Sunday, September 30, 2012

Easy Like Friday Morning

The truth is it isn't easy, not easy at all.  My love affair with dawn is long ended and clawing my way up to a reasonable consciousness that can not only motivate four children to get ready for the day but to go out for the day is a big deal.  It is even tougher because I'm teaching first hour this session, so I've got to have all my stuff and get there early enough to prep.  Is it worth it?  Completely.  We've all made wonderful friends.  I've had a chance to remember the pleasure of being part of something bigger than myself.  Oh, yeah, and we've learned a bunch of stuff.
Lake Michigan Home Schooling Cooperative is a wonderful organization that my friend, Julie DeBlanc--that's her in the picture--introduced me to.  At that time I was fiercely independent not wanting anyone's influence, but I like Julie and she came from a perspective that didn't encroach on mine at all.  I visited one Friday and I was hooked.  There were about 70 kids, all moving around in an orderly, purposeful manner.  There was a wide variety of topics in the classes and there were offerings for every age group so that I could really participate and know my kids were all OK.
I remembered how much I like teaching and I taught everything from a preschool class on vowels, to Learn to Write the Novel Way, to Medieval Women.
This session I'm teaching Medieval Monasticism to third through sixth graders.  My student are dream students, eager to learn and quick to remember.  I combined the information (gleaned from The Age of the Cloister, The Rule of St. Benedict, The Habit, A Medieval Monk, Life in a Medieval Monastery, The Working Life--A Medieval Monk, among others.) about life as a monk or nun in the medieval period with the lives of famous monks and nuns and a personal call to a life of work and prayer.  I lecture through the topic of the day--becoming a monk, the abbot, the Divine Hours, then we take a look at the saint of the day which I provide them with a short bio and a picture on a laminated card like sports cards.  We take a break for a song or an activity--Calced vs. Discalced Foot Race, etc.  Then we finish by taking on another level of responsibility on our work and prayer card.  I set up a laminated kids chore card with prayer time and simple, basic chores that we are taking on one step at a time.  This is my favorite class so far.  The enthusiasm of medieval monks is inspiring and the variety of its expression is fascinating.


educator said...

Co-ops are great when one can find a good match. They are not all alike.

Christine Ansorge said...

That's true. I was invited to a couple before choosing this one. Even the sign up materials made me uncomfortable with the others.

Jack Hatfield said...

Homeschooling is not as easy as people think, if it was more people would be doing it. Some people say they can't and never try! I applaud your co-op and your group looks fantastic.

It would be great if you wanted to help spread some of the things you are using to teach to other homeschoolers. You can do that in places that allows you to sell or give your teaching tools to help others. Not trying to advertise here, but trying to create the world's biggest homeschooler "co-op" by having all of us work together in our own store and our own community. You can do both at
Again, trying to get the word out that homeschooling is incredible and trying to make it grow. We can't sit back and allow the ability to teach our kids in this amazing way be taken from us.
So, we applaud you and am going to share your story in our Assembly and twitter!

Christine Ansorge said...

Thank you so much! Your Homeschool Hub looks great, and at first glance, perspective semi-neutral. I'll give it a more thorough look over soon.