A few weeks ago, I wrote about the many different ways that you can socialize your homeschooled kids and I cited joining a homeschool co-op as one of your choices.
What is a co-op, anyway, and how do you know which one is the right fit for your Homeschool CEO family?
What is a Homeschool Co-op?
A Homeschool co-op is basically a group of families that come together to share in the education of their kids. They usually meet regularly for all sorts of reasons.
Aside from socialization, co-ops can provide your family with many benefits. Some of them include opportunities for group learning, extra-curricular activities, accountability, and shared expenses among others.
Not all homeschool co-ops are created equal though. Not all will be a good fit for your family especially since you, as the homeschool mom, are also running a business at the same time and may not have a lot of time to spare.
How, then, do you find "the ONE"?
What to Consider:
There are several things you may want to consider when looking for a co-op, such as:
- State Co-op Laws
States have their own homeschool laws and these vary. This is also the case when it comes to co-ops, so before you even search for one, it’s best to find out first what the laws are. Then once you find a potential co-op to join, make sure they’re following the laws of your state.
- Co-op Goals and Benefits
You most likely have goals for your homeschool. It’s important then for your co-op’s goals to align with yours or else it will not fulfill your needs at all and being part of the group will be useless to you.
Is it a co-op meant for extra-curricular activities? Are they more academic-focused? What activities do they organize for their members and what can you get from them? Ask yourself what you need out of the group, then see if the co-op will be able to meet those needs.
- Type of Co-op
Co-ops come in various types. There are those that are secular and those that are religious. There are also co-ops based on educational philosophies, such as Classical, Charlotte Mason, or Montessori. Some co-ops are very structured while others are more relaxed. You need to figure out which one of these is the best fit for your family.
- Location and Schedule of Meetings
Geography is definitely a huge consideration. It will not make sense for you to drive for hours just to reach the co-op’s location. Find out how often they meet up too and what the usual hours are.
As a Homeschool CEO, time is a valuable resource. You need to make sure that the co-op will not eat up the time you need to also run your business.
- Membership Requirements
Membership requirements vary. There are co-ops meant only for a certain age range. There are those that will require you to pay a membership fee.
Parent involvement can also be a requirement. Some co-ops require parents to take turns with the teaching, provide food, organize activities, etc. Ask yourself if you will be able to commit to the co-op requirements before signing up.
Introducing Homeschool CEO United
After doing all that research though, you might still find it difficult to find the right fit because of the lifestyle you lead as a Homeschool CEO family. That’s okay. Our family has had the same experience. That’s why I came up with the idea for Homeschool CEO and eventually the Homeschool CEO Society, which is our paid membership group.
I wanted to provide Homeschool CEO moms an opportunity to find their tribe and create authentic relationships with an awesome group of women who homeschool their kids while running their own successful businesses.
In the Homeschool CEO Society, we know that we are among a community that understands the unique needs of moms with businesses. However, I recently realized that the group is not just for moms too but for their families as well. Our kids can benefit too.
I thought it would be an awesome idea to provide our kids with a platform to find new friends from all over the world that they can relate to and learn alongside. So, I recently launched the Homeschool United, an international virtual co-op exclusively for kids Homeschool CEO Society members.
The key benefits of joining Homeschool United are as follows:
- Kids will get to see the same kids week after week for the entire school year, not like Outschool where you may only see your "classmate" one time and then never again.
- Connect with kids that get what it's like growing up in an entrepreneurial family.
- Finally a co-op that is convenient, doesn't require parent volunteer hours, and has a mix of live and pre-recorded lessons.
Cost is FREE! Homeschool United is just one of the free perks for members of the Homeschool CEO Society - the only mastermind membership exclusively for entrepreneurs who homeschool. Where else can you grow your business and homeschool heart, all while having your kids entertained for up to 10 hours per week?