Co-op keeps faith in homeschooling

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Co-op keeps faith in homeschooling

by: Brooke Wilkins | .
OkinawaHai.com | .
published: August 20, 2013

There are a multitude of choices for educating your children on Okinawa, of which homeschooling is one.  For those of you who choose this route in educating your children, F.I.S.H (Faith In Schooling Homes) is a homeschool co-op that may be of interest to you and your family.  The school is located at Camp Foster Chapel Annex, Building #455.

We, the F.I.S.H. school co-op families, take seriously the charge that God has made to us. We acknowledge that we are our children’s first teachers, that we have been directly called for a specific period of time to orchestrate and implement our children’s education within our homes. We believe that our first priority is to lead them in the ways of Christ as a caring, loving God to all who see us.

F.I.S.H has been running for about seven years. We wanted to create a group to help supplement our children’s homeschool education with group learning for Japanese, art, music, etc. while maintaining a Christ-centered focus in our daily lives.  We do plan for F.I.S.H to continue once current leadership members PCS; it just depends on the current members of F.I.S.H at that time to step up and take an active role in leadership, therefore supporting the co-op to continue to the next year.

Q. What is the current number of students?
A. We have 10 families currently active in F.I.S.H., with several new families asking for information for next year. We are hoping to expand our numbers and will not have a new member count until after our information meeting for the 2013-2014 school year occurs.

Q. Is enrollment open/year-round enrollment or per semester?
A. Year- round; a family can join F.I.S.H at any time during the year and the program fees with be pro-rated at that time.

Q. Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend?
A. No

Q. Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit?
A. Yes

Q. What are the school’s hours? 
A. The co-op meets one day per week from 8:45 a.m.- 12 p.m.

Q. Is the school on a Japanese or American schedule?
A. American; operates from September to May with scheduled breaks in the fall/winter/spring/summer

Q. What are the registration fees?
A. No registration fees.

Q. What are the tuition fees?
A. $20 per family per year, and $50 per student per semester for Japanese.

Q. If any, what are the assessment and school supplies fees?
A. Curriculum/materials used to teach the subjects are provided by the parents/teacher.

Q. How and when does the school require payment (in yen, dollars, etc.)?
A. Payment should be made in full prior to the beginning of the year, and payment should be in dollars.

Q. Does the school encourage spontaneous visits from parents?
A. Parents should be with the child at all times; this is not a drop-off program. The parents are an active part of the co-op and will participate in a specific role at each meeting.

Q. How are the kids grouped? 
A. By age. Instruction begins at age 3 in the pre-school room. There is a daycare room available for younger siblings, run by a F.I.S.H parent in the childcare room.  For the 2013/2014 school year F.I.S.H will be offering K-8th instruction.

Q. How many full-time teachers do you have? How many assistants?
A. One teacher and one assistant per classroom.

Q. What subjects are taught in the program?
A. The co-op intends to have Japanese, art, and music instruction next year. We are open to suggestions for the second semester and do take into consideration what the parents want to teach, as well as what the parents want their children to learn.

Q. Are there extracurricular activities or field trips?
A. In the past we have taken field trips to: Osprey Field Trip, Zoo Field Trip, Comprehensive Park Outside Art Class Field Trip. In the future we plan to add a Pizza Making Field Trip at the Macaroni Grill, a Post Office Field Trip, and a 3 MEF Band Field Trip. We are currently brainstorming new ideas to add to next year’s schedule.

Q. How does the school discipline children?
A. Class teachers/helpers will generally be responsible for the first line discipline. However, it is the parent’s responsibility to respond if their child has become a disruption beyond the first line of discipline. Understand that the other parents will be, at times, correcting your child. This will be done in love and with patience. If you have any issues with this situation, you are free to speak with anyone in leadership at any time.

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