What is a co-op? A co-op is simply a group of two or more families meeting together to share their collective efforts in teaching their children.
Co-ops can range anywhere from adding socialization and hands on activities to your children’s education to a reflection of a strict private school and everything in between.
Often you personal experiences in your past as well as your desire for your kids future, have part in shaping your idea of what a successful education for your children should look like, to include a homeschool co-op.
For us, being part of a personal co-op has enhanced our academic studies, but more importantly allowed my children to learn alongside others, as well as learn to develop their own ability to think as they are introduced to different views as well as different ways of working through problems. With each teacher specializing in one field, it has greatly enhanced studies in fields that often fall short. It has allowed my children to gain confidence in standing firm on their believes as they are encouraged and shaped by other strong believers.
Here are 8 TIPS to consider before you start or join a co-op
- Pray for direction in making a decision on whether to move forward as well as God’s leading as He brings together families of same values and commitment.
- Don’t rush it…wait on God’s leading! He may be guiding you towards a co-op but He may lead your family towards a year of peace and quiet
- Develop and understand your purpose for building or joining a co-op Socialization and fun, extra curricular activities or in depth studies of a specific subject
- Define expectations Refreshing midweek break or high level of additional academics
- Define Structure Scheduled classes or flexibility, homework assignments and deadlines or no required additional work
- Extend grace We are all human and have our strength and weaknesses, this includes our very own self;)
- Develop a culture in which you can openly encourage, share and develop new ideas, but also address problems Problems will arise, it is inevitable: It may be the students not participating, parents expectations not being met and everything in between. If we have the ability to openly share in love, only then can a co-op succeed
- Continue to prayerfully give your co-op into God’s hands