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    Fallout after co-op meetings?

    Does anyone else struggle with "fallout" after their weekly co-op or cottage school mornings?

    My kids' attitudes/cooperation go downhill severely whenever we do more than our normal level of activities in a week or over a weekend. One child begins ignoring us and refusing to work, another becomes very emotional and stressed, others refuse to work, are overly tired, prone to tantrums, etc.

    We are normally home all week, but when we do have things going on, we try not to plan more than two outings a week and try to avoid back to back things in order to avoid these issues.

    Unfortunately, since adding co-op three weeks ago, this fallout has started as soon as we get home and continues for two days afterwards.

    Has anyone else experienced this? How did you handle it?

    I'm really tempted to cancel our two-family co-op, but it's been a wonderful opportunity for the kids especially since the other family is among our closest friends and we are very like-minded in our parenting and education.
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    2021-2022
    DS18: Almost done!
    DS17: MP, MPOA
    DS15: MP, MPOA
    DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
    DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD9: SC3
    DD6: MPK

    #2
    Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

    After years of no weekly outside activities during the school day (we did not evening sports), we joined a once a week co-op this year. It means we have to do all our MP work in 4 days instead of 5 since our co-op is not an MP co-op. Our co-op is one Friday and basically takes all day. We try to finish our MP week before Friday and then just do co-op on Friday. We get home and clean the house and get ready for the weekend. I have not had any behavior issues from co-op and it has been a blessing to my family to be able to interact with other families on a weekly basis. I think the fact that it is one a Friday helps because we can do our full week before co-op then enjoy co-op in Friday and go right into the weekend and be ready for a new week come Monday. I never had any expectation that we would get anything done on c-op days other than co-op and cleaning. I never tried to fit in more school that day.
    Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
    DD, 26, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
    DS, 24, BS '18 mechanical engineering
    DS, 22, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
    (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
    DS, 20, Physics major
    DD, 17, dyslexic, 11th grade customizednMP plus co-op
    DS, 13, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 8A
    DD, 7 , 1ST Future astronaut, robot building space artist

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

      Originally posted by momgineer View Post
      After years of no weekly outside activities during the school day (we did not evening sports), we joined a once a week co-op this year. It means we have to do all our MP work in 4 days instead of 5 since our co-op is not an MP co-op. Our co-op is one Friday and basically takes all day. We try to finish our MP week before Friday and then just do co-op on Friday. We get home and clean the house and get ready for the weekend. I have not had any behavior issues from co-op and it has been a blessing to my family to be able to interact with other families on a weekly basis. I think the fact that it is one a Friday helps because we can do our full week before co-op then enjoy co-op in Friday and go right into the weekend and be ready for a new week come Monday. I never had any expectation that we would get anything done on c-op days other than co-op and cleaning. I never tried to fit in more school that day.
      I completely agree -- co-op day is co-op only. It is an MP co-op so we're not having to cram additional work in or anything during the rest of the week. The refusals to work on co-op afternoons are for chores, anything they're told or asked to help out with, general bad attitudes, etc. This then extends into our schooling for the next two days in addition to our home life in general.
      Last edited by jen1134; 11-08-2016, 01:28 PM.
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      2021-2022
      DS18: Almost done!
      DS17: MP, MPOA
      DS15: MP, MPOA
      DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
      DD9: SC3
      DD6: MPK

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

        My kids really want to do co-op. They really, really enjoy it. I would not have signed up otherwise because it's superfluous to our homeschool. So, we had a talk at the beginning of the year about this exact thing. I told them if they wanted us to do co-op it meant cramming school into the other 4 days of the week (our co-op isn't MP, except for a PL class for my 2nd grader) without complaining or dragging feet. I was not going to take them out of the house to do "extra" school with their friends only to have them give me a harder time at home about our regular work. So that was the deal going in. I check in every now and then with my oldest (because he has the most work) and make sure he still wants to be doing co-op even though it makes his other days more squished.

        I would not do a non-MP co-op without complete buy in from my kids. An MP co-op wouldn't have any bearing on my expectations for our homeschool otherwise. I guess I would ask (rhetorically, you don't have to answer) is what is your response or what are the consequences for them for poor attitudes or work ethic, regardless if is is the result of co-op or not? I mean, they would have to be doing the work anyway, right?
        Jodi
        ~~~~~~~
        2019-20 School Year:
        Ethan (7A)
        Matthew (5A)
        Silas (1st)
        Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
        Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

          Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
          Does anyone else struggle with "fallout" after their weekly co-op or cottage school mornings?

          My kids' attitudes/cooperation go downhill severely whenever we do more than our normal level of activities in a week or over a weekend. One child begins ignoring us and refusing to work, another becomes very emotional and stressed, others refuse to work, are overly tired, prone to tantrums, etc.

          We are normally home all week, but when we do have things going on, we try not to plan more than two outings a week and try to avoid back to back things in order to avoid these issues.

          Unfortunately, since adding co-op three weeks ago, this fallout has started as soon as we get home and continues for two days afterwards.

          Has anyone else experienced this? How did you handle it?

          I'm really tempted to cancel our two-family co-op, but it's been a wonderful opportunity for the kids especially since the other family is among our closest friends and we are very like-minded in our parenting and education.
          Jen,

          Can you tell us what time your co-op meets--how long you are out, are you having to get up earlier than normal, etc.? Are you adding in a long lunch or is there any play time with friends? Also, it would be good to know if the time at your co-op might be too long? I thought I remembered another recent post where you were talking about long sessions. Could you trim what you are doing there? Is the other family thriving, or are they also having a challenge?

          It's simply not the same to be out as it is to stay home! That's been a huge change for us this year. We've never done anything outside the home for academics. I think there is probably a medium ground that is not cancellation, but I would encourage openness with your friend. If you are doing something outside the home, in my opinion, it needs to be giving life to your homeschool--not taking it. Also, when you get back home and need the kids to work--are those jobs that be shifted to another day, or even Sunday night in preparation? If everyone is exhausted, it's going to be hard to get anyone to work. There is a place for exertion and for rest. Maybe look at the entire week and shift some things around.

          My pattern so far is to keep the following day completely at home--no outings, visits, trips to the store. Today I get to break that to go vote, ha! We aren't usually ready for any fun things until about Thursday afternoon and that's usually a friend visit here or at another house.

          Hope this helps a little--I know it's more questions than ideas.
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
          12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
          10th • HLN, Latin online
          7th • HLN & Home
          4th • HLN & Home
          Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

            Originally posted by JodiSue View Post
            My kids really want to do co-op. They really, really enjoy it. I would not have signed up otherwise because it's superfluous to our homeschool. So, we had a talk at the beginning of the year about this exact thing. I told them if they wanted us to do co-op it meant cramming school into the other 4 days of the week (our co-op isn't MP, except for a PL class for my 2nd grader) without complaining or dragging feet. I was not going to take them out of the house to do "extra" school with their friends only to have them give me a harder time at home about our regular work. So that was the deal going in. I check in every now and then with my oldest (because he has the most work) and make sure he still wants to be doing co-op even though it makes his other days more squished.

            I would not do a non-MP co-op without complete buy in from my kids. An MP co-op wouldn't have any bearing on my expectations for our homeschool otherwise. I guess I would ask (rhetorically, you don't have to answer) is what is your response or what are the consequences for them for poor attitudes or work ethic, regardless if is is the result of co-op or not? I mean, they would have to be doing the work anyway, right?
            We require them to tow the line -- regardless of cause -- but it means that half our week is spent with backtalk, being ignored, moodiness, possible tantrums, overly tired kids, etc. We got our schoolwork done this morning, but it was only through constant enforcement and it definitely takes a toll on my chronic health condition (which is stress-induced).

            We told them that co-op would not continue if this happened (as we knew it was highly possible due to this being how things go when we do something "big"). My husband has been hesitant to pull it though as it's such a good opportunity for them and it's also helping out the other family a lot. I'm torn for the same reasons. That's why I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this and/or has ideas for how to keep it from happening.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            2021-2022
            DS18: Almost done!
            DS17: MP, MPOA
            DS15: MP, MPOA
            DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
            DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
            DD9: SC3
            DD6: MPK

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

              Our co-op switched to Friday's this year and it has been a HUGE blessing. Like momgineer said..we just get our school done M-th and enjoy our Friday at co-op, run errands, etc. There are weeks when my son might have a bit of Latin to do, or if we've had an unavoidable appt or other disruption during the week, we'll do the catch up in Friday or Saturday. For the most part, if my kids are dillegent (and me too it's not really a problem. If they are not, their own consequence is to catch up on a Saturday. However, I will say last year was tough because co-op was on a Thursday and we did experience some slacking and poor attitudes on Friday. That break at the latter part of the week really threw us off.

              Is switching your co-op day to a Friday an option?
              Katie

              DS 17: Senior!
              DD 14: 10th
              DD 10: 6th
              Twin DD's 8: 3rd
              Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

                Originally posted by Katie View Post
                Our co-op switched to Friday's this year and it has been a HUGE blessing. Like momgineer said..we just get our school done M-th and enjoy our Friday at co-op, run errands, etc. There are weeks when my son might have a bit of Latin to do, or if we've had an unavoidable appt or other disruption during the week, we'll do the catch up in Friday or Saturday. For the most part, if my kids are dillegent (and me too it's not really a problem. If they are not, their own consequence is to catch up on a Saturday. However, I will say last year was tough because co-op was on a Thursday and we did experience some slacking and poor attitudes on Friday. That break at the latter part of the week really threw us off.

                Is switching your co-op day to a Friday an option?
                I don't think that works for the other family -- they have extremely busy weeks. Also, the behavioral fallout happens regardless of when the "big" activities occur.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                2021-2022
                DS18: Almost done!
                DS17: MP, MPOA
                DS15: MP, MPOA
                DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                DD9: SC3
                DD6: MPK

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

                  We've always scheduled our out of the house stuff in the afternoon, which helps, but our co-op/ group classes really do cause us to trade off in other areas. We're doing a science lab and literature. Next year, we won't do the science. We're at our limit.
                  Bean. Long time MP user. I usually post before my first cup of tea is finished. I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

                  2021-2022

                  DD (16) Appling to college. Mostly DE with a little MP to finish up homeschooling.

                  "School Administrator" to Bonus Kid (9): MP 3A

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

                    Jen,
                    We have had a variety of class ideas over the years, using different days of the week, (Mondays, Thursday's, Fridays), having it be "extra" or "necessary," and even making it work when only one child was benefitting. There have also been years mixed in between each of those choices where we did nothing extra at all - because we were moving or we had a baby coming.

                    I am 100% convinced of one thing:
                    We have meltdown days no matter what.

                    Sometimes we would be able to "blame" those days on the aftermath of a co-op. But we still have those days even without co-op days - they are just a bit more random.

                    I think what I would try to pay close attention to is if there is anything going on in your co-op situation that your kids may be reacting to. Sometimes even the fact that they have somewhat "unsupervised" time while mom is busy teaching other kids is enough to derail the regular pattern of behavior at home. Other times it can be a particular child who is causing a problem for another child. The emotions of that come through in poor behavior when you are back at home. Or it can just be that the stimulation of the "event" really does wipe them out for the next day. There are so many possibilities - I would just make sure your kids are all having a positive experience during the actual coop so there is nothing you need to address.

                    Past that, I agree with others who have said that it is really up to whether the benefits of the co-op outweigh the effect you are seeing. There will never be a nirvana situation where everything is perfect. When you are going it alone at home, there are trade offs. When you are in a co-op there are tradeoffs. And you usually do not know what the wrinkles are going to be when you start out. That is why we usually take it a year at a time, doing what is best for that year, with the ages we have and the situation of each year.

                    Now with cottage school I can tell you it is vastly different. Having a set location, not in someone's home, with the chance for everyone to be working on their work when they are not in class - it has all helped the day seem very much like a day at home and has made the adjustment much easier.

                    I would encourage you to try to make the best of the commitments you have made for the year. If nothing else, there will be valuable lessons you can file away for future plans. I am extremely grateful for each co-op we did because of the experiences it gave us, and for how it has helped me approach the cottage school. Even though I always wanted to just stay at home!

                    God bless,
                    AMDG,
                    Sarah
                    2020-2021
                    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                    DS, 17
                    DD, 15
                    DD, 13
                    DD, 11
                    DD, 9
                    DD, 7
                    +DS+
                    DS, 2

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

                      Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                      Jen,
                      We have had a variety of class ideas over the years, using different days of the week, (Mondays, Thursday's, Fridays), having it be "extra" or "necessary," and even making it work when only one child was benefitting. There have also been years mixed in between each of those choices where we did nothing extra at all - because we were moving or we had a baby coming.

                      I am 100% convinced of one thing:
                      We have meltdown days no matter what.

                      Sometimes we would be able to "blame" those days on the aftermath of a co-op. But we still have those days even without co-op days - they are just a bit more random.

                      I think what I would try to pay close attention to is if there is anything going on in your co-op situation that your kids may be reacting to. Sometimes even the fact that they have somewhat "unsupervised" time while mom is busy teaching other kids is enough to derail the regular pattern of behavior at home. Other times it can be a particular child who is causing a problem for another child. The emotions of that come through in poor behavior when you are back at home. Or it can just be that the stimulation of the "event" really does wipe them out for the next day. There are so many possibilities - I would just make sure your kids are all having a positive experience during the actual coop so there is nothing you need to address.

                      Past that, I agree with others who have said that it is really up to whether the benefits of the co-op outweigh the effect you are seeing. There will never be a nirvana situation where everything is perfect. When you are going it alone at home, there are trade offs. When you are in a co-op there are tradeoffs. And you usually do not know what the wrinkles are going to be when you start out. That is why we usually take it a year at a time, doing what is best for that year, with the ages we have and the situation of each year.

                      Now with cottage school I can tell you it is vastly different. Having a set location, not in someone's home, with the chance for everyone to be working on their work when they are not in class - it has all helped the day seem very much like a day at home and has made the adjustment much easier.

                      I would encourage you to try to make the best of the commitments you have made for the year. If nothing else, there will be valuable lessons you can file away for future plans. I am extremely grateful for each co-op we did because of the experiences it gave us, and for how it has helped me approach the cottage school. Even though I always wanted to just stay at home!

                      God bless,
                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      Thank you to everyone for your thoughts on this.

                      Sarah, you make a good point about the lack of structure possibly contributing. We too have fall-outs as a normal part of life, but the particularly bad ones are definitely the result of any type of big activity, whether it's co-op, homeschool playgroup, Sunday potlucks at church or going to another family's house for the afternoon. As I thought more about what you said, I realized that the one thing these all have in common is that the kids have HOURS of free playtime where they play at full speed with their friends.

                      Maybe that's the trigger here.

                      The other mom and I were just talking last week about having the older kids continue with something more constructive than Star Wars books when they finish their independent work. Seeing as how we meet in a library, I'm thinking some structured research projects might be very doable for them.

                      Thank you for the insight about the lack of structure...we always thought the large amount of free time was good for them when we went out various places, but this could be the very thing that is causing the trouble whenever we try to do something extra or fun!

                      I'm not sure how to find the balance between structure and free time in various events we participate in, but at least we now have a direction to head in.
                      Last edited by jen1134; 11-09-2016, 08:08 PM.
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      2021-2022
                      DS18: Almost done!
                      DS17: MP, MPOA
                      DS15: MP, MPOA
                      DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                      DD9: SC3
                      DD6: MPK

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

                        You are absolutely welcome. It is a phenomenon I know all too well - which is why we have never enjoyed large group things where kids are just left to their own devices the whole time! It is also the reason I loathe being on the phone during a school day - same exact thing happens.

                        Sounds like structure will be a good addition!
                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        2020-2021
                        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                        DS, 17
                        DD, 15
                        DD, 13
                        DD, 11
                        DD, 9
                        DD, 7
                        +DS+
                        DS, 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Fallout after co-op meetings?

                          Jen,
                          My oldest is in study hall for two of the four class sessions on Mondays. He packs up his entire MP bin of books and works all of Monday's work, then into Tuesday...And on. If they were willing, maybe they could knock out a thing or two that would lesson the load on home days.
                          It's the quietest 3.5 hours of his week. ;-)
                          Festina lentē,
                          Jessica P

                          2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                          12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
                          10th • HLN, Latin online
                          7th • HLN & Home
                          4th • HLN & Home
                          Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

                          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

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