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The Top 10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-op

Is a collaborative group right for your family?

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

August 20, 2014 - 7:00 am
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Now that we’re quickly approaching the end of summer, many homeschooling families are making decisions about how they plan to educate their children over the coming months. In the early years of the homeschooling movement there were few options for parents. While many families belonged to support groups and there were plenty of books and magazines that offered information and support, most families handled the actual homeschooling duties completely on their own.

These days, there are countless options for families that desire to reach outside of their individual homes for educational options. There are online classes, community classes and activities, early college options, and a wide range of athletic and extracurricular activities. Perhaps the most significant change in the homeschooling movement has been the development of homeschool co-ops. Ranging from informal playgroups to formal classes that resemble private schools, co-ops offer a variety of opportunities for families wishing to expand learning opportunities for their children.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-op:

Top Rated Comments   
I taught writing at a co-op for four years, along with poetry, Shakespeare, art history, and critical thinking. My students were ages twelve and up. When I stopped teaching a couple of moms were MAD because they had been looking forward to having me teach their younger kids to write as I has the older ones. It isn't that they couldn't get the job done, it was that the kids didn't want to disappoint me, or do poorly in front of their co-op peers. For some of my students, it was their first time working with deadlines.

I hate to say it, but my worst and least motivated students were those that had recently left public school, and hadn't decompressed.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (8)
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Accountability really matters. I teach at a community college. One student last semester, having flubbed her first history research paper, admitted that she had been home-schooled, and had never wriiten an essay.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I taught writing at a co-op for four years, along with poetry, Shakespeare, art history, and critical thinking. My students were ages twelve and up. When I stopped teaching a couple of moms were MAD because they had been looking forward to having me teach their younger kids to write as I has the older ones. It isn't that they couldn't get the job done, it was that the kids didn't want to disappoint me, or do poorly in front of their co-op peers. For some of my students, it was their first time working with deadlines.

I hate to say it, but my worst and least motivated students were those that had recently left public school, and hadn't decompressed.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Could they have successfully navigated their first day of college at age 18 without having ever done any of these things? Of course."

If you have taught your children basic manners, and proper respect for authority, they can walk into their first EVER class at the college level, and do JUST FINE.

It's really not that hard.

9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget the mix-n-match approach. It's not a choice between co-ops and doing it yourself. You can do both. Don't think you can teach calculus? Hey, that co-op has a dad with a PhD in physics who is teaching it this semester. Great. Oh, you were an English major? Yeah, maybe you should teach English yourself at home.

One of the great things about homeschooling is the FLEXIBILITY.



9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I started homeschooling in the "80's and had the benefit of an excellent group of about 100 families. We collaborated on field trips and shared our expertise and training with one another. I highly recommend that approach.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All very good points. All of my bad experiences with homeschool families would likely have been addressed in a co-op situation. Ultimately so many of the problems I have observed have been due simply to isolation of the children and family from people outside the family. Though occasionally that is the POINT of a family homeschooling, which is often what anti-homeschoolers envision.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I first became aware of homeschooling in 1978 when a friend of mine and his wife started to home school their kids. He was a MIT physics post-Doctoral researcher. I remarked at the time that while he might have the education to do it, an average single mom with a 6th grade education couldn't. He replied that the texts and guides were structured so an uneducated single person could both teach their children and themselves as well. He was right. And his kids turned out great and successful as well.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a reason school teachers in early America were 18 year old high school graduates: it's not that hard.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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