Near the end of last year, when Dirk knew he wasn't going back to fulltime teaching this year, he decided he'd like to do a PE class on Friday afternoons for the homeschooled students in our church and HOPE group. Hey, I thought, I'm going to suggest that he do it here. We have a big yard and a big deck and and a porch to get under if it rains. Plus, that means *I* don't have to drive anywhere!
Dirk, immediately seeing the genius of my plan, agreed. Maybe 10-15 kids who need to run off some energy and get some exercise every week, right?
On hearing of the Friday afternoon PE class, CJ suggested that she teach a Latin class to the kids who weren't doing PE. And before long we'd decided to split the PE class in half, younger and older kids, and have TWO Latin classes running concurrently, younger kids during the older PE class and vice versa. CJ also made herself available to tutor students privately when she's not teaching Latin.
Around the same time, Aubrey told me that Dirk was going to take his older boys (these are my grandsons, if you've lost track!) through an introductory logic course. "OOOH, OOOH," I said, waving my hands wildly. "Think he'd consider including my two boys on that?" In trying to figure out when to do it, we thought that maybe since he'd already be here on Friday afternoons he could just come an hour early and do the boys' logic then.
LIGHT BULB! We could open logic up to others coming for PE and Latin--we have the makings of a co-op here! And then Shelley, who already had two piano students on Friday afternoons, asked if we might be interested in offering other Friday slots for piano during co-op.
So...still unsure whether anyone would really take us up on all this, we sent out an email to our group, explaining the choices and telling them that they'd get first pick and then perhaps if we didn't have enough we'd open up the enrollment to friends who are homeschooling but aren't in our support group. And then we waited.
But not for long. As fast as you can say "Fabulous Friday" we had 50 kids enrolled in the various classes! FIFTY! All of a sudden Granny is looking around and thinking, "What are we gonna do with 50 kids and their moms and all the little ones who come with the moms but aren't old enough for Latin?"
Okay, breathe. We DO have three living areas, a separate dining room, a large front yard, large back yard, sprawling deck, moderately large covered front porch, even a very large front entry/hallway if we need to use that, and several bathrooms. If we choreograph everything carefully, we can do this. We can. Yes we can!
Well, we'll see if we can! The funniest thing (and something I should pay attention to, I'm sure) is how excited all the MOMS are. Some of them are suspected of forcing their kids into PE because of Mom's need for exercise--SOCIAL exercise! We have moms coming (and in one case, signing up for Latin--yea!) who don't have kids old enough for classes but they just know THIS is going to be THE place to be on Fridays. Don't get me wrong--I'm thrilled about this and glad our moms and kids want to be together every week. I just hope the space we have here will contain it all and provide the kind of setting we're hoping for!
If you think of us at 1 on Friday, I'd welcome your prayers :-)