September 12, 2003

First Day at Homeschool Coop...Several families from our homeschool support group decided to start a cooperative and asked our family to join. I was very excited at the possibility as I really like the parents involved and the children all seem to get along well. We have five families: 3 six year olds, 3 four year olds, 3 two year olds, 2 one year olds and soon we will add three infants (including our newborn). It is a great group of kids and I am glad to see the age diversity and the relationships that are beginning to develop. Already on our first day there was a sense of cooperation between parents as mothers comforted and cared for the children of the other mothers (even when their own mothers were nearby). As I rubbed the back of an injured boy another mother sprinkled "fairy dust" on him to help him feel better while his own mother was outside helping watch the other children. I picked up and comforted a one year old who was knocked down accidentally by a two year old, by the time we reached mom she was fine. My baby was passed from loving arms to loving arms and my four year old had her endless questions answered by some other mothers. It was refreshing and I think a good start to what I hope will be a great experience.

Today we worked on pottery. The teacher (a fellow homeschooling mother) read from a book on clay pottery and children and showed them pictures and discussed what we would be doing. Then they took pieces of clay and sat around the kitchen table and formed "pinch pots" and some made coasters while others started on another type of pot (the name is escaping me right now) - their names were written on their projects which were left on the table to dry. The siblings all played around on the floor. The other mothers tended to the younger children, assisted with the older kids when needed and had plenty of time to chat and get to know one another better. We will meet again next week to finish up and do another project - then we will fire the pots, take a field trip to show the kids how other pottery is made and purchase paints, we will paint and glaze the pots and hopefully they will be back to us by Christmas. In the process I am also learning about the process of pottery.

After the lesson the kids all went into the yard to play outside and have a snack. We mothers watched over them and chatted. We discussed the coop, homeschooling in general and just life. Many of us are still in a getting to know you phase and don't know each others life stories. It is fun because we all seem to get along so far and have much in common. The mothers range from their mid twenties to their mid thirties and all of us had children at a young age and have two or three kids already. We also seem to have similar parenting philosophies or approaches which does help in a situation like this.

Will keep you posted.


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