What a Co-op Day is like at Eagle’s Wings

9:30 Set Up: Christine Unlocks the side door so that teachers can set up their rooms.  The kid wranglers are watching the gathering children on the lawn or playground area so that they are out of the parking lot away from arriving cars.  The nursery workers are staffing the nursery so that if any of the teachers or wranglers have children under the age of 3, they can stay safe (and out from under foot) while the teacher sets up the classroom.  Other parents visit and chat outside or inside as the weather suggests.

9:45 Circle Time: the bell rings for circle time.  We evaluate which families are missing.   We work out which substitute will cover missing teachers and helpers for each hour of classes, exchange information about events in the local homeschool world, and pray.  On the first few weeks, we dismiss the children by roll call, so they remember where to go.

(Here is a good place for a reminder, set out from home earlier than you think you will need to leave. If your child is acting sickish on Thursday, send Christine an e-mail of your absence Thursday night.  This gives her time to cancel coop if there will not be enough adults for 2 adults per classroom.  We do not want to share germs, especially stomach bugs.)

10:00 First Class  Parents who aren’t scheduled to volunteer are urged to hang out in the sanctuary so they do not disturb classes.  This is a wonderful time to network, ask about curriculum, vexing learning problems and TALK WITH A GROWNUP.  (Just talk quietly, upstairs in the sanctuary, away from the classes..)  One job new-to-us parents are often given is floor officer.  Their job is to scan the building for trouble, make sure to unite parents and children when there is trouble (they have a clip board of all the names and locations) and serve as a second adult in any class where a parent has to be excused.  They also silently give the warning “You have 5 min left in class, wrap up!” to the teacher.

10:45 Recess.  The kid’s favorite time.  They line up, the wranglers count noses, they go outside in a line.  Well, a homeschool kid line.  Walking in a line turns out to be a learned skill.  Once the half hour is up, the wranglers again count noses, and everyone drifts back into the building.  The kids learn a lot by playing together in a group, not all of it easy.  Some problems that no one knew would be problems crop up at this time.  The children may need debriefing, correcting, coaching, or comforting.  Also remember to clean up snack packaging, especially from the picnic tables.

11:15 Second Class (yes, another thing that doesn’t start on the hour)  This is just like the first hour, only different classes.

12:00 Clean up.  No family that has duties during set up is also asked to clean up except the Guests (Christine has the church key.)  Most clean up can’t be done until the building is empty, so if you are not on the clean up crew, please take the lunch, chat and snacking outside (we have picnic tables, in winter, the Dunkin on rt 44 has a community room).  The cleaning families can go home as soon as the church is vacuumed, dry mopped, the furniture put back, bathrooms checked, and the garbage taken out.  This takes about 30 min if we are on the ball, 45min – 1 hour if I don’t schedule enough families on it.  If you have a large family with older children, or just older children, this is a job you will probably be asked to do.  It’s harder for families with littles, because the nursery is closed (so we can tidy and vacuum it.)