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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not much, What's a co-op with you?

Today was the last day of my kid's enrichment classes. This school year on Tuesdays my children were part of a program called G.I.F.T ( Godly Influenced Fine Arts Training). Though technically not a home school co-op, it gives home school families opportunities to study drama, music, art and other classes. The teachers are paid for their efforts and do an excellent job. My son studied chess and my daughter took a drawing/cartooning class.

A few weeks ago our home school co-op which meets on Mondays ended for the semester. This is a more typical home school co-op where the parents teach the courses. The cost was far less because the parents are only compensated for materials. It was my first semester in the co-op and we are looking forward to doing it again in the fall.

Let me take a minute and let you know why Home School co-ops work for me and give a few hints from my experience of how they can work for you.

1) I am able to have my kids taught subjects from teachers more skilled in those subjects than I am. I love art, but I am no artist. My children are and while I encourage them and work with them, they have in a short time exceeded my abilities. There are other parents at the co-op who are trained artists and able to guide my children farther than I could.

2) It gives me the ability to teach others, building my confidence and impacting more students. Through this semester I have realized that there is a lot that I can teach my children. Next fall I will be teaching classes about the Chronicles of Narnia and my children are looking forward to those classes.

Now here are some recommendations based on my experience:

A) If you have the opportunity to be involved in two cooperatives at the same time, don't do it. From Sunday to Tuesday it seems like we were always on the run. Sunday with church, Monday with co-op and AWANA and Tuesday with enrichment classes. It seems like we were all being run ragged. Next year we have decided to forego enrichment classes.

B) Keep up to date with your children's progress and requirements. There was many a week when I didn't find out about an assignment until we were in the van on the way to class. This is also true about school supplies! Sunday night at 10:00 is not the time to realize that your daughter needs more crayons.

So, that's why home school co-ops work for me. To see what works for others go to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

I now have a special announcement for any homeschooling families out there. If you have a good post about home schooling (perhaps your own experience with a co-op) do I have an opportunity for you!! That's right, next week I am hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling, right here at Home School Dad. If you would like to submit an article for next week's issue click here.

Next Time: You Must be Proud.


  1. I see you are a fellow Chicago-land homeschooler! I just started a website you might be interested in:
    I'll have to look for (or post a new one) a good homeschooling post from my blog for the carnival next week. Thanks for the reminder, I always forget!

  2. I'll definitely be submitting for your Carnival! Give me a few days to see what I come up with. I tend to submit on Sundays. :o)

    Peace and Laughter,

  3. If I ever homeschool (as I think about doing all the time), I will be coming for more advice. Thanks for the insights!

  4. Love your HSing tips! We'll be starting HS/preschool in August for our two little guys. Looking forward to delving into your great blog for more ideas! Thanks!!

  5. This is one of the few co-op, but not co-op groups that interested me too, this GIFT ! I like the different sort of groups, the groups that do frankly what I can not, or will not...
    great post once again !
    We couldn't join, because we keep on ADVENTURING!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hi. I was just surfing around some blogs, and I came across yours. It's pretty nifty and I'm really enjoying my stay here. I've bookmarked your site for daily visits, and I hope you'll visit me. I'd love to have you. :) Have a great day and I'll see you around the blogosphere. :)


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