Monday, April 26, 2010

Learning and living with our home school community.

At the beginning of the year I felt that I needed to step back for a while from organising activities for our co-op group and co-ordinating park days. So I handed over these duties to a very organised and creative mommy, who is doing a great job of keeping us all connected. It has been a blessing to watch as other moms have gotten involved more. And it has given opportunities for us to get to know one another even more as each mom has taken a turn to organise a co-op lesson.

This year we started off with a clay lesson. After listening to a story the children were encouraged to create something from the story with clay. They added a little sparkle with beads.

Jenna's clay canoe

Next we learnt about different seeds and what fruit they belonged to,

along with how plants need water to grow.

Just before Easter one of the mommy's was very creative and planned a whole morning of easter craft activities. The children made hot-cross buns, decorated eggs, completed an egg and spoon obstacle course and were entertained by a puppet show.

Michael's hand painted easter egg

Jenna's easter egg-this was wrapped with an elastic and had stickers stuck on it before putting it into food colouring dye. Afterwards all the "add-ons" were removed.

After decorating the easter eggs at co-op I thought our Easter tree looked a little bare with only four eggs hanging on it so the children and I made these little chicks in Fabergé eggs. I thought I was being quite daring attempting such a fiddly activity with Michael-but he loved it! He managed to complete the whole activity without loosing his concentration.

Michael's Fabergé egg

On a rainy Monday morning all the families gathered together for a music lesson which was presented by a music teacher from a Waldorf school. Her gentle singing, interesting musical instruments and flowing movement activities was just what the children needed on a rainy day.

Even the moms had a chance to learn some lullaby type songs while the children took advantage of a break in the rain to get outdoors and play with one another.

Unfortunately I don't always remember to take my camera along so I don't have a photo of our baking co-op :-( The children worked in groups to read, measure and mix their dough. And then they made their own wheat free, dairy free, yeast free and preservative free pizzas! Yes, we're even learning about how other's need to adapt their diets to cope with allergies.

I find that the co-op sessions generally inspire me to be more creative with my children. I learn from the other moms how they teach and it is exposing our children to many different new concepts too. This means that I'm learning more about Jenna and Michael and their interests and talents.

We only meet every second week for our co-ops as we felt it was still important to continue with the park days. On these days we get to meet with other families who aren't part of our co-op group. It has been good to see friendships form between the children and between the moms too. There's a core group of families who come along every time but most of the time there is at least one new family who joins us. The group has really grown-I think we're up to about 18 families on the mailing list now! There is even another co-op group which has been started.

It is amazing to see so many families coming along to spend time with one another. Even if someone just visits with us once I'm always amazed at how the Lord can use this time as a time for encouraging us moms. I'm always reminded on these days of how each family is different, we all interact differently and learn differently

BUT the Lord can use each and every single one of us to build each other up.

So if you're ever in the area on a Tuesday afternoon come along and join us on Noordhoek Common-there's lots of space to run around and it's fun for everyone!