After we began homeschooling, I looked in to our son attending a co-op. It seemed like a great way to get him involved with other children, give me a break and allow him to take subjects I didn’t feel qualified to teach. But was it really what we wanted?
After visiting with several different families that attended the co-op and participating in some of the activities with our group, we decided it wasn’t for us. Not because anything was wrong with participating in a co-op, but because it didn’t fit with our family. So how do you know if a co-op is right for you and your family? What questions should you ask?
5 Questions to Ask Before Joining a Co-op
- Why do you want to join? If you don’t know why you want to join a co-op, then chances are you don’t need one. If you’re just joining because everyone else is…then, you might want to do a little more research before you join. Co-op’s are a year-long commitment and they cost money, so don’t go into them lightly.
- Do you know the teachers? While I might not know each and every teacher, I want to make sure they are going to teach my child from a Christian worldview, should it be necessary. For example, Science. I do not want my child taught evolution, unless it is to show how Creation dispels the theory. I do think it is important for them to know both sides, but we are a Bible-believing family and choose to teach our children from that worldview.
- Do they offer the classes you need? This may seem like a strange question, but if they don’t offer classes you can’t teach at home, there really is no reason to spend the extra money. However, if they’re offering Trigonometry and math isn’t your strong suit, then it might be totally worth it. Make sure the classes they offer will benefit not only you, but your child.
- What is the benefit? What is the benefit of joining the co-op? Are you giving them the opportunity to take classes you couldn’t afford to teach on your own or aren’t qualified to teach? If not, you might need to make a Pro’s and Con’s list to see your reasons. Again, co-op’s are a year-long commitment that cost money – spend it wisely.
- Does it fit with your schedule? The nice thing about homeschooling is that we can be flexible with our days off and when we take trips. When you join a co-op, you are tied to their schedule, so be sure it fits with yours. This is one of the primary reasons we do not attend a co-op. We are a one-vehicle family and with my husband being a minister, there are things that come up at the last minute and our life gets shuffled around. It’s the life we believe God has led us to, so we just know that’s how it is.
Do you attend a co-op? Why or why not?