Using the Peaceful Press in a Homeschool Co-op

The Playful Pioneers was the highlight at our homeschool co-op in 2020 when the whole world shut down. 

While everyone’s life was put on hold we explored the option of implementing a curriculum that would bring us back to the ‘good ole days.` 

Homeschool mamas go above and beyond to make their homeschool the best they can be.  I was determined to not let a virus get in the way of my kids' education. I made the phone calls and found other like-minded homeschool moms and dads who were interested in getting together weekly despite the world shutdown.

Fifteen families gathered together every Tuesday at picnic tables in a backyard. The birds would sing, the bees would buzz by us, and the noises from the farm animals made it feel like we were magically back in the 1800’s.

Inspired by this curriculum, our family of 7 took on backyard chickens, planted our largest garden in 4 homemade planter boxes, and started to make sourdough bread from scratch! I made my kids watch “Little House on the Prairie '' every night! 

I bought pioneer attire for the whole family, and we explored Columbia, California where we had the opportunity to pan for gold!

At the end of the school year we put on the biggest living history day.  We called it “Pioneer Day.”  It was filled with several stations: butter & bread making, candle making, laundry washing, sewing, mining for fools gold, rope tying, and good old fashioned pioneer games.

Lunch was served in a metal pail like they would’ve carried in those days. A photo booth captured the memories. Kids earned pennies along the way as they did their chores and got to spend it in the General Store. The 2020/2021 school year was such a special memory I will always cherish.

Sounds dreamy, right? You are probably wondering how we managed a co-op of 15 families using The Playful Pioneer curriculum. For starters, we all purchased the same curriculum and agreed to read the assigned read-aloud to our kids at home so that they would be familiar with the book as we tied it in with each week’s lessons. 

 

We divided the subjects, Cooking, History, Science, and Practical Skills, into 30-45 minute stations, and started at 8:30am and ended at 12:30pm.

We split the kids up into four groups based on ages/grades with each group consisting of 8 kids or less. We even named the groups after farm animals to make it easier to remember and gave the children colored lanyards with their name tag. 

Each station (subject) followed the co-op guide to plan out the weeks, and there were two parent teachers assigned to each group. We determined after a few months we needed the full hour to have enough time to cover the lesson for each subject, especially for cooking. You can see a sample of our schedule below. 

Red Roosters

Orange Owls

Green Goats

Blue Birds

Group A (PreK-K)

Group B (1st-3rd)

Group C (2nd-3rd)

Group D (4th-6th)

8:15 AM

SET UP

9:00am-9:15am

Announcements/Pledge/Prayer/Hymn

9:15am-9:45am

Memory Work

9:45am-10:00am

SNACK BREAK

10:00am-10:30am

History

Practical Skills

Science

Cooking

10:30am-11:00am

Practical Skills

Science

Cooking

History

11:00am-11:30pm

Science

Cooking

History

Practical Skills

11:30am-12:00pm

Cooking

History

Practical Skills

Science

 

I have been homeschooling for 10 years, and this curriculum has been one of my favorites.  We had such an amazing year tying all our subjects into a single theme!  I highly recommend it.

Purchase the Playful Pioneers

Download the Co-op Guides


Crystal Walker

Campus Director 

Grace Co-op