We love co-ops, especially for Language Arts so today: Homeschool Co-op: How to Use Comprehensive ELA Bundles.
Homeschool Co-op: How to Use Comprehensive ELA Bundles
Some of our fondest memories are of homeschool co-op and homeschool group classes. So many wonderful memories of group discussions on classic literature, of reading days for papers confidently written, of hilarious Speech days!
7Sisters all-in-one Language Arts bundles are perfect for co-ops. I thought I would share a few of the meaningful ways we used the curriculum with our homeschool high schoolers and their peers.
Homeschool Co-op: How to Use Comprehensive ELA Bundles. Some tips to get started:
Co-ops are fun. They often require lots of planning up front. This is so much more fun if you have one or two moms to work with you. The more the merrier! Here are some ideas:
- Don’t forget our co-op discounts and permissions
- Compare the schedule that is provided in each all-in-one Language Arts bundle with your homeschool co-op calendar.
- Every co-op has different needs so will need a different schedule.
- We suggest breaking our Comprehensive ELA Bundle into 3 separate classes:
- Literature and/or Cinema Studies
- Writing Class
- Public Speaking Class
- Adjust the provided schedule into these co-op classes
- If your co-op would like you to provide a syllabus specifically for your classes, start with the provided schedule then you can use this guide to help. (Do not get nervous about this, once you write one syllabus, it is easy!) You can also take a look at lots of sample syllabi here.
- Remember to not get too serious about ELA. Teens learn best if they are relaxed and have a little fun; and you will enjoy the process more.
Here are some tips for success with Literature and Cinema Study Guides
Even teens who do not love reading can learn to appreciate great literature if there are some meaningful discussions:
- We often start a book with background material on the book and/or author.
- 7Sisters Literature and Cinema Study Guides usually have this information. If you find your interest piqued, check out YouTube, Pinterest or Google for more information. (Teens tend to love videos.)
- Then we discuss the themes for the study guide.
- As you know, 7Sisters Literature and Cinema Study Guides don’t kill the book. Instead we pick one or two pertinent themes that build teens’ literature analysis skills without overwhelming or boring them with too much information. (We have found that one or two themes can be remembered, whereas teens often forget everything if there is too much information.)
- If you can, for Cinema studies, think about having a watch party!
- As we read through the book, in class we:
- First teach teens skills for hearing each other
- Ask selected inferential questions from the study guide
- We often ask some of the questions in this post on discussion questions for group classes
- To encourage discussion by the whole group (and not just the few natural-born talkers), we often pass out two or three poker chips to each teen. They get to hand in a chip with each discussion contribution, no matter how small. (And when the talkers use up their chips, they have to wait a while and make room for others to talk.)
Here are some tips for success with Writing Guides
One of the most important gifts you can give your homeschool high schoolers is the gift of confidence. Each teen needs to know that they can write. They are allowed to write at their level:
- Teens with special needs may need to dictate to mom or use an aide like Dragon Dictation.
- Teens with little experience may need lots of encouragement and “sit-with” for the first paper or two.
- Teens who love to write or are aiming for an Honors credit can let go and have a blast writing long, in-depth papers.
Be sure to have reading days for each paper written.
- When final drafts are due, have students attach a blank page to their paper.
- Then have the teens pass their papers around the room.
- Each teen reads each paper and writes one positive comment (and signs their name) on the blank page.
- You will be amazed at how this builds confidence in writing and positive attitudes!
Here are a few posts to help you plan co-op activities for writing class:
Ideas from this post can be adapted to APA papers also.
- Writing Essays in Co-op
- Writing College Admissions Essays in Co-op
- Writing Short Stories in Co-op
- The ideas for teaching poetry class can be adapted easily from this post on using 7Sisters American Poetry: Reading and Writing in Co-op.
Here are some success tips for Public Speaking:
We know that most teens would rather do chores than do public speaking. But take our word for it, we learned over the years how to ease teen into truly liking Speech class!
The exercises that have won our teens over are included in the Comprehensive ELA Bundles. These gradually get homeschool high schoolers comfortable with public speaking. Check out this post on how to handle Speech class in homeschool co-op.
We believe that your homeschool high schoolers are going to grow in confidence and wisdom as they work in co-op on Language Arts! Download your Comprehensive ELA Bundles and start planning.
BTW- In case you need to have a virtual co-op this year, check out our friend, Carol Topp’s podcast episode on how to lead a virtual co-op. If you have never had a chance to check out our Authoritative Guide series of posts, start with our Authoritative Guide to Homeschool Co-ops.