Homeschool Co-ops 101 by Karen Lange, Book Tour & $25 Amazon GC Giveaway

homeschool co-ops 101

Read to the end for Book Review and Giveaway Information 

Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families.

Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.

  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.

Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.

Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:

~~~Amazon~~~

~~~Barnes and Noble~~~

~~~Kobo~~~

karen langeAbout the Author

Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens.

You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

homeschool co-ops 101

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My Review

I am a homeschool mom of fifteen years and have helped lead three different homeschool groups. Therefore I have a vested interest in this topic and am happy to offer this book review.

This short, straight-forward book contains practical advice and useful steps on organizing, teaching, and scheduling co-ops, along with other helpful hints and numerous resources. I particularly like that Karen considers different family goals in her suggestions. She also recommends that families be flexible while searching for the right co-op fit. Lange states:

It may take a while to find the right organizational setup for your co-op. This is to be expected when working with new situations, unexpected circumstances, and varied personalities. The co-op experience mirrors the homeschool journey; there are ups and downs, trial and error and resulting adjustments. Do not be discouraged; count it as a good and necessary part of the process.

I recommend this inexpensive book for anyone considering joining or starting a homeschool co-op.

The Giveaway

Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Today Counts

clock

When making food choices, I sometimes pretend that today doesn’t count. I’m out of town or I’m celebrating or I’m with friends, etc. So I tell myself that today’s choices are somehow null and void and I’ll pick up my “right choice thinking” tomorrow. (Click here to read another post on this.)

What I am realizing is I periodically have this “today doesn’t count” attitude in other areas. Not all, though. For example, I always choose to brush my teeth and take a shower. (Aren’t you glad?) And in homeschooling, I know every day counts and organize each school year accordingly. I allow for 180 days of schooling and use an accommodating curriculum. That’s not to say we are rigid. This year we started two weeks early so we could take a two-week vacation in September. I planned for it because I know the choices I make today (every day) will affect tomorrow’s outcomes.

However I am not as disciplined in all areas of life. Therefore I must pause to consider if I give the most important areas proper attention on a daily basis. Or do I take this “today doesn’t count” attitude more often than I should? The choices I make today, whether deliberate and prayer-filled or impulsive and whimsical, will affect tomorrow and the next day and the next. There is a cumulative effect. The person I am next week, month, and year is a direct result of the minor decisions I make today. And, to further complicate matters, there is a trickledown effect. I, in fact, do not live in a bubble—my attitude, knowledge, and disposition rub off on those around me. The most effective way to teach my children self-discipline is to model it.

So which areas require daily cultivation in an intentional manner? I suggest you ask God to show you. For me, the list includes (but is not limited to): Bible reading, prayer, physical well-being, and relationships—with God, my husband, my children, my church family, and friends.

In which areas of life do you sometimes take a “today doesn’t count” attitude?

Will you prayerfully consider making a change today?

Apple Cutting Lesson

“Will you cut an apple for JT, please?” I asked my husband when my son was only four years old. Don stared at me and asked how. I rolled my eyes and said, “You know how to cut an apple. Just do it.”

A few minutes later Don returned with the apple. He had cut it once down the middle. At this point I became highly irritated. “The seeds are still in it. He can’t eat it that way.”

Everyone knows how to cut an apple. You quarter it first.

quartered apple

Then cut out the core and seeds.

seeded apple

Well, that’s what I thought at the time. However, since then I’ve observed others (mostly moms) cutting apples and found out . . . I was wrong! You can cut an apple several ways!

You can use an apple corer slicer to cut an apple.

apple corer slicer

You can cut the apple four times around the core.

slicing an apple  sliced apple

I even know people who cut and eat the apple one bite at a time.

My point? Sometimes “my way” isn’t the only way, nor is it always the best way.

There is a general thought “out there” that disagreements are bad and should be avoided. Therefore, if you and I are discussing child rearing and disagree on the method, one of us must be wrong. This perception is inaccurate. Just like there is more than one way to cut an apple, there is more than one way to rear children.

More often than not, in our discussions and decision-making, we are not choosing between a right option and a wrong one (like should we commit adultery or not). Instead we are trying to find the best choice or option for the situation. For example, Kenneth learns best by listening, so I read to him a lot; whereas Melinda learns best by seeing, so she reads the material herself. In general, neither method is better. However, there is a “better” method depending on the child.

What I learned from my apple-cutting incident is that I should not judge another person based on his/her apple-cutting methods. Nor should I assume there is only one apple-cutting way. I should listen to others and observe their apple-cutting abilities before I jump in with my own superior tone on how to cut an apple. (I may learn something!) Above all else, I should value the relationship with the other person over having my own way—even if he/she is cutting the apple wrong. Because, really, in the end, does it matter how the apple is cut?