Young Entrepreneurs

Today was the last day of our co-op. We are so sad it’s over, especially as it might not pick back up, again, this fall. I’ve mentioned before how much we loved it, because it was just the right size, for the right amount of time every week, and covered the right subjects (the “fun” stuff). My oldest cried as we left (an hour later than we usually do, because everyone played at the nearby playground afterward). “I may never see some of them, again!” I know how she feels. When things are so good, it’s almost sad, because you’re afraid there’ll never be something that good, again. But there will be. We’ve just got to find it.

This last day was a really special one, because the three older groups (a co-ed 5-7-year old group, over which I and three other moms were, and then a girls 8-12-year old group, and a boys 8-12-year old group) got to have a little young entrepreneurs activity. They made various things at home, and then sold them to their peers during the co-op time. Each child got $30 in play money, and set the prices for their wares. It was wonderful, because no one really had a shortage of money, and as happy as they were to buy from each other, they were also so excited to sell. Even the kids in the 2-4-year-old group (of which my son is a part) got to come buy some things. It was just plain fun. I think if one really wanted to, one could devote an entire semester to teaching all about business: starting one, all the terminology and financials.

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That’s a picture of the kids setting up. They sold so many things, from cookies and “decorate your own” mini cupcakes, to lemonade, to handmade yarn pompoms, to magnets, to jewelry, to “portraits drawn while you wait” (which I found utterly adorable).

By the end, everyone had sold out of everything, which made them all so happy and proud.

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I’d almost forgotten: I was supposed to teach, that day, and wanted to do something extra, so it was suggested that I provide bags for the kids to decorate, if they so chose. There’s Jenna making one (and my youngest, in the background).

I wish I’d taken more pictures, but it was all just so much fun, I wound up forgetting just a few minutes after it started.

Fun at the Co-op

We found an absolutely wonderful co-op, this semester. It is everything a co-op should be: parents working together to inspire our children and provided that ever-important social interaction people think homeschoolers are missing. We don’t focus on core subjects, just the “fun” stuff — art, science, history. Things like that. I and three other women take turns every Friday teaching Jenna’s age group (5-7-year-olds). This works out perfectly, because we only have to teach 3 times each for the entire semester, so no one gets burnt out or just phones in a lesson. We really put our all into it.

This week, I got to teach there for the first time. Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I decided to do V-Day-themed crafts, and then I devoted some time to Presidents’ Day, with a fun craft for that.

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First we talked about the history of Valentine’s Day, and I punctuated certain facts/topics with pictures I’d saved to my Kindle (I love that thing!). Then we went over to the tables and stitched around a plastic canvas heart to make magnets (they can later add a photo, if they so choose).

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Jenna wants to fill in her heart with more yarn, so we left the magnet off the back until she does. A lot of kids opted to do this. They really enjoyed the stitching.

The thing above the plastic canvas there on the plate is a bird feeder. That didn’t go as well. We read If You’ll Be My Valentine, by Cynthia Rylant, and then made a “valentine for the birds.” I had some stale bread, but I guess it was too hard/stale, because when we went to cut out hearts with cookie cutters, some of them broke. Luckily, none of the kids really seemed to care. They were more interested in spreading on peanut butter (I checked with every parent prior to this lesson to make sure we had no peanut allergies) and coating them with bird seed. It was messy fun.

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Then we did a Valentine’s Day word search — and Jenna made another word search and a maze she insisted I copy and give out, as well. While they did that, I laid out materials to make Valentines and also bags for collecting Valentines from their classmates, when they did their little exchange, later.

Next came Presidents’ Day. I again used my Kindle to show some pictures I’d saved, and we talked in depth about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Then we did this awesome craft, that I got from this awesome website.

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George Washington on one side, flipped over is Abraham Lincoln. They loved this, and it was so simple and fun.

And that’s how we filled two hours worth of fun activities at our co-op, this Friday!