Monday, April 16, 2012

Teaching a Coop Class

Most homeschoolers know what a "coop" is.  It's a cooperative, so "koh-op" not "coop" (like chicken coop)!  

Coops (or co-ops) usually have the homeschool mom, or dad, teaching a class while their children are taking classes.  Often there is no fee involved unless there are supply fees.  A few years ago I was involved in a wonderful coop that lasted about 9 weeks.  Sadly, I had no idea what I could teach. I had been homeschooling for YEARS and I could not think of something to teach. Fortunately, one of the moms couldn't make some of her classes that she prepared so I substituted for her.  The classes were Music for Pre-schoolers (how can you mess that up?) and Cooking.  That is actually hilarious because I don't have any musical ability or skills and I pretty much despise cooking.  Baking, I like.  Cooking meals, not so much.  I was also the assistant to the art teacher.  Comical.  Another subject that is not my forte.  (Are you wondering, like I was, if there is anything I can teach?!)  I was pretty much the girl Friday so it was easy...and fun to see all those creations!!! 

That coop met every Wednesday.  The kids took two classes, had lunch, then had one more class.  There was a nursery where teachers could have their kids while they taught.  One of the teachers, my friend, who taught a writing class that my son was in, had a policy that if the students didn't do their assignments, they had to each lunch with her.  Instead of with their friends.  Brilliant!!  I thought it was brilliant because my son was in the class, not because he loved writing, but because he struggled with it.   When I asked her if he could be in the class even if he was being forced by his mama, and she told me the rule about having to eat with her...Yes!  She made the course fun, of course, and I don't think any kids ended up eating lunch with her.

A tour guide once told me that you just have to know a little more than the customers you serve;  so I went with that theory.  I mean 4 year olds had no idea that I couldn't carry a note!  They just loved singing and dancing!  And the cooking class?  There were  three high school aged boys with no cooking background!  Score!  That class was sooooo much fun to teach!  I threw some baking in.

So now, I'm possibly moving  into the real world of teaching coop.  Another  name for teaching classes to homeschool students where you get paid for your services is "Class Day".  I'm considering teaching at a "Class Day" next school year.  If I continue this blog next school year, I'll let you know how that goes!

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