Here are 5 perks and 3 pitfalls of homeschool co-op.
Learning co-ops are a great idea for homeschooling families- especially when you have kids of all ages. Here’s why:
1) It provides sparkle and a change-up from ordinary days
We have always loved our at-homeschool days, but we sure looked forward to the excitement of co-op days. One of my favorite things was our friend, Cindy, who brought a big pot of chicken noodle soup each week for everyone to share. She’s one good cook!
2) You get to hang out with your homeschool mom-friends
Each week, during lunch break, all the moms ate, chatted, and prayed. (In fact, sometimes the kids said that we prayed too long.) It was such wonderful bonding and support.
3) Your kids get to hang out with their homeschool kid-friends
My kids have life-long friends from our co-op. From early childhood to weddings, their shared life and learning experiences at co-op forged their friendships.
4) You can get a mom who likes it, to teach something you hate
I never enjoyed teaching art- but Cindy liked it. I never liked science, but Marilyn loved labs. Maureen, Allison, and Jette taught lit at various times and ages. My youngest’s favorite teacher of all time was his co-op teacher when he was 4 years old- Mrs. Haley. (She made fire truck cakes with the little ones and other awesome things- something you’d NEVER catch me doing.)
5) You can take some really memorable field trips together
Some field trips are most fun if you are taking them with your co-op friends. My kids loved re-enacting with their Pickett’s Charge and
jumping on the rocks at Devil’s Den when we went to Gettysburg together. We studied the underground railroad, too, and had the kids sneak through an underground railroad trail- all the while watching out for the scary slave-catcher, Marilyn. They still talk about running from her to this day.
Here are some pitfalls:
1) People are messy
We usually had co-op at Marilyn’s house. Although each mom had clean-up jobs, there was always leftover mess for her to clean up.
2) People are people
Sometimes we got to irritating each other. That’s life. The kids and the moms learned that friendship means toughing out good times and bad. It was worth it.
Our co-op grew. Eventually enough people wanted co-op that we merged with our local homeschool umbrella school for their group classes. These are wonderful, too.
What are your homeschool co-op memories and experiences?
Interested in starting a homeschool co-op? Download our FREE How to Start a Homeschool Co-op.