It’s Bylaw Time!

It’s that time when most people run for the hills, myself included!  Reading, writing, or editing bylaws are not normally considered fun (except for my friend Carol who loves this sort of thing), but it’s a necessary evil at some point.  For us, this was that year!

Please take a moment to read over our current bylaws (LITWHA Bylaws.2015) and then come back and check out the proposed bylaws here (ByLaws2017 Voting).

We will be voting by ballot on our last Learning Day, Monday, May 1, 2017.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at lostinthewoodscoop@gmail.com

~Deanna

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Schooling Christmas Style

Kids can’t help but be excited about Christmas so why not take enthusiasm and direct it towards your school day!  Here are some ideas found on Pinterest…

Turn your Christmas baking into a Math Lesson using {these} worksheets from Learning Zone Express.

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Learn some Geography while talking about {Christmas around the world}.

 

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{Science Sparks} has page full of Christmas themed Science experiments.

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For Literature, {here} is a printable Advent reading plan (source).

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For a complete school day,  there different activities found {here} to go along with the movie The Polar Express!  I saw vocabulary words, a crossword puzzle, word search, math problems, and a cute Letter to Santa printable (those were all free to download, but I didn’t click all the links so there could be some items that cost).

~Deanna Parsons

(Please note, I found all these ideas from Pinterest and LITWHA has no association with them)

A look to Session 3

Is it just me or is anyone else thinking past the holidays to Session 3?  No… Oh well, since I am I want to share what I’ve found out!

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Our Little Learners class will have afternoon options and I’m excited to find out what fun things they will get to do (and I can take pictures of).

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The next tidbit I found out is that there will be a Writing class.  I cannot wait to read what the imaginations of the developing writers will come up with!

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The last class I heard about was a Hand Sewing class.  I wish I knew what projects they will be making and more importantly can I take the class too?

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Well, have I piqued your interest and got you thinking forward to our next session?  Leave a comment and let me hear your thoughts.

~Deanna Parsons

The Homeschooled Voice–My Favorite Thing About Co-op Day

Hi! I’m Megan, I am 14 and in 9th grade. We have been homeschooling for 6 years. This is my second time taking classes in a co-op. Right now I am taking 3 classes: Spanish, Theater, and Art.  Art class is my favorite.  It’s my favorite because it is another way to express myself, you know, besides talking which I do a lot. It is a way to talk…without talking. I have learned things like shading, how to blend colors, Zentangles and how to work with water colors. Did you know Zentangle means megan-zentangle-blogpost“peaceful doodling”?

 

 

Here is one of my Zentangles.  (Mrs. Kenna likes the originality in this one.)

 

 

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My favorite piece of art work I have made so far is this one I made for blending class.  (This one took hard work but it was worth it.)

 

 

 

I have always loved art and Mrs. Kenna, the art teacher, has helped to nurture that love. She is a really great teacher because she pushes me to do my best and to be the best I can be. When I don’t get something, she talks me through it. We are allowed to let our creativity flow. Mrs. Kenna likes to tell us ” draw what you see, not what you know”.

So, if you like art, like to learn, and try new things then come try out this class because you will learn tons!

Why I Love to Teach Art Class

I am not an Artist.  I am a mom.  I homeschool only boys.  I have 3 and they are ALL boy.  Just ask my furniture/house/tables/bathrooms.  I have never had an art class in my life.

I want many things for my boys, for their future and heart.  One thing I want for them is an intense appreciation for all the beautiful things around them created by the Creator.  If you know boys you know they don’t stop long for beautiful things.  They do not often use the word beautiful.

Another thing I want for them is the understanding that its okay to try and fail.  For us, art was a great way to teach all this.  I began 3 years ago with 2 of 3 boys scared to use crayons.  They frequently panicked knowing they could never color in the lines despite how many times I told them it didn’t matter.

We were starting a co-op with some families from our church and I saw an opportunity.  An opportunity to teach a subject I never had time or motivation to follow through with otherwise.  I had skimmed the book, this book.DrawingwithChildren.book

I knew I could probably pull it off.  Turns out I loved it.  I loved sketching and thinking about elements of shapes.  Suddenly looking at objects and drawing them made perfect sense. landscape.oil.Ian I wished someone had shown me how easy it was when I was younger.  And now I was determined to teach these children the same thing.  We ended up with 8 children in the class, ages 7-12.  We finished the year with an oil painting. (My son did this oil painting.  He was 9.)

Now I have MUCH to learn but when I teach Art my target student it not the one who loves to draw.  It is the one who thinks he/she can’t draw.  It is the child who is impatient with the process that grabs my attention.  I want THAT child to know he may not go to art school but understanding color, line, space, and perspective are important in the world around him not just in art class.

My boys now beg to do art at least twice a week often sitting for an hour or more working on projects.  My middle son insists on illustrating his reading worksheets.  My youngest who still hates crayons loves using all the different markers I keep on hand now.  They have notebooks of creatures drawn and colored, not perfectly but they no longer care.  They are excited when I talk about going to an art museum and now I am excited too.

I won’t delve into all the various things creativity and drawing help children develop.  That is a long list but I plan to continue the art whether we are in a class or not.kandinskyskyline.Ian

Here are some more of my oldest son’s art projects from the class 2 years ago. (These were just the final finished projects.  They had many drawings and smaller projects that were not displayed.)

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Also because I was new to teaching art I forgot to take pictures of all the kid’s pictures together.

I didn’t know I would love it but I took a chance.  I didn’t know children would benefit from it but their mothers tell me they did.  I can’t teach advanced art or prepare a child for Art school.  I can’t cultivate a lifetime of creating art for a person.  I can help a child believe its possible.  I can introduce them to basic concepts that lay a foundation for learning about color, shape, line, and perspective. 

So if you think you have nothing to offer other homeschoolers I think you are probably wrong.  Homeschoolers are creative in a thousand different ways as we push, pull, and prod our children along.  We can turn anything into a lesson.  Sometimes those lessons are that much more fun when taught to a group.

Why Co-op? I thought we were homeschoolers!

I teach 3 grade levels, all classes.  I am with my students almost 24/7.  I am excited when I get to shop for groceries alone and not simultaneously turn every question into a lesson.  Some days are golden with school done early, no one is arguing, and they all happily are reading instead of begging for cartoons. 

Other days, well, are not as pretty.  Those days you forget that you are still in pajamas at 5:00 pm and then don’t see the point in dressing.  You might as well roll right back into bed.  You are concerned your middle son might be a socio-path and pray it is just a phase.  You feel like calling your mother-in-law crying “Why did you do this to me? They did not get this from my side of the family.”

But in between the gold and dross we have these sweet moments of learning and growing.  Moments we would not be witnessed to if we chose another path for our family.  We treasure those, don’t we?

Then there are moments that we realize we cannot reach all our goals and keep clothes on everyone.  We are holding onto to many hats and bear much responsibility.  And there are times when others can help us meet our goals.  There are times when asking for help to teach a subject we will never get to on our own is good.  It is good to gain perspective about how others do that same thing.  It is good to see that your son isn’t they only boy who struggled with potty training.  It is a blessing to know that you are not the only one who thinks they can’t do it all or maybe even half of what is set before you. 

Here is a link to an opinion on both sides of the homeschooling learning co-op. 

http://www.worldmag.com/2012/09/homeschool_co_ops_point_counterpoint

I see advantages to both perspectives.  For me this has changed over the years but most importantly I think we need to realize that home, public, and private schools change for everyone.  There are seasons to life and things change whether we say so or not.  We are the best judge for what works for our family and our children’s education.

(I will caveat all this by saying we are the best judge for our family within the bounds of the law.  I am not referring to a family in crisis that needs professional help or legal intervention.)