The more I’ve shared about our plans to home educate in the fall, the more I’ve heard, “YOU’VE GOTTA FIND A GOOD CO-OP!”
I’ve heard of farming co-ops and housing co-ops, but homeschooling co-ops were new to me. So I took to the internet to read up on them a bit and see if there were any offered in our new town.
A homeschool co-op is a group of families who meet together once a week (sometimes less, sometimes more), and work cooperatively to achieve common goals. They can be organized around academics, social time, the arts, service work, projects – or a combination of these, and they may meet in homes, churches, libraries, or community centers. The children in these co-ops typically do most of their learning outside of the co-op, but it’s one more experience that builds their knowledge and provides them with a chance to be with friends and do something interesting.
With us moving to a new state and not knowing any other homeschooling families yet, I’ve been working really hard to find enrichment opportunities for the kids (and myself as a new homeschooling parent). After some narrowing down, we applied to a co-op last month and were put on their wait list. I was so excited last week when we got word that our application had been accepted and we were all set to register.
Since the co-op will be an enrichment and social experience and not the bulk of their academic learning (although they do offer these types of classes), I wanted them to choose their own classes based on what sparked their interests. Baby B is also enrolled in preschool-age classes (fun!) and I was required to sign up for a few jobs within the co-op for my contribution, so we’ll all be involved and have the opportunity to participate for 3 hours, one day a week.
Some examples of the age-level classes that the kids chose are: Brain Busters (math games), Book Club, sensory play, Middle-Ages history, PE (outdoor games), art and poetry. They’ll also be eating lunch and attending chapel with their friends.
I’m really looking forward to this experience (for them – and for me!), and grateful to all of the homeschooling families who shared what a co-op was and why we should join one!