Homework in the Community?

The name of Dena's homeschool!

A friend from California decided to use the phrase, La Casa Giocosa, for her homeschool. I wrote about it here. She sent me this picture of one of their entryways.  It's extra-fitting because she is Italian!  Don't you just want to enter and share the joy?

I wanted to explain about homework in our Truth, Beauty, Goodness Community.  Homework is really a misnomer, as the current definition conjures up images of students pouring over worksheets in the evening at the kitchen table.   I am referring to the assignments from our meetings that are done at home.  I think that a CM-style community (co-op) should bring life and joy into your homeschool.  I designed ours to enhance our homeschool and lighten my teaching by sharing some of the responsibilities and subjects with like-minded moms.  Truly, one mom can only do so much be it living or not.

At the Living Education Retreat, we had a mealtime discussion about our TBG Community.  Afterwards, Sarah wrote and asked me this question:

"After attending the co-op discussion I still have some questions. I think that in our community we have been assigning too much homework and it has been bogging people down. Could you briefly explain which subjects have homework and the general form it takes?"

Our group uses a Facebook page to communicate (secret). We post the assignments and other pertinent things for our group.  This is done within 24 hours of our meeting together and so that moms don't have to be writing down assignments and details during the meeting time.

Someone will begin the assignment thread and then everyone else adds their assignment to that thread so that all the information is in one place and easy to find.

So the first post after a meeting would read like this actual assignment post -

Handicrafts -  Finish cutting your leather rectangle. 10''x2'' or 8''x2''
I will bring the punch next time and we can finish the holes, the leather ties etc then. I want to check everyone's and make sure the ties are the right thickness.

Then underneath this post, each of us would reply with our assignments for the next meeting.
Shakespeare - read/listen/narrate Act 1 and make a commonplace entry.
Nature Study - – plant the bulbs if you haven’t already!  Continue to pay attention to seasonal changes to talk about next time.
Folk song - Home on the Range – sing and learn 1st and 4th verses.
Hymn - Immortal, Invisible – sing and learn 1st and 2nd verses.
Poetry - Read these poems over the next 2 weeks and add entry (or two) in commonplace notebook - Lines Written in Early Spring, Nutting, To a Sky-lark, The Sparrow's Nest, To a Butterfly, I wandered lonely as a cloud. Enjoy!
Composer - Listen to the first 2 tracks on your CD, La Scala and Overture from The Barber of Seville.  I think you’ll recognize that one!
Usually there is no assignment for Picture Study except to display the picture studied at the meeting and enjoy it.  We meet once every 2 weeks, so the moms are free to spread these assignments out in a way that works best for their families.  For our family, we spend anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes per day on our TBG assignments and we do them first thing every morning during our Group Time.  The exception to that might be handicrafts.  If there is an assignment, they quite often work on it during the afternoons or evenings.Also, if the children are working on something major - say memorizing an act from Shakespeare - then the other teachers are sensitive to that and avoid large assignments.

I hope that helps explain how we go about "homework" in our community.

From joy to joy,

Bday gift for dd12 - 1963 Olympia Socialite


  1. Nancy,

    Remember Me? Obviously, I was not able to attend the meeting at Virginia back in June, but how I wanted too!!!!

    Anyway, I am on my way to starting our new school year. Several changes, one being that I am back to homeschooling the way I began back in 1989. For now there will be no extra school classes with others or coops. But I do believe a good friend and I plan to incorporate possible bimonthly gatherings, (maybe along the lines of your TBG group) I have been involved with Classical Conversations for several years and this year, it being my daughter's senior year, I desire to rediscover some lost treasures. Your posts encourage me greatly. Pass on any other information...and I would love to hear about your son's wedding! My oldest son married three years ago...
    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Dear Cathy,
      Yes, of course I remember you! You know, I believe so strongly that God places people exactly where He wants them, when He wants them there. I see it over and over again - whether at speaking events, meetings, my blog, or in consulting. I know you think the same way...so perhaps we will meet someday. I hope so.

      Yes, it's as if we understand what is most important and we want to redeem the time...and the beauty...with the loved ones left at home. Focus on those "lost treasures", as you so beautifully state.

      From joy to joy,

  2. Nancy,
    I do so love the name..thank you again! Posting assignments was a wonderful tip Kristina and I gleaned at your co-op lunch discussion. Creating a private website in which to communicate was a gift of an idea one of our mom's setup at our community's inception three years ago. Now with the start of our new fine arts day, she added an 'Assignment Tab' last week.
    Your posts are always insightful and inspiring! By the way my family is excited to read our first Dorothy Mills book, The Book of the Ancient Greeks.
    In His Grace,

    1. Hi, Dena!
      Yes, a private website would do the trick, also. Thanks for that idea!
      I look forward to hearing all about your group this year!

      From joy to joy,