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If your child struggles with meeting his elementary homeschool program reading requirements connecting the child with a homeschool co-op that provides reading clubs can do much in the motivation department. A child who sees other children working through assignments will be more apt to buckle down on their own.
In a general homeschool co-op, single families share their academic goals, morals, religious beliefs and social behaviors. The children learn similar belief and social structures from observation and interaction with the different members of the co-op.
In a co-op, parents often gather together to evaluate and share their special skills with one another and the children; each of these skills makes its way into the curriculum to benefit the academic life skills program for the students. As the parents work together, combining effort and personal skills, the end project is always focused upon the success of the whole unit.
In one type of homeschool co-op, one parent handles a group of learners for a lesson or group of lessons. In this format, another parent may provide academic assistance for the learner, but most students are left on site by a parent who returns later to pick the student up. A classroom co-op is a more combined effort of all the parents involved, where the parents remain on site and take turns giving lessons to a group of students, each taking an equal part in the lesson and training on any meeting date. These two basic models of a homeschool co-op are certainly not the only ways a homeschool co-op might be constructed. Rather, they are both very basic models that can be used to compare or base your own co-op structure.
If you do not have a homeschool co-op in your area, you can start one. Here is a general list of what you will have to do to get a homeschool co-op started in your area:
A homeschool co-op has many advantages for a parent who is teaching an elementary homeschool program. Here are just a few:
Homeschooling families do not have to join co-ops. It is purely by choice whether you join one. Homeschool co-ops in themselves are positive groups which help to promote learning and friendships. However, there are reasons why your family may not be good candidates for homeschooling co-op programs.
Not all homeschool co-ops are created equal. Keep in mind when you are searching out a homeschool co-op that they are not in the "public" sector. Be careful when joining a co-op. Make sure you agree with its philosophy on learning, religion, etc. If you happen to join a homeschool co-op and have a bad experience, do not let it keep you from trying again. There are quality homeschool co-op programs out there they may just take a while to rise to the surface.
A homeschool co-op program is a group of homeschooling families who come together to share the teaching and learning experience. Co-ops generally meet once a week. The general setup of a co-op program will involve one parent who is proficient in math teaching a math class with students. Another parent who is proficient in writing or science may hold a writing or science class for the students and so on. Homeschool co-ops are a wonderful outlet for parents who may not feel they are up-to-par on particular subjects. It is also fun for the children because they can be around their peers. Homeschool co-op programs work very well for any age group.
Homeschool co-ops come in made different shapes, sizes and styles. They can also provide more than just outlets for academic learning. Homeschool co-ops may participate in field trips, plays, sporting events and other activities which the group approves.
It is important to join a homeschool co-op where the parenting styles, worldviews and educational philosophies are similar to your own. Consider the dynamics of the group and ask for a list of their policies, procedures and rules. For instance, you may not want to join a homeschool co-op program which promotes Christianity and has a statement of faith if you are an atheist.
You should also choose a homeschool co-op where your children will be able to socialize with children of the same age and interests. If you have boys and the group mainly has girls, your boys may not feel comfortable. Likewise, if you have middle school aged children and the group is mainly young elementary children, your older children may not be happy in the program.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|