If you are familiar with homeschooling, you will probably be familiar with co-ops. Co-ops are basically groups of families that come together, usually once a week, and pool the talents of the homeschooling parents to meet their kid’s educational needs.
In our co-op a gifted ESOL teacher teaches
Latin for all of our children. I am a lawyer, so I teach Logic and History. This year I will finally get to teach government! Another mom teaches art and a fourth, using Five In a Row for literature, occupies our little ones. Large tuition based co-ops like Classical Conversations (http://Classicalconversations.com) have become very popular, as have support group based co-ops. We joined a support group co-op last year to take advantage of beginning band class.
My mother discovered co-ops 30 years ago during the KONOS unit study days. I loved the American Indian units. We did such amazing projects. Once when we tried to authentically dip wax candles over an open fire, in a Colonial unit study, the wax caught fire and flames almost caught the live oaks near our house on fire. Good times. Not to worry, it was because mom used an old popcorn gift tin as a wax melting pot and a hole melted right into the bottom. Don’t try this at home.
We have seen quite a few co-ops come and go in our almost decade together. We have discovered a few guiding principles that keep our co-op families excited to tackle new challenges year after year.
Habits of Highly Happy Homeschool Co-ops:
If you are dragging through each week, then something needs an overhaul. Look for the best in your trying students. Give grace when a family cannot help out or has been flaky with attendance or assignments due to legitimate crisis. But do not hesitate to speak the truth in love if, after prayer, you see destructive patterns.
Enjoy the fellowship and talents of other homeschool families. Happy co-oping!
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