Our TOG Co-op is in the final stretch for the school year, starting Week 30 out of 36 weeks total. There are 15 families in our Co-op this year, and most of the moms met together on Thursday night to talk about what has gone well and what we might want to change as we start planning for next year. As my friend, Eve, said, this is probably the most opinionated group of women we know, but we love each other and work together SO well ( most of the time ).... it is such a "God thing". We spent about 20 minutes in prayer before we started the meeting, which was very sweet and uplifting - and we all said, "Why don't we do this more often?" Eve had sent everyone a questionnaire ahead of time, and as we went through the questions, we could see the various personalities and needs in our group pointing us toward a balance between strict expectations and grace, as each family tries to be true to their individual style as a family, their unique challenges and situations, and the rigors of this curriculum coupled with the demands of an academically-oriented Co-op. It isn't always easy, especially for those families with children spanning a big age range. But I think most of us agreed that being in the Co-op was definitely worth the sacrifices, which include having to go at a quicker pace than we might like and having to condense our school week to free up the time for Co-op on Fridays. ( a couple are still weighing the cost vs benefit ) :-) One obvious thing is that God has placed our group together to serve one another. The list of challenges faced these past 2 years by these 15 families is daunting - two families have adopted little children from Ethiopia, 1 family has faced the diagnosis & treatment of a serious illness in their 4 year old, 2 of the moms have lost their fathers this year, one dad has endured a couple of surgeries this year, ond dad has been deployed with the National Guard and will be heading to Iraq soon, my son left for Iraq, one mom struggles with a progressively debilitating illness .... and that doesn't add in financial struggles, tenuous job situations, college kids, church responsibilities, minor illnesses and injuries, etc. We have mobilized more than once to provide meals, help with child care, offer transportation, share resources, and in other ways provide emotional, physical, and spiritual support for one another. This is what being in a support group or Co-op is all about. The academic stuff is gravy.
Good gravy. :-)