This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op. This post is running concurrently on Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.
The homeschooling community is famous for co-ops! What are co-ops? They are simply families homeschooling together in some format (co-operating on education).
Homeschool co-ops take lots of formats:
- 2 families getting together to do fun learning activities
- Huge co-ops that have 50 families with structured studies
- 1 topic co-ops
- There’s not ONE right way to homeschool co-op
What are the benefits of homeschool co-ops?
- Experiencing other teacher’s styles, grading
- Responsibility of a group setting
- Fun of some subjects that are delightful in a group
- Downloading teaching of subjects mom doesn’t like to moms who do like them
Here’s how to start a homeschool co-op you and your teens will enjoy:
- Start with prayer together
- Clarify expectations and goals (believe us it will save LOTS of storm and stress later on). Decide the goals co-operatively. Your goals might look like:
- Aimed at middleschoolers and highschoolers that are science experiences and labs
- Aimed at mostly reading and writing projects for highschoolers
- Aimed for multi-subjects and multi-ages
- Aimed at multi-ages as field trips to historic sites
- And ENDLESS other goals
- Decide here you’ll meet
- Decide when you’ll meet
- How often
- Length of school year
- Choose class period lengths
- Will you have a hard start? (Do we wait for everyone to show up? Do we start right on time? This determines who teaches what.)
- What has God given us to work with?
- Moms’ interests, gifts and needs
- Teens’ interests, gifts and needs
- Determine the costs per family or student
- Facilities costs (even if you’re in someone’s home, there are expenses to the hosts)
- Course resources and materials
- What limitations are families experiencing?
- Clarify logistics
- Are set-up and clean-up chores assigned?
- Are moms only involved?
- Do teens help?
- Clarify whether there will be a lunch break
- How will that be organized
- Beware everyone using the microwave (there’s TOO long a line)
- Set group check-in times (evaluate yucks and yahoos of the co-op)
- Also set your own checkins with your teens and yourself
Also, check out these episodes:
- How to Start a Homeschool Organization, Interview with Carol Topp CPA
- Healthily Handling Homeschool Mean-Moms with Dr. Melanie Wilson
- Authoritative Guide to Homeschooling Co-ops for High School
- Ideas for elementary and middle school co-ops.
- For more practical planning tips for teaching homeschool co-ops, check out this post.
- How To Get Started Starting Things, Interview with Natalie Mack
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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 109: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op