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Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

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    Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

    I asked this over on the K-8 forum, but I thought everyone here might have a little more experience with this type of thing. As I've mentioned before on the forums, our kids have a variety of ADD/anxiety, ADHD, executive function and sensory type issues.

    http://forum.memoriapress.com/showth...ed=1#post50743
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    2019-2020 Plans:

    DS16
    MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
    MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

    DS15
    As above, plus:
    MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
    MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

    DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

    DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

    DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

    DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

    DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

    #2
    Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

    Hi, Jen.

    Others may have better advice, but here are some initial thoughts:

    Pros to Continuing:
    -This is an MP co-op.
    -The co-op is with only one other family, and this is a family with whom your family is good friends.
    -Your husband would like to see the co-op continue.
    -You have only been doing this for 3 weeks. Some of the challenge could be from the necessary re-balancing that occurs when adding anything new to the schedule.
    -This is your only planned outing all week.
    -Your children want to go. This gives you the "leverage," as another K-8 mom implied!


    You could tell them you WILL continue what you started this semester, but with these new rules in place, given the behaviors you have witnessed.

    Set objective standards, such as these:

    No eye rolling, backtalk, or passively avoiding chores. Two warnings. Keep a tally on the board. The third time, that child no longer attends co-op this semester.

    If I remember correctly, your husband works at home. The non-compliant child could stay back with your husband and complete those chores, while the others attend. The non-compliant child(ren) would not have the power to cancel co-op for everyone.


    To implement easily and visually, you might place each child's name on the board. When you think of it, place smiles or stars when children do chores compliantly, so the focus is on cooperation. Whenever you notice egregious non-compliance, place a check. That's the first warning for the semester. You do not need to say anything, nag, threaten, or fret. Just implement. The system is in place, and the consequence is the child's to "own."


    The above would work for us. You may need something different, but a visual reminder with matter-of-fact implementation for all ages is the key. Easier said than done, I know, but you need to keep your own stress/emotional upheaval minimized for your own health.


    I would not give up yet. Good outings can be helpful, if only for restoring mom's perspective! As soon as we see and hear behavioral issues inside other families every week, we're reminded that homeschooling-magazine/blog perfection is unattainable, and real, ongoing struggles are common to each family. And we all need friends, moms included.



    Another thought:
    If all of your children persist in these behaviors, such that each child achieves three strikes in just a matter of days (or hours), then there might be more of a systemic issue that needs to be addressed, whether or not you attend the MP co-op. Consider earlier bedtimes, more down time for everyone, enforced "siesta" after lunch, or more time with tv/radio "noise" turned off -- do whatever helps YOU.

    I remember from previous posts that your situation is a challenging one. It can be hard to take care of ourselves in such situations, but you have an advantage, in a way: your own body is providing clear signs when you need more rest! You'll need to carve this into your days as much as you can, co-op or not.


    I hope some of this helps.

    Cheryl

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

      Jen,

      I had another thought:

      If the previous answer just made you more feel even more stressed, ... then you might be better served with a brief, monthly play-oriented get-together with this same family. Monthly might be a better alternative than weekly for you, given your own health needs. This is another MP family, so your children will "speak the same language" about their homeschooling experiences, curricula, and philosophies. This is really nice. We had that with our favorite family. ("You have Prima Latina too?")

      Whether weekly or monthly, with a play-centered get-together, you and the other mom could sit and chat in a relaxed way, while the children play in a relaxed way. Everyone relaxes, refreshes, and you save academics for home. Less pressure, more fun, and less exhaustion for all. This might be an alternative to consider.


      Fwiw, in our own homeschool, I never found combined academics satisfying because of my children's individual learning, behavior, and health needs. However, we really enjoyed regular, brief play-oriented get-togethers with other homeschool families, especially academically like-minded families. Invariably we parents discussed curricula, while kids played on playground equipment, organized ball games, or rollerbladed, scootered, and skateboarded outdoors, or played board games, created and performed homemade plays, etc., indoors.


      If neither family has a large house (our friends have a large older home with good nooks and crannies, so we always gather there), or if you cannot find a safe park to warrant a monthly drive, you might consider a monthly field trip, or a monthly recitation, art/music co-op, or game day wherever you are currently meeting.


      You could see how everything goes for another few weeks. But if weekly academic co-ops result in more stress than they are worth to you, you might move to one of these in-between monthly options. You could still combine this with your newly ramped-up behavioral requirements for attending.




      For anyone else grappling for any reason with "To Co-op or Not To Co-op," watch this great video from Susan Wise Bauer on the topic.

      Thanks-
      Cheryl

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

        Downtime afterwards and zero expectations or "work" when we get home. WE really have to "chill". My kids get overstimulated easily, very easily. I remember playgroups with my oldest. She was 8 months old at our first one. She crawled over to me after about 40 mins and pretty much clung to me for dear life. I knew it was time to go. When she was more like 15 months, she went to the door and got her shoes. We did eventually work up to a 2 hour playgroup, but it was difficult at first!

        We can't do parks for more than an hour. They will appear to be having so much fun and it is hard to leave. I know that it will just be plain awful the ENTIRE rest of the day, so I try to watch the clock and be done in an hour, even if everyone is cooperating and doing well. We found they can swim, however, for many hours!!!

        My only point is that I have just found our kids' limits (through much trial and error!!). Occasionally, I push the limits when it benefits ME, but I know what will happen when we get home. The good news is I expect it, so, my expectations for what we will do are adjusted. My kids also don't do well if we have had a busy weekend. I sometimes cancel things through the week if the weekend was busy. They seem to require several days to "re-regulate".
        Christine

        (2019/2020)
        DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
        DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
        DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

        Previous Years
        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
          Downtime afterwards and zero expectations or "work" when we get home. WE really have to "chill". My kids get overstimulated easily, very easily. I remember playgroups with my oldest. She was 8 months old at our first one. She crawled over to me after about 40 mins and pretty much clung to me for dear life. I knew it was time to go. When she was more like 15 months, she went to the door and got her shoes. We did eventually work up to a 2 hour playgroup, but it was difficult at first!

          We can't do parks for more than an hour. They will appear to be having so much fun and it is hard to leave. I know that it will just be plain awful the ENTIRE rest of the day, so I try to watch the clock and be done in an hour, even if everyone is cooperating and doing well. We found they can swim, however, for many hours!!!

          My only point is that I have just found our kids' limits (through much trial and error!!). Occasionally, I push the limits when it benefits ME, but I know what will happen when we get home. The good news is I expect it, so, my expectations for what we will do are adjusted. My kids also don't do well if we have had a busy weekend. I sometimes cancel things through the week if the weekend was busy. They seem to require several days to "re-regulate".
          This is EXACTLY what happens to us!! It's such a hard spot because, like you said, they seem to be fine and are enjoying and benefitting from the experience, but as soon as it's over the bottom falls out. And if we end it early they fall apart anyway just because of disappointment. At least at that point we don't have to wait multiple days for them to get back to normal.

          I really want co-op to work out, we just can't spend two and a half days of every week "re-regulating".

          Cheryl made a good point (among many!) about giving it some more time to see if they adjust to the new schedule. I'm hoping that works.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          2019-2020 Plans:

          DS16
          MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
          MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

          DS15
          As above, plus:
          MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
          MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

          DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

          DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

          DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

          DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

          DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

            I quickly scanned both forums but haven't found this answer...I know the other family is MP, but what exactly are you studying at the co-op? Seems like this is an all-morning deal, correct? And then they come home and act like terrors for 2 days?

            You have some older kids in the mix, are they pretty independent school-wise? Is there a visual schedule / expectations chart? My son used to regularly accuse me of adding things to his school day. He now checks the teacher guide so he knows expectations / workload for the day.

            I like the 3 strike idea on the other forum, but I'm thinking 3 strikes and you lose co-op for the week, not semester. It will take just a few weeks where someone misses and they'll know you're serious.
            Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
            DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
            DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

              Our four 12-13 year olds study FFL and literature vocabulary together. They're in different places in their other subjects which they then work on independently, each following the Curriculum Manual on their own. They finish by 9:30 (we start at 8 CST because the only place available to meet at is on Eastern time and opens at 9 EST) They spend the rest of the time playing board games together and looking at library books about Star Wars or other things they're all interested in (we meet at a library).

              The 3rd/4th graders study Latina Christiana, Greek Myths, Literature, Composition and Astronomy. They go from 8:00 to 9:30 and then have a 15-20 minute break and we finish around 11:30.

              The 4-8 year olds do copybook, Enrichment reading and their phonics/reading and then play and read stories in the library's children's area. At 11:30 or so, we all pack up, eat lunch together and then head home. We're home by 1pm.

              We have an 18x24 chart on the wall at home that lists their daily schedule (including checkmarks and stars for certain milestones) and I reminded them on the way home this week that when we got home it was time to pick up the routine for the afternoon which is an hour of quiet time, an hour of Netflix and two hours of playing/or other constructive activities until 5pm when it's time to pick up the house and then read or draw quietly until dinner if it's not ready yet.

              When we got home, the twelve year old was completely "done" -- weepy, irritable, frustrated, didn't know what to do with himself, etc. I made him lay down to rest but that tends to drive him nuts (ADD/anxiety). I knew he had to rest though or he would end up with one of his migraines which come on after being overstimulated or after being very bored indoors. My oldest stopped paying attention to what we say. He goes into his own world or just sits around and ignores us. He does that for at least two days after we have a big activity. It's like he just shuts down. My four year old often ends up with more irritability.

              The next day is spent trying to get people to the school table, focused on their work, etc. whereas this usually isn't a problem.

              My 4th grader has the most intense day academically at co-op but he's also the one with the most relaxed temperament and has little issue after big days other than being tired. Same with my six year old. The eight year old can get very cranky and start whining a lot. The thirteen, twelve year and four year olds have the hardest time though.
              Last edited by jen1134; 11-08-2016, 09:21 PM.
              Jennifer
              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

              2019-2020 Plans:

              DS16
              MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
              MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

              DS15
              As above, plus:
              MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
              MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

              DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

              DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

              DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

              DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

              DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

                Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                Our four 12-13 year olds study FFL and literature vocabulary together. They're in different places in their other subjects which they then work on independently, each following the Curriculum Manual on their own. They finish by 9:30 (we start at 8 CST because the only place available to meet at is on Eastern time and opens at 9 EST) They spend the rest of the time playing board games together and looking at library books about Star Wars or other things they're all interested in (we meet at a library).

                The 3rd/4th graders study Latina Christiana, Greek Myths, Literature, Composition and Astronomy. They go from 8:00 to 9:30 and then have a 15-20 minute break and we finish around 11:30.

                The 4-8 year olds do copybook, Enrichment reading and their phonics/reading and then play and read stories in the library's children's area. At 11:30 or so, we all pack up, eat lunch together and then head home. We're home by 1pm.

                We have an 18x24 chart on the wall at home that lists their daily schedule (including checkmarks and stars for certain milestones) and I reminded them on the way home this week that when we got home it was time to pick up the routine for the afternoon which is an hour of quiet time, an hour of Netflix and two hours of playing/or other constructive activities until 5pm when it's time to pick up the house and then read or draw quietly until dinner if it's not ready yet.

                When we got home, the twelve year old was completely "done" -- weepy, irritable, frustrated, didn't know what to do with himself, etc. I made him lay down to rest but that tends to drive him nuts (ADD/anxiety). I knew he had to rest though or he would end up with one of his migraines which come on after being overstimulated or after being very bored indoors. My oldest stopped paying attention to what we say. He goes into his own world or just sits around and ignores us. He does that for at least two days after we have a big activity. It's like he just shuts down. My four year old often ends up with more irritability.

                The next day is spent trying to get people to the school table, focused on their work, etc. whereas this usually isn't a problem.

                My 4th grader has the most intense day academically at co-op but he's also the one with the most relaxed temperament and has little issue after big days other than being tired. Same with my six year old. The eight year old can get very cranky and start whining a lot. The thirteen, twelve year and four year olds have the hardest time though.
                Hi, Jen.

                This sounds like a good school schedule! I hope this works for you. If everyone does well, the accountability of weekly meetings can really propel your year academically.

                When I mentioned a reluctance to combine for academic co-ops, I was thinking primarily about our experience with an hour-away co-op with far more "relaxed" homeschoolers academically (e.g., those ever-popular Legos classes).

                I had forgotten that our best-ever Latin year sprang from a request from a local MP mom. We combined my children and her teen daughters at our local library. Every Tuesday we met for formal Latin, mythology, Lingua Angelica translation, and the Iliad. We all made amazing progress. I adapted instruction for mine, because one of the other high school girls was a writer. She became our willing, built-in scribe. My children answered orally. We loved the discussions. Both girls doodled artistically when my children discoursed at length about mythology. I noticed the talent, and one of the girls became the illustrator for my daughter's poetry book. We swam with other homeschoolers after the class.

                The other mother and father were incredibly supportive, and the family was very literary. (This was confirmed when we met their dog, Beowulf. ) With the right family, this could work wonderfully for you for many years.


                You just might want to provide a little more support for your 12 and 13 yo when you come home. I know that we would never have been able to "get away" with assigning 3-4 hours of unstructured time, like the current post-school schedule: an hour of rest, an hour of screen time, and then constructive play till dinner! Your 12yo and 13yo might need something more physical, more interactive, or just more supportive.

                Keep tweaking. The weekly MP classes sound well worth it.


                And thanks, Colomama, for asking the right question: What do you DO in the co-op? This does make a difference!

                Cheryl

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

                  Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                  Hi, Jen.

                  This sounds like a good school schedule! I hope this works for you. If everyone does well, the accountability of weekly meetings can really propel your year academically.

                  When I mentioned a reluctance to combine for academic co-ops, I was thinking primarily about our experience with an hour-away co-op with far more "relaxed" homeschoolers academically (e.g., those ever-popular Legos classes).

                  I had forgotten that our best-ever Latin year sprang from a request from a local MP mom. We combined my children and her teen daughters at our local library. Every Tuesday we met for formal Latin, mythology, Lingua Angelica translation, and the Iliad. We all made amazing progress. I adapted instruction for mine, because one of the other high school girls was a writer. She became our willing, built-in scribe. My children answered orally. We loved the discussions. Both girls doodled artistically when my children discoursed at length about mythology. I noticed the talent, and one of the girls became the illustrator for my daughter's poetry book. We swam with other homeschoolers after the class.

                  The other mother and father were incredibly supportive, and the family was very literary. (This was confirmed when we met their dog, Beowulf. ) With the right family, this could work wonderfully for you for many years.


                  You just might want to provide a little more support for your 12 and 13 yo when you come home. I know that we would never have been able to "get away" with assigning 3-4 hours of unstructured time, like the current post-school schedule: an hour of rest, an hour of screen time, and then constructive play till dinner! Your 12yo and 13yo might need something more physical, more interactive, or just more supportive.

                  Keep tweaking. The weekly MP classes sound well worth it.


                  And thanks, Colomama, for asking the right question: What do you DO in the co-op? This does make a difference!

                  Cheryl

                  Sarah mentioned the same thing about structure on the K-8 forum, but in relation to the free time they have during co-op. It made me realize that ALL of the outside events that cause these meltdowns have that one thing in common: HOURS of free time for the kids to just play hard with their friends. I can't believe I missed this correlation!

                  You've furthered this crucial insight though: I never considered that our regular afternoons could be considered "unstructured" since each time block had a specific activity assigned to it (other than the final two hours of free play). Maybe I need to have a better understanding of "structure". When you say interactive and supportive, what do you mean by those? I'm assuming interactive means more time doing something with me, but I'm not clear about "supportive".

                  Thank you all for your insights -- I feel like we are finally getting to the root of the problem after years of scratching our heads wondering where we were going wrong!
                  Jennifer
                  Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                  2019-2020 Plans:

                  DS16
                  MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                  MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                  DS15
                  As above, plus:
                  MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                  MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                  DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                  DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                  DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                  DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                  DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

                    Re supportive, I was thinking about your anxious older child. We saw this with my son, when sometimes "independent" translated in his mind as "abandoned."

                    So maybe you assign him rest time with something that encourages him, such as playing an instrument or drawing, rather than unspecified resting, which might make him more anxious. Or you give him a task to complete alongside you or your husband, such as filing, shredding, sharpening pencils, etc.


                    I often do this for my daughter on weekends or during sick weeks:

                    3-4pm practice along with the ballet DVD from your ballet teacher
                    4-5pm art stained glass
                    5-set table for dinner

                    Or
                    3-5 help Mom organize her work table or help Mom straighten the house, room by room (she's a good "runner" and likes to be kept busy)
                    5 set table for dinner



                    Interactive - yes, something he would do with (or at least alongside) you. Perhaps even just checking in with you at the end of one rest hour would help, and then you both gather the trash and take the trash out together, or start dinner, or whatever needs to be done, before the next hour begins.

                    Supportive - this does not need to be more demanding for you, but would just give the rest time a little more guidance. Assign something you know he would enjoy. Fwiw, Netflix & other screen time almost always "set off" my son afterward. We found that other forms of independent, yet assigned activity, such as exercising, proved more beneficial to his well-being.


                    I hope that helps ...

                    Cheryl

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Cross-posting: Fallout after co-op meetings

                      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                      Re supportive, I was thinking about your anxious older child. We saw this with my son, when sometimes "independent" translated in his mind as "abandoned."

                      So maybe you assign him rest time with something that encourages him, such as playing an instrument or drawing, rather than unspecified resting, which might make him more anxious. Or you give him a task to complete alongside you or your husband, such as filing, shredding, sharpening pencils, etc.


                      I often do this for my daughter on weekends or during sick weeks:

                      3-4pm practice along with the ballet DVD from your ballet teacher
                      4-5pm art stained glass
                      5-set table for dinner

                      Or
                      3-5 help Mom organize her work table or help Mom straighten the house, room by room (she's a good "runner" and likes to be kept busy)
                      5 set table for dinner



                      Interactive - yes, something he would do with (or at least alongside) you. Perhaps even just checking in with you at the end of one rest hour would help, and then you both gather the trash and take the trash out together, or start dinner, or whatever needs to be done, before the next hour begins.

                      Supportive - this does not need to be more demanding for you, but would just give the rest time a little more guidance. Assign something you know he would enjoy. Fwiw, Netflix & other screen time almost always "set off" my son afterward. We found that other forms of independent, yet assigned activity, such as exercising, proved more beneficial to his well-being.


                      I hope that helps ...

                      Cheryl
                      This helps immensely! Thank you so much!
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      2019-2020 Plans:

                      DS16
                      MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                      MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                      DS15
                      As above, plus:
                      MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                      MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                      DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                      DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                      DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                      DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                      DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                      Comment

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