Learn Group Basics for Homeschoolers


If you are homeschooling, chances are you are now part of a learn group. Some call it a homeschool co-op. Have you heard of these terms before?

If you are considering homeschooling, may I suggest it will be good to be part of a community.

A learn group or a co-op is basically a community of like-minded parents and their children who have decided to take the homeschooling journey together in a level of involvement with each other that depends upon the needs of each family.

It’s good to be in a learn group because it’s hard to travel alone.

I am just so blessed to be part of a learn group. I cannot tell you how much help I have received being part of it. It’s an answered prayer for me to be in a learn group that shares and cares!

But I guess my daughter loves the learn group way more than I do! She loves to play with her friends and she loves listening to her ates and kuyas who treat her like a little sibling.

So if you’re considering the homeschooling route to educating your child or children, let me tell you some of the benefits you will receive when you join a community.\

Disclaimer: These are my personal experiences. It just so happened that I have been so blessed to be with such generous, savvy and wonderful people in my learn group and our leaders (who are also academic advisers) are seasoned homeschoolers who love what they do, know what they do, and pray for what they do!

Fellowship

That is easy enough. You will have like-minded people to learn with, have fun with, and tackle the challenges of homeschooling together. Many of them will become your close friends. Many of them will pray for you (if you are into that thing), many of them will care enough to help you by recommending materials, tutors, tips and tricks to you.

And when you receive, it is almost impossible to withhold — you find yourself sharing what you can, too, to help the community work. Whether it be talents, stuff or food — oh, potlucks with them are so much fun. Everyone is into sharing and loving it.

Accountability

When you are with a group who cares for you and your child, accountability becomes natural. Some parents don’t like to be accountable, or if you are the type to want to do your own thing, you can do that too by limiting your involvement with the group or the involvement of the group with your life. But for me, I make myself accountable to other moms who are way more experienced than I am. I am helped when I do that.

For example, a mom who is homeschooling several children who is particularly experienced say in disciplining a selfish child can give me a thing or two when my daughter finds it hard to share or to work with a group. The next time we meet, I can chat with her again and tell her a thing or two about how my child learned to share in a particular situation.

Support

What kind of support do I receive which are not specifically included in Fellowship and Accountability? Well, in learn groups, you can sign up as a group to classes and get big discounts. For example, my learn group has tied up with teachers and professionals who handle theater training classes, a Biology class for high school, a speech and debate class, writing classes, art classes and music classes.

As a parent I have the option (depending on my needs and that of my child), to choose where to enlist my daughter. You may feel like you need to join everything but really, you are wise to choose only what you need. I also love the fact that while you’re into this, your children can continue to bond with other children — peers, ates and kuyas who have the same passions and interests.

Excitement

And to top it all off, there’s this kind of excitement when you are part of a dedicated, dynamic and talented parent-teachers! Anything can happen! You are together when planning activities. You are together when executing activities! And when it’s time to have a little fun, you can go to a field trip!

Dedication goes a long way — because learn groups must work and for it to work, we have to pitch in, roll our sleeves and contribute what we can to make it work. Not once, not twice, but regularly!

Dynamic people make learn groups fun — and that’s because they always think of the box and look for ways and means to make every activity or meeting something to remember.

Talented parent-teachers are in abundance nowadays, and I have observed that much talent comes out for the love of their children. Some are so good at crafts, some are so good at project management, some are really pros in organizing events. All for the sake of their children, they joyfully pitch in with whatever God-given talent they have!

Great, isn’t it?

For now, I have those four main things. Are you part of a learn group or a co-op? What do you have that I have not mentioned?

I hope you decide to join a learn group. And I’m sorry if my learn group makes you envious, just in case you are in one and you are not satisfied with yours.

But don’t fret! You can encourage other parents by sharing what you know, what you can, what you have with them. Showing that you care not only for your child but for everyone in the learn group is also crucial in making it the best learn group ever, for certainly, what you say and do can encourage others around you.

Think about this: what would your learn group be like if all of the members were just like you?

Office Schooling

Today, we will be office schooling. Huh? I hear you saying. This might be unfamiliar terrain for you. You might have heard of home schooling, but wait, office schooling?

If you’re a working mom, you can office school if your company permits and if your work is the type that can wiggle enough room for it.

That said, may I say that it is still a type of unconventional schooling (meaning: you are the primary teacher 🙂 ) though for us, we do this rarely nowadays for some reasons I’d probably talk about in future posts.

Why am I doing this post? Well, I just wanted people to know that office schooling is possible! If you’re considering home schooling but have to go out at times to meet clients or have an 8-5 job, you should know that office schooling is possible, provided you get clearance from your boss.

If you have your own office, and you are your own boss, well, that would be easier I guess. It’s a choice you may have to make if you find home schooling enticing.

Personally, I can do my work from home, so I don’t usually go to the office to teach my child unless a client needs to talk to me personally. Like today. A client from Quezon will visit the office. I’m excited to meet her again and perhaps, taste some goodies from her town? 🙂

So today, we are office schooling and here are the things I will be bringing:

My Homeschool Planner

When homeschooling on-the-go, one has to be flexible. Reliance on structure can be relaxed. This mindset must be in place or the teacher-parent might be overwhelmed, especially since a client meeting may last longer than planned, and be more stressful than imagined. 🙂 Still, it is good to stick to a schedule, both in meeting up with a client and in teaching a child.

Easy to Carry Books and Workbooks

While homeschooling at home affords a teacher-parent the luxury to use those thick workbooks and textbooks, it is wise to travel light when office schooling. You may opt to photocopy a page of your textbook or workbook which you will use for the day, or, like what I’m used to doing — bringing in the reinforcements — my easy to carry workbooks. I rarely carry textbooks when I go to the office with my child since they are heavy.

If you do opt to regularly office school, you can leave your materials on a shelf in your office, or a box. That way, you don’t have to bring materials daily in your commute.

Paper for Copywork and Dictation Exercises

I try to keep her copywork sheets and dictation exercise sheets uniform. This makes it easy for me to compile them for portfolio reviews and submissions. So I bring these sheets with me.

Extra Paper for Cutting and Folding, etc.

I also do like to bring extra sheets where she can doodle or draw, or colorful paper to fold and cut as she pleases. The office is the last place in the world where you can find colorful paper! But you can always innovate and can definitely use old magazines from your office for cut-outs and recycled paper (bond paper with print at the back) for your child’s art activities.

A Book Your Child Wants to Read Just Because

I also let my child choose a book she wants to read. Lately, she’s been into the Horrible Geography titles, so I let her get a book she likes for when she is “bored”.

A Small Toy She Wants to Bring

Again, she just might want a small toy to bring for when she is “bored”. She’s a child and staying at the office can be too stressful for her type. She’s usually allowed a toy or two, as long as it doesn’t make too much noise and small enough to fit her bag. It’s a rule: she carries her toys and books by herself, so here, she needs to choose wisely!

This is office schooling for me, in a nutshell. Oh, and by the way, I try to take her to a coffee shop afterwards so we can sip a cup of cocoa together after working hard! We’re a team, and we celebrate a day’s worth of study and work at the same time!

Ahh, flexibility. I just love having a wide range of options when it comes to teaching my child. I mean, there are a lot of things we cannot control but certainly, once you get the hang of homeschooling and when you see the benefits of it, you find that your elbow room is quite wide.

Plus, you can proceed with your homeschooling day successfully, no matter the demands on your work or personal life. The place of study becomes immaterial, actually. After all, as they say, the world is your classroom when you homeschool.

Bakit Ako Naghohomeschool

Nasa pangalawang taon na ako ng paghohomeschool, at masasabi ko na masaya kami ng aking anak.

Una, malawak ang aming paaralan. Maaaring nasa bahay kami kadalasan pero maaari din kaming mag-aral kung saan-saan. Minsan nasa labas, nanghuhuli ng kulisap, palaka, o naghahanap ng suso. Sinasama ko siya kung saan ako — sa palengke, sa mall, sa bahay ni Lola, sa opisina kung may kliyente ako, sa clinic kung may checkup. Minsan, nagtratravel kaming mag-anak at kahit sa pamamasyal sa iba’t-ibang probinsya ay maaari kaming mag-aral.

Pangalawa, nakikita ko ang kaniyang mga milestones. Nasa posisyon ako upang mapagmasdan ang kaniyang pamumukadkad. Nakakatuwa na kasama ako sa plano ng Diyos upang hubugin siya. Nakita ko kung kelan siya unang nagbasa. Nakikita ko kung paano siya mag-solve ng problem. Napagmamasdan ko rin ang iba’t-ibang expression ng kaniyang mukha. Nandoon ako kung masaya siya. Naroon din ako pag malungkot siya. Nakikita ko kung natatakot siya at niyayakap ko siya sa mga panahong may agam-agam siya. Bonus — nandoon din siya palagi para sa akin.

Pangatlo, nababantayan ko ang mga binabasa niya, pinapanood niya, at kinakaibigan niya. Sa mura niyang edad, napakarami niyang maaaring pulutin kung saan-saan. Hindi pa ako handang palayain siya tulad ng ibon. Masyado pa siyang bata, at nais ko sanang mahubog muna siya sa katatagan, katotohanan at prinsipyo upang hindi siya madaling mailigaw ninuman. Pagdating ng araw, darating ang panahon na siya ay pipili ng mga gugustuhin. Pero sa ngayon, ilalatag muna natin ang pundasyon niya bilang isang nilalang. Sino siya? Bakit siya nandirito? Ano ang mga pinahahalagahan ng kaniyang mga magulang? Lahat nang iyan ay makakatulong upang mahubog ang kaniyang pagkatao at maging matalino siya sa pagpili pagdating ng araw.

Hindi ko alam ang dahilan ng iba kung bakit sila naghohomeschool. Pero para sa akin, yan ang ilan sa mga dahilan ko kung bakit patuloy ako sa paghohomeschool.

Ikaw, anong dahilan mo?