Homeschooling can be hard. Really hard. What once seemed like an exciting adventure may now leave you feeling isolated, drained or unsure of yourself. If you’ve ever felt this way, it may be time to consider a homeschool co-op.
What is a Homeschool Co-Op?
A co-op is short for “cooperative,” and brings homeschool families together for a common purpose. A co-op can focus on academics, arts, socialization and more. Co-ops provide a forum for like-minded homeschoolers to share interests and enhance education.
Co-ops are typically local or regional. They may meet at someone’s home, the local library, church or a community center. Teachers may be paid instructors or parent volunteers. The co-op may collect a fee for supplies or building costs, depending on the specific situation.
Why Join A Co-Op?
Large Group Instruction
A co-op offers some great benefits. One is the chance to learn in a large group or “classroom” setting. Younger children can learn basic skills like taking turns or sharing. Older students can practice life skills like public speaking or collaboration on projects.
Co-ops allow for shared expenses for equipment and other resources. This may include classroom materials, meeting space or even an instructor.
Homeschool co-ops give access to enrichment that may not be available in the home. Advanced academic instruction, arts programs, foreign languages and more may be available.
How Do I Find A Co-Op?
Google it! Sites like Homeschool-life.com or The Homeschool Mom will help you find a co-op that meets your needs in your area. Co-ops can be found in nearly every region of the U.S. where families homeschool.
You don’t have to go it alone. Co-ops offer enrichment and resources to homeschoolers looking for a helping hand. Do a little homework and find out if a co-op makes sense for your family!