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Homeschool Coops

 
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madeaux
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Joined: 23 Mar 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Homeschool Coops Reply with quote

I am seriously considering homeschooling my daughter for middle school. She is very social and I would love to work together with a few other families to make homeschooling easier for us all and to give the children more variety in perspectives and styles. I don't want to reinvent the wheel, so I'm wondering if any veteran homeschooling parents have done a small coop like this. If so, what structure do you use to keep things operating smoothly? What are the main benefits and challenges?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Mado
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hscoach
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Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 345

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Challenges:

-Teachers are absent due to sickness
-Teachers showing up late
-Discipline problems with younger children
-Teens 'hanging out' and not going to their classes

I'm sure there are many more challenges.

Benefits:

-Your child will make friends with other homeschoolers.
-You make friends with other moms.
-Your child will have the benefit of having lots of teachers (not just you).
-Your teen can ask those teachers to write letters of reference for jobs and college or scholarship applications.
-Some things are just more enjoyable when you do them in a group setting.
-Other moms may be expert in certain subjects and that can benefit your child. (for example, a mom might have graduated from college with a degree in science and she will teach biology to the teens; science may not be your strong point)
-It's fun!

Some thoughts on operating smoothly:

-Make sure you have rules. I have been involved with co-ops that have essentially no rules (which is a safety issue) and I've been involved with co-ops that have too many rules (which is no fun for anyone). I think there can be a good in-between.
-Make sure each teacher has one or two assistant teachers.
-Have an opening assembly for announcements, etc.
-Be sure that each teacher takes attendance and turns it in. (safety issue.........make sure every child is accounted for)
-Make a rule that every mom helps in some way. (exception: Moms who are brand new to the co-op - the first semester they attend - are not required to help.) Some moms will want to teach. Some will want to be assistants. Others can do jobs like cleaning.

I may be referring to ideas that only apply to a little bit larger co-op. I think the smaller your co-op is, the less rules you need. You can be more laid back. I have done a small co-op and we were that way; it was very enjoyable.

Here is a link for a book:

http://www.amazon.com/Homeschool-Co-ops-Start-Them-Burn/dp/1593305338
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Laura L. Barth
http://www.freehomeschooladvice.com
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madeaux
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Joined: 23 Mar 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Laura!
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Theodore
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These past articles from Practical Homeschooling may be helpful:

http://www.home-school.com/Articles/how-to-start-a-music-co-op.html
http://www.home-school.com/Articles/raising-great-communicators-the-co-op-way.html
http://www.home-school.com/Articles/the-key-to-exceptional-co-op-days.html
http://www.home-school.com/Articles/choosing-a-homeschool-co-op.html
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