Co-op/home schooling can mean many different things to parents. Here is some common understanding about home schooling.
• Grouping together of talents and skills of parents involved in home schooling
• An alternate to educating children over public or private schools
• Supplementing classroom lessons with home teaching
• Children group study after school time in a community like structure
• Cooperative effort between two or more families to educate their children
Co-op schooling has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages are –
• They are cost effective for parents
• Parents are able to pool their skills and education for common benefits
• Learners get a better opportunity for learning
• Parental involvement and participation level is much higher
• It provides a fun learning ambience for children
The disadvantages are –
• There is no definite pattern of study
• They may not comply with standard learning methodologies
• There are no fixed rules, hence learning is haphazard
• May lack in proper curriculum and standards
• There is no way for evaluation of results
Organizing Coop Schools – How to Make a Beginning
Coop schooling can in spite of all the disadvantages still be fruitful if it is organized well and planned scientifically. There are excellent resources in the internet that parents can tap effectively to give their children a rich experience.
Here are the steps involved in creating a coop school.
• Identify like-minded parents in your neighborhood
• Learn more about the talents each parent has or can contribute to the group
• Create the space for conducting the classroom
• Decide on what each parent need to contribute in terms of time and money
• Consult an educationist to decide the curriculum
• Study the legal aspect involved in creating a coop school
• Write the bye-laws for your group and get it approved by stake holders
See it Being Done by Others
Before you take the steps to create a coop school in your neighborhood, visit a couple of coop schools and learn how they operate. You don’t have to begin big with a bang. Instead take a slow-and-steady approach – even two families to begin with is adequate to demonstrate the effectiveness of a cooperative school. Once that is done you will be able to rope in a wider section of people in your neighborhood to take the coop school to higher level.
Coop schools can leverage internet technologies to make it a success. There are a vast number of apps that are particularly suited to coop schooling. Many of the apps are free, but we suggest that you consider buying some apps yourself and share it in the coop.
Bringing Internet Technology in Coop Classrooms
Here are some apps you may want to try. They are not exhaustive – you will discover more when you start using a few of them.
The uses for Storybook Maker include creating, designing and sharing – short stories, picture books, photos, vacation albums and scrapbooks. Storybook Maker can bring out the creativity in children. The app includes multiples of tools for creating books and customizing them to your children’s needs. Features include – custom recorded audio, background and borders, painting tools, a massive built-in library and photo album.
Touchable Earth Giveaway
The Touchable Earth Giveaway is an award winning app recognized by the United Nations. It is based on geography and includes topics on Nepal, India, Iraq, South Africa, Romania, Kurdistan and China. There are over 200 videos to choose for you classroom. The learning is very engaging and very captivating as well. More importantly the videos have transcripts and are ideal for children with disabilities as well.
Alphabet Aquarium helps children names of letters in a very intuitive way. It is an award-winning app. The app is idle for toddlers in the areas of matching letters with words. Included in the app are 4 puzzles – Letters Puzzle, Animals Puzzle, Sky Puzzle and Beach Puzzle. Parental control features are available in the app. The other features are bright and vivid colors, hand drawn illustrations and animations and voice over for pronunciation by professionals.
Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Nutrition and Healthy Eating app is an excellent way to teach children get into a healthy eating lifestyle early in the their formative years. The app is particularly targeted at kids in kindergarten and those in pre-school ages. The app is really fun and very captivating. Though primarily for kids, there is lots of information for adults to learn too.
You can try this app before you do the buying. Nutrition is a major topic in the app. Features you will like are – visually very appealing, develops listening and comprehension abilities and makes kids think critically. The games in the app can be made tougher progressively. The app was developed by experts.
By using apps very early in the child’s formative years, you will be able to imbibe the importance of adopting modern technologies for their development.
About the Author: Kate Smitty is an education blogger who loves to share easy study methods and teaching solutions. She also reviews various career oriented programs to help the young and budding children.