Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What is co-op?

Our co-op is a group of homeschooling families that get together to exchange teaching to glorify God and benefit each other's children, as well as our own children.

In order to participate we pay:
-$50 registration fee which covers all ink and supplies needed for co-op for the school year
-$ insurance fee -we use a church at no cost but we must have our own insurance (amount to be determined, but should be about $12 a person for the year.)
-for all the books our children need for each class
-any and all materials we need to teach our our own class (i.e. I teach preschool, so I provide the paint we use in class.)

In addition we must agree to teach a class or assistant in a class or with cleaning while our children are in class. I teach preschool while my boys are in History & Science. I will assist with Josh's Latin as well.

The benefits of our co-op are:
-children get socialization with other Christian children
-children benefit from knowledge I may lack
-worship time before classes start
-support group for homeschooling moms and dads
-children learn to work in groups and as a team (group projects, etc.)
-science lab (I could not possible get all that at home)
-getting a break from mom and siblings (if your siblings are in a different class)
-mom gets a break from her kids as well (unless she is teaching a class they are in)
-getting used to a routine (if you do not have one at home)

They are more as well, but I think you get the idea.

Our co-op meets at a church Tues. & Thur. from 10:15am-3:30pm.
The schedule is:
10:15-10:30-Worship and prayer time
10:30-12:00-History (children eat lunch in history)
12:00-12:30-children in rec / parents in meeting
2:30-3:30-Odyssey of the mind

I just wanted to share what our co-op is. But a co-op can be as simple as a playgroup or as complex as an entire school. Co-op just means all involved have say and are required to work in exchange for participation.

Are you involved in any co-ops? How do they work?



jersey girl said...

Nisha attended a Co-op nursery school in New Jersey. Every couple of weeks I had to go work in her class. I enjoyed it.

David was also in a co=op preschool. We had the option to pay extra if we didn't want to co=op. By that time, I had four kids, and felt that I would rather have the extra 4 hours a week he was away to have some personal time and time to get things done.

When my youngest was in preschool , I had to return to work to help support my growing family. fortunately I worked part-time and could help in their class room and go on field trips. I also helped other ways, teaching their religious ed class, helping out with scouts, etc. Not everyone is blessed with being able to stay home with their children, so as working moms, (although we are all working moms) you fit in the time as needed.

If you are blessed with a spouse who makes enought to support you and your childen, it could be a great opportunity. If you have to work, there are also other ways to participate in your childs education. As a high school teacher, I have seen great, well prepared home school children, and I have seen others who are lacking in some of the basic areas. But that is true of children educated in traditional schools.

If you can do it, and are not needed to work to support your family and your kids don't mind it, then go for it. I teach in an independent learning high school. By high school, and even in middle school, many kids don't want their parents to teach them anymore. My program is the next best thing to homeschooling and traditional school.

Becky R said...

Many of the homeschooling moms who are involved do work as well as homeschool and do co-op. We even have a few single moms like myself.

If God calls us to homeschool He makes a way for us to do so and provide some or all income our families need. Of course, like any job, it is not easy, but I think we all agree any way we can be involved in our kids educations is positive.

This should be the goal in every family. Even if it is offering to do one job a week for your child's teacher even if you have to volunteer in the class on your lunch break once a week. I think if every family did this even our worst schools in the US would be better. But I understand that is not always practical as of course we all need to pay our bills.

Parenting is such a hard balancing act!!!