HOW TO BEGIN A HOMESCHOOL CO-OP Part II
This is a 2-part guest blog post written by Carreen Schroeder from newyorkadventuresinhomeschooling.com.
Welcome back! In How To Begin a Homeschooling Co-op Part II, I will share concrete examples of homeschooling co-op scheduling, including full and half-day options.
Part II: Homeschooling Co-op Samples
Here are two examples of homeschooling co-ops you can use, but you may come up with a completely different plan based on your family’s and your community’s interests. Also, keep in mind that if you have a background in a certain discipline, you may decide to teach your own classes from the comfort of your home. One of the greatest advantages to homeschooling is flexibility so spend some time considering the very best, most convenient scheduling and approach for you to use when establishing your co-op:
Homeschooling Co-op at Various Locations
Monday – Friday, either mornings or afternoons. If you decide to combine two classes/subjects each day, schedule a minimum of a 2-hour time frame, possibly 3. This will allow for discussions and breaks in between the two classes. A 9 a.m. – noon time frame seems to be popular among homeschooling families as it keeps every afternoon wide open.
- Mondays – Art Classes at the local Art Gallery
- Tuesdays – Physical Education and Swimming Classes at the YMCA
- Wednesdays – Science Classes at the science museum/nature reserve (dependent on weather, season, and programming availability)
- Thursdays – Music/Theatre Classes – at the local non-profit theatre, dance, music centers in your city
- Fridays – Reading/Writing/Spelling/ELA/Research at the local library
As many homeschooling families value their free time, you may wish to tweak this and consider running the program once or twice or three times a week as opposed to every day. Instead of just mornings, you can have full days and combine two or three classes per day.
The idea is to keep the programming flexible and central to one city so that everyone interested in your co-op feels that they can comfortably and conveniently enrol in the classes without travelling all over the place. You can decide to run this co-op in 4 week segments, quarterly segments, semesters, or for the entire school year. It really depends on what works best for your family and the families interested in registering. The secret is to be flexible to try to accommodate the needs of the majority.
Homeschooling Co-op At One Central Location
I am willing to gamble that there are institutions, buildings, centers, etc…, that would be very happy to either donate space or charge a nominal fee for rental space, that you can use to run a homeschooling co-op. If you have the space and it is convenient for you to do so, you can even use your very own home as a weekly co-op location. The benefit here of course, is that the co-op families are travelling to one location, saving time, gas money, and headaches! There are classrooms in your local libraries, space available in museum education centers, YMCAs, and several non-profit educational centers that would love to partner with you. Do some research, make a list and start connecting. You’ll be amazed at what you find.
You can either connect with other homeschooling parents and share teaching depending on background and interests, or if you have an educational background like I do, you can run the co-op on your own. This is the route I plan on taking next year and my schedule will be somewhat like this:
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. from September through to April:
- Monday – Language – English and French
English Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Spelling, Research, Public Speaking, and Conversational French
- Tuesday – Science/Mathematics
Chemistry/Physical Science, Biology/Life Science, Environmental/Earth Science, Matter and Energy, Structures and Mechanisms
Number Sense and Numeration, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Probability, Data/Graphing
- Wednesday – Art/Physical Education
Painting, Drawing, Pen and Ink, Jewelry Making, 3-D Imagery/Sculpting, Study of historical and contemporary artists
Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Track and Field/Long Distance Running, Strength Training, Endurance, Yoga, Pilates
- Thursday – Social Studies/Geography and History
Global, National, Local – Mapping Skills, Community Awareness, Community Service and Social Responsibility, Project and Research-Based, Economy, Politics
- Friday – Educational Trips
Visit Nature Reserves, Museums, Art Galleries, Amusement and Recreational Parks, Art Centers, Films and Theatres, Sports Events, etc…
I am working with the local 4H, a local non-profit music, art, and dance school, local nature reserves, our main library, our local zoo, art galleries and museums to bring to life, a high-quality, educational and entertaining homeschooling co-op for children of all ages and I am very excited about the challenges that lie ahead! I have two central locations in mind to running weekly programs and am eager to initiate the planning stages.