The Co-op: Getting Started

school kids

The CemeteryTown CreepyKids Academy. (aka School children with teachers under Magnolia trees on Oxford Street, George Eastman House)

All right, so it seems like our co-op playschool is really going to happen.  We’ve been having these wonderful, chaotic playgroup sessions once a month or so, when all 6 kids run wild and we impotently attempt to have coherent conversations about educational philosophies.  After the most recent one I asked Harper if she had fun and she said, enthusiastically, “Yes!  Everyone was crying!”

We’ve established that kids are a little crazier when their parents are around, but it still does seem pretty funny to be thinking so carefully about how to best set up their first gentle, creativity-based, routine-establishing, love-of-learning-instilling educational experience, researching philosophies and motor skills activities and whatnot, and then looking at the actual kids: fighting tooth and nail over a toy truck, chewing on paint pens, and of course, crying.  Just last week, Harper had a complete nervous breakdown over a pair of kiddie scissors and I swear nearly stabbed her good friend Emily over it.  It was one of the worst temper tantrums she’s ever had.  A few hours later, on the phone with Adam, she proudly reported that she had “shared scissors with Emily.”  Liar!!

But, we just have to tell ourselves that they are still just barely 2, and by the time “school” starts they will be mature 2.5 year olds.  Uh.  Right?  And Harper will learn to share eventually.  Right?  RIGHT?

At any rate, it’s fun to start thinking about how to actually put this all together.  We’ve met, just the moms, to discuss what we are hoping to create, what we most want to replicate about our own educational experiences, and how to keep the children from stabbing one another.  This weekend a few of us got together, drank some special coffee called “regular” (oh yeah, we’re all pregnant too!  Ha!  Ignoring that for now), and zoomed around in our brains drafting an ad for a teacher and a sort of mission statement of sorts.  The next step is finding the right teacher, and then comes a bunch of really fascinating logistical work like arranging a schedule for the parent helpers, figuring out what it will actually cost (so much less than preschool that we are practically making money, we keep telling ourselves!), and that kind of thing.

This feels weird, since I think most of the co-op moms read this blog.  In fact, they might be the only people who do.  Hi, momfriend.  You’re pretty, and your child is the most special and brilliant one.

Anyway, I’ve found it really useful in this process to gather advice from other parents who have started or been involved with similar co-ops, so I will try to share here as we go, in case anyone cares.  Or the other co-op moms want to read about themselves.  I promise to post very flattering pictures of all of you on good hair days, and your adorable children.  I swear.

Anyone out there have experience they can share?

(Oh yeah, and I think we should have a school name.  We will be meeting in a beautiful house across the street from Greenwood Cemetery, thus my suggestion of CemeteryTown CreepyKids, which, weirdly, no one has responded to.)


7 responses to “The Co-op: Getting Started

  1. Hey Amy,

    If you need any help let me know. I’m now working at a hippie school for k-3 and have tons of resources. I can help in any way, send lessons or give you ideas of activities.

    Or….perhaps you can just convince Mat and I to move to NYC and I will be the kids rockin’ tattooed teacher! Just an idea.

    Let me know what you need and I will see what I can provide.

  2. I’m super into the name creepy kids. Goth preschool??

  3. I personally love the idea of a cemetery focused name. ‘Cemetery Town’ works. As would ‘Tombtown’ or ‘TombTots’, ‘New Beginnings At Graves End’, ‘SkullySchool’, ‘Bones Academy’, ‘Creepy Kids’, or simply ‘Creepers.’

    Emily’s stab wounds have healed and she is now back in fighting form. She’s sharpening her scissors and mumbling something about Harper’s pigtails ‘needing to go’.

  4. Pingback: Kitchen Table Math Drop-Outs | household words – amy shearn and her blog.

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