A few years ago Annie, Jenny, and I (Amelia) were discussing changes we planned to make in our individual homeschools. We each had decided to no longer participate in one of the local large homeschool co-ops but were lamenting a few of the aspects we would miss–namely art and science. So we started thinking about the possibility of meeting once a week to do an art and science class with each other. The support of doing it together made it seem like less work for each of us individually and that appealed to us. The question then became: What would we use for curriculum?
Choosing a curriculum can be challenging. There are so many options and often any number of choices would be a good one. So how did we go about choosing what we would use for our cottage school? For the first year, we used Discovering Great Artists for our art class and Apologia’s Exploring Creation Series. We had very little experience with an art curriculum, but I had some experience with Apologia’s curriculum since it was what my mom had used when she homeschooled me. We evaluated at the end of the first cottage school year and decided to continue using the Apologia curriculum, but we wanted to find something different for art. Annie chose Artistic Pursuits for our second year of cottage school, and we have been pleased with the change.
In our second year of cottage school, Christie and her three kids joined us. She, too, was looking for an option other than a larger co-op setting, and since we hoped to add an English composition class the second year, she was willing and able to teach this class. It was a perfect fit! We also added a geography class for our younger class that would meet while Christie taught the older kids composition.
As you can see, we are learning as we go with cottage school. Some of our initial choices for curriculum still make us happy, and some have been a process of trial and error. As the needs of our kids change, so our classes at cottage school shift. This upcoming year we are considering what we might add for our 4-5 year olds–in addition to many of the same classes we want to teach for our older kids. Whatever the particulars for next year’s classes end up being, we always are excited to be learning together!