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By Larissa McKay
Our local homeschool co-op had a planning meeting this week. After a summer off, it's time to start a new session and our hodge podge group of moms (and one dad!) gathered at a local restaurant Tuesday night for tidbits and talk. (Okay, so I had more than a few tidbits. When you pay for an all-you-can-eat buffet...) A co-op is no simple thing to pull together when you have so many different people wanting to take part, and it's always interesting to find out what classes will be asked for or offered. Interestingly enough, however, there was no question about one particular class that was requested by the kids themselves Free Time.
That thought might appall you. In fact, had anyone suggested it during our first co-op session most of the moms would likely have been up in arms over the idea. At this meeting, however, it was accepted as a perfectly reasonable request, if not an absolute necessity. Why? Because we finally recognize the need for simple fellowship.
I can't speak for everyone, but I am very much a "DOer" and everything I do seems to need to have a purpose. I was caught off guard during that first co-op, because while I wasn't teaching classes I had time free to just sit and chat. We were halfway through our first session before I realized how much I was getting out of this fellowship with the other moms. I had spent so many years working with and helping homeschoolers that just parking myself at a table with other moms just to talk was a new thing to me. It was also a blessing.
Having realized our own need for the fellowship we get during co-op sessions (One mom insists that the fellowship time is her primary reason for being involved!), we were hardly surprised when our kids rose up and insisted that they needed fellowship time, too. Never in that first year would we have thought to schedule such a thing time for them to do whatever they pleased (within reason) but now we see it as perfectly natural and something we should have thought of before. This is what I call "The DUH Experience.”
They tell me I'm homeschooling to teach my children. If that's so, why does it always seem to be me that's learning something new (and usually disgustingly simple) every day?
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