A typical day at Co-op
On a typical day, parents and children arrive around 9am, and the first half an hour is a mixture of free play, maths games, music, and one-on-one reading sessions.
At 9:30am we have the morning meeting where the children and adults share any pressing topics and talk about the day ahead (and sometimes sing or read stories). Children take it in turn to chair meetings and everyone is encouraged to contribute.
After meeting, we have 'Focus Time', the purpose of which is to engage the children in activities that develop skills in writing, reading, thinking, maths, science or humanities. Where possible, these activities are play based and practical, using relevant real life examples to develop core skills.
After Focus Time, the children are usually free to continue with adult-led activities or make their own. Often this means that there is a variety of things happening all at once: elaborate role play, games (often with a focus on either maths or physical exercise), animal watching and journalling, cubby building, bushwalking, drawing, painting, playing music, reading, cooking, putting on costumes and making up plays, and so on.
At midday, we encourage the children to have lunch, but they are also free to eat whenever they feel the need for it.
The afternoon meeting starts at 12:30pm, once a week we have a dedicated Student Council meeting. All students are part of the Council and they are encouraged to discuss aspects of the school and any suggestions for changes they may have.
Afternoon meeting is followed by a second Focus time, and another mixture of adult supported activities and free play.
Finally, before school ends at 3pm, the kids and adults complete their reflective journal and daily chores around the school, such as feeding the chickens, cleaning up play and study areas, vacuuming, and so on.