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After you have completed a homeschool search in your area and have a list of several that have passed your initial investigation, it is time to visit each location for an observation of how the co-op operates.
When you arrive, make a critical observation of the atmosphere, classroom work areas and the overall first impression you get when you walk into the door. Listen to your instincts as these will provide you with a valuable first impression; this priceless tool is something many people mistakenly overlook. As you are surveying the work areas, pay close attention to the teacher, including student interactions, whether he or she is enthusiastic, excited, engaged in learning. Or are the students bored and lacking in attention span?
It is fundamental that you keep in mind that this co-op is an extension of your goals within your own homeschool program, and you want to be sure that it fits with your personal goals. Watch the instructional style of the teachers working in the classroom of the co-op; is this a style and format that you want your children to be subjected too? As you observe the educational style of the teacher or teachers, keep in mind that your joining this particular co-op will enable these adults to have an influence on the academic opportunities presented to your child. Additionally, it is important to review the academic and social resources that are available within the classroom as well as any extra curricular programs available to co-op members.