Are you thinking of joining a homeschool co-op? What should you consider before you join?
Co-ops are formed by groups of homeschooling families where one parent is responsible for teaching the students one subject. So for example, the student may have 4 subjects that are taught by 4 different teachers. As a requirement, you would be required to teach a class or help out in someone else’s. There may be 2 or 3 terms in a year.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to joining a homeschool co-op, you must first look into what co-ops are available in your area. Are they secular or religious, this will also determine what kind of curricula they will be using so they should be in line with what you want for your family.
- Child gets to spend time working with another teacher and students
- You can outsource subjects you are not comfortable teaching
- Interaction with other students
- Group activities
- Your child gets exposed to other teaching methods and activities you may never had done yourself
- Must use curricula chosen by teacher
- Curricula may not suite your child
- Teacher’s teaching style may not suite your child
- dealing with unwanted behaviour from other students
- Time spent planning to teach other students
Co-ops will usually run one day of the week during the school year, depending on how long the day is, there may be breaks and snack times as well. The co-op may be as large as 20 families or a small one of 5. It works best if the families of the same mindset of what they hope the co-op will accomplish.
We’ve never belonged to a co-op as their schedule never worked with ours but I did organize a park day for a summer for a few families which was really fun. The kids get to play and you get to connect with other homeschooling mothers.
If you can’t find a co-op that suites your needs consider starting one of your own, you may be surprised at the number of other mothers who have thought the same thing. That way you get to decide how much academics are involved or if it would be fun enrichment classes instead.
Be sure to read the other posts in my series – Ultimate List of Homeschooling Questions.