Jacob was very apprehensive about going to our homeschool group's first co-op yesterday. I have to admit: I was too. I joined this group a year and a half ago. Then last year, after I had already committed to helping them out on several dates throughout the year, I realized I was totally over-committed in every area of my life, and I backed out on my commitment to them. So yesterday I felt like a loser showing my face again. However, I was welcomed warmly and even talked to a couple of other mothers who found themselves in similar situations last year, so I didn't feel so bad.
Co-op itself was a great hit with the kids. Every first Friday of the month, we are working from "Keepers of the Faith" for the girls and "Contenders for the Faith" for the boys (the third Friday--our second meeting of the month--will alternate art and debate/presentation). Yesterday the girls learned stenciling, while the boys took up painting. The world once again proved itself small--despite its grandeur--when the hired art teacher turned out to be my former cake decorating instructor! It was fun catching up with her.
I was so proud of Jacob. He didn't want to go to co-op at all, but once we got there, he got totally into the project and listened well to instruction. I was surprised that all of the boys paid such close attention to the instructor and stuck with the duck painting project for an hour and a half! Jacob even continued to work while I left the room for 5 minutes to change a stinky princess.
Alex had a great time too, although I think the socializing aspect of co-op captured her attention more than the stenciling project. As we were leaving, she begged me to let her run back in to say good-bye to one of her friends. Michael, too, quickly became buddies with the boys sitting on either side of him. We stopped for ice cream on the way home to reward Jacob for doing so well in a new situation, and there the kids couldn't stop talking about co-op and asking when we would get to go back. And just this morning Michael claimed that, "Next time we go to co-op, I want to stay forever!"