How to Homeschool your Child in Cooperatives
Even if you only been involved in homeschooling for a short period of time, it’s quite probable that you’ve participated in a homeschooling cooperative of some kind. What are homeschooling cooperatives? If you’re just trying to figure out how to homeschool your child, are these right for you?
Homeschooling cooperatives are a group effort. If in a group of homeschooled children, one of the mothers or fathers has a degree in mathematics, they take care of a weekly class in that subject. A mother with a degree in writing can take classes in that subject. Some cooperatives are simple affairs with just one or two classes; others are really large scale operations with parents coming in to teach children from all over for every kind of class right from kindergarten to high school. So what you do if there is no homeschool cooperative in your area? You would be surprised how resourceful and eager-to-network, homeschooling parents can be. All you need to do is bring the matter up with a few homeschooling parents. This should set the ball rolling right there.
To form your cooperative, you probably want like-minded parents on board. They should all have about the same ideas as you on how to homeschool children. If for instance, you believe you couldn’t be happy with a staid, completely regular teaching style, if you would rather things were creative and “outside the box”, you want other parents in on your cooperative, who think the way you do. If you want parents who are thoroughly interested in the idea of pooling their expertise together for cooperative homeschooling, you want to make sure that you keep out the parents who merely want to use such an activity as a way to get their children off their hands for a while.
You probably want to start small. When you send out invitations to homeschooling parents in the area, make sure that you mention exactly how many openings there are. You do want to remember that homeschooling is about learning with personalized attention. You are not trying to create a whole private school system right at home, now are you? About the first rule you want in place learning how to homeschool in a cooperative environment is thatyou should have all parents remaining with their children for the entire duration of every class. The parent who’s doing the teaching isn’t a teacher per se. They are not to be responsible for discipline all around. That would be the responsibility of the parents who bring the child.
Make sure that each parent brings school supplies of food for their child. Any other chores there are, setting up the homeschool cooperative class, other parents must be willing to chip in for. And then of course there is the whole matter of how much to collect in fees for the activity. If you are doing all the organizing, your time is worth something. You’ll also have to buy a few materials and free up your home for this. You’ll have to decide how much to collect and fees; but as a general rule, it’s supposed to be low.