We're now four weeks into Science Club. We meet for two or three hours on Wednesday afternoon. I'm preserving my optimism with effort. We've done some fun things, from the planet walk to the 'elevate an apple' challenge, to printing evergreen foliage on clay tiles. We've touched on principles of gravitational acceleration, solar system orbits, taxonomy of trees, convection and plate tectonics. Some sorts of activities are definitely easier to do in groups.
Co-operative learning has a lot to recommend it, but I'm just not sure this group is going to make it work. I'm trying really hard to find ways to make it work, but truth be told I've never been able to imagine my kids being happy in this sort of co-op homeschooling arrangement. Erin is light-years beyond everyone else in general knowledge and although she's been polite about her boredom so far, I think it's asking a lot to expect her to stay cheerful and engaged (especially as she's in a similar situation in violin group class and community orchestra). Noah balks against anything that hints of comparativeness or competitiveness. Even just encouraging different kids to pursue the same task side by side invites a vocal self-congratulatory attitude from one of the other children, something which sends Noah into a motivational tailspin. When things get loud and chaotic, which they do, Sophie retreats into private play with her friend. Fiona gets clingy, and tends to be tired at that time of day.
If this flops, I will reassure myself that the kids are getting excellent, meaningful experience with co-operative learning and living through GRUBS, music ensembles and family life.