Frequently Asked Questions

Where, When, and how often do you meet?

Shanan Co-op is a parent led co-op that meets on Tuesdays at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Weddington (8600 Potter Road).

During the Fall semester, we meet from 8:15-1:00pm. (optional sack lunch together after classes). We begin the Tuesday after Labor Day and go for 11 straight weeks, until the week of Thanksgiving.

During the Spring semester, we meet from 8:15-3:00pm. (buffet lunch together from 11:50-12:15). We usually begin the last Tuesday in January and go for 11 straight weeks (unless Easter interrupts), finishing around the end of March or early April.

What courses do you study?

Everything we study at Shanan can be categorized within an 8 year cycle* (See last page for complete 8 year cycle)

The Fall Semester is typically for the Sciences, Writing and Resource Room. Over 8 years, we study the major sciences and Geography. We also do Civics twice (every General Election year).

The Spring Semester is for History, Literature and Resource Room. Over 8 years, we study all the major time periods chronologically, from Ancient Civilizations to the Modern Era.

What is Resource Room?

Resource Room is the hour in our morning when the kids have a chance to make or do whatever they’re learning about. If we’re studying Anatomy, they might do dissections. If we’re learning about the Renaissance, they might paint a still life or make a miniature of DaVinci’s self-supporting bridge.

Why should I re-apply for each semester?

Each semester stands on its own at Shanan. Some families like to come for just one semester in the year, others like to come for the full year.

Can we choose which classes we want, or opt out of those we don’t?

No. All families who register for the semester participate in all the classes offered.

What curriculum do you use?

Shanan is kind of an eclectic mix of several teaching methods and we try to teach to all the learning styles. Since that’s how we operate, we don’t have one set curriculum we use for every semester. When it suits our purpose, we have used Apologia’s Young Explorer’s Series for the sciences. We have a list of Topics to cover each semester, and we collaborate on research and lesson planning together.

What do you mean by “Classical” in the Shanan Classical Co-op name?

While we make use of several teaching methods, a big part of what we do comes from the Classical approach to learning. Every week, students are to memorize a list of facts pertinent to that week’s lesson. We utilize copy work and dictation to strengthen learning. Each student from 1st to 8th grade will research, write, and give an Oral Report in front of their class sometime during every semester.

Can I use Shanan to supplement a full curriculum load at home?

We don’t recommend it. Shanan thoroughly covers the basic subjects on Tuesdays, and the kids take homework with them to complete during the week. Please don’t add Shanan as a social outlet to whatever you’re already doing at home academically. Instead, you can feel free to add on at home to what you’re already learning as a family at Shanan.

What ages are grouped together?

We have 4 class groupings, and they go like this:

  • Primary (1-2nd grade)

  • Secondary (3-4th grade)

  • Elementary (5-6th grade)

  • Jr. High (7-8th grade)

We also have nursery care for kids under Preschool age, and have a Preschool/Kindergarten class when we have children in those age groups.

How many kids are in a class?

Class size varies, depending on the makeup of our Shanan group from one semester to another. Some semesters may have as few as 3 in a class and others may have as many as 12 or 14. Between 5 and 9 students per class is somewhat typical.

Who are the teachers?

We are! All the moms teach. To the best of our ability, we try to pair a brand-new mom with someone who’s been with Shanan awhile, so that you’re not new AND teaching a class on your own. We also try to give you your stated teaching preference when we make the assignments.

What about learning disabilities?

The teachers work closely with moms so that the student has the best opportunity to succeed. While we are academically rigorous, we want to encourage each child to do their best, to try their hardest and to have a sense of accomplishment when they’re finished. Usually moms and teachers have been able to reach a reasonable compromise if the workload proves too challenging for a student.

Can I/Do I have to teach my own child?

Sometimes moms prefer to teach their own child. Sometimes we’d prefer to have someone ELSE teach our children … We leave that up to you. We do try to give you your 1st or 2nd choice when we give your assignment.

What does the daily schedule look like?

The fall semester begins with Praise and Worship at 8:15, and we have Assembly until 8:50. The 3 classes run until 11:50, when the kids break for Recess, and the moms have a Teachers’ Meeting. After the meeting and recess, we do our clean-up jobs and then we’re dismissed for the day – usually around 12:45 or so. Many families like to bring a sack lunch and eat together before they go home.

In spring, we also begin with Praise and Worship and Assembly, and our classes go until 11:50. We have a buffet lunch together before recess and Teachers’ Meeting, and then we do our clean up jobs. At 1:00pm, we meet to practice for our Final Event (which happens on Week 11, at night) – usually a Drama presentation. We run lines, go over staging, make props and sets, learn and do a period dance, and leave around 3:00 p.m.

How much does it cost?

$100 per semester per family

Financial assistance is available on an individual basis

Field trip costs, if applicable, are the responsibility of the family

If you would like more information and to schedule a visit, Please email: and we’ll be happy to get back to you.



Shanan Classical Co-op 8 Year Plan

FALL (11 weeks) Science/Social Studies

  • Civics (During Presidential Election years) with Final Event

  • Anatomy/Physiology/Nutrition with Science Museum

  • Geography- NC, history, country, world, maps culture with Final Culture Fair

  • Physical Science (excluding geology/meteorology) with Science Fair

  • Civics (During Presidential Election years) with Final Event

  • Geology/Meteorology with Science Fair

  • Life Science (classification animal & plant kingdoms) with Science Museum

  • Solar System/Oceanography with Science Fair


The Fall co-op will offer writing instruction for Primary – Jr. High. The semester will culminate with a Science Museum, Science Fair, or Final Event.

SPRING (11 weeks) History

  • Ancient Civilizations: Egypt, Bible lands, Tabernacle, Seder meal with Drama

  • Ancient Civilizations: Greece/Rome with Drama

  • Middle Ages, Church History with Drama or Middle Ages Final Feast

  • Renaissance & Reformation with Drama or Renaissance Festival

  • Birth of a Nation/Revolutionary War/Colonial with Drama

  • Westward Expansion/Civil War with Drama

  • Victorian Age/Industrial Revolution/WWI & WWII with Radio Drama

  • Modern Age with Drama


The Spring co-op will offer a literature study of the time period with writing emphasis for Primary – Jr. High.  Semester culminates with a drama production or final event.