Co-op / Synergy - MFW in a group setting, Science fair,

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: OT: Science Fair

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:32 pm

cbollin wrote:"if the judges determine that parents helped in any way shape or form the entry will be disqualified and we'll tell on you" (and they wonder why no one signed up?)
it wasn't that the grown ups were doing the projects... but in homeschooling settings, it's hard to not do some stuff as a family....
Oh, believe me, in public school settings, parents do a LOT of the work. My public schooled kids never had it so good as when my mother-in-law lived with us and helped them make their dioramas and such :) My older son was in the History Day competition at his public school and it was a good experience, but the winners had things like phone lines set up LOL - not something they could've done on their own.

If I were in that group, I'd give up on the whole no-parent thing, that's up to the family to decide, and that's real life, too. I'd just focus on whether the child can explain the display - if they can't, now that's a problem ;)
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: OT: Science Fair

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:06 pm

Julie in MN wrote:If I were in that group, I'd give up on the whole no-parent thing, that's up to the family to decide, and that's real life, too. I'd just focus on whether the child can explain the display - if they can't, now that's a problem ;)
Julie
and now you know why I struggle to fit in around here..... didn't have this problem in my old city from "up north"... ;)

if my kids couldn't explain the display.. that's different... but oh... I remember the non competitive geography fair when we first moved here. That was easy... we pulled oldest child's Russia report from a few months before that... grabbed some God's Word for the Nations brochures... put out a display of Bibles in a minority language in Russia that we donated to... made that cornbread from week 23 in EX1850 (thank you marie hazell for the recipe). I stood back.. and let oldest talk.. She was selling people on Rosetta Stone and MFW by the end of the night and directing people to another family's display that was heading on mission field with Pioneer Bible Translators... seriously... my kidlet was selling families on the importance of translation projects. go kate!. LOL LOL I wasn't even saying much. She took over on that....

and the year she was in 6th grade, we had done 1850MOD.... and the academic fair at end of the year... we had a history display and a science display (our project from Wired! kit and a few others from the Usborne book)... both of my gals were explaining everything. and able to call out various states and capitals. and yes... the display of a brochure for God's Word for the Nations..... one of the grandmothers in the group (not my kids grandmothers) who had come to see projects.. was touched and said "I want to be part of that...would you please send this to them?" I about fainted because I wasn't seeking donations, I was just sharing what we learned about in school...... and yes.. I sent the money to David and Bret. that was a weird letter. "uh.. this isn't from me.. but .. uh.. this lady and academic fair, and well.. uh.. here. she said please buy some pastor a Bible in his language for his congregation." talk about God moments...


oh... oops.. the topic was science fairs.

I haven't been in one since I was in 8th or 9th grade. I hated those things... Brian R won them.. He would wait until the last minute and then do something on his Apple II e. can't believe he found me on facebook. or the guy who ended up going to Cal Tech.. Chip... he never did his homework in Calculus.. still got a 5 on AP test.... of course, my friend Charles should have won the fair that year instead of Brian... I mean, Charles worked harder and longer and had a better program... just fewer bells and whistles.

giggle...

Julie, you remember Kelly Bell? don't we have something in the archives, somewhere on her kids and Science Olympiad? The bell kids usually score high and end up at state... she doesn't post here anymore, but is there anything in kelly's answer somewhere? they did all kinds of stuff. Kelly was awesome at organizing things... we need a new rocket science family (seriously.... her dh is a rocket scientist with air force and got his phd at mit)

oh dear.. why do I feel like I'm going all Sheldon Cooper or Leonard all of a sudden? LOL

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: OT: Science Fair

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:54 pm

cbollin wrote:Julie, you remember Kelly Bell? don't we have something in the archives, somewhere on her kids and Science Olympiad? The bell kids usually score high and end up at state... she doesn't post here anymore, but is there anything in kelly's answer somewhere? they did all kinds of stuff. Kelly was awesome at organizing things... we need a new rocket science family (seriously.... her dh is a rocket scientist with air force and got his phd at mit)
Here are a few, not too specific but some general ideas:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... iad#p51946
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... iad#p40256
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... iad#p30749
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:38 pm

mom2h wrote:Kinda thinking about doing one for our support group, but don't know where to start. Need to NOT re-invent the wheel, here, so if you have experience, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
My questions:
Age groups?
Supply purchase and storage?
Places to hold the class?
Thanks!
Rhonda
Well I'll start, even though I have no experience teaching a class. My son was in several art classes in elementary/middle school. Here are a few things I remember.

1. One class was far too loose. If you fill a table with materials and allow free choice, odds are that some kids are gonna get goofy, especially boys. Magazines for collages end up with violence and nudity just for laughs, etc. So don't give kids too much freedom in a large group setting, with a built-in "audience."

2. One class was more of a craft class and related to our co-op's year of studying state history. So it featured many cultural crafts and art methods from Minnesota's past -- Native American, Scandinavian, Viking, etc. Edited to add: Even my boy enjoyed trying his hand at stitching a sampler, which became my birthday present that year, and I still have it on my dresser.

3. One class was truly "real art lessons" (not part of a co-op but many co-op members were invited). This teacher (a young man) was really able to get quality art out of all ages of kids. His method was mostly step-by-step demonstration and then rotating through the room as he had the kids take the same steps, with the teacher's original work posted up front for reference, kind of like those TV show artists do. The kids did some especially nice chalk drawings by just being shown exactly what to do, step-by-step. So they all started by drawing the same chalk owl from a magazine photo, or whatever.

Note: He started with his own materials included in the class fee, but then created a kit he suggested each student purchase and he would get the order from the art store with his discount. Right after that, he moved out-of-state so that purchase was a little sore spot - just a little reminder that a big purchase needs to have a big commitment along with it.

4. One class spent way too long sketching still life for my son's interests. However, he did like the end of that class, when they each chose their best piece and matted it and signed it and had an art show for the parents, each standing by their piece to answer questions.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

terick89
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by terick89 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:54 pm

I've done one with my kids this past spring. We are continuing it for the fall. We swap our homes and we are doing See the Light dvd series. We love it, the kids love it! The first dvd series (there are 9 dvds total with 36 lessons) is about the basics: drawing, introduction to different drawing tools, the Bible is weaved into it, and the students are introduced to masterpieces of well-known artists with a little background info. (so we get a little art history, too). There are other dvd choices with this program. We all watch the dvd lesson together, pause it if we need to, and then do the lesson. We've all learned quite a bit and it's a break from academics to do something hands-on with our friends! The website is: seethelightshine.com. Oh, it gives you a supply list for each lesson as well.

Anyway, that's my experience. :)

Teri
DD, 12
DS, 12
DS, 12
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, looking forward to Exp. to 1850 2012-13
Teri
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13

mom2h
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:25 am

Re: Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by mom2h » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:39 am

Very helpful. I am copying these replies for my file!

Also, I looked around the message board for other threads about this but mainly there were questions about specific crafts. If you know of any other general art posts, let me know.

Thanks!
Rhonda

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by Yodergoat » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:40 am

I take part in a homeschool co-op that is held at a local church once a week, and I taught two art classes last year. The first was a single semester of drawing and pyrography (woodburning). My class was mixed genders and ages, 12 students ranging from age 8 to age 14. That class lasted 90 minutes. It was lots of fun and most of the students turned out some really nice work. Those who tried, anyway! I taught a technique on large paper or a white board in front of the class and then walked around among the students helping.

I also led a general art class for younger children for the whole school year. Started with about 6 students, but it ballooned into 16 by the end of the year, ranging from ages 3 to 9. That was crazy. Thankfully it only lasted 45 minutes! I taught color mixing and other color lessons and techniques, drawing from memory, drawing from a model, shading and shadows, the difference between realism and other forms, and such as that. But toward the last few weeks it was so large and so wild with so many children that I had to abandon the art lessons and began teaching about animals using some materials I had on hand from a wildlife class I was doing earlier in the day. Painting had become out of the question. I was not satisfied at all with how that class ended. :~

Some things I learned:

The age range for both classes was a bit too wide. The abilities and attention spans varied so much! I'm usually all for mixed ages, but it caused problems because the younger ones wanted to tell me all about their aunt's new puppy or how they saw a turtle cross the road last week, while meanwhile the older ones were drifting because they were waiting for the youngers to get back on task. If I'd had a choice, I would have preferred to have the 8-10 year olds and 11-14 year olds in separate groups for the drawing/woodburning class. And for the general art class it would have been great to have 5 and under and 6 and up. But there was no recourse for it, too few teachers.

Also, the interest level in art also varied widely... some children only took the class because there was nothing else offered in that time slot. Big difference in attitude between those who wanted to be there and those who had to be there. Some kids didn't even like art, or anything about art, yet here they were in an art class, sulking and doodling Star Wars Lego figures when we were trying to work on learning about how to draw textured fur. I would've much rather only had children who wanted to learn, because the sulkers and dissenters got everyone else off target so that even the ones who cared were negatively influenced. This was a tough situation that was never fully remedied, but could have been prevented by having other class choices for those who didn't care one bit for art.

We had a spacious room with three long tables set in a horseshoe shape for the older kids' class, and I would present from the open end of the horseshoe. Having ample space between children is paramount, to reduce talking for one thing but also so they won't be constantly comparing each other's work. And we were working with 900 degree tools for part of the time... space was definitely needed! ;) A woodburning pen is NOT a light sabre nor should it be used as such. :~ This room was a youth Sunday School room in the church with a storage closet in which to keep the supplies, cords, etc. It would have been hard to have such a large class in a regular home, although I suppose some folks have big houses.

For the younger children, space became a big issue as the class grew. We had to keep moving the class, and it was bad for continuity. The group was just plain old too large and would have been better served if it had been divided. But there weren't enough teachers... so many of the parents of younger children either didn't feel ready to teach in the co-op or were tending nurslings who were in bad need of a nap at that time of day. It would have been a much better year if there had been ample help and space. Besides that, 1:45 to 2:30 in the afternoon is a horrendous time of day for most little kids who have already been at co-op since 10. I would have much rather switched the classes to have younger kids in the morning and the older ones in the afternoon.

As for supplies, for the older class, we had a class fee that went toward supplies. I had $30 per student for the woodburning class, and this covered a 9x13 sketchbook, a set of drawing pencils in varying hardnesses, good white eraser and kneaded eraser, tortillions, sharpeners, pencil case, woodburning tool and tips and thrift store ceramic ashtrays to hold their woodburners. My dad donated the boards. I picked up the supplies myself, finding a good sale at Hobby Lobby. I wanted all the students to have the same exact supplies so I could teach them the same methods. It worked well and they got some quality things to keep in the end. During the semester, the students could choose to take their drawing tools home with them and bring them back each week... or if they did not trust themselves to bring the things back, they could store them in the church closet in the room we were using. About half took stuff home and half stored them. The ones who chose to take their stuff home never once forgot to bring them back, but if those others who opted out of this had taken them home.... we might have never seen those supplies again! We stored all the woodburners and ashtrays at church until the last class.

For the youngers, I had a class fee of $10 each that went toward a collection of paints, brushes, paper pads, etc. Students did not keep their own supplies. I noticed that many of them were wasteful of the supplies because they weren't their own. Most of the class never paid their fee as they straggled in toward the end of the year. It was all very haphazardly handled toward the end. Can you tell I just wasn't happy with that class?


To sum up and help actually answer your questions:

1. Age groups?

Try to keep them tight... at least like 5 and under, 6 to 10, 11 and up. But interest level is just as important. Make sure everyone who participates WANTS to be there. Have plenty of helpers for younger children, even if it is just to keep them on task or to prevent them from monopolizing your teaching time with off-topic talking. An interested, eager 6 year old who wants to learn could work in a class with a 12 year old if they are all kept on task. A child of any age who is not eager or interested may not be ready for a dedicated art class, because they will likely be a detriment to those who really want to learn and will have a huge negative impact on the teachers and the other students... especially if they are vocal about their dislike of art.

2. Supply purchase and storage?

Make a class fee and stick to it. Use the money to get everyone the same materials, maybe buying online in bulk if needed. Art kits which claim to have "everything you need" often don't really have everything you need, and it may be cheaper and better to get the items individually to suit your students' needs. Try as much as possible to get supplies which they will be able to keep at the the end. Children will take much better care of their own things than if they are just using something from a collective pool. Be sure to get a case or something and lable it to keep everyone's items separate, and if the children or their parents aren't trustworthy to bring the items back each week, store them at the location of the class. For simplicity's sake you may just want to store everyone's at the class, depending on what materials you have. If you are rotating from one location to another, make someone be in charge of bringing the items each week, perhaps using a storage container with rollers.

3. Places to hold the class?

This is a tough one. I would not opt for rotating between homes if possible, as much of the class time will be used in the children getting settled into a new environment. It is best to have a place that you could leave set up, but that may be hard to find. We couldn't leave our stuff set up because the church used those rooms as classrooms, so weekly clean-up was hard. Check with the families involved... someone may have a basement or workshop that is not being used for anything else. Barring that, do your best to make it consistent. And make sure it is as spacious as possible so the children aren't elbow to elbow. You'll need room to get beside them to assist. Make sure there is good light in the room, too... very important! Ventilation might be a consideration if you're painting. Or if you're doing pyrography, but hardly anybody ever does that. Except weirdos like me and those 12 wacky homeschooled kids I taught! ;) (If anybody wants to know about woodburning, just PM me and I will go on and on about it!)

Hope this helps a little. I learned some lessons the hard way. :~

I'm not doing art classes this year... have decided on teaching Apologia's Zoology 1 instead. With a class limit of 10! I learned my lesson. I'm also only teaching one class per week instead of two. Phew!

Some parents have shown interest in me leading an "advanced drawing" class, but it would have to be VERY small (5 or less) and I think it would have to be done by application or something.... just to make sure they really wanted to be there and didn't just take it because their friend is in there. I would love love love to teach a handful of students who REALLY wanted to learn. What a joy that would be!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by Yodergoat » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:50 am

I meant to add in my previous post that there needs to be a goal or desired end for the class. I had that with my drawing/woodburning class... the end goal was to have a nicely woodburned plaque. They worked toward that goal and most were excited about it and looked forward to it.

A show, like someone else mentioned, might have a similar effect.

But just doing the lessons with no "conclusion" in sight might leave the children feeling strange. I know that there isn't an "ending" to learning art... one never just says, "I'm done, I've learned it all." I'm not implying that. I'm just suggesting that you have a purpose to strive for. Even if that purpose is just to finish a curriculum series, or learn a specific technique and have a single finished piece (like the woodburning). But I feel like there needs to be an ending, an accomplishment.

I would have liked my students to all enter the Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest, but the timing wasn't right for it. That would have been a nice conclusion. When I was a girl taking private oil painting lessons from a sweet old lady in her home, part of my yearly goal was to have three paintings to enter into an annual art show held in our town. It gave me something concrete to work toward.

If you have a set curriculum, the goal is usually easy... finish the curriculum or series. But if, like me, you don't have a curriculum, at least give the classes something to end on.

That's all I can think of for now.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

thelapps
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:39 am

Re: Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by thelapps » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:43 pm

I read these threads with interest as I taught art last year to our homeschool group- 11 children from age 6 - 14. I used the book that comes with the first grade deluxe package. I was learning alongside them. I agree it's better to have a couple classes. I used Mona Brookes' (Is that her name?) -the author- suggestion to have complete silence in art class. That was a life saver. I told them from the beginning they would get moved if they couldn't keep quiet where they were. They did very well. I didn't get as far as I wanted because of only having one class. Some didn't seem ready to move on so I would deviate from the book while brainstorming about what to do next. That is why I would advise more than one class. One thing I found difficult to work with was the fact that I couldn't divide them by age. How would the 13 yr old feel to be placed in the group with the 7 yr old- especially in the less advanced class? I wonder if anyone has suggestions for that?
Blessings!
Marie
Marie Lapp
5 sons using WHL; AHL; & RTR

mom2h
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:25 am

Re: Anyone ever participate in an art co-op?

Unread post by mom2h » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:03 pm

Again...very helpful information. My brain is taking it all in and mulling it over.
You've given me lots to think about, including some things that hadn't even dawned on me.

Thanks so much.
Rhonda

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Science Fair Ideas?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:56 pm

extrafor6 wrote:Our local co-op is hosting a science fair this spring. My dc are 10, 8, 6 and 3, but I think it would be good experience for them to participate. We are currently using ECC and I wondered if anyone had any ideas relating to our studies that could potentially be used as topic. I only remember participating in one science fair when I was in middle school, so I'm learning how to go about this with them! I don't want this to be stressful for anyone, just a good learning opportunity.
Thanks!
Stephanie
The only science fair I remember my son being in was during CTG. I found the post I wrote about it:
  • When we were reading the OT in CTG, my son did a science fair project about germs. He took something from Genesis For Kids (the CTG science book) to back up his project, which says that Biblical hand washing included all the ingredients for hand washing that might have prevented disease over the generations. The verses he used were Num. 19:6, 9, 17, 21, and Lev. 14:2-3, 8.
He used paper-punch dots and tested where and how far they ended up when he sneezed with his sleeve over his mouth vs. not, or something like that...? Okay, I just went to look (all his old stuff is on my computer). He had 2 balloons filled with the confetti dots, and popped one inside his arms and one outside, and we drew big circles on the ground to measure the spread, and of course his hypothesis proved true. It was from a science fair book, what can I say. Also someone else at the science fair did the "ruler karate chop" experiment we had done in GFK.

Okay, sorry for the walk down memory lane.

I would think any of the experiments in ECC could be turned into science fair projects, whether from the ECC manual or the Properties of Ecosystems book. The student just has to have something to "test," some kind of question. For instance, I remember doing the ECC experiment on weighing our garbage (or weighing our recycling, which is what we did). Your student might ask, "Which is the most recycled thing at our house, or on our block?" Or, with some of the biomes such as desert or rainforest, the student might ask, "How do camels survive?" or for older kids who can actually do an experiment, "Which biome is better for cactus survival?" - and get some Walmart cactuses and put them in different kids of dirt and sand and mud, or "How long can a rainforest survive without rain, or a cactus survive without rain?" and don't water your plants for a while LOL. If you have younger kids just doing a demonstration-type of science fair (i.e. the student doesn't need to test a hypothesis), then the volcano experiment is always fun to demonstrate (and help build those public-speaking skills).

I think the best science fair projects I saw were those that came out of a child's own questions, even if something simple like which balls bounce highest, because the kids know what they are doing and talk excitedly about it. The parent mostly helps with creating graphs and such, and for little ones they can be very simple like the ones in MFW-K. If you get kids started, they can usually come up with questions they've wondered about, why... what if... Even during your ECC science conversations. Otherwise, a google search of something like "science fair hypothesis biome" can usually give lots of discussion topics. The library also has lots of science fair books to get the thinking cap rolling.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Science Fair Ideas?

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:31 pm

Hi, Stephanie,

Godtube has some really nice science experiments. Here's one example:
Search for "4th and 5th Grade Science Experiments and Science Projects"
Other info that might be useful in your search: Today's Christian Videos,
posted by sscience of BestScienceLearning.com
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

extrafor6
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:36 pm

Re: Science Fair Ideas?

Unread post by extrafor6 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:41 am

Thanks for your responses!

Mommyto3boys
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:24 pm

Re: Science Fair Ideas?

Unread post by Mommyto3boys » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:13 am

Science Buddies has a lot of good ideas for Science Fair. What are your children interested in? We usually stop or slow down MFW science for a while when we do a science fair project. Of course my oldest is interested in plants and has done a plant project in the summer that he writes up for our science fair in February.

HTH,

Debbie in NC
Mom to 3 ds (13, 11, 8.5) and 1 dd (5.5)

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