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Is a Home-school Co-op The Right Choice For Your Family?

By: Krystle Crossman

When you home-school your child you can choose to teach at home by yourself or you can join a co-op. A home-school co-op is when the parents all form a group and help to teach classes together to take some of the pressure off of each other from having to teach every day. Co-ops are great places to get ideas from other parents and to learn new things about home-schooling that you may not have known, but it has its ups and downs.

Here are some of the great things about a co-op:

– You get to go on group field trips together
– If you are not great at one subject, one of the other parents probably is and you can fill in the gaps for each other
– If your co-op is part of a state group the dues go to legal support should it be needed.
– Your kids get to spend time with other kids and make new friends
– You can connect with different resources in your town
– The meetings are usually at a set time so it can keep with the tone of a family schedule

Some of the challenges of doing co-op home-schooling are:

– If your child is introverted a co-op may be hard for them as it is a large group of people that they will be around
– With being around so many different people your “bubble” will be broken. You will be opened up to a host of different experiences and may end up getting pulled into new things (which isn’t always a bad thing!).
– It is a commitment to be in a co-op group. Everyone has to be willing to commit to the co-op in order for it to work right.

If you think that this may be the right thing for you and your family, here are some other things to consider:

– Costs can vary depending on the co-op and the materials used
– They are based on a structure so it may end up being a lot like a public school
– Some of the co-ops are based upon a certain religion so make sure you do your research beforehand.
– Co-ops are not for everyone. Their teaching style may be different than what your child needs in order to learn more efficiently
– Being in a co-op means you need to be really involved and have a lot of spare time to dedicate to the group

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