Hanging with the homies
Home school association students, teachers congregate every two weeks for joint classes
Craig Despite encouragement, the students weren't sure they could make it.
"My eyes are burning," one student said.
"I don't know if I can take it any longer," said another.
This was the scene Friday morning underneath the Moffat Count Fairground grandstands. Students in the Northwest Colorado Home School Association were performing a science experiment to learn about sight.
After staring for 90 seconds at a red piece of paper, the students switched to a looking at a white piece of paper.
"Cool, it looks greenish-blue," one student said.
Every two weeks, the families who are a part of the NCHSA meet in the building under the grandstands for group lessons.
"This is a great place for everybody to come and be with other kids," said Michelle Peters, a mother and teacher for the bimonthly sessions. "We take field trips and get together as a group, and I know the kids look forward to this time."
In the fall, the students, who range from pre-school age to seventh grade, have learned ancient history and science during the two-hour sessions.
Peters and other parents take turns teaching the lessons.
"Sometimes we might have differences," she said. "But we tell the kids that if they have any questions, to ask their mothers."
On Friday, the history lesson was about Egypt, and each student made a page to add to a homemade history book that had pyramids on it.
The 17 students sat attentively at three tables arranged in the shape of a horseshoe as they worked on their pyramid pages.
Some of the of the older students finished first and helped the younger students. The parents helped the children and talked among themselves during the project.
"I love getting together with these moms," Peters said. "We are mostly like-minded, and we encourage and support each other."
Additionally, the youth get a chance to spend time with their peers.
"It's nice to do something different and get out of the house sometimes," 11-year-old (soon to be 12) Breanne Willshire said. "You don't always get to hang out with friends if you are home schooled."
Willshire said one of her favorite lessons at the group session has been about the Nile River.
"It flows in different directions," she said. "I get to double up on history the weeks that we meet because I have history at home on Mondays."
Willshire was also excited to show off her new friend.
"This is my new best friend Hannah Banana," she said putting her arm around her "new best friend."