Exploring Other Options

I probably should add a disclaimer to this post. Not because there is anything wrong or improper in what I am about to write, but because I might know some of you on a personal basis (those I see at church or via homeschooling) and I don’t want to you start worrying about our family. That said, let us forge ahead….

There are times in life when you just feel the need for change. If your lucky, it might be as simple as moving the furniture around in the front room or hitting the closet for a new outfit. At other times, bigger action is required; a new car, a new city, or job might be in order. In our case, there are times we wonder about the fit of our homeschool group.

Let me be perfectly clear, we love the families in our group! We are surrounded by some of the most thoughtful, wonderful people you could ever want to know. Putting that aside for a moment, our group is pretty small. Our family count this year is only fourteen families. While that might seem like a decent amount to most people, in So Cal, we are surrounded by groups which number well into the 100’s.

6th Grade

I think, no, I know there are benefits to each type of group. One offers you a more intimate knowledge of the people around you and an opportunity to feel like family. On the other hand, larger groups offer more activity, flexibility, and responsibility more equally dispersed.

During this past year, it seems several families in our homeschool group have considered exploring other options. A few went for interviews at other PSP locations, some went to group activities, while others simply did some online research.

It seems there was a general consensus; no matter where you go, there are going to be issues.

Up ’till last year, I don’t know that I would have even thought about ‘testing out’ other groups; we’ve been happy where we are. Unfortunately, about a year ago, my kids had begun to notice they are pretty much the only kids in their grade. My oldest girl is pretty much alone wherever she goes, unless two other young ladies happen to show. This year, we have a few more families than we had the year before. This means more play friends for my younger three, but my oldest is still hoping for more companionship.

Recently we were invited to check out another group and I am sorely tempted to see what they offer. The prospect of my kids being surrounded by tons of other kids their own age sounds appealing. However, I would hate to no longer be apart of our current group and being in a larger group doesn’t guarantee more friendship, just a larger pool.

For now, we are going to stay where we are. Until the Lord purposefully moves us, this must be where He wants us. We like our group, we like the people; perhaps we just need to spend more purposeful time in prayer over more young ladies joining the group.

After all, each group has it’s issues, right? If this is all we’ve got, we’ll take it!

How many groups did you explore before finding the right fit?

Advertisements

Say Cheese!

Yesterday was our first meeting of the year in our home school PSP, which also makes it picture day! My husband has been awesome enough to volunteer doing photography for the group, so off we all went to welcome and assist both returning and new families.

Noel IDThis photo shoot is mainly for ID purposes and to have a current photograph on file; we are not focusing on group shots or candid. Theoretically this makes for really quick sessions with each person. You sit, he snaps, you leave; easy as pie.

Little children are bit trickier to shoot though. Will they smile, do they need some coercion, or do we just go with whatever works? Usually he is able to get some pretty neat shots.

Being that this was the first meet of the year, it also meant an actual meeting was in order.

We always start with a quick devotion and then we handle “business”. Rules and JAG IDregulations are gone over; t-shirt orders are taken (we have school shirts); September field trips are signed up for; school calendars are handed out (we plan our entire year in advance when it comes to activities, so everyone has plenty of advanced notice to plan things in); and any other items that might need going over.

This first meeting is also a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to any new families and visit with those we might have lost touch with over the summer. It’s always fun to fellowship with friends.

The pictures are now finished, processed and ready to be sent out to their respective families. Now for the next order of PSP business, planning for our fall co-op. Which classes should I volunteer to teach? Decisions, decisions….

I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone else’s posts on “back to school” pictures. Do any of you create ID’s as well?

Full Steam Ahead

As if life isn’t already filled with “busy-ness”, our family is going to be charging full steam ahead during the next several weeks. We have a slew of activities planned and today was just the start of the all the fun!

Today we had a full schedule of events. We started off doing fall co-op with our homeschooling PSP, moved onto a library visit, rounded off with a park day, and ended with getting some paperwork done. Whew!

Marine Biology

My baby boy had a marine biology class this morning, during his co-op hours. He had lots of fun and learned quite a bit.

Speech

My oldest daughter had a speech class today. She was very uncomfortable, but she made it through. We are going to be doing some practicing before next week to help her get more comfortable.

Animal Habitats

My middle girls took an animal habitat class. Today’s lesson was on the life cycle of the frog. They even had a special visitor in class… a red bellied toad!

Math Games

I taught a class for the Kindergarten kids as well. During second period we played math games. Today’s lesson was on making tangrams and creating some neat animal shapes!

Heroes of the Bible

Second period meant Heroes of the Bible for my middle girls. They made neat notebooks and even got a cape to go with it!

Sewing

Second period was basic sewing skills for my oldest girlie. She had a lot of fun with this class.

Park Day

Just a few of our girlies who joined us at the park. It was great weather and great fellowship!

Dragons

Once again, our dragon friends graced us with their company and, once again, my youngest gal wouldn’t leave them alone!

Good Eats

My baby girl eating up her pizza. She WAS supposed to be eating her salad, but her dragon friends brought pizza to share… so… the salad was forgotten.

Our co-op classes were an absolute blast! We had so much fun and learned a lot. Thanks so much to the other teachers who helped make today special. We can’t wait for next week!

The park was awesome! The breeze was stupendous, the food was lovely, and the fellowship was sweet. I love getting together with my other mommies and listening to how their lives are going.

Today was definitely full, but it was all worth it. Now it’s time for some R&R!

If you could teach any co-op class, what class would you teach?

Dad’s Night Out

The Man Behind the LenseMy husband joined the men in our homeschool group for a Dad’s Night Out, last night. He was supposed to take pictures of the event, but apparently he was having so much fun, he forgot! (Rrrrrr…..)

Oh, well! It is a blessing to know that my guy was able to enjoy his evening and that they were having such a good time. He really doesn’t get many opportunities to just hang out with his friends and fellowship.

While they do have games available for them, it seems they generally spend the evening talking and eating. They always intend to get to the games, but never quite make it.

This is one of the reasons that we love our homeschool PSP so much. Most groups are mom centered and hardly make a point of including the fathers. Our group has a male principal, has several men that lead important areas of the group, and highly encourages all of the dads’ participation in all activities.

We are so blessed to have this group and to enjoy their friendship. I hope all of the other dads had as much fun as my husband did!

Does your homeschool group encourage the participation of its fathers? How so?

First Park Day

Today was the first park day of the year for our homeschool PSP. I wish I could say there was a large turnout, but unfortunately only a small group showed.

For those of us who did, it was a blast! Our kids had fun running around and playing with bearded dragons, the moms were able to fellowship, and the weather was simply wonderful!

Pet Lovers

My littlest girl, her friend, and one of the bearded dragons.

 

Fun with Grandma

A few of the little girls, having fun at the park!

 

I'm Eating!

(Really, sis? I am trying to eat here!) My middle girl trying to eat her lunch, while her little sister snaps some shots.

 

The Flying Dutchman

Our dog, Dutch, hiding out and looking for scraps.

 

Sand Box Time

There was no way my little girl was letting go of this new animal! She held them from the moment they came, till the moment they left.

 

Finding Time to Write

Even in the midst of chaos, my “T” will find some opportunity to write.

 

Got 'Ya

“Let’s take each other’s picture!”

As I mentioned, there were very few people who made it to the park day today, but it was a good afternoon. We had a lot of fun and fellowship.

A new mom was invited, by a mutual friend, to join in. It was a pleasure to meet her and to help her begin her homeschooling journey. I hope that she will be back!

Does your PSP do park days or do you plan them on your own? If you have adolescents, do they attend park days? (Sometimes this can be a real challenge.)

The Ministry of Homeschooling

Field TripDid you know that when you are teaching and homeschooling your children, you are ministering? Yup, that’s right! You are serving the Lord through being their educator and parent.

While we love and enjoy our “home” ministry to our children, my husband and I also minister to them through our homeschool support group. We look for ways that we can make their field trips, co-ops, game nights, and any other events more enjoyable.

Today was our first homeschool meeting of the year and we had a blast! We had an opportunity to meet the new families joining in and encourage them. We were able to discuss the coming year and lay down some plans for future events. Me

My husband volunteers as photographer for the group, so student and faculty ID shots were taken today; getting the year started off right. I volunteer by handling the newsletter, yearbook, and T-Shirt orders. It looks to be a very busy, but rewarding, year!

It has been a blessing serving in the ministry of our homeschool group. We love the fellowship and the fun. Sometimes it seems they are as much family as, well, family!

Do you have a PSP that you are a part of? What part of homeschool ministry are you involved in?