Our First Middle Ages Co-op
We had a fabulous first co-op of the year and the kids were so happy to be together again. One of the moms commented that at the first of last year when we first started everyone was quiet and didn’t say much. This year... a whole different response!!
It was so great to see. Because our students are spread far and wide many of these children didn’t see each other at all during the summer. It is so great to see them so comfortable with each other.
Our first Middle Ages Co-op was based on learning about the Feudal System. What a great amount of learning went on. First our Mom taught about the different positions of authority and wealth in the Feudal System. Who needed who and for what purpose. She had a great visual representation of the system. There was a lot of discussion amongst the kids about what was fair and what wasn’t. This is so encouraging!
Next our Mom gave each of the children a position to pull out of a hat. Most were peasants, some were knights, a few were nobles and then of course our king! She had them arrange themselves up to table to the top of the table where the king sat (the poor peasants were seated on the floor!) Then each of them got a cup with 10 jelly beans and they had to pay their taxes. So the peasants ended up with only two jelly beans, the knights with more, the nobles many more and of course the king with a huge pile!! The peasants were “That’s not fair!!” and the king was waving his hands to bring on more jelly beans. It was a lot of fun.
After lunch the children had a great art lesson with our wonderful art Mom. She taught them all about drawing in perspective. She tied this in to this type of art beginning in the Middle Ages and then the early artists that showed these techniques. The children followed her steps and drew a picture with perspective. It was a great lesson!!
This year we have added one more element to our co-op days. PE. We have one of the Dads teaching many different aspects of group sports. A different sport each month. This is great exposure to our homeschool children as many of them have not had the opportunity to play a variety of sports - especially with that many children (we are capped at 20!).
Our sport for this month was softball. Many of the kids had never played and so our dad had to coach them through how to play. He did an amazing job!! He warmed them up and then had them learn by playing! It was really great to see.
Co-ops are an incredible blessing! Learning by doing, learning to adjust to different teaching styles, rich discussion, a variety of skill levels and gifting all adds up to a wonderful learning experience. I can not encourage you enough to find people in your area (some of our families drive over 1.5 hours to get to our Co-op) and join together!!