Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are having to re-structure our class schedules for the Fall of 2018.
Sadie Park has been our home for the past two years! The county has approved renovations to be started in the Fall of 2018 (yay!) but this means we will be sharing the other building and have fewer rooms we can use.
Due to the renovations we will only have two rooms from 9am-2pm on Tuesdays at Sadie Park. We are having to shift a lot of classes around in order to accommodate the needs of our wonderful volunteer teachers and to fulfill the needs of our community.
Please stay tuned! We will have registrations available as soon as we have this all squared away!
PERK: If you are picked, you get to register with the teachers for the site where you would work!
– Be responsible for each attendance card for each class. Cards must be handed to teachers prior to class and received back immediately after class. Verify card has been completed for the day.
– Call students in when classes are starting.
– Make sure setup and break down crews complete their tasks.
– Be responsible for first aid kit (not to administer but to hand to parents if anything is needed)
– Act as initial point of contact for teachers if they have an issue in their classroom while teaching.
– Be on site during the whole co-op day (15 mins prior to start of first classes, remain until everything is put back in its place).
– Must be able to be fully focused on co-op responsibilities. So, if the site supervisor has kids that are not in classes, must have another parent responsible for them during those times.
– Cannot be a teacher at the site that you want to be the site supervisor.
– Assist in preparation for presentation day (communication with teachers, signup genius)
– If you are picked for an interview, you must be available at one of the times below:
Sadie Park (Brandon): Tuesday May 8th @ 9:15 AM – 9:45 AM
Sadie Park (Brandon): Tuesday May 8th @ 1 PM – 2 PM
Gardenville Park (Gibsonton): Wednesday May 9th @ 10 AM – 10:45 AM
Online (using Google Hangouts): Friday May 11th @ 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
– If you are picked as site supervisor, you need to be available to come on May 14th at 10am to Sadie Park (Brandon).
Thank you to everyone who has submitted a wide variety of classes for different age groups!
We still need more classes to utilize the spaces and time slots the county has provided us, especially for Gardenville Rec Center. Click here to submit your idea!
We will close submissions on Friday April 6th to allow us time to coordinate with volunteer teachers and do all the behind-the-scenes work required to make these classes available to you in a timely manner.
“But…what should I teach?”
Need ideas? Check out the list of classes that have been taught by volunteer teachers just like you! You do not need to be a certified teacher to teach.
“Is there an incentive?”
While we cannot pay teachers, we do have one big perk: you get first dibs at registration time. Our classes fill up very quickly because they are fun, affordable, and interesting!
If you think your class will require you to pay for materials, you may request a materials fee from the parents, they would pay you directly.
Do you have an idea for a class? Don’t overthink it, submit your idea and make a difference! You won’t regret it! Need some ideas? Click here to see what our wonderful parents have taught in previous semesters! The deadline for submitting a class is Friday April 6th, 2018.
Some of you may not know how the Brandon Learning Co-op came to be. We have grown so fast and it’s important to remember how we got to where we are today!
Our story begins with 4 moms, 3 classes, & 8 students:
In 2016, four homeschool moms were looking for a low-cost, inclusive homeschool co-op, but couldn’t find one. We spoke with Maria Pirone, Recreation Program Supervisor at Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, and she opened the doors of the Brandon Community Center allowing us to offer low-cost classes. We were thrilled! So, for the first time, in the Fall of 2016, we offered 3 classes (taught by the organizers) and had 8 students (five of them being the organizers’ kids).
The next session, Spring 2017, we offered 3 new classes with 14 students enrolled. As we started seeing that there was an increased interest, we realized we needed to recruit our parents for help.
As we prepared for Fall 2017, we created a class submission form so that other parents interested in volunteering their time could let us know what they wanted to teach. They stepped up and we were able to offer 9 classes and had 54 students enrolled! We continue to grow every session.
For the Spring 2018 session we reached full capacity at 64 enrolled students, with many others on waiting lists! Our volunteer teachers have made it possible for us to grow and provide affordable classes to many more families.
On behalf of the officers, we thank you profoundly for your work, your time, your efforts, and for your eager willingness to expand our kids’ minds!
The Bigger Picture:
Throughout this process, we’ve still held on to a bigger picture as our mission is to provide affordable learning opportunities to the co-op as well as the community at large. Still, by volunteering our time (most weeks working close to full-time volunteer unpaid hours, often past midnight or in between other responsibilities), we continue to strive to achieve our vision for the common good.
The next logical step has been to become a non-profit.As of 2017, the Alliance for the Pursuit of Knowledge, Inc., is a Florida non-profit corporation. The 4 original homeschool moms are the officers of this corporation and run it by continuing to volunteer their time, expertise, and resources. Our next step is to become an IRS 501c3 organization in order to qualify for the help and low financial costs we so desperately need.
New Programs Have Developed:
In 2017, a new program has been created and organized by one of our organizers: a community music ensemble!
Initially, the intention was to provide an ensemble for middle and high school musicians, but the interest expressed was from parents who used to play and miss playing! The ensemble remains open to anyone interested in participating, and it has become a welcoming musical experience primarily serving homeschool parents, and already they have scheduled performances in the community.
We have also seen within our homeschool families a parent-led initiative to organize outings and field trips. Lastly, for our Fall 2018 session, Gardenville Recreation Center has opened its doors and is allowing us to provide classes in their facilities – more than doubling the number of affordable classes we can offer!
We look forward to the continued growth and expansion of our community.
Thanks to everyone for getting us to where we are, it truly does take a village!
Meet the Officers!
Anita Morales – Co-Op Organizer & Instructor
I have a Bachelors in Computer Science and it was my main career path until 2003. At that point, I became a realtor and then a property manager. I find both of these careers very fulfilling and continue to do them on a part-time basis.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I started homeschooling my daughter in October 2015 and my son in 2017. So far it has been an interesting and satisfying journey for us. We use online curriculum as our core curriculum but also have lots of extra-curricular activities. Through all of these various activities, I have seen my kids blossom.
We started this co-op for several reasons but mainly because there are many co-ops in the area but unfortunately they require you to sign a statement of faith or they may be too expensive. I want a place where people feel comfortable without worrying about what each other’s beliefs are. I also want a place where people can learn from each other without costing so much.
We have already seen this co-op blossom and grow beyond our dreams. We will continue to try to meet our homeschool community’s needs and our community as a whole as much as we can. My personal dream is to have a large community center that the community can use at a low-cost.
If there is anything that you can think of that we can add or change, please let us know. We cannot do this without all of you.
Teresa Berry Beebe – Co-op Organizer & Instructor
Teresa is a graduate from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Genetics and a minor in Biochemistry.
In addition to working in biological research in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, she worked for the YMCA full time as an Aquatics and Risk Management Director. She has taught/coached swimming for over 20 years and still holds certifications as a Lifeguard, CPR and First Aid instructor.
Teresa has homeschooled her 9 yo son since the beginning and is in her fourth year. Prior to moving to Florida, she lived in Virginia where she was co-leader of a large homeschooling group as well as the the Navigators scouting group. She also organized/taught a nature club and a book club and was very active in the homeschooling community.
Dawn Ivey – Co-op Organizer & Instructor
I graduated from Stetson University with a degree in Business Administration and minors in Business Law and Information Technology. I worked doing desktop support and process management documentation until deciding to stay home with my daughter in September 2010. In September 2013, I returned to work part-time while my daughter attended VPK. My daughter attended a public school for Kindergarten and was pulled right before 1st grade to start homeschooling. As I continued to work part-time, we started off using FLVS part-time. This turned out not to be the solution for us and we transitioned to using MobyMax as a base. We supplement with both online and printed resources as well as classes in the community. After 1 year of trying to work part-time and homeschool my daughter, I resigned so that I could focus on her education.
We didn’t originally intend to be homeschoolers but have been enjoying the journey thus far. I love to learn about resources in our community and share what I have learned about homeschooling and community resources with others.
Marion Haase – Co-op Organizer & Instructor
I’m a Neurologic Music Therapist with 12+ years clinical and teaching experience with a wide range of age groups. I have a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music Therapy, and am Co-Founder of a company that provides Music Therapy services in Tampa and surrounding areas (Creative LEAPS, LLC).
Music is my life (2nd only to my kid!). It is the ultimate organizer with its temporal structure, harmonic densities, and multidimensional expressiveness. As a music therapist, my aim is to engage people in music to provide ample opportunities for growth in all areas of their lives. We are musical creatures – we have created music since prehistoric times because we NEED music. What intrigues me the most is the science behind the physical, psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of music.
In terms of homeschooling, I’m a newbie. My child is 6 years old and I like to claim that I’ve been nurturing her learning and growth since the womb. I have an eclectic approach to homeschooling and am adamant about multilingualism, creativity, scientific inquiry, and real-world skills and knowledge. I like to learn about other families’ approaches and am happy to see that we have such a supportive community right in our backyard!
I’ve had the pleasure and fulfilling experience of teaching music and Spanish at Brandon Learning Co-op every semester so far, and hope to continue teaching these classes as we expand! I’ve also initiated and organized the community music ensemble which is providing us (the parents!) with the learning opportunities we also need!
We are so grateful to all the wonderful teachers who have volunteered their time, energy, and materials to share their knowledge with our homeschool community! We couldn’t do this without you!
Teresa Beebe (Inventors Club, Geology, Detective Science, Intro to Anatomy)
Stephanie Brown (Intro to ASL)
Rose Casino-Fries (Gardening)
Christina Edwards (Human Body)
Daryl Everett (Intro to ASL, Signs and Science (ASL))
Cat Fialla (Art)
Suzette Foister (Art, Art at Noon, Human Body)
Jennifer Gabot (Crazy 8’s Math Club)
Lauren Giordano (Art of Reading, Charts & Graphs with Science, Crazy 8s Math Club)
Marion Haase (Music Makers, Music Makers II, Jugando Aprendemos, Flutes & Voices)
Dawn Ivey (Overview of Biomes, Reader’s Theatre)
Anita Morales (Overview of Biomes, Dinosaur Exploration)
Ruby Mumo (Art of Reading)
Vanessa Power (Art of Reading)
Erin Powers (Crazy 8’s Math Club)
Judi Quinn (Nifty Fifty U.S. Geography, Westward Ho Geography)
Do you want to get involved? Would you like to teach? Don’t hesitate! We are eager to have you join us! Follow this link to submit your idea! The deadline for submitting a class is Friday April 6th, 2018.
Teach with us! Class submissions are still open for two locations
What Gardenville has to offer (photos too!)
Homeschool PE and other county programs at Gardenville
TEACH WITH US!
Our teacher submission form is still open! Please click here to submit a class you might want to teach!
We still need volunteer teachers to provide classes at TWO locations (either one or both, it’s up to you!):
Brandon Rec Center (Sadie Park), Brandon, FL
Gardenville Rec Center in Gibsonton, FL
Not only do you get to work with eager minds and happy families, but, if you teach, you will be first on the list to register for classes. Classes are so interesting, engaging, and affordable that they fill up very quickly!
If you were not able to come to the Gardenville Rec Center open house today, we have created a pdf of Gardenville Rec Center with a map and photos of the facilities we will start using in the Fall 2018.
What’s in store at Gardenville?
We will have access to:
Three (3) classrooms (where we can teach our classes)
One (1) indoor waiting area/room
Weight and cardio rooms ($10/month fee payable to the county)
A playground shaded by trees
A huge covered pavilion
Two (2) indoor and two (2) outdoor bathrooms
Two parking lots
A gymnasium (limited access)
A game room with air hockey, ping pong table, & TV monitors for hooking up games (limited access)
Last but not least…
Homeschool P.E. at Gardenville starts next week! (Wednesday April 4th, 2018)
We have so much to share with you! Please take a look!
In this post:
NEW Site! Gardenville Community Center (for Fall 2018)
Site Supervisors needed for Fall 2018
Want to teach?? Class submissions coming soon!
Programs offered by the county at Gardenville (including Homeschool PE, and workout rooms for adults!)
Spring 2, 2018 first day checklist!
1) Measles case: Another homeschool group has reported one confirmed case of measles. There is no need to panic, but please be on the lookout for the symptoms listed below, especially if your child has not received the MMR vaccine. If you do see these signs, please see your doctor and take the appropriate precautions to protect those who have not received the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective (source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html), so if you have received it, you should be protected.
Measles signs and symptoms appear from 10-14 days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms include:
inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
Koplik’s spots (small white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth or inner lining of the cheek)
a rash made up of large, flat blotches
For more information visit webmd and do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.
2) NEW (ADDITIONAL) SITE! Gardenville for Fall 2018: We are so excited to announce that we will have a second site in which we will have classes starting in the Fall of 2018! Classes at Gardenville will take place on Thursdays from 9am-1pm!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: We will have an open house at GARDENVILLE COMMUNITY CENTER March 29th 10am-12pm! Please plan to attend!!
3) BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Gardenville has a lot more to offer.
Currently available at Gardenville (payable through the county):
a) A Cardio and weight room: For just $10/month you have access to all gyms that belong to the Hillsborough county (follow this link for details). You can pay for several months at-a-time, and monthly fees are not prorated.
b) Homeschool PE classes:
When: Wednesdays 9:30am-11:00am
Ages: (two groups) 5-8 year olds, and 9-12 year olds
Duration: 6-week session, April 4th, 2018 – May 16th, 2018 (no class April 25th)
Cost: $12 per child (for the entire 6-week session)
Max: 15 kids per group
How do I register? Registration will be set up as the day approaches. We will be sure to announce when it is ready to go, but keep checking the county site as well!
4) Need site supervisors for Fall 2018:(sign-up coming soon) we will need 2 site supervisors, one for Gardenville and one for Brandon. To qualify you must:
Not be teaching any classes
Be available from 8:30am-1:30pm Tuesdays at Brandon, and 8:30am-2:15pm Thursdays at Gardenville.
Have a background check completed (through us)
Duties will include:
Be in charge of First Aid kit for the site (It cannot be left at the site, but it needs to be available).
Help with transitions between classes.
Contact Co-op organizers with any issues that might arise.
Help with setup and breakdown and ensure everything is in its place at the end of the day.
Perk of being a Site Supervisor: You get to register for classes along with the teachers!
5) Want to teach? Class submission coming soon (for Fall 2018): We will be putting out the class submission forms, so be on the lookout for those! Things to take into consideration:
If you need a co-teaching setup: both teachers must be teaching (not one teaching and the other being a helper), and one or both must be teaching more than one class. Also, keep in mind that the class size and/or activity level should reflect the need for two teachers.
If it’s helpers you want, we can help you create a signup sheet for parents to help out! Helpers don’t get to register at the same time as teachers.
Teachers get to register first before everyone else!
You set the boundaries:
what age group or grade level(s) do you want to teach?
how many children max? Is there a minimum?
How much will you need parents to pay for materials (materials fee)?
What times of the day would you prefer to teach?
How long will the class last (30 min? 45 min? 50 min?)?
What’s the basic description of the class?
What will you call the class?
6) Spring 2, 2018 first day of class:
Please be sure to sign-in. You will not have to sign in after the first week (teachers will be taking attendance this semester).
Bring all paperwork, signed and dated (policies, waivers, etc).
Bring materials fees for your tachers
We need helpers! (even if you just do this once, you will be making a huge difference!)
If you can come before 9 to help set up, please do!
If you can stay after classes are over to help clean up, please do!