Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why join a Homeschool Co-Op?

I believe that there are several reasons that education cooperatives are very important in the development of the homeschooled child and the parent.

Benefits to the parent:

It allows you to network with other parents who are doing and have done what you are trying to accomplish. You can learn a lot from them and always have a group to ask questions of.

The coop can give you an extra opportunity to see adults. Many homeschool parents do not work outside the home and find it isolating.

There are some courses that your child needs that you don't have a clue about. There may be another parent teaching something that you don't want to attempt and your child gets the lesson which is the most important thing.

Benefits to the child:

Many children miss "going to school". But it is the structure and predictablility that they are often missing. The co-op we attended had 4 instructional hours so my daughter got to change classes. Plus she got to pack a lunch and experience the "cafeteria".

Allows your child to find some same age and same gender friends. All the children in our neighborhood are 2-3 years older than my daughter and my friends with children her age are all boys. We haven't found a compatible friend yet, but the vehicle is there.

Some children lack other adult guidance and instruction. The co-op lets them learn to take instruction from people other than you.

Helped build her immune system. My daughter was not exposed to many outside germs and communicable disease like the common cold, flu, etc The first 2 weeks of co-op she had sniffles. But soon her body adapted and she broke the cold and never had another one.

There may be something that you need a group for such as a special class. I approached our Black history museum about a daytime class and the curator said sure, but we needed to have a minimum number in attendance to do it. I found other parents from the coop to join us.

Next in the series:
Part II: How to choose the right Co-Op

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