Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting dads involved in co-ops!

The norm for most homeschool co-ops is to have the moms participate, often to the exclusion of dads.  This may simply be due to logistics (dad's at work), but when there is a desire to include men, there is a way to make it happen!  With intention and purpose men can become a part of your child's co-op and having men on hand to teach, lead, and show by example is very beneficial to the life of a child.

One year we had a ten week co-op with only teen boys on current events, persuasive writing and public speaking.  We purposefully met at night so that dads could attend, and many of them were able to join us.

Our co-ops often have guest speakers and many times the dads are the guest speakers.  Several of our co-ops have been blessed to have Ryan Sprague volunteer his time to speak into the lives of our teens.  Ryan is an author, athlete, dad, pastor, speaker, and friend.  I interviewed Ryan on my Homeschooing Co-op Style show and we talked about co-ops, footballs, dads participating in co-ops and more!  You can hear this interview here!  (Click on the MP3 button on the page.  It is also available in iTunes.)

Some of my friends have started a co-op for teens that is being taught by retired men who are training the students in skills such as small engine repair, computer programming, home improvements, and more!

Think outside the box, and invite the dads to be a part of your co-op!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Homeschooling Co-op Style Show has Launched!

Yesterday was the first Homeschooling Co-op Style show to play on the Ultimate Homeschool Network!  If you didn't hear the interview live, you can listen to the archived talk at any time!

During the first show I interviewed Suzanne who has organized a co-op for teens in Florida.  Her co-op includes such topics as worldviews, current events, the Constitution, economics, conflict resolution and more. Suzanne first joined one of my co-ops in 2010 when we studied the Scopes Trial.  The co-op was called Inherit the Truth and for those of you interested, here is a copy of the newsletter from that co-op!  (Click on the picture of the court house to see a copy of the newsletter.)

Next week on the show I will be interviewing Ryan Sprague.  Ryan is an athlete, an author, a speaker, a homeschool dad, a pastor and a friend.  Dads will appreciate what Ryan has to share to encourage them to listen in as well!   Ryan is currently one of the guest speakers at Suzanne's co-op.  Join us next week for the Homeschooling Co-op Style show on Wednesdays at 10:00 am!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

One of the main benefits to homeschooling, co-op style, is providing a safe and friendly environment for students to develop and hone public speaking skills. Research shows that people are more afraid of speaking in public than of dying!  The longer you wait to require your child to speak in front of a group, the harder it will be for that child to overcome the natural fear of speaking in public.  However, if you begin having your child give presentations in front of a group at a young age, that fear is quickly conquered!

This fall I am orchestrating an American Girls co-op that my grand daughter, Karis (age 7) attends with 7 of her friends.  I have heard from two parents that their children were terrified of giving a presentation to the group.  If the parent hadn't told me that I never would have guessed that was the case because the girls did such a great job!  As the weeks go by the girls are becoming more and more comfortable with giving a presentation.  Some totally memorize their report while others use note cards.  One of the students has used power point several times and has even included video!  Several of the students have come to co-op dressed as the American girl we are studying that particular week.

It has been amusing to note that several times a few of the girls do not want to share some of the information in their presentation because they are embarrassed by the subject so they have their moms share that particular part with the group.  Karis will share embarrassing information (i.e. dye was sometimes made from duck poop), but then she will giggle.  It's adorable.  Younger siblings have participated as well, often holding a picture up during the report.

Whether you organize a co-op that becomes the center of your academic study, or you plan one that is simply to provide a safe and friendly audience for public speaking opportunities, I encourage you to give homeschooling, co-op style a try!  Some things are just better together!

Our "Homeschooling Co-op Style" show will begin on October 9th, so mark your calendars!  (There's a video on this page with a short introduction to the show.)

And, if you haven't entered our drawing for a free iPad mini, the contest is about to end so add a comment to the blog in order to enter!!!   Happy co-oping!