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Is it possible for unschoolers to bite off more than they can chew

Posted by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM
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This year I may be doing 3 co-ops per week.  I just trying to figure out if it is too much for us but mostly me.  The co-ops would be on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

The one on Monday is more family run.  The kids pick the subjects. The moms volunteer to teach them.  It is a small group.  It looks like a few families are dropping out because they need to do more "school" at home.  I really love this group because so many kids have asked to learn about studying Physics and other science classes after classes I have taught.  I don't know how it happened but I kind of become the "science teacher".  The funny thing is  I hated science in school but now I love it.  

Our co-op on Tuesday is more traditional.  My sons love the classes.  My oldest is taking PE, Art, Science, and computer programming.  My youngest is taking the same classes except the last class.  He decided he wanted to take Chess.  He told me once he learns how to play he is going to teach me.  I can't wait.  My kids have homework for the science class but they love science so much they really enjoy it.  

Our co-op on Thursday is done at a camp.  They offer homeschool classes on Thursdays.  Their classes are based on hands on activities.  They will be learning about gardening and kitchen chemistry by making pizzas over an open fire.  Another class they will be learning about the water shed by digging in the creek and while canoeing.  I know they will love all the classes.

I am just wondering if it is too much for me.  I will be organizing the first co-op.  That is the one that concerns me.  I really enjoy our "lazy" days at home.  Where we don't have to be anywhere by a certain time.  My boys love all these co-op and they love going places.  I  will still have two day at home to relax, one is cleaning day, one day is a day of complete rest.  We are religious but worship at home so our rest day is very laid back.  

We also do karate 4 times per week.  

I am a quasi unschooler so I like to use a lot of different things.  I am really laid back and I really hate it when I feel over stressed.  I know my sons would want to do it all.  I am dong the co-ops on Tuesday and Thursday I am just having trouble deciding on the first one.  It will involve a lot more time from me.  I usually like to follow their interests and wants.  I know they will want to do them all.  Do you ever worry about doing too many things and not having enough days at home?  I am also wondering if I should just do all our activities and just do our days at home as relaxed as I can.  I usually find myself agreeing with the opinions of unschoolers the most so that is why I am posting here.  Thanks for any insight that you can give me.  

by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM
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dedicatedrider
by Member on Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Perhaps you can find some others to help so that the Monday class isn't as stressful on you, since that seems to be the big one you're struggling with.  This might allow you to participate in them all like the kids would like without being overstressed yourself.

jen2150
by Member on Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Thanks I pretty much deciding I was going to do it.  I think writing it all out helped.  I plan on asking for help but on the other hand I can't always depend on that.  I have had so many bow out because they weren't spending enough time doing school at home.  I was thinking on simpflying the co-op so it won't be as stressful for me.  Thanks again.

Quoting dedicatedrider:

Perhaps you can find some others to help so that the Monday class isn't as stressful on you, since that seems to be the big one you're struggling with.  This might allow you to participate in them all like the kids would like without being overstressed yourself.


LindaClement
by Group Owner on Aug. 23, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Do I think you're overwhelming yourself? Yes, I do.

You're not taking into account your needs, while you're filling up your kids' days with fun. I don't think that one day a week of the kind of day you say you love is sufficient for you to remain balanced, sane and flexibly meeting your kids' needs. As they say on the planes: afix your own oxygen mask first.

To me, this feels a little bit like 'cram it all in this year' ... that I suspect results from a sense of running out of time.

jen2150
by Member on Aug. 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

That is really what I am concerned with.  It wasn't really planned this way.  It kind of just happened.  I am not concerned about my other co-ops.  Those really don't require me to do anything.  It is the one where I will probably be teaching from time to time.  It takes time to plan things for a group of kids.  I have to say I love teaching these classes.  Last year I taught every session and it wore me out.  I love it but it I was exhausting.  I will have Sunday and Wednesday free.  I think I will try and play it by ear.  I am going to simpfly the classes so they don't require as much work from me.  We organized it in 6 week sessions.  I will just have let them know I can only teach every other session.  I was doing it with a friend of mine but she decided it was too much for her. I am hesitant to say no because I enjoy teaching.  Showing up for co-ops doesn't over stress me but it was the planning and teaching a large group of kids.  

Thanks, Linda, for your response.  It has given me something to think about.  I also appreciate how you phrase your responses.  They are always very clear.

Quoting LindaClement:

Do I think you're overwhelming yourself? Yes, I do.

You're not taking into account your needs, while you're filling up your kids' days with fun. I don't think that one day a week of the kind of day you say you love is sufficient for you to remain balanced, sane and flexibly meeting your kids' needs. As they say on the planes: afix your own oxygen mask first.

To me, this feels a little bit like 'cram it all in this year' ... that I suspect results from a sense of running out of time.


LindaClement
by Group Owner on Aug. 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM

That sounds like a reasonable way to approach it...

Quoting jen2150:

That is really what I am concerned with.  It wasn't really planned this way.  It kind of just happened.  I am not concerned about my other co-ops.  Those really don't require me to do anything.  It is the one where I will probably be teaching from time to time.  It takes time to plan things for a group of kids.  I have to say I love teaching these classes.  Last year I taught every session and it wore me out.  I love it but it I was exhausting.  I will have Sunday and Wednesday free.  I think I will try and play it by ear.  I am going to simpfly the classes so they don't require as much work from me.  We organized it in 6 week sessions.  I will just have let them know I can only teach every other session.  I was doing it with a friend of mine but she decided it was too much for her. I am hesitant to say no because I enjoy teaching.  Showing up for co-ops doesn't over stress me but it was the planning and teaching a large group of kids.  

Thanks, Linda, for your response.  It has given me something to think about.  I also appreciate how you phrase your responses.  They are always very clear.

Quoting LindaClement:

Do I think you're overwhelming yourself? Yes, I do.

You're not taking into account your needs, while you're filling up your kids' days with fun. I don't think that one day a week of the kind of day you say you love is sufficient for you to remain balanced, sane and flexibly meeting your kids' needs. As they say on the planes: afix your own oxygen mask first.

To me, this feels a little bit like 'cram it all in this year' ... that I suspect results from a sense of running out of time.



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