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Thread: Please help me with step one

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Default Please help me with step one

    Here's our story. There are about 6-10 families in my area that are completely fed up with our city's education. We have been talking about opening a school/coop for years...and I think we either need to stop talking about it OR get something up and running before our children all grow up. We don't even know where to start. I've read some threads here but am still dazed and confused. Here's what I know.

    1. We all have toddlers and/or babies and so feel deflated already because we just don't have the time/energy to make anything happen.
    2. We are Catholic
    3. Nobody currently uses MP (but I will next year).
    4. Some of us have kids in school and some are homeschooling
    5. Most families could contribute financially.

    What is the very first step? With these 6-10 families, we could be talking about 30+ kids.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2012
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    Goodlettsville, TN
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    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Wow! That's already a huge group to start with. Is everyone open to MP? What is your grade range for the 30+ kids? Would you want to do something that other people can participate in, or, would you be completely happy to set up a 6-10 family exclusive tutorial. Do you or does anyone else in the group have access to a place that you could meet for free or little cost? The answers to these questions will greatly influence my thoughts.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    Fall 2018 · 7th MP Year, 9th Homeschooling
    Interweaving home, cottage school, & MPOA
    DS · MPOA Henle 2, 9A
    DD · MPOA 4th Form, 7A
    DD · 4A
    DS · 1st

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School
    www.nashvillelatinschool.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    44

    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Quote Originally Posted by pickandgrin View Post
    Wow! That's already a huge group to start with. Is everyone open to MP? What is your grade range for the 30+ kids? Would you want to do something that other people can participate in, or, would you be completely happy to set up a 6-10 family exclusive tutorial. Do you or does anyone else in the group have access to a place that you could meet for free or little cost? The answers to these questions will greatly influence my thoughts.
    Ok, here is what I know (and thank you for being willing to think through this with me!).

    I have no idea if anyone would be open to specifically MP. BUT-I do know that almost everyone is fond of classical education. And as far as I'm concerned, the ones who weren't would just have to get there. We have to pick one philosophy and stick to it. The majority (and core group) is Classical. I do believe we would just have to choose the curriculum and again, people would have to conform. Kind of like "this is what we're offering" and yay or nay. There are just too many people at this point to try to please everyone.

    The grade range is probably prek-7th. I don't think we have anyone higher than that that is serious about this. Then, we have toddlers and babies as well to think about (depending on set up of course)

    I think right now, we would keep it to the 6-10 families, knowing that in reality we'd probably get about 5 who would commit.

    As far as place, that's the biggest hurdle for sure. I can't think of anyplace right now that could host us, which is the biggest problem obviously.

    And as a sidenot, I think we're thinking to start small. Maybe something like 1-2 days a week. Most of us are either homeschooling or homeschool dropouts. But the one thing we all have in common, is that we crave that fellowship with other humans. Most of us that quit realized that either we or our kids just needed that outside of the home social interaction. But, in order to pack up 6-7 kids, it has to be worth it. It has to be a quality educational and social experience. Also noteworthy is that within this group, there are probably 3-4 certified teachers. But, they all have babies. So we feel like we are constantly stuck between this place of wanting something, but unable to DO anything because of our life circumstances. Does that make sense? I keep hearing about how people start these schools from scratch and I just don't know how to get from A to Z. Our school district is embracing Summit Learning, and almost all students are getting Chromebooks-even as young as 4th grade. We are all petrified but feel hopeless and unable to evoke change. :-(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Quote Originally Posted by Meadowlark View Post
    Here's our story. There are about 6-10 families in my area that are completely fed up with our city's education. We have been talking about opening a school/coop for years...and I think we either need to stop talking about it OR get something up and running before our children all grow up. We don't even know where to start. I've read some threads here but am still dazed and confused. Here's what I know.

    1. We all have toddlers and/or babies and so feel deflated already because we just don't have the time/energy to make anything happen.
    2. We are Catholic
    3. Nobody currently uses MP (but I will next year).
    4. Some of us have kids in school and some are homeschooling
    5. Most families could contribute financially.

    What is the very first step? With these 6-10 families, we could be talking about 30+ kids.

    Thank you!
    Good Afternoon,

    I would consider the first step already behind you: start the conversation. So, good job on that front! As Jessica already pointed out, there are a number of things that would be helpful to know. A first though, is determining a leader. You're going to want/need someone to take the reins and direct things.

    A fairly straight-forward option would be to establish a one-day meeting centered around Latin, with classical studies and/or literature being offered in addition. If most/all of the students would be new to Latin you would only need one or two classes (depending on grade level) and would begin with Latina Christiana in grades 3–4, and First Form Latin in grades 5+. Having the ability to combine grade-levels allows you to embrace simplicity, while offering something for a wide range of students. If you can establish something small for this upcoming year, more structure can easily be built around it.
    Ryan Weston
    Director, Cottage Schools and Distributor Relations
    Memoria Press

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5,502

    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Piggybacking onto Ryan: I agree that Latin and classical is a great start for older students, but the fact that you all have young children could be a blessing too. The schools that start with a kindergarten class and then grow to 1st grade the next year, 2nd the next, etc. have an easier time because they are building from the ground up. They are training their students from a very young age to fit the culture of your school.

    You could start a 3 yr old program, a JK program, and a K program simultaneously if you have 3 moms who would commit to teaching them. That would spread many of the younger students around while you concentrate on what you want to offer for the older ones.

    Where are you located?

    Just thinking out loud.

    Tanya

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,397

    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Quote Originally Posted by tanya View Post
    Piggybacking onto Ryan: I agree that Latin and classical is a great start for older students, but the fact that you all have young children could be a blessing too. The schools that start with a kindergarten class and then grow to 1st grade the next year, 2nd the next, etc. have an easier time because they are building from the ground up. They are training their students from a very young age to fit the culture of your school.

    You could start a 3 yr old program, a JK program, and a K program simultaneously if you have 3 moms who would commit to teaching them. That would spread many of the younger students around while you concentrate on what you want to offer for the older ones.

    Where are you located?

    Just thinking out loud.

    Tanya
    I agree with Tanya.

    I would LOVE to have an MP program for my littlest one. The situation Tanya described is beautiful, encourages community, and would really connect these families in your circle together.
    DD #1 : 23, college GRADUATE
    DD #2 : 12 MP 7A - HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
    DS #3 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
    DS #4 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
    DD #5: 6, MP 1 at HLS
    DS #6: 4, cutest caboose on the loose
    http://www.thekennedyadventures.com

  7. #7
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    Jun 2012
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    Goodlettsville, TN
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    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Another consideration is that if you have many families with littles, then you are talking more about a co-op situation than a tutorial. Even if you all chip in money to pay teachers for more advanced classes, you could definitely have the moms with the littlest ones help each other out and cover some watching at some points of the day. Older students could rotate in and help if needed. There's a completely different dynamic if it's a small number of families. You just do whatever works for your specific group.

    To Ryan's point about the Leader--I would encourage you to take that role. It's hard, but you get the make the rules. If you are the leader, then you can present the curriculum choice, set the tone, etc. If you really want it to be classical and doable, then MP is the best way to go. These families would have support at your group, on the forum, at Sodalitas in the summer, calling MP anytime, lesson plans, online academy to fill in cracks, DVD & streaming lessons, etc. Really--it's the best way to go. No other classical curriculum can offer that level of comprehensive support for families.

    If you need some Catholic cheerleaders/endorsements, you can find some here. Trust me.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    Fall 2018 · 7th MP Year, 9th Homeschooling
    Interweaving home, cottage school, & MPOA
    DS · MPOA Henle 2, 9A
    DD · MPOA 4th Form, 7A
    DD · 4A
    DS · 1st

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School
    www.nashvillelatinschool.com

  8. #8
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    Goodlettsville, TN
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    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Follow up:

    What about what Ryan suggested: Latin, Classical Studies...then something your group needs in particular--what do families struggle with? Lit? Composition? Math? Science? Would having a short religion section/saints study be an attractive way to start the day?
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    Fall 2018 · 7th MP Year, 9th Homeschooling
    Interweaving home, cottage school, & MPOA
    DS · MPOA Henle 2, 9A
    DD · MPOA 4th Form, 7A
    DD · 4A
    DS · 1st

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School
    www.nashvillelatinschool.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    Quote Originally Posted by tanya View Post
    Piggybacking onto Ryan: I agree that Latin and classical is a great start for older students, but the fact that you all have young children could be a blessing too. The schools that start with a kindergarten class and then grow to 1st grade the next year, 2nd the next, etc. have an easier time because they are building from the ground up. They are training their students from a very young age to fit the culture of your school.

    You could start a 3 yr old program, a JK program, and a K program simultaneously if you have 3 moms who would commit to teaching them. That would spread many of the younger students around while you concentrate on what you want to offer for the older ones.

    Where are you located?

    Just thinking out loud.

    Tanya
    From my somewhat failed experiences trying to start something, I couldn't agree more with the idea of starting them young with Memoria, and slowly building year on year from there- if that will work for your family. Building from the top down or from the middle down, and then up- can end up being a real disaster. I think my tutorial would have worked if I had been able to begin it with young kids and moms when I was just starting out. If you are leading it has to feed and help you, and as Jessica has said so often, it has to give life to your own family. If you try and start with older kids, you may end up having differences in opinion on what to teach, what to use, that become insurmountable over time, because a lot of parents might have already invested time and effort into researching and purchasing curriculum and have their own vision in place that can be hard to let go of. just some thoughts. Good on you for trying something! Wishing you the best with it, prayers,
    Maria
    Last edited by Girlnumber20; 04-11-2018 at 02:12 PM.
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Please help me with step one

    We had a similar set-up for the last three years...a co/op setting where the work was divided among the moms with 14 families and 30 kids. You could definitely do something like Tanya described by dividing the younger children up into groups and using the MP Jr K program for 3/4/5 year olds and the MP Kindergarten Enrichment for 5/6/7 year olds. We have done this the last two years. The Enrichment is a beautiful, rich day of literature, poetry, science, history, culture, music and art that could easily be spread over a three hour morning. This may be a “gentle” introduction into the MP curriculum for families that aren’t ready to take the plunge for the full core. However, I bet you will find that they fall in love with what MP has to offer!

    For the older children, I agree with Ryan...offer Latin and Classical Studies. Again, since most of your families are new to classical education, you could offer Latina Christiana and First Form and Greek Myths and Famous Men of Rome. You could start out just doing a morning co/op and these classes I mentioned would fill up the schedule from 8:30-12:00...a shared “whole school” recitation and chapel time and then 1.5 hours for each course block (Latin and Classical Studies respectfully). The whole school could gather for lunch. With little ones, it’s hard to do afternoon classes, so if a co/op setting is what you are considering, a morning would be a wonderfully full day for everyone!
    Elisabeth

    DS-6, MP K
    DD-3
    DD-4 months

    Highlands Latin Cottage School Greenville
    HighlandsLatin.org/Greenville

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