! Regardless of the theme of a teen co-op, one can be intentional about the subject matters included in the co-op in order to help the students think critically, speak articulately, question respectfully, understand the world around them and, most importantly, be ready always to give a gentle answer for the hope they have!

Here is a short podcast (less than 10 minutes) that gives specific instructions for adding vital subject matters and specific exercises to co-ops in order to help prepare teens for life after high school.  This podcast discusses the following:

1)  Using power point to organize each co-op as well as encouraging students to use power point during their presentations.
2)  Current events should be discussed weekly so that the students have an idea about what is going on in the world and so that they understand the importance of trusting sources, researching truth, and discovering all sides of each issue.
3)  Including worldview discussions is imperative.  Ideas have consequences and everyone has a belief system that influences presumptions as well as conclusions.
4)  Learning to ask pertinent questions (and to respectfully question answers) is vital training for future conversations that involve contradictory opinions.
5) Practicing debate prepares a student to think critically and deeply about issues that matter.  Learning to follow the argument of an opponent in order to understand and discuss issues is a skill to be mastered!
6) Break out sessions encourage students to discuss, share opinions, and resolve conflict in a mature manner.

Once a student leaves home, he will be exposed to a myriad of belief systems and many of these systems will, more-than-likely, contradict the Biblical worldview.  Truth is truth and your student should be well prepared to question, discuss, and share his thoughts and ideas with others in such a graceful manner that those with opposing beliefs will be challenged to give serious consideration to a biblical worldview!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Raising Godly Children and How Homeschooling Co-op Style Helps!

Most parents are concerned that their children do not abandon their faith and jump ship after high school. Coming up with a philosophy of education and a mission statement is a great way to ensure that you are accomplishing your goals which include raising children to know, love, and serve God even after they leave home. Believe it or not, there are a few simple suggestions that are imperative to consider when developing a mission statement in order to successfully guide your children to a strong faith. Today's podcast on the Ultimate Radio Network is less then 15 minutes long, but the advice shared will help empower you, as a parent, to provide an educational environment conducive to success. So listen in!

At the end of the podcast several resources are recommended and the links to these resources are listed here as well.  Our children have been involved with all of these ministries.  If you want more information, message me.






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below have been asked by those who have yet to enjoy homeschooling co-op style:


  1. How in the world do I find people to co-op with when so many of my friends are either engrossed in a compete curriculum or they already belong to a larger, formal co-op?
  2. Is every parent expected to participate?
  3. Does every student have to participate?
  4. Are adults ever involved who do not have children in the co-op?
  5. What if your group, for one reason or another, can not continue to meet at the facility where you are meeting?
  6. What if you damage something at the facility?
  7. How do you handle snacks with children who have allergies?
  8. How do you pick a theme?
  9. What subjects should you cover?
  10. Should you include field trips?
  11. What do you do about discipline problems?
  12. How important is it to have a newsletter?
  13. What do you do with toddlers and babies during co-op?
  14. What if someone drops out in the middle of co-op?
  15. What if someone wants to join in the middle of co-op?
  16. Are there hardship situations that take special handling?
  17. When you homeschool co-op style what do you do about high school transcripts?

Here is a link to a podcast that answers each of these questions.  If you have more questions, feel free to comment and we will answer those as well!  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Plan Now for Fall Co-ops!!

Now is the time to start thinking about fall co-ops.  If you have never been a part of a co-op, consider giving it a try next fall.  I think you will find the experience quite rewarding!  Several of our podcasts on the Ultimate Radio Network discuss how to start a co-op, but this week's podcast will give you specific step-by-step instructions for how to begin now planning for the fall!

When you are the one in charge of organizing the co-op you can pick the families you would like to join you, what day/time to meet, how long the co-op should last, and what subject to discuss.  Having family integrated co-ops that include parents means a lighter, shared workload!!

Here are a few benefits of homeschooling co-op style:

Safe and friendly environment for socialization
Fellowship with other families
Shared workload means less work
Audience provided for student presentations
Conducive to group activities
Highlight of the week for many
Thematic snacks
Students learn to use power point
Endless choice of themes
Easy to incorporate multi-media teaching

Here is a copy of a sample parental assignment chart as well as a front page of a newsletter from one of our co-ops:

We have published a few guides that make co-oping easy and I am available to consult if you need help getting started!  Listen to this week's podcast and make a plan for a fall co-op!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Character Building at Co-ops

There are many lessons to be taught that are better taught together, with a group of students and their parents at co-op, and character is a prime example!  Many homeschooling moms are discouraged by the daily on-going battles that often take place in the home: sibling rivalry, interruptions, laziness, selfishness, and more.  Coming together weekly at a co-op provides an opportunity for encouragement for the moms as well as a support system that can be used to further instill character into the students at the co-op!!  

Regardless of the subjects covered at co-op, lessons on character can easily be added to schedule of events.  Begin with including specific memory verses that address character issues.   Include video clips and articles from current sources to use as an example to the children of others who exhibit great character traits.  Use misbehavior during co-op to pause the current teaching and address the behavior issues right then and there.  Our children become so accustomed to our correction that it often goes in one ear and out the other, but when they see other adults putting emphasis on character it makes an impact.

How can you incorporate character lessons into your co-op?  I have two suggestions. One is to design a co-op around character traits.  The other suggestion is to intentionally weave character lessons throughout the co-op experience.

For more specific instructions listen in to the podcast on the Ultimate Radio Network entitled Improving Character via Co-ops when it airs on March 4, 2014 (the show will be archived and available on iTunes as well).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The 1, 2, 3's of Starting a Co-op

Check out the podcast on the Ultimate Radio Network that will give you a simple plan for starting your own co-op!   Do not be intimidated.  It is not as hard as you think.  In fact, it's quite simple!!  The URL above includes a slide presentation that goes along with the podcast.  Yes, we have published a guide to co-oping, and it includes more details, but this podcast (along with the slides) will be enough to get you started!  So do not wait any longer.  Grab a view families and give homechooling co-op style a try!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Co-ops, money matters and more!

Join me as I interview Carol Topp, CPA extraordinaire as we discuss the ins and outs of money matters in regard to co-ops and other issues that pertain to homeschoolers (such as fund raising)!  If you are like me, the thought of formalizing your co-op into a non-profit might not have entered your mind.  However, there are benefits to becoming a non-profit and, if you hire teachers you may find it quite beneficial. 

Carol Topp is a retired homeschooling mom who is also an author, speaker and consultant.  Check out the products and services she offers at her website:  homeschoolcpa.com

The show will air on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, at 10:00 am, but will be archived and available via iTunes afterwards!

If there are other issues you would like to hear more about on future shows, let me know!