It is summer time and that is homeschool planning time! I am sure you have some big ideas for this coming school year. Me, too! Our dreams and hopes cannot get off the ground without planning. Planning is fun for some and intimidating for others. If you are a free spirit, recruit an organized friend to co-op with. If you are uptight and highly regulated, choose someone that will lighten you up, without driving you crazy.
My chief co-op partner for the past thirteen years (and hopefully another 15 years, since our youngest children are preschoolers) is the Anne Shirley to my Diana Barry, the Pedro to my Napoleon Dynamite, and the Legolas to my Gimli. We work together well, so spending time praying, planning, meeting, assessing, and cleaning up is a pleasure.
The other amazing moms that we co-op with each have some gift or talent that blesses our co-op. When we prayed for guidance and help on what to do with our little ones, since some of our faithful families had plans changed permanently due to COVID 19, costing us our moms that planned and executed educational fun for our smallest set, God returned to us a family that used to be a part of our co-op. This mom asked to work with the Pre-Grammar set and her kids were still on the same classical education track along with us. A perfect gift, a gift from God, and a result of prayer. This coming year is proving to contain more surprises, but with that Proverbs 31 lady, we can laugh at the days to come, because God has proven to us again and again that He is faithful. He’s got this.
Another mom brought with her a career in and love of science. I was happy to teach our younger daughters Logic while she taught our older daughters Chemistry. I taught to my gifts and interests and she taught to hers. Everyone benefitted. These high school classes can come together at the last minute, but they are more often the result of prayer first, then long-term planning.
Prayer and co-op planning are steps you simply cannot skip. I only get once chance at raising each kid. Why would I not ask for divine help? I am a skilled lawyer, trained in logic, analysis, critical reading, and writing. I have worked in the corporate world and owned a small business. Why would I not use every skill I have to do the best I can for my children. Assess your skills and gifts. How can I enhance my co-op and my homeschool with them?
How would I go about planning a project at work? A co-op and a homeschool year should be treated no less importantly. How would I plan a major event? Most of us have planned weddings. How much time went into that? You plan a homeschool and a co-op year with a similar method. How would I design a workspace or the interior of a room? We have all moved into a new home or apartment. How did I decide where everything should go – based on function? Then you know how to start planning your co-op. How would I create a business plan? A long term home education plan for my children is planned the same way.
You may have planned a church event, a VBS, a Sunday school class or Bible study. You may have led a taskforce, a committee, served on a volunteer board, or a neighborhood watch group, led a book club, organized a group on social media, or charity bake sale. Education and experience are never wasted. Use what you have learned to co-op with excellence!
Pray! I physically open up my hands as I offer my year and my co-op planning to God, so the rest of me gets in line with my mind. Then start with those long term goal in front of you. Create steps to reach those goals. Lay out your resources in front of you. I use sticky notes and grid paper to help me visualize how things will fit together. Download my long term planning sheet.
WHO IS GOING TO BE THE JELLY TO MY PEANUTBUTTER? ________________________________________________
MY PRAYER FOR A PARTNER IN CO-OP: ____________________________________________________________________
WHAT WAS I BEST AT WHEN I WAS IN THE WORKFORCE/ WHERE DO I SHINE AT WORK?
WHAT THINGS I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY PLANNED? ______________________________________________
HOW HAS LIFE PREPARED ME TO PLAN AND LEAD MY HOMESCHOOL AND MY CO-OP?
HOW CAN I USE WHAT I HAVE LEARNED? MY SKILLS? ________________________________________
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