Our Cottage School
We recently started a cottage school at our house. It was kind of an accident. Several of my friends are homeschooling and we were talking about the need to get our kids together more. I want my preschooler to have lots of opportunities to socialize with kids his own age. We decided that we would start meeting one morning a week for what we call Cottage School.
At our cottage school, we divide the kids into three groups. One group is for the kindergarten/preschoolers who are learning to read. The second group is for 2-3 year olds that are learning their colors, numbers, and alphabet. Then, we have a baby group. We have lots of babies. We have 14 kids ages 5 and under.
Each cottage school starts with a circle time. All ages sit together while we discuss the day. We sing songs and talk about the weather with our little craft calendar. Next, we divide into our classes. The readers group completes projects like reading a book or writing their own play, then acting it out for the younger kids. The readers group also has station time to explore skills such as technology, math, and handwriting. The 2-3 year old class does puzzles, sensory bins, and crafts. The babies have a short lesson, a song and a book, but use the majority of their time learning social skills such as sharing. We end our morning with a snack and free play.
We hope to expand our cottage school to two days a week in the New Year. I’m so excited about the idea of homeschooling with my friends. I never wanted to do homeschooling, because I wanted my kids to have many opportunities to learn with others. This cottage school idea is currently my favorite schooling idea for my family because it has the best of both worlds- my kids are a part of a school of sorts, but I am still in charge of their education, under my roof.