The first year we home schooled we participated in a co-op in which each parent was required to offer at least one class or arrange one field trip during a three month period of time. A class was a one time commitment usually lasting between two to three hours on any topic chosen. Offering a class allowed the family to participate in as many or few classes and field trips offered by others. Some we attended were making African drums, fairy story and garden creation, and making and playing with slime.
The second co-op we were involved in was when my oldest was six years old. She attended a Montessori school on Fridays. They did art, gym and music in the morning and special topics such as the Iditarod and Israel in the afternoon. The program was run by the school and parents did not participate at all.
Currently we participate in a history co-op with three other families. We study one ancient civilization through a weekly activity. The kids do writing assignments associated with the lesson and present their work the following week. Each family is responsible for planning one-third of the lessons.
I have learned many things participating in co-op.
- It's easy to sign-up for everything leaving little time left over for book learning at home. Now I make it a point to spend the morning hours at home doing school work.
- Spending time at co-op lessens the control parents have over the curriculum. If the subjects are interesting to the children, they are learning and the parents are happy with the topics it's probably a good fit.
- If the lessons are random and there are too many participants it may not be worth the time.
- Learning from others who are passionate about a subject can be very inspiring.
- Families are exposed to interesting topics and different teaching methods.
- Seeing the same families each week builds friendships and creates a sense of community.
Chareen at Every Bed of Roses - Together Everyone Learns More
Bernadette at Barefoot Hippie Girl - Beneficial Cooperation
Savannah at Hammock Tracks - The Ins and Outs of Co-op
Hwee at The Tiger Chronicle - Our Co-op Experience
Lucinda at Navigating by Joy - The Pros and Cons of Joining a Co-op
Erin at Seven Little Australians - Co-ops are not Common in Australia
Nicole at One Magnificent Obsession - How to evaluate if co-op is right for your family.
Here are some of the earlier Homeschool Help Series posts. To see the rest of the posts and future topics please visit our Resources Page.
March 19 - Daily Schedule
March 26 - Book Recommendations for New Homeschoolers
April 2 - Handling House Cleaning and Homeschooling
April 9 - Parenting - How can I get some alone time?
April 16 - Free Resources
April 23 - Math...... All About Math
This post is linked to:
Hip Homeschool Hop
Cheerios and Lattes
Works for Me Wednesday