November Parent Meeting cancelled

Sorry about the late notice.  It seems that most of us have conflicts tonight, so the meeting will not be held.  See you in December.


Oct 20 Co-op

Hi all,

We will be having a presentation by VEEP tomorrow, October 20, at 1 pm in the Fox Room of the Rutland Free Library.  The topic is climate science.  Hope to see you there.  It looks like a great program.

Parents Meeting Coming Up!

Hi all.  Sorry about the short notice, but we have finally scheduled a parents meeting for August.  It will be this coming Monday (August 10) at 7 pm at the Rutland Free Library, in the small meeting room.  Hope you can make it!

Co-op Info

In case we have any new readers here, I’d like to just give an update of where we are with our homeschool co-op.  We have done a lot of neat stuff this year and have plans for great things this spring!

So far, we’ve done geocaching (including searches and placing our own cache), a first aid and wilderness safety course, Aboriginal dot painting, cooperative games, a felting workshop, a class in electricity and renewable energy, board games, a class in astronomy, and developing our own business.  We ended up having to postpone creating an earth loom until spring, so that will be coming up before too long!

For those not sure about how our co-op is structured, you can check out what I wrote here, and get all the basics.  We are an inclusive, secular group.  We’re informal in the sense that we plan what we’re doing as a group, and it’s based on the kids’ interests.  This is not a co-op where we all provide lessons in “regular” areas of curricula such as math or language (unless the kids request that, but so far we haven’t had any of those requests).  We generally work as one group, not divided into age or grade categories.  We envisioned a sort of cooperative learning experience provided mostly by parents in the group, or willing children.  We hope that some of the kids will lead classes now and then!

The next co-op (March 26) will be about finance and the stock market.  Watch for an upcoming post with details, coming soon!

I am hoping to (finally!) be able to have the Earth Loom co-op on April 23.  It will be installed in Chittenden, and it does take a little longer for spring to reach there, so we’ll have to see if the ground thaws in time.  Stay tuned!

On May 7, we will be using the co-op time to have a Geography Fair.  Should be a lot of fun!

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer.

Park Days

Hi everyone,

We had a great time at the Not Back to School picnic yesterday.  It was a nice sized group with kids of a range of ages, and everyone seemed to enjoy the games and playing as a group.  It was nice to see some new faces and make new friends!  Everyone agreed that Wednesday afternoons are a great time for us to gather and while the weather is good, we thought weekly park days would be fun for all of us.  I have put them on the event calendar through October.  I put 1-4 pm just because I needed to pick times, but obviously people are free to show up whenever and stay as long as they want.  Since everyone (now) knows the location of the Meadow Street playground, and because it’s a nice sized park for our group, we though continuing to meet there would be ideal. 

See you next Wednesday!


A small group of us has been working to start up a local co-op.  I’m not sure if our idea matches up exactly with the definition of a co-op, and I’m not even sure what that is.  Our idea is to get people together for some cooperative learning experiences.  If there’s a goal, it’s that we get together, learn something interesting and work together on projects.  We hope to include people of all ages, understanding that some projects are better suited to some than others.  We hope that a person of any age can find something in any experience that works for them.

Some guidelines or notes about the group:

There isn’t a fee to participate in the group, but there may be times when we each have to pay for supplies for a particular project.

Co-op isn’t a drop-off activity.  We need the support and participation of parents to make this work.  We understand that occasionally one parent may make arrangements with another to accompany their child, and that child will be the other person’s responsibility for the day – that’s no problem, but someone needs to be there to be available to that child during the activities.

People will need to RSVP for each session.  Whoever is leading the activity will be best able to prepare if they know the number of participants and their ages.  Ideally, we’d all make an effort to attend most of the sessions, but it’s not a requirement.  If your child isn’t interested in a particular topic, they don’t have to attend just because they’ve come to other sessions.  But we would like the kids to work as a group, and so there needs to be some cohesiveness and familiarity with others in the group, and it’s probably easiest to create that by having the kids participate regularly, if possible.

Co-op is currently scheduled to take place on Thursdays, every other week, beginning September 11.  Co-op will begin at 1:30 and we’ll use the Fox Room of the Rutland Free Library as a home base – but because of the nature of some of the activities, not all sessions will be held there.  I will keep the calendar updated with the times and dates we’re meeting, and as they are scheduled, the topics for each meeting.

We need to set a schedule so that we know what the topics for each co-op session will be.  This will make it easiest for people to sign up for activities so that both the facilitator and the participants can prepare ahead of time.  Hopefully we can make a lot of headway with this on 9/11 during the first session.  If you are planning to come, please bring your children, and please ask them to think about what they would like to see offered during co-op sessions.  They can also think of things they would like to lead – one of the goals of co-op might be to have some sessions led by children.

We are hoping that all the adults and some of the children will take at least one turn leading a session.  It’s not a requirement, but it will make it easier on all of us if more than one or two people are helping out.  That’s part of the definition of co-op, in my mind anyway!  🙂  So far we have an awesome group and it seems like everyone has an idea for something they’d like to share, which is great!

Some of the activities we’ve talked about include:

  • building and installing an earth loom
  • geocaching and letterboxing
  • orienteering and map skills
  • drama and music
  • games that require a group
  • e-textiles (combining sewing, crafting, and electronics)
  • first aid
  • creating a business
  • volunteering
  • art projects
  • science and engineering related topics
  • guest speakers or field trips
  • international projects and/or language learning
  • anything else we come up with!

Please feel free to comment with ideas you may have that we haven’t considered, suggestions, guidelines we talked about in meetings that I’ve forgotten, etc.  And please come join us at co-op!