Saturday, September 21, 2013

Upcoming Radio Show

As you may have noticed, we've launched the Ultimate Radio Show and to celebrate we are giving away an iPad mini!  If you haven't entered, leave a comment here and you will be entered!!  But, WAIT, don't leave without clicking the second picture in the blog so you can see the promo video for the show!!!

Although the shows will be audio only, and archived (and playable on iTunes) and FREE, I added slides to my promo video and you can see that here!

Feel free to share the news of this site with others.  There are many shows with a wide variety of topics.

I am passionate about homeschooling co-op style and I hope to share this vision with all of you.  If you have anything in particular you would like me to cover regarding co-ops on my show, leave a comment.

I will be interviewing guests now and then and am excited that our first show should be up and running by Wednesday, October 2, from 10 to 11 am!!  Thanks for all the kind comments so far.  I appreciate your support.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

FREE iPad mini

How exciting would it be to win a free iPad mini?  I have entered so many contests in the past and most of the time I wonder if the contests are even legitimate!  This contest is legitimate.  I can not share all of the details with you just yet, but I will soon.  The contest is going to be linked to the grand revealing of a brand new homeschool podcast site called The Ultimate Radio Show!   Boy, do
I wish we had something like this 28 years ago when I began homeschooling!   As soon as this site is launched you will have access to podcasts on a variety of subjects and you do not have to listen online (although you can) because you will be able to download the talks to itunes!!!  How cool is that?

I am also excited that I have been asked to do a weekly show on homeschooling co-op style and I already have several guests lined up to interview for future shows.

So, if you want to win an ipad mini, stay tuned!
If you want to know more about the Ultimate Radio Show, stay tuned!
If you have questions regarding co-oping that you would like answered, send them in!!
If you blog and you want to share the contest with your readers, let me know!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hear ye! Hear ye! Co-ops should include newsletters!!

Although publishing a newsletter is not a requirement to enjoying a successful co-op, it certainly adds to the co-op in many ways.  Here are a few benefits of publishing a co-op newsletter:

  • The newsletter can be inserted into the portfolio to show the student's work
  • Sharing the newsletter with family and friends is an easy way to keep others up-to-date with your child's school work!
  • Keeping the newsletters to pull out and look at later stirs up fond memories of fun times!
  • If the newsletter includes the student's published reports then they will be motivated to make sure their written presentation is presentable!
  • By including pictures and summations of presentations (or the reports in full), one no longer needs to keep additional photographs and written work on hand.
There are various ways to share the newsletters with co-op members.  Some co-ops have chosen to print out all of the newsletter after the co-op has ended in order to have all of the newsletters bound together with a spiral binding.  Others have chosen to share a digital copy of the newsletter weekly, allowing the receiver to decide whether or not to print the newsletter and/or to print the newsletter in color or in black and white. 

The publishing program I prefer to use, Microsoft Publisher, has templates that easily set up a newsletter format.  Regardless of the program used, the main idea is to publish a newsletter that documents the co-op. Below is a copy of the front page of the American Girl co-op that just started yesterday.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bring in the Speakers!

Homeschooling parents often feel inadequate to teach certain subjects and, fortunately, there are resources at our disposal that include tutors, videos, specialized classes, and more!  When our children become teenagers the co-ops we organize include subjects that are more challenging than the basic reading, writing and arithmetic of earlier years.   In order for our teens to begin thinking more critically about the world in which we live, it is good to include subjects such as current events, philosophy, world religions and worldviews, apologetics, logic, and debate.  Meeting together as a group enhances the information presented.  Co-ops also provide a great opportunity for the students to hone their public speaking skills.

In order to address these subjects adequately we use curriculum and Philosophy Adventure, mentioned in another blog, is a great example of a useful publication.   We also use resources found on the internet (presentations, videos, and more), but one of the most effective additions to a co-op is the inclusion of guest speakers!  This is especially true when the subject matters are unique or when they are too difficult to understand (much less teach).

In Dayton, Tennessee this fall there is a co-op for teenage boys that will teach the students basic skills such as small engine repair, toilet repair, ipod screen replacement, and more.  Most of the fathers of the boys in the co-op work during the day and cannot participate in the co-op  Most of the moms are willing to do what they can, but few have the skills necessary to teach these classes.  The common sense solution is to utilize retired men who are willing to teach these subjects!  This particular co-op has found enough men to help and the co-op will begin soon.

In Tallahassee, Florida there is a co-op that is focusing on theology, character, and the Constitution.  What joins these subjects together?  Glad you asked!  Ben Carson's newest book, American the Beautiful, is perfect for this co-op!  That is just one of several books the students have been assigned to read.  In addition to meeting together once a week to discuss the books, current events, character, and more, there are men scheduled to come in periodically to teach theology, economics, and character issues.  Not only are the speakers qualified to teach the subjects in depth, but having a variety of speakers helps hold the interest of the students.  And, since in most cases the parents who participate in the co-ops are usually the moms, it is nice to have men come in to teach when possible.

If you find a speaker perfect for the theme of your co-op, but he/she cannot be present during the time your co-op meets, then schedule an additional time for co-op in order to take advantage of that speaker!  Most speakers do not require a fee for their services, but some do so be sure you come to an understand beforehand.  And, if the speaker does not require a fee, consider presenting him/her with a gift of some sort in order to show your appreciation.  Two years ago we were honored to have a local man come in every week and speak to our co-op for 45 minutes to an hour.  We were more than appreciative of his willingness to take time away from his schedule to invest in the lives of our students and as a way to show our appreciation, we took up a monetary offering for him.  The students, who were also appreciative, contributed monetarily as well, and some even organized fund raisers in order to add to the amount given to the speaker.

Are you part of a co-op or are you planning one for the future?  Then consider bringing in the speakers!