Homeschool co-op is a term that my children love to hear around our home! It means new friends and fun activites. Co-op can differ from city to city, so I am going to explain about the different types of co-op’s that we have attended.
Co-op’s are also called cooperatives because the main goal is for families to come together with a common purpose and goal to educate your/our children, everyone is expected to volunteer and have an active a role in the co-op.
Regular co-op’s are usually volunteer driven and are held one or two days a week. They are not drop off programs. The parents are usually required to stay and teach a class for the co-op or help in an administrative way. These are usually all day, and teach core classes along with extracurricular ones as well.
There are drop off co-op’s as well, fees are associated with these and the parents do not have to stay.
We have taken part in both of these types of co-op’s that I have describe above. I am sharing with you our experience and what we are currently doing for co-op during the 2015-2016 school year.
All day Co-op:
All day co-op is exactly what it states. You usually arrive about 9 a.m. one or two days a week at a local church or other facility that the co-op has leased or given access to. We first signed up co-op when I was 7 months pregnant with baby#4, that probably was not the best idea on my part, but my kids were begging to go, so I signed us up. The fee was about $125 for both children one day a week. The semesters are around 12 weeks long. We went from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This pregnant mom was wore out!
You have the ability to sign your children up for different classes that are parent taught. Some of those classes are core curriculum classes or extracurricular. They will ask you if you want to teach something to help volunteer, this is how they are able to keep the fees/costs low. The children will arrive for their co-op day and switch classes like a regular school. Most co-op’s offer programs from 6 weeks and up. These are usually very family focused and driven.
This is the co-op choice for our 2015-2016 school year.
In our area there are a few drop off co-op’s, these are my favorite. I can sign my children up ( just middle school for now ) and drop them off for a few hours one day a week in the evening and they attend classes. The cost for us was $120 for the first child and then $100 for our second. The semester is about 18 weeks long. These are parent taught or paid teachers that teach the classes. The classes again are core or extracurricular.
This year my 8th grader signed up for Home Economics with cooking, and Drama. My 6th grader signed up for 6/7 Math and P.E. They are able to go and see their friends, learn new skills, and give this mamma a break.
While they are in class my Kindergartner and I will go to the Chick-fil-A across the street, I will let her play or finish school work for the day, while I get some work done myself, like writing blog posts.
As of now there is not a drop off for children in grades below 6th.
We have never attended a cottage school, but I have researched some in our area. These are a great alternative to traditional school, and for those who cannot homeschool everyday due to schedules. There are programs where your student will attend 2 to 3 days a week learning core curriculum, that you will in turn finish teaching on the days they are not attending the school. The fees are usually much more than a co-op. There are various cottage schools that are run by private christian schools, most of the time your child will do school next to regular students that attend that school full time.
I encourage you to research the different types of co-op’s in your area and decide which works best for your schedule and family. Co-op’s may help close the gaps in areas where your child may be struggling, they also help “socialize” your children.
The word “socialize” still makes me laugh.
Do you attend co-op?
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