Guest Author - Alissa Moy
As a homeschool mom you have most likely been made aware of many great opportunities, one of which being joining a homeschool co-op. Short for a homeschool cooperative group, a homeschool co-op involves action on your part to participate fully. While there are some moms who join a group to attend a few field trips and events, those group members who choose the co-op classes usually need to contribute to the co-op. For example, in my homeschool group, Willow Creek Home Educators, members who wish to have their children participate in the co-op classes need to help out with the classes. Moms can teach, assist, or both. Joining a homeschool co-op with classes does not mean you get an afternoon to yourself! However, being a part of the co-op class environment can greatly enrich both yours and your homeschooler's lives.
If you are interested in joining a group that offers co-op classes, inquire within to learn about what expectations there will be for your participation. Some moms are shy, and they do not wish to teach a large group. That is fine! Other moms are pleased as punch to jump right in and teach, to a class with or even without their child. It takes many volunteers to make a co-op for homeschoolers work, and the benefits of these co-ops are amazing. First, your child gets to learn alongside his or her peers. Secondly, your child gets to learn from other caring and loving moms, thus experiencing a different teaching style.
Before joining a group with homeschool classes be sure you understand the environment you will be jumping into. By having your child take classes from other adult homeschool parents you are trusting them to teach your child to your standards. However, you cannot expect the teachers to teach exactly as you would. Look for a group and classes that offer an array of classes in accordance with your values. Many moms join a Christian co-op, and then complain when the classes being taught to their child are too Bible based. If you don't want a Christian curriculum being taught to your child join a group that fits your lifestyle, and vice versa.
Cooperative classes for homeschoolers can be extremely rewarding and valuable for both the children and their parents. Check the links section for a new and updated list of homeschool cooperative classes in your area!