September 7, 2004

Country Co-op

Today was our first day of our homeschool country cooperative. We are taking the kids traveling around the world and focusing on each country for an entire month. We meet 3-4 weeks a month and will cover: maps, geography, culture, currency, stamps, politics, history, animals and some other random items. We decided to start in the United States to give the kids a baseline and to ease the moms into the teaching part of it. Then we are moving on to Israel, Iraq, Turkey and Iran for the fall.

Today we covered geography and flags. The kids REALLY enjoyed the class. They started by making their own passports with a polaroid photo and pretty realistic looking passport books a mom made. She also brought in her passport to show them what the stamps and a "real" one looks like.

Then they listened to the book "Me on the Map" which is a cute and simple to understand book that explains the basics of maps right from a map of your room, house, street, neighborhood, state, country, world. It is a good book. The kids listened and asked questions.

Then they played a game where they learned the phrase "North, South,East West, Geography is the best!" and they had to follow directions and jump, hop, run, skip, or crawl in the direction they were told. There were signs up marking the directions.

Next they made a topographic map of the US. They were handed a blank outline and a mom explained some of the landmarks and where you could find them in the country. For the younger kids they provided stickers of mountains, cactus, ocean, and a star for the capital. For the older students they used colored pencils to draw in the geography on the map.

They had a snack and then finished up with a craft time. They listened to a story about the American flag and some of the history and meaning behind it and some poems about the flag and the United States of America. They each made their own replica of the US flag. The mom provided precut red stripes, a white piece of felt and a small blue piece. The kids glued the red stripes on to the white piece making 13 stripes and covered a small section on the top with a blue piece. They made dots of glue and covered it with glitter for stars. Then each child had their flag glued onto a stick.

I was impressed with how patient the kids were and how well they followed directions - even the younger ones. Of course there were moments in the beginning, end and at snack time when it seemed they wanted to run wild but they were reigned in easily enough and they really concentrated and enjoyed the tasks at hand. We finished up with a shared lunch time and cleanup.

I think this is going to be a success. Next week we have our culture class - where we cover things like: music, dress, customs, currency, stamps, food, dance, art and the like. We finish off the month with the week I am responsible for with another mom: history, government, famous people, science and animals. Some months we will conclude with a party with food from the country and some time to enjoy and review the country.


1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely great idea!! I love this and will suggest it tonight to my own homeschool group. Thanks for such a great explanation!!