How to Start a Homeschool Co-op
Learning how to start a homeschool co-op is a great way to establish a co-op in your area if there isn't one already. There are a few things you can keep in mind when learning how to start a homeschool co-op in your area including location, scheduling and how to attract other families and students.
First, when you are looking to find out how to start a Homeschool Co-op, it is important to know where to start and what you will need to get going. If you are a homeschooling family and you want to take your expertise and thoughts on homeschool to your neighbors and other local homeschooling families, a co-op is a great place to start.
How To Start a Homeschool Co-op:
Determine your location. First, it is important to have a localized meeting place or somewhere large enough where classes can take place. There are many options for this including your own home if it is large enough, a church, community center, etc. Once you figure out how large your space is can help you determine how many families will have room enough to join your homeschool co-op.
Next, it is important to determine what kind of homeschool co-op you want to have. For some, this might be more of a religious education. Others might want more of a focus on certain age groups or subject matter. You can go ahead and write down the goals and expectations of your homeschool co-op to help everyone know and understand how the co-op will run and what the primary focus will be.
You can next advertise or spread the word about your homeschool co-op. This is a great way to get the word out to other like-minded families that also homeschool their children. Advertising can take place through flyers, online, or running an ad in the local newspaper. Make sure the type of co-op you are organizing is mentioned, and that you plan to screen all applicants before admittance. You might also want to mention that space is limited, and applicants will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis.
After you have spoken and met with some of the other local homeschooling families that you are considering adding to your homeschool co-op, sit down and discuss educational philosophies, where there focus on education is directed and what they hope to get out of joining the local homeschool co-op. This can help you narrow down the families you would like to admit into your homeschool co-op. Once you have put together the group of applicants you are planning to work with, it is a good idea to meet again with the group as a whole or once again, in a one-on-one setting. This will help everyone get to know each other.
From here, it is important to immediately set up a schedule dependent about the ages of the students as well as the subject matter. Choose which parents will cover which subjects. You can talk about which family is in charge of what, which supplies are the most necessary, etc. It is also important to have a set of policies in place for your co-op so that the rules are consistently followed to help minimize drama.
Advantages of Starting Your Own Homeschool Co-op:
There are quite a few advantages to starting a homeschool co-op or to joining one in you area. Keep in mind that it is still going to require much parental involvement, but you are going to be able get the benefit of sharing homeschool supplies as well as knowledge with other parents. If another parent in the co-op is more well-versed in the areas of science, this would be a great time to focus your knowledge in another area and make sure your student is getting the best out of their educational experience. Giving homeschool co-op a try is a great way to also increase the socialization that your children might miss out on somewhat otherwise as well. There are many benefits of adding a homeschool co-op to your homeschool agenda.