What is a Homeschool Co-Op?

homeschool coop

 

What is a Homeschool Co-op?

Guest Post by Wani of Wani’s World

Whereas most homeschool moms (especially ones new to homeschooling) may not have had previous experience with homeschool co-ops, I have a the unique perspective of being a homeschool grad myself. So you may be wondering: What is a homeschool co-op? or What can I expect from a homeschool co-op?

As with any organized group, structure and rules vary from group to group. In general, however, homeschool co-ops are groups on homeschooling families who join together to enrich their homeschooling experience by learning from and with one another.

Often these groups will participate in field trips, sports, classes, etc. There are often mom’s night out activities and retreats to encourage and refresh us moms in the midst of our busy lives.

What I Like About Homeschool Co-op…

I enjoy meeting together and getting to know the other moms as well as finding out what curriculum that they have used, what activities they recommend for this age or that grade, etc. There is so much information out there it is hard to know what to use, so it is great to actually hear firsthand about homeschooling products and ideas.

My kids also have fun getting to play and learn with their friends in the homeschool co-op, and they also get to do activities that may be harder to do with just a kid or two at home.

 

How Our Homeschool Co-op Works…

In addition to field trips and Mom nights out, our homeschool co-op group meets together for classes. We meet on Thursday mornings for classes for six weeks in the fall and six weeks in the spring.

Our morning schedule is as follows:

9:00-9:15am – meet and greet
9:15-9:25am – worship songs and announcements then break into groups by age/grade
9:30am – session one
10:15am – session two
11:00am – session three
11:45am – gather together for lunch – or head to park if its nice

 

Early elementary ages rotate between the classroom they meet in and the indoor playground while older elementary kids have gym time with organized games. Because my kids are all younger, I do not have a lot of experience with the older grades.

Each homeschool co-op session is a different class. Each mom is assigned a class to teach or help in during each session. We find ways to use each mom’s unique talents and interests. We have had a variety of classes for all ages; ranging from stories and crafts to geography and German.

 

Personally, I think that joining a homeschool co-op is just one of many ways to enrich your family’s homeschool experience. There is so much we can learn from one another!

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25

 

About the Guest Author: Wani is a 30-something wife and mom to three cute kiddos (ages 6, 4 and 22 mos). When she is not homeschooling her oldest or running her younger two to developmental therapies, she likes to dabble in photography, scrapbooking, cooking and sewing. She blogs about all of the above at Wani’s World.

This post was first published March 2012. Updated 2018.

{Are YOU interested in being our next guest-poster? Be sure to check out our guest post submission guidelines for more information.}

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Click here for more helpful homeschooling resources:

How To Teach Your Child To Read

Thematic Units For Homeschooling

How To Homeschool Preschool

67 Fun Things To Teach Your Kids This Summer

 

20 Comments

  1. Anna –
    Often homeschoolers get connected with co-ops and other groups by association, just meeting other homeschoolers and making contacts that way. But you can also do searches online and there are certain websites that groups can have their info listed on for people to find them. Here are a few that allow you to search by state or region:
    http://localhs.com/map/
    http://www.home-school.com/groups/
    http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regional/Region.htm

    If all else fails you can always band together with a few other homeschool families and start your own homeschool co-op to meet your families’ needs! Hope this helps!

    1. The reason I asked is because I do not know any homeschooling families. I was homeschooled as a younger child and then moved to a different state. My only hope is to find a group online. :)

      1. Where are you located? Do any of your local libraries offer any kind of homeschool programs? THat might be a good way to meet other homeschool families. Another idea is if you attend a homeschool conference of some kind there might be resources for finding groups in your area. I hope you are able to make some connections. If you are in central Indiana let me know and we can meet up! ;-)

        1. Hi Wani–

          We are considering homeschooling our kids but I know zero about it. We live about 1.5 hours from Indy. Would you be available to meet up for lunch or coffee and discuss? Thanks!

  2. I attended a homeschool orientation a year back and they talked about co-ops. It was to address one parent’s concern with regard to the misconception that homeschooled children do not get to socialize because they are “stuck at home.” They discussed the same things you mentioned here which was really enlightening. Thanks for sharing this as there are many parents out there who may have the same incorrect notion.

  3. I think homeschooling is a wonderful experience. I’m a “retired” teacher and we homeschooled our daughter from middle school on. She has developmental delays and the public school was not working for her. I prepared the lesson plans while I still taught and my husband worked at home so he helped her with school work. I retired early so that I could be with her more and we had a great, wonderful, fun time learning together. She’s 21 and still talks about how much she loved being “homeschooled.” We connected through a County Homeschool group and also a church homeschool group. We met for bowling (and still do) and attended field trips which are cheaper with higher attendance. It was great being with other parents who have similar interests and goals for their kids. And many homeschoolers score very high on college entrance exams because their learning has been focused on their individual learning styles and abilities. Whew – what a long comment but I think homeschooling is GREAT!

  4. I love your post. It was very informative. We are starting a Homeschool Assiocation in our area. It was hard at first because we were new to homeschooling , and we did not know many like us. We were blessed to meet others like ourselves by joining a homeschoolers P.E. program. We are in the beginning steps of starting a co-op. The children and parents are so excited. Our organization is Mocha Scholars we now have a Facebook page . We are based in Georgia. Be blessed and thank you.

  5. Are there set requirements to start up your own homeschool co-op? Rules on how to manage the fees for classes? Insurance?

    I have been homeschooling for the last 5 years, but one of my homeschool co-ops is changing times which is going to make it impossible for me to take my daughter. So I am interested in setting up a new group.

    I work full time and the other thing I have found is that many of the homeschool co-ops require parents to stay during classes. For someone like me that is not possible.

    Any additional information would be appreciated.

  6. I am an elementary school teacher in MD, and I have my own children. I would love to start my own homeschool from my house and teach other children. Is this something that is allowed, and is there a need for this?

    Thanks!

    mandy

  7. im homescholing my daughter and she always says how she has no friends to hang out with or do activities with, i dont know what to do

    1. Hello Cassie
      My name is Ella and I am thinking about homeschooling my 4 th grader.
      She has been having some problems in public school and think this might be
      an option for me . You say your child is has no friends , have you reached out to
      Other moms in your area that might be homeschooling? They have a lot of activities at
      the library that might be available to you . I live in Aurora il , and looking for a group
      that I might be able to join . I hope your daughter finds friends , I know that can be
      Hard for a child as well as a parent. I wish you guys the very best of luck and
      God bless !

  8. Thanks for the great article! Any ideas on a good location for the co-op and also how was the fees/cost managed? Thanks!

  9. I love this. I wish I could set something like this up in my community. It literally feels like I’m one of the few who homeschool. This would have definitely been helpful to me in my first year and my son is not technically of school age yet being 3 years old.

  10. I plan on homeschooling my first child, and finding a group of somewhat like-minded homeschooling families is a big concern of mine. It is quite difficult to find homeschooling families who are actually well educated (reading this post, and the large number of errors and poor editing is not very comforting honestly…) and not entirely focused on bible study. I wonder if others have had this issue. Hopefully I will eventually meet some more worldly, globally-minded families in my area.

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