Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Together Everyone Achieves More

Today's topic form Homeschool Help is Co-Op…or Not? Why? or Why Not? Over the span of my homeschooling years I have had the privilege of being involved in several co-ops both in New Zealand and Australia. Some were formal and some informal. I attribute a lot of what I've learned about home education to the wonderful ladies who shared so generously about homeschooling and from themselves with my children.  Without them I would have quit a long time ago. I find that fewer mom's are joining co-ops these days and are using blogs and forums to replace their personal support group/network. We are gregarious by nature and I would really encourage you to find and join a local like minded group as there are many benefits. You will build some amazing friendships as well as experience some great days together. The biggest benefit is the support you will receive from some amazing mom's.

Definition 
Homeschool co-op: This is when two or more homeschooling families choose to learn something together. It can be as a once off class or a regular meet up for a month or a year. It is different from school as the parents never drop their children and leave.  All parents are involved in someway or another.  Depending on the co-op structure this could be weekly involvement or on a roster basis.

Twelve years ago I did a conference where I learned the acronym for TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.  There is so much truth in this statement. There is strength in numbers and if you are part of a co-op you will benefit from this strength. 



I decided to look up the definition of the word team I really liked this one I discovered. Definition of TEAM from the Business Dictionary

"A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. Team members
  1. operate with a high degree of interdependence,
  2. share authority and responsibility for self-management,
  3. are accountable for the collective performance, and
  4. work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s).
A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members."

Types
  • Once a week teaching programs such as Classical Conversations
  • Weekly / monthly co-op days by a specific support group
  • Weekly days to teach a specific subject (history, art, science, etc)
  • Community Education centers often have co op groups to join (social, art, cooking, book club etc) Our local center offers computer subjects.
  • Informal groups (bible study, Mom's groups, etc)
  • Formal Co-ops
Benefits
  • Support and encouragement for you the mom.
  • Costs less to do some activities because the cost is shared
  • Enrichment
  • Someone to help share the teaching load
  • Socialization New friends made with similar interests
  • Sharing the educational process load
  • Challenging and stretching your student's ability by someone other than you.
Consider
There are a few things to consider when starting or joining a co-op
  • What are the religeous beliefs of the group ?
  • How often will they meet ? (day, time, length of time)
  • Where will you meet and what's the cost ?
  • What will the cost be for the activities/materials be ? Who will look after the money ? Who are they accountable to ?
  • What will you do about snacks ? (bring your own ? consider food allergies )
  • Who will lead ? (roster, how many leaders ?)
  • Will you use a formal or informal structure ?
  • Are you using a specific curriculum and is everyone happy to do so ?
  • Clean up duties. How will you share the load ?
  • Contact details.  Will these go into a directory ? Are you happy to share this information ?
  • Co ordinating.  Who is the central go to person ?

On the WWW

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. … Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9,10,12

Be encouraged and inspired let others help you carry this burden.  As a homeschool Mom you are not alone and there are plenty of Mom's out there that would love to support and encourage you.  Take it slow and find the right place for you and your family.

Blessings
Chareen

This week

 ---ooOoo---

Linking with
Teach Me Tuesdays Hip Homeschool Hop Button The Homeschool Village


Red Ants Teamwork Illustration Stock Image By SweetCrisis

4 comments:

  1. I like your TEAM acronym, Chareen - I'd never heard that one before. It sounds like you've had some good co-op experiences.
    I completely agree about the value of real-life, human to human support - it's so important even in these days where we may find our "niche" tribe online.
    Lucinda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your definition of a co-op has made me re-think, according to this definition I have been co-oping, even when I thought I wasn't! lol.

    ReplyDelete
  3. good thoughts on using a co-op. Makes me think a bit harder about the one I'm in...

    ReplyDelete

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