Co-Ops, the Homeschool Support Group
by Mark-Elliot Finley, Exodus Contributor
Congratulations! You have made the jump to homeschooling! But now that you are in your groove with the new curriculum and schedule, you start to worry about your students’ social life. After all, your child is homeschooled and doesn’t see friends all that much. Is your student losing socialization skills? What about forming friend groups? Have you made a mistake deciding to homeschool your child?!
First off, trust your choice to homeschool, knowing you made the best decision for your family. And second, there is a great solution to these problems. Introducing homeschool co-ops! In this blog we will discuss what a co-op is, reasons they can help, and how to locate a co-op. Homeschool co-ops are a great addition to your life and can greatly improve the homeschooling experience!
What is a Co-Op?
Co-ops are homeschool families that meet together to reach for common goals. Goals can be academic, social, volunteer, and anything in between. Groups usually meet at schools, churches, or community centers, but depending on the size of the co-op, they can even meet at homes. Meetings range in frequency with some co-ops getting together weekly while others might meet only once a month. Meeting times are completely dependent on what works best for the families in the group.
That’s what’s great about co-ops! They are formed by local homeschool families who are looking for a sense of community. There are usually co-op group leaders who organize meeting times and locations, but these responsibilities can be shared amongst group members. Essentially, co-ops are shaped to the needs of the families within the group, making it an ideal support group for homeschool families.
What are the Benefits of Co-Ops?
Co-ops give homeschool students a place to socialize and meet other homeschoolers. Because homeschooling is so unique, students are tempted to see themselves as outsiders in comparison with other students in traditional schools. Co-ops are a great resource to bring together students from the same educational background and form a sense of community between students and families. Homeschoolers can build friendships and memories as they continue in their educational journey.
Co-ops are also great for parents looking to make connections with other homeschool families. Homeschooling can be difficult on parents, and sometimes it might seem like you are in it alone. Getting involved in a co-op gives you a community of other parents all in the same boat, allowing you to help one another. Parents can also exchange ideas and lesson plans, allowing you to get inspiration for some of your activities at home. Some parents even facilitate special lessons during co-op sessions to give their students a more enriching educational experience and learn something new!
How to Locate a Co-Op in my Area?
Many co-ops have Facebook groups based on location. You could also look at these two great resources to help you find homeschool co-ops near you: United States Homeschool Groups Resources and Support Groups and TheHomeSchoolMom’s List of Homeschool co-ops by state. There are tons of resources out there for your family as you continue on your homeschooling journey.
How Exodus Institute Can Help You?
Homeschooling can be exciting but also confusing if you don’t know where to start. Co-ops are great for support, but individual families are ultimately responsible for their children's education. If you are searching for a dependable online homeschooling program, look no further than Exodus Institute! We offer a fully accredited K-12 online program taught by certified Christian teachers ready to give your student the tools necessary to succeed in school and beyond. For more information on what we can offer your family, visit https://www.thinkexodus.org/.
Are you beginning your homeschool journey? Or maybe you're an experienced homeschooler. Either way, Exodus Institute can help! We have programs for families seeking a complete online school, or just supplemental lessons.
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