A little over one year ago, The Immaculate Heart of Mary Homeschool Co-op was just an idea two homeschooling moms had who wanted to share the responsibility of educating their children...
At that time, I was searching to find legitimate work at home so I could help offset some of the costs of homeschooling. Luckily, this co-op idea went from a mere thought to filling up nearly an entire floor of our church’s community building with children and moms who share the same vision.
Beginning on Fridays in August, our co-op day begins with Mass at 9:00 am at Christ the Good Shepherd. Afterward, the families gather for announcements, after which the children proceed to their respective classes depending on their intellectual level and maturity.
Our Grammar classes allow our youngest students to build “pegs” in their minds on which to hang strings of information necessary for recalling later in their academic development. At the next stage, the Dialectic, our older students will recall the facts memorized in the Grammar stage and incorporate them with real world application. Our hope is that the co-op will begin a Rhetoric stage class in which our oldest students can begin to compose their own ideas based on the facts and theories they learned in previous years.
How beautiful it is that a child can “learn how to learn” using a Classical method such as this!
In addition to memory work, Dialectic students will have a considerable amount of writing utilizing materials from IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing), and homework will be assigned. Due to the challenging nature, this class meets weekly while the rest of the co-op meets bi-weekly.
Geography will also be taught on a bi-weekly basis and will take students on a journey across medieval Europe.
In the afternoons, we offer the choice of either Theater class or Choir for our older students and Art & Music for our youngsters. Afternoon classes are optional, but they are so important to complete the academic experience.
As we continue to grow in our homeschool ministry, we are organizing ourselves to become a nonprofit organization. This will allow us to fundraise and help families in our co-op offset the cost of fees and supplies, sponsor our scholars in academic competition in the homeschool and private school arenas, and give back to the church that has so generously sponsored us. As a nonprofit organization, we will be able to receive tax-deductible funds from various sources, including private donations, Box Tops and corporations. Luckily, the company I work at home with specializes in fundraising for nonprofit organizations, so they are slated to be one of my first connections when the nonprofit filing is complete!
As a busy wife and homeschooling, work at home, entrepreneurial mom of 3, I could not have foreseen the beauty of this enterprise without having built it myself (and, of course, with the help of others), as well as having the extra income I make working with EveVenture. Sometimes, it requires one to roll up one’s sleeves to understand how lucky one is. I certainly would not have appreciated this co-op nearly as much if it had just been handed to me!
Nicole Kiesewetter, EveVenture Independent Marketing Director