LEAP is a local homeschool project-based co-op that meets once a week on Thursday afternoons to do project-based learning activities/opportunities in a group setting for kids 5-13. The co-op is operated by the moms involved in their own homes so it keeps the costs down–supplies only. The groups are split into ages: 5-7s, 8-10s, 11-13s. All kids who participate also have an actively participating parent (this is not a drop-off group). The parent alternates being responsible for a monthly project, teaching an age group as a group leader, or assisting a group leader. Babies and toddlers tag along, either staying close to their mom or playing in another room.
Each month, the groups focus on one unit study/theme for three weeks then have a culminating 4th week where they show off what they have learned or going on a field trip. Some of the upcoming themes for next year’s projects are art with an art exhibit, animals and habitats, meteorology, Spanish with a Spanish market, Crime Solvers, and archaeology. The group also picks out a book each month to read at home with their children that corresponds with the month’s theme. Then they have a book club conversation with the kids about the book they read.
This year, the group will also begin having a Mom’s Night where homeschooling moms can get together and discuss (or chat and laugh) about opportunities and challenges of homeschooling.
Homeschoolers who are interested in joining the LEAP group can try it out for a month to see if it’s a fit for them. The group will have those parents assist a group leader during that first month. After that, the group would like the new parents to take turns in being group leaders.
One thing about this co-op is that it doesn’t matter what methodology you use in teaching your kids. You can unschool, take a classical approach, a christian approach, or use K12. Since the teaching is project-based, it supplements any educational method.
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