I’ve just come to the disappointing decision that our family will not be participating in the local elementary homeschool coop this winter and spring. The leader worked hard to bring the cost down, the activities sounded interesting, and I know and like the other mom leading the group. Why are we skipping it then? In a word: asynchrony; I don’t think the overarching paradigm of the group (designed for ages 5-10, but younger siblings welcome, in theory) will be a good fit for my kids.
The plan to start the once a week meetings with circle time and a story. Sounds great, except I have the sneaking suspicion that they expect kids to actually sit still for it, and I have what I euphemistically call kinesthetic listeners. Younger sibs are welcome to participate (if they can behave appropriately) in this part of the program, but parents should bring something for the little ones to do when the activities are ‘too advanced’ for them. My little guy? Sit and play with, oh, *anything* when he wants to be trying what the other kids are doing? Yeah, right. I have learned from experience that letting him try something and even fail miserably at it is still quieter (and less messy) than telling him no at the outset!
The leader wrote that she was game to have him try stuff, which I HUGELY appreciate, but I can still feel her reservations in there, and one of the reasons we homeschool is so that we do NOT need to ask for accommodations! They don’t need the headache of us, and, quite frankly, I don’t need the stress of trying to both meet my kids’ needs while not stepping on anyone’s toes. Yes, it would be fun, but I’m really thinking that, at this point, it just ain’t worth the headaches, you know?
Made a fun discovery though: the leader made a comment that “the origami activity would obviously be WAY over the head of a [soon-to-be] three and a half year old,” and I was curious to see if she was right. While I didn’t see him folding paper cranes any time soon, I thought he might be able to manage some basic stuff with guidance, and asked him if he’d do an experiment with me. I got some computer paper, folded and tore it to make a square for each of us, and showed Buddy how to make a fortune teller, what my husband says young boys used to call a cootie-catcher. I thought he might need me to repeatedly demonstrate some steps for him. Instead, he started *anticipating* steps, and finished parts of it before I did. Yes, his folding was fairly sloppy, but yo – he’s three! Without touching his work other than prepping the square, showing him how to make a firm crease, and opening the flaps (where your fingers go when done), he made a VERY credible fortune-teller. I think we need to add origami to list of crafty plans for this winter!