A Study Group can cover any topic. Remember that you have only eight weeks to cover that topic, so focus your efforts. For example, “Medieval Europe” is very broad and could take an entire year (or more) to study. However, picking an aspect of the time period such as “Life in a Medieval Castle” or “Art of Medieval Europe” would be appropriate. If you have a broad topic, you can always propose another study group for our next session to cover another aspect of it. If we feel your topic is too broad, we may ask you to modify your proposal.
Study Groups should center around exploration, interactive problem-solving, and/or creative learning. We generally do not accept proposals for lecture-style classes. We also generally do not accept proposals for curriculum-based classes (though we understand that you may pull some of your activities from a variety of sources including curricula). Since LACI is a non-religious homeschooling association, we ask that unless the Study Group topic centers on religion (such as a study of the world’s religions or the history of Judaism, etc.) that topics remain secular in nature.
If you’re ambitious, you may propose more than one Study Group. If you propose multiple groups, be prepared to run them all. The most you can run for an 8-week session is three. We ask that if this is your first time submitting a proposal to start with one Study Group.
Outside of your teaching experiences with your own child(ren), you do not need teaching experience to propose a Study Group. That said, if you don’t have any experience, you may want to work as a teaching assistant for one session first to get a feel for how Study Groups are run at LACI. If you do have teaching experience, please include it in your proposal. Also, while it’s not required, it’s helpful for us to know a little about your overall teaching philosophy.
When you submit your proposal, please be as detailed as possible when describing your ideas and activities. Also, we need to have a clear understanding of what your expectations are of the children when they start the class — such as writing ability, ability to participate in a meaningful discussion, etc. If you feel you may need multiple teaching assistants, please indicate that. You will always have one teaching assistant. Finally, please include your materials fee (if any). We ask that you keep it to the cost you will incur buying supplies for the class — this is not a profit-making enterprise. Participants will be asked to bring a supply kit that will include pencils, pens, eraser, scissors, crayons, markers, colored pencils, water color paints, glue stick, scotch tape, and ruler.
If your proposal is accepted, you will be expected to provide an 8-week group program. At the beginning of the session, you’ll need to provide a copy of your lesson plans and materials to us. In case of family emergency or illness, your teaching assistant will be able to run the group with the provided materials. We will also ask you to sign an agreement stating that all materials purchased for the Study Group are property of LACI in the unlikely event that you need to quit before the end of the session. You will need to either return the supplies or reimburse LACI so we can purchase new supplies. At the end of each 8-week session, we will ask participants to fill out evaluation forms for each of their Study Groups. We will give you a copy of the feedback to help you plan for future Study Groups.
Finally, if you know of a great for-hire teacher who you think might have something interesting to offer, please introduce us! As LACI grows, we hope to bring outside teachers in for some sessions to offer specialized Study Groups that we may not be able to offer otherwise.