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    MPOA vs Cottage School

    Hi! Lots at play for our family and next school year still might not be the right time, but....

    We have a newly formed cottage school (they started this school year) a little over an hour away. Pros/cons of each? My oldest could also do an MPOA class next year.....

    Cottage school would have something for all 3 kids!...but it is over an hour away...and possibly out of our price range!
    Christine

    (2022/2023)
    DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
    DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

    #2
    Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

    Those are good questions, Christine, and I think it hinges entirely upon what your specific cottage school is offering and what your specific family needs are at this time. Some CSs (Cottage Schools) are going to offer full day programs while others may offer classes a la carte. This will really effect the price. One or more days? This will also effect price. Do you need help with a specific subject area and/or do you need a great academic day/community day out? Where do the students live that attend this school--are many of them from one hour on the other side of the school from you? And to follow that up, are you looking to make friends that you'll hang out with outside of CS or just to get them in great classes with great teachers and likeminded families? Could you put one child in the CS and homeschool away from home with the others that day? <--Does this sound like a nightmare? Ha!

    Non-school questions: how is the commute between your place and the CS? Is it a major ingress or are you going away from rush-hour traffic? Is the city the CS in a place where you can make a good day-visit once a week?

    If the CS is out of your price range or requires you to take more classes than you truly need help with, I would recommend MPOA. Another good reason for MPOA would be for a single specific class (like Latin). This could be a good solution for this next year as your kids continue to grow and change. When they are a little older, the full day out for all three might be more of a blessing. As long as you are doing MP curriculum at home, you should be tracking with whatever they are doing at most CSs anyway so you will stay "on track" as it were.

    My biggest piece of advice is this: do not do something your family cannot afford. There's a difference between sacrificing for something that's a great value and crossing over the line to something your family cannot afford. I think you know what I mean! I have paid too much for school at one point, so I'm speaking from experience here. Mea maxima culpa.

    We are both a CS and MPOA family, so I can sing the merits of both! But, I will also point out that we did NOTHING outside the home or via MPOA until I had a seventh grader. Thanks to MP's fantastic materials and lots of MP DVDs, we got through 6A without CS or MPOA. In my experience, it's that 6A/7M range where it starts to get real with Third Form, Chreia/Maxim, and your getting-older-independent-learner needing a not-mom teacher and peers with whom to discuss things like literature and classical studies. Many families are going to start feeling the pull toward outside help at that point.

    Hope this helps! Please ask more questions if you have them!
    Last edited by pickandgrin; 12-01-2017, 05:59 PM.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
    DS Hillsdale College freshman
    DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
    DD 8th • HLN & Home
    DS 5th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

    Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
      Those are good questions, Christine, and I think it hinges entirely upon what your specific cottage school is offering and what your specific family needs are at this time. Some CSs (Cottage Schools) are going to offer full day programs while others may offer classes a la carte. This will really effect the price. One or more days? This will also effect price. Do you need help with a specific subject area and/or do you need a great academic day/community day out? Where do the students live that attend this school--are many of them from one hour on the other side of the school from you? And to follow that up, are you looking to make friends that you'll hang out with outside of CS or just to get them in great classes with great teachers and likeminded families? Could you put one child in the CS and homeschool away from home with the others that day? <--Does this sound like a nightmare? Ha!

      Non-school questions: how is the commute between your place and the CS? Is it a major ingress or are you going away from rush-hour traffic? Is the city the CS in a place where you can make a good day-visit once a week?

      If the CS is out of your price range or requires you to take more classes than you truly need help with, I would recommend MPOA. Another good reason for MPOA would be for a single specific class (like Latin). This could be a good solution for this next year as your kids continue to grow and change. When they are a little older, the full day out for all three might be more of a blessing. As long as you are doing MP curriculum at home, you should be tracking with whatever they are doing at most CSs anyway so you will stay "on track" as it were.

      My biggest piece of advice is this: do not do something your family cannot afford. There's a difference between sacrificing for something that's a great value and crossing over the line to something your family cannot afford. I think you know what I mean! I have paid too much for school at one point, so I'm speaking from experience here. Mea maxima culpa.

      We are both a CS and MPOA family, so I can sing the merits of both! But, I will also point out that we did NOTHING outside the home or via MPOA until I had a seventh grader. Thanks to MP's fantastic materials and lots of MP DVDs, we got through 6A without CS or MPOA. In my experience, it's that 6A/7M range where it starts to get real with Third Form, Chreia/Maxim, and your getting-older-independent-learner needing a not-mom teacher and peers with whom to discuss things like literature and classical studies. Many families are going to start feeling the pull toward outside help at that point.

      Hope this helps! Please ask more questions if you have them!
      All good thoughts! My oldest heard someone talking about a class on the computer and she sounded intrigued! She also incidentally asked what a co-op was (we have never joined one) and I explained a little. She said, “that sounds like school, no, I do not want to do one!” Ha! My son I “worry” about more.... being the only boy at home..so it is always tempting! It does sound like, based on all your questions, that at home with play dates is still probably best for us...but we will see!
      Christine

      (2022/2023)
      DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
      DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
      DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

      Comment


        #4
        Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

        Yes, every year is a new year and your needs change. What a treat to know you have two realistic options for the future!
        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
        DS Hillsdale College freshman
        DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
        DD 8th • HLN & Home
        DS 5th • HLN & Home
        Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

        Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

        Comment


          #5
          Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

          Christine,

          Is this Dawn Boston's cottage school? Just curious.

          Tanya

          Comment


            #6
            Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

            Originally posted by tanya View Post
            Christine,

            Is this Dawn Boston's cottage school? Just curious.

            Tanya
            Yes, I think so!
            Christine

            (2022/2023)
            DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
            DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
            DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

            Previous Years
            DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
            DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
            DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

            Comment


              #7
              Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

              They are using lots of MP!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                Originally posted by howiecram View Post
                Hi! Lots at play for our family and next school year still might not be the right time, but....

                We have a newly formed cottage school (they started this school year) a little over an hour away. Pros/cons of each? My oldest could also do an MPOA class next year.....

                Cottage school would have something for all 3 kids!...but it is over an hour away...and possibly out of our price range!
                I've been trying to answer this post for a few days now ... all the distractions.


                For background purposes, we've been a part of the HLS Cottage School for 4 years now. I'm blessed to have the full monty in my backyard. We've also been utilizing the MPOA for a few summer reviews, and then dove in this fall with full year math and science courses.


                Cons for Cottage School -
                Cost, but that's not a huge con. For our family, I think it's well worth the cost, especially if you start comparing it to other programs in our area.

                Cons for MPOA -
                Cost, but once again, for the quality, it's not a huge con.
                Scheduling -- this is the one thing that's challenging for us. I chose a math class for Rachel, which only had one option for a class time. It's at the end of her Cottage School day on Monday, which makes for a LONG day for her. The schedule is slightly 'off' from our Cottage School schedule, starting a bit later in the year and ending a smidge later, too. (I think)



                Pros for Cottage School:
                Master Teachers
                Community with other classically educating families
                Socialization --- my daughter, in particular, gets to hang with her BFFs all day and loves it.
                A Reprieve for me --- no sense in ignoring the elephant in the room. There are subjects that I love to teach, and some that intimidate the HECK out of me. By utilizing the Cottage School, I'm not shortchanging my children. As I add more students into the mix, there's something I've noticed. I'm good at teaching the things that we've gone through before, when Rachel was small, but I'm not so hot at unfamiliar topics. In other words, my groove is K-3 or so. I find the middle school topics fascinating, but I'm learning as I go along. That would be fine and dandy for me, if I weren't juggling small children, working, etc. By having her in the CS, I know that these topics are covered well, and I just have to 'keep up', with daily work and review.

                Pros for MPOA:
                I don't have to teach math (and all the angels sang)
                Master Teachers
                Reprieve for Mom

                Jessica brought up some wonderful points to consider. We're not as far away from our CS as it sounds like you are, and I'm blessed to be out of the transportation loop. My husband takes the big kids to school, drops them off, then stays 'in town' to work.
                Obviously, if you have to be driving a significant distance, it would probably be a good idea to plan it as a day out for everyone. Is there a library or coffee shop nearby? In nice weather, a park or playground?

                Logistic things to consider for MPOA --- how 'distractible' is your potential MPOA student? Rachel is very possessive (for lack of a better term) over her MPOA classes. I'd like to be able to hear what's going on (in case she has a question, as well as a review for myself), but she prefers to wear headphones and shut the door so that the littles don't run in the room. I'd think about where your student will be accessing the MPOA classes, and how it will affect your day as well. Ex: longer days (some MPOA classes are in the later afternoon), or earlier morning starts. On MPOA science day, Rachel really needs to get up and get going with some of her other work before class time, otherwise we won't be able to tackle everything.

                Other things to consider ----
                Watch an MPOA class and see if you, or your child can 'see' it as something that would work for you. There's also selections over the summer, Latin reviews and such, that might be a good trial run.
                If the CS is open and running already, ask if you can come and sit in on a class to observe. This way, you can do a practice run. How long will it take, where could you potentially hang out during classes, etc.

                I'd love to hear what you decide.
                Plans for 2022-23

                Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

                DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
                DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
                DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
                DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
                DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
                DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                  This is a great list of pros/cons, Dianna. I love your consistent bravery to bring up the elephant(s) in the room. If I could think you up some snappy title, you'd be getting one: Chief Elephant Revelator? C.E.R.? Dianna Kennedy, CER <3
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
                  DS Hillsdale College freshman
                  DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
                  DD 8th • HLN & Home
                  DS 5th • HLN & Home
                  Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

                  Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                    Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                    This is a great list of pros/cons, Dianna. I love your consistent bravery to bring up the elephant(s) in the room. If I could think you up some snappy title, you'd be getting one: Chief Elephant Revelator? C.E.R.? Dianna Kennedy, CER <3
                    How about ...... Incorrigible Realist? I just call it like I see it 'round here. Most days are a bit of a hot mess, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
                    Plans for 2022-23

                    Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

                    DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
                    DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
                    DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
                    DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
                    DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
                    DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                      YES, the elephant in the room! I totally want to send them for a day!!!!!! Really, I just want to send them. However, the reality is, that a) my oldest is probably not quite ready. b) the full day for all 3 kids would not be feasible, financially.

                      I dreaded teaching reading, but out of necessity, I have learned a lot and actually don't mind it!! I'm solidly in the "teaching to read" for at least 3 more years. It's probably more a possibility to send them when my YOUNGEST reaches the 3rd grade and we could choose less classes, instead of the whole day.

                      Then, there is always the full monty of HLS Indy...also an hour away.)..(this would require me to get a job to pay for the tuition though....).LOL Choices, choices!
                      Christine

                      (2022/2023)
                      DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
                      DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
                      DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

                      Previous Years
                      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
                      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
                      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                        Christine,

                        Have you ever thought that you could possibly teach at HLS Indy and go to school with your kids? What's your degree in? You don't have to have a teaching degree, just a Bachelor's in something!

                        Tanya

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                          Originally posted by tanya View Post
                          Christine,

                          Have you ever thought that you could possibly teach at HLS Indy and go to school with your kids? What's your degree in? You don't have to have a teaching degree, just a Bachelor's in something!

                          Tanya
                          Hmmm.....*food for thought* I do actually have a Bachelor’s of Science, from the University of Illinois!
                          Christine

                          (2022/2023)
                          DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
                          DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
                          DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

                          Previous Years
                          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
                          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
                          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                            I would give you a great reference!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: MPOA vs Cottage School

                              Originally posted by howiecram View Post
                              Hmmm.....*food for thought* I do actually have a Bachelor’s of Science, from the University of Illinois!
                              Wait a minute, another Illini?!? What is your B.S. in?
                              You should definitely talk to us at HLS Indy!!
                              Cindy Davis
                              Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
                              ds-26 college graduate: independent young adult
                              ds-24 college graduate: 3rd year med school
                              dd-22 college graduate: working as a registered nurse

                              Comment

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