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
- operate with a high degree of interdependence,
- share authority and responsibility for self-management,
- are accountable for the collective performance, and
- work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s).
- 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
- Support and encouragement for you the mom.
- Costs less to do some activities because the cost is shared
- 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.
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
- Homeschool Co-op's on Pinterest
- What is a Homeschool Co-op? over at Homeschooling ETC
- Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out by Carol Topp
- How to Start a Homeschool Co-op and Make it Thrive! over at Catholic Icing
- How to Start a Field Trip Co-op over at The homeschool Classroom
- A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Co-op over at Smalltown Homeschool
- 5 Reasons to Consider Homeschool Co-ops over at So you call yourself a Homeschooler.
- What Exactly is a homeschool co-op ? Lets Homeschool High School.
- 5 days of Homeschooling Co-op
Who needs one anyway ?
What are the basics
Coordinating the Co-op
“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.
- Bernadette takes a look at Beneficial Co-op(eration)and why she is looking forward to starting or joining a co-op
- Julie ponders on How does homeschool co-op work? and shares three diferent ways that a co-op can run
- Hwee shares some thoughts on are there Our Co-op Experience.
- Savannah discusses The Ins and Outs of Co-Ops and asks "Why are you participating ?"
- Lucinda ponders The Pros and Cons of Joining a Homeschool Co-op with some tips on getting the benifits of a co-op even when joining one is not right for your family.
- Nicole says Yeah or Nay ? shares some tips on how to evaluate a co-op before you join.
- Erin notes that co-ops are not common in Australia and shares how she creates synergy.
Red Ants Teamwork Illustration Stock Image By SweetCrisis