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I am slowly doing some homeschool pre-school stuff with my 2 year old. He's a happy curious spirit and I have researched and bought many books to fill our days with FUN learning based activities (NOT everyday -- but when he's in the mood)

None of our friends plan to homeschool AT ALL. But now the parents of his little friends are seeing how much fun we're having with it, and how well DS is doing learning things they never realized a 2 year old would take to.

So now they want a piece of the action. Three parents have approached me and asked if I would do a once a week pre-school co-op at home. They offered to pay me and everything. They said their kids like me and listen to me and ALWAYS learn new things after coming over to our place. I am getting quite a bit of pressure on this.

Here are my concerns: 2 of the kids are 6 months younger than DS and frankly too young in my opinion for even a casual "school" setting (they are ONLY 18 months old). I think if anything they would be distracting.
One boy is actually a little older than DS but is a little "behind", but a nice kid who would probably thrive in a homeschool setting.
The other kid is a whole year older than DS and is too much of a handful for me. Plus also a little "behind" on some of the things we're working on.

Having said all of that... I just don't know. I know people always say that HS'ing in a small group is ideal for socialization. But in my gut I feel like DS would do better with just the two of us or maybe the one other nice kid at most. And I see this as a special mama-DS thing for us to do, especially sicne we're just starting out. Am I being selfish? We can always get our socialization in playdates and such (which we do A LOT!)

I feel like these other parents (who I love hanging out with and respect and love having playtime with) are trying to take the "easy" way and have me teach their kids so they do not have to do all of the reading and research and so on that parents who HS do. I also feel like I don't have the time, and I like being able to just be spontaneous with DS when it comes to learning, and not having to set a schedule and have people counting on us.

Or am I being dumb and should I jump at the chance to have a group?

I would really love some input and perspective on how to handle this?
Thanks mamas!
 

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I wouldn't. I feel the same as you, it's something special I do for my dd. I put my heart and soul into it all based on her and her needs/interests. If I tried to do it for others, it wouldn't work. Go with your instincts.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boatbaby
I also feel like I don't have the time, and I like being able to just be spontaneous with DS when it comes to learning, and not having to set a schedule and have people counting on us.
just say no. You don't owe them anything and you like your life just the way it is.
 

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I wouldn't do it with the group that you described.

Say it with me, "No."
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boatbaby
I also feel like I don't have the time, and I like being able to just be spontaneous with DS when it comes to learning, and not having to set a schedule and have people counting on us.
That sums it up, and I think you could just go ahead and nicely, matter of factly, tell them that - it seems perfectly reasonable. It would be unreasonable of anyone to press you to go ahead and do it regardless of your having expressed those feelings.
Lillian
 

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Being an Early Childhood Educator, I did some part-time home daycare for my own DS and 2 other children. Besides the things the other posters have said, and you yourself, I would caution about taking on childcare of friends. Working for a friend can become very sticky, ESPECIALLY when children are involved.

Good luck!
 

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This is one I'd say, "No thanks!" to as well. Good luck!
 

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Just some thoughts. You seem torn between doing what you want to do and not wanting to outright reject the other parents and hurt their feelings. So, ok, for the sake of diplomacy (and you should note here that I am the least diplomatic person on the planet) how about something that's "no" without also coming across as "take a flying leap"?

Tell them that your child isn't old enough yet to share a learning enviroment. The parents of the younger ones can infer from that that theirs also aren't and the parents of the older ones can infer that your reservation lies solely with your own child. This IS your biggest reservation - wanting to be spontaneous and do things in his time - and is completely understandable, but at least they won't feel rejected.

Share a list of resources, with comments on the activities that you and yours have particularly enjoyed and encourage them to do actvities with their children (who, as we have already established, are better suited by age for one-on-one learning with parents).

When the kids get older - which, as we all know, they do very quickly at this age - offer to organize an educational activity for play time, be it for one of the children joining or all, with their parents present and participating. Play dates with a theme twice a month probably wouldn't be a huge handful to manage.

I think they're missing the point of a co-op. "Co-op" means they're there with their kids, participating in the activity and, perhaps, trading off who organizes, provides the venue, brings snacks, provides materials, etc. If they drop them off on your doorstep with a check, it's daycare. I don't remember, off the top of my head, what MD law about toddler to provider ratio is, but I think I recall that it's 4:1, including the child of the provider (for in-home).

~A
 

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I'd say no too. Give them six months to a year and if you wanted to you could have a small group that did watercolor or playdough together once a week. That might be fun, acknowledging that the art might take 15 minutes and the rest of the time would essentially just be a playgroup.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boatbaby
I know people always say that HS'ing in a small group is ideal for socialization.
Just curious as to where you've heard this? I've always thought one of the benefits of homeschooling is that there is a much smaller adult:child ratio. I don't know anyone (IRL at least) who thinks homeschooling is best done in small groups. That sounds like imitating school to me.

Anyway, I ditto what everyone else said except one more thing. I'd just tell them "I don't want to". If you tell them it's age then what happens in a year? Or if you tell them any other reason, what happens if that reason changes? I'd tell them what you said, that you enjoy the alone time with your child and you like the flexibility of doing what you want. If you change your mind later you can do so.
 

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it sounds like they want you to babysit! a homeschooling co-op (from my understanding) should have everyone involved not just dropping your kid off!

maybe instead of this "co-op" you can suggest a once a month kind of thing (think glorified playdate with activities but have EVERYONE participate)

homeschooling doesn't have to be formal and definitly not at these ages, that's just overkill IMHO!
 

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I would not do well with the pressure. But I would consider having a playgroup where the other parents paid me! Just one day a week, just for fun.

what are you doing? I wanna piece of that action! Hey are you in the Austin area?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pealette
Being an Early Childhood Educator, I did some part-time home daycare for my own DS and 2 other children. Besides the things the other posters have said, and you yourself, I would caution about taking on childcare of friends. Working for a friend can become very sticky, ESPECIALLY when children are involved.

Good luck!
You know what, she has an excellent point. I woudl follow her advice, it sounds like she knows what she is talking about. Just say no.
 

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If they want a Co-op, then it should be COOPERATIVE, and everyone contributes equally.

However, I'd wait until all kids are 3+, personally. YOu all have tons of time...

The reson I'd at least consider it is that it might convince some of your friends that hsing is a decent option, and it's pretty hard to go through that transition when all the friends are suddenly gone bc of school.
 

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I wouldn't. I agree, just take turns hosting a little playgroup where the parents stay and the kids play? You could do a little something-- take turns with the other parents--and have snack.

I don't see any point in formalizing anything. And I esp wouldn't do drop offs with 18 mos old babies. Looks like they just want a babysitter. If you start taking money from them you become an employee and the relationships will change.

Just do a playgroup. We rotate in each other's home. We've made pizza with the kids, let them play, done fingerknitting, water play, chalking the patios etc Just fun stuff. If kids want to do something, cool, if not, they can just go ahead and play.
 

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We are part of a "homeschool preschool co-op", but all that means is that we get together once or twice a week and the kids play. The kids range from 1 - 5. We want our kids to have friends who will be homeschooling, so that all their friends don't suddenly disappear to school and they feel left out.
 

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I'd say no as well. It sounds like agreeing to do it could end up taking something very cool and enjoyable that you have going on with your son and essentially spoiling it. You and your son are happy with things the way they are, so keep them the way they are.

I like GoodEats' suggestion of sharing a list of resources with your friends. If they like what you're doing with your son so much, they may appreciate being pointed towards some information about how to get started doing the same things with their own kids. If they end up deciding that they don't want to go through the effort of doing those things with their children themselves, then they don't really want it that badly.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GoodEats
Share a list of resources, with comments on the activities that you and yours have particularly enjoyed and encourage them to do actvities with their children (who, as we have already established, are better suited by age for one-on-one learning with parents).
However, I'd make sure to emphasize that EVERY child develops different skills at different times, and that it doesn't mean anything at all about their overall intelligence or future capabilities or tendencies. Over the years, I've seen a lot of competitiveness that people don't even realize they're getting into. Your child might be picking up things a lot sooner than even the older one, much less the younger one. I'd hate to think of them taking your well meant suggestions and having expectations that their children will be either as interested or capable - their little ones just don't need that kind of pressure. If it's letters and numbers that are being discussed, you might do well to print off a couple of the articles on this page for them, so that they don't feel that activities need to involve the 3Rs, because most children are simply not ready for that at such a young age, and there's absolutely nothing to be gained by pushing it on them: preschool/kindergarten learning activities. Besides, there are lots of links to sites with really fun activities on those pages underneath the box of articles, so maybe they can find things that work out really well for their own children.
Lillian
 

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I was in a similar situation. My SIL was totally against my homeschooling my kids...talking about me behind my back, making snide comments...UNTIL my 2yo was recognizing letters, knew the sounds the letters make, all the shapes, colors, days of the week...and I DO NOT use a high pressure environment, we just read like CRAZY, which my kids love...and we make life a learning experience. We DO stuff, keep the tv off, etc.

So, to make a long story short, she decided that parenting was too difficult, knew that I was planning to homeschool, and decided that she'd rather go on shopping sprees than pay for preschool. So she asked me to "homeschool" her son (who's the same age as dd, but VERY behind her developmentally, emotionally, you name it) for her.

I said I'd talk it over with my husband (her husband's brother). We decided that the child is slipping through the cracks (only watches tv all day in a play yard with very little parental interaction), and that we have a FAMILY responsiblity to take him on, even though he'd be a drag on our child. BUT, we set stipulations. We said that HOMESCHOOLING IS A WAY OF LIFE. She had mentioned that she had a hard time getting him to focus, or she'd do it herself. So, dh and I set some ground rules. Things like they had to read to him for a minimum of a half hour a day. They needed to keep the television and computer time limited to 2 hours or less a day. They needed to eliminate food colors and processed sugars from his diet...because if she expected ME to get through to him, she needed to give me something other than an overstimulated over sugared zombie to work with. These stipulations were too much for her (how would she get anything DONE if she didn't have him in the playyard with the tv on?), and she chose not to send him to me. Which is what we pretty much figured would happen.

What I'd suggest is instead of them paying for you to teach their kids, perhaps they could pay you for the resources and "lesson plans" you use. Then they could do it on THEIR own time, and not have to come up with the ideas themselves, and their children will benefit by going at THEIR own speed.

Just a thought.
 
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