Excelsior! Homeschool Co-op is a cooperative effort of families to enhance the home education of their children by participating together to provide classes for all ages, from nursery through high school. We meet on Mondays for 28 weeks during the year (see calendar for currently scheduled dates). Our current site is Bethel Church of the Nazarene. All students and family members begin the day together with Opening, where we have worship, announcements, flag salute, and prayer. Then, students participate in three class periods (see Classes Offered for current schedule). Parents teach or assist in two classes, with opportunity to fellowship or fill in as needed during the other period. We end our day with Closing, where all ages come together for announcements and prayer. Many families choose to bring a lunch and stay for a time of fellowship.
9:30 – 9:45 Opening
9:50 – 10:40 Period 1
10:45 – 11:35 Period 2
11:40 – 12:30 Period 3
12:35 – 12:45 Closing
1:35 - 2: 25 Period 4 (optional)
Mission Statement / Purpose
The educational goal of Excelsior! Homeschool Co-op is to assist families in raising God-honoring independent thinkers and life-long lovers of learning.
We are more concerned with the process of learning over the actual product.
It is the responsibility of the student to learn, while the responsibility of the parent lies in providing a suitable learning environment.
We want to provide a safe place for children to discover, explore, make choices, experiment, think, create, and identify the gifts God has given them.
We want to provide the children with opportunity to function in a group setting, practice their leadership and mentoring skills, and ignite the passion of discovery under adult leadership.
We hope to provide educational experiences that are not easily created in a home setting and to provide an opportunity for families to fellowship and support each other in the Lord.
Philosophy of the Excelsior! Co-op Ministry
- We are a network of families united in our love for Christ and our calling to home educate our children.
- We are not a church; however, we are a ministry. We cannot replace the function of a local church body.
- We are comprised of families from various denominations and backgrounds. We focus on common views rather than differences.
- We are not a school. Excelsior! is designed to enhance rather than replace a family's home education program.
- We do not judge differing philosophies of education, curriculum, support mechanisms, etc. held by individual families. We entrust these decisions to each family, providing support and guidance when requested.
- We purpose to encourage both short-term and long-term home educators.
- We reject divisiveness and subtle forms of disunity such as gossip and judgment. We do not expect all Co-op members to act, think, look, or perform identically.
- Each family is expected to be self-governing. We do not desire to control or manage families.
- Our policies and rules are for the purpose of creating an environment of safety, respect and order. We entrust each parent to cheerfully supervise their children accordingly.
- We function as a co-operative effort. As such, each family should be motivated by love to serve the Co-op and each other diligently and cheerfully.
- We are called to humbly serve one another with our individual gifts and talents. When invited, we will share our opinions and expertise without seeking glory or position. We are to be motivated by love rather than self-importance.
- We are relationship-driven.
- We will not usurp parental authority by weakening the bond between parent and child. We are mindful that this weakening can take many subtle forms such as, “You can confide in me,” or criticism of parent to child, or craving the attention of particular co-op members, etc.
- We acknowledge that we all have limitations, weaknesses and blind spots. We strive to build others up rather than tearing down.
- Co-op leadership is a volunteer effort. We are motivated by faith to serve Christ, and by a love for His body. We are ever-growing, ever-striving, and we welcome insights, corrections, and suggestions, packaged in love and gentleness.
- We purpose to come alongside families with encouragement and love in the midst of crisis without being drawn into crisis that is preventable and avoidable.
- We will make every effort to live at peace with one another.
- We are called to excellence in accordance with God’s purposes. Excelsior! “Ever Higher!”
- We recognize our greatest ministry is through Word and deed to the children placed into our care. To the best of our ability, ALL decisions are made for the best interests of the children.
- We affirm that God created each person as male or female, and that marriage was designed by God to be a monogamous, lifelong, covenant relationship between one male and one female (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18-25; Mark 10:2-9). Sexual intimacy was designed by God to occur only within the context of such a marriage (I Corinthians 6:18, 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). This principle is foundational to all teaching and leadership positions at Excelsior.
Philosophy of Education
There are many worthy theories and philosophies to assist in the calling of home education. Excelsior was founded by leaders who relied heavily on the philosophies of Charlotte Mason and components of a Christian Classical Education; however, the Co-op is not limited to these theories. Volunteer teachers are free to pool from their own experiences, theories, and curriculums, as long as the Lord is glorified in the classroom and all instruction is in keeping with the Statement of Faith and a biblical worldview. Classroom content is subject to final approval by the Co-op leadership.
The shared responsibility of Excelsior! Co-op is to provide a fun and interesting learning experience for all its members. The success of the Co-op is directly tied to the level at which families are willing to serve. For this reason, part-time attendance and drop-offs are not allowed. A parent will be on-site at all times with their children and will assist in two classes, as well as be available to help if needed throughout the morning. While we do not expect new families to participate heavily their first year, we do expect all members to actively serve whenever they see a need without being asked. We know that there are factors such as pregnancy, nursing, and sickness that affect every family's ability to participate and we want to be sensitive to each family's unique needs.
Leadership is a seasonal responsibility and will change from family to family throughout the various terms.
We want to be flexible and not so rigid that there is no time for socialization for the children or parents, but socialization is of secondary importance to Co-op responsibilities and needs.
Our teachers are volunteers who sacrificially give of their valuable time. Families should give due respect to teachers by ensuring their children are prepared, punctual, and attentive. Likewise, teachers and classroom assistants should be aptly prepared to provide students with an excellent classroom experience. Teachers and students are expected to treat each other with mutual respect.
Extra Curricular Activities
We provide many enrichment opportunities beyond the Co-op classroom. Some of these activities may include field trips, service projects, Junior High and High School get-togethers, park days for elementary students, missionary sponsorship, Mom’s Night Out, Presentation Nights, Art Night, fundraisers, worship band, yearbook, and more. Extra-curricular events sponsored by Excelsior! are subject to the policies and approval of Co-op.
2021 - 2022 Board
- Jennifer N. (Treasurer)
- Ken B. (Chairman)
- Tammy W. (Director)