Maybe you are new to homeschooling and you are finding it scary and difficult.
Or you may be new, but have discovered joy and pleasure in homeschooling – and have watched your child bloom in front of your very eyes.
Maybe you are a veteran and have been homeschooling for years.
You may be the homeschooling mom of an only child. Or you may have a gaggle of babies and toddlers to juggle as you work with your school-aged student.
Maybe you’re looking for encouragement. You may be looking for outside academic support. You may be looking to widen your child’s circle of friends.
Whatever your situation, whatever your experience, you and your child are warmly welcome at ODE. We need each other – and even if you may feel alone in your situation, you will find that you are not.
How did ODE begin?
The year was 2005 and two beleaguered homeschooling mom friends found themselves brainstorming solutions. Both had children of all ages, a baby, and more coming. One friend reminisced about a wonderful program she had her students enrolled in before moving to Chicago, which gave reprieve and a moment to breathe, and she was sure there must be something similar in the bustling Chicagoland area. The two friends searched for a drop-off program designed to benefit the student and the mom, to no avail. They found programs that were all-encompassing, sign-your-life-away, commit to doing the curriculum, be accountable to the weekly check-points – type of programs. They were pricey, far, and not what the compatriots were looking for. They found co-ops, mostly haphazard and thrown together by other haggard homeschooling moms, and the additional burden of prepping to teach a class and hosting on a rotating schedule did not promise to lessen their already crushing loads. The obvious solution presented itself – why don’t we start this dream program we want? So they did.
The two spent many warm afternoons brainstorming details while their kids played. While a lifelong friendship bloomed, ODE came together at the perfect time, and the doors were opened at Judson in September of 2006. Roughly forty students registered for the inaugural run, and the first session was a great success! The second session saw the addition of preschool because there were so many little ones who were also eager to participate and curious to learn. By the time the older students reached 7th grade, they had added an upper school program. Over the last 16 years ODE has grown to triple the size, plays an important part in fostering community while supporting and encouraging the homeschool family as a whole. ODE recognizes that no one is designed to walk through homeschooling alone, even though homeschooling is a uniquely personal and individual experience. We understand the value of acceptance and diversity, and we desire that ODE reflect a rich tapestry of different walks of life.
What does ODE offer?
Mainly, ODE provides a day of classes for homeschooling students. We focus on enrichment (hence the name) in the preschool and elementary years. We know that each family has their own approach to the basics, and we leave arithmetic, reading, and the mechanics of writing to
each home to accomplish on the timeline in the methods each family sees fit. We have classical families, and textbook/workbook families, unschooling families, and every other family inbetween, and that is wonderful! We like to offer classes that are better tackled in groups and with some additional instructional expertise. Our classes include science (hands-on experiments), art, music/theater, PE, literature, and a unit class that varies from session to session.
This enrichment approach changes somewhat as students transition to high school. We have a Bridge program for 7th and 8th grade where they cross over to working independently, learn how to take classes which are graded and require a significant work load so they can confidently put a successful completion on a transcript, knowing they have a command of the material presented. We offer classes in Spanish, history, science, geography and literature, as well as
several elective classes. In high school our classes are rigorous and expertly led. Our teachers are so dedicated and willing to help students master the material, and keep them on track to complete a full year of work. They grade and keep records, and families can put the resulting grade on a transcript with great confidence. Many classes offer an AP component for students who wish to take the advanced placement tests in partnership with our local high school, OPRF.
ODE is not a stand-alone educational program. We seek to enhance your homeschool experience, not take it over. We once heard it said that there are as many homeschool methods as there are homeschools. We could not agree more. So we applaud your work and your efforts, and we want to help and augment your experience.
In addition to providing a day of respite (from homeschooling) for moms, we also try to provide occasional coffee hours and other resources. Some years we have a structured morning coffee hour on the first Friday of each month. These coffees are a great time to talk about our experiences on a given topic, such as how to balance housework with schoolwork, or whatever is on our minds on that day. We have book exchanges and park days. These opportunities are entirely dependent on the desires of the group each year, and the availability of a person to spearhead the effort.
Where we meet…
One Day Enrichment is graciously hosted at Judson Baptist Church.
Judson Baptist Church
1252 N. Austin
Oak Park, IL