How to Start Your Own Co-op!

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Have you looked around in your area and not been able to find a co-op group to join? Or have you found one but it doesn’t quite fit your needs? You may want to consider starting your own co-op and recruiting some like minded friends to help. A co-op group is not where parents drop their kids off and leave for several hours and it requires a lot of parent involvement. Parents will generally lead, assist, or at least be an extra pair of hands in classes.

Are you wondering how to start a co-op? Follow these simple tips and get started right away!

Co-ops can be a great addition to your current homeschool curriculum. They can give your child another avenue for socialization, a chance to learn something different than they may at home, and how to get along with other children and adults.

For adults it gives you an opportunity to develop friendships, interact with other children, and learn new methods and teaching styles.  If you have an already busy schedule a co-op may not be for you and made just add more stress.

Have a get together/playdate– with other moms and kids that may be interested in being involved in the co-op. You can gather people from your current friends, or advertise on church bulletin boards, local mom groups, etc..This serves several purposes- it will give the kids and parents a chance to interact and get to know one another.

Determine types of classes–  There is much to discuss regarding classes and here are some questions you may want to ask the group and decide right up front…

  1. Do you want structured or more relaxed?

  2. Will they be core subjects or electives?  

  3. How long will each class last?

  4. How many classes will you have?

  5. How long will the entire day be?

  6. How many teachers per class?

  7. Who will lead what?

  8. How often will you meet?

  9. Where will you meet at?

  10. Who is willing to lead a class? Assist?

  11. Are you going to charge? How Much?

  12. Will you have field trips, play dates, and mom only days?

Assign positions– Organized groups tend to work better when there is someone in charge or multiple someones in charge of different aspects of the group- leader, co-leaders, Treasurer, Lead teachers, etc.

Find a place to meet-Depending on the size of your group you may want to rotate to a different home each time, you may find an affordable space to rent in a church or community hall, or you can plan to meet at a park with tables and pavilions.

Be sure to include all age groups– Those will multiple ages will want to make sure all their children are included in the fun. Either you can include all age groups in each class making it very loose so all  can participate no matter what grade or level they are on or you can break it up , as I recommend into small age groups like- babies-2, preschoolers 3-4 years old, K-2nd, 3rd-5th, middle school, and high schoolers.

Create a private Facebook page– This is not a requirement but this is great place to share events, talk during the week, post reminders, share photos from co-op,  upload documents, and much more.

Remember that  co-op is not for everyone, you may lose some families along the way and that is okay.  You will not be able to please everyone or accommodate their schedules but it is important to hear everyone’s voice and respect their opinions.

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