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Once you have narrowed your search down to two or three possible homeschool co-ops that match your personal goals, it is time to meet with each co-op director to establish the educational format, goals and requirements for membership. Get as many detailed program descriptions in writing, as these documents will insure that you have a strong grasp on the co-ops educational policies and procedures.
The goal in the final meeting is to gather as many details as possible to assist in making a final determination on membership. Gathering documents from each co-op that you visit will assist you when you are comparing and contrasting each facility at home. If at all possible, include a meeting with the parents and students to discuss their feelings on membership within the co-op. These meetings are best if all family members attend; the questions you consider important will be vastly different from those that your teen may ask.
Another tool that is crucial when choosing a co-op is the definition used by the co-op members to define success. This measuring tool is really something that is a personal match for each individual family member; however, the definitions should be broad enough to accommodate the different ages of the co-op members. Choosing a homeschool co-op is a family decision, and as such, it is important to make sure that the final decision is a good fit for everyone within your home. It is important to remember that homeschool is not just an academic commitment but a lifestyle for the whole family. A group that works successfully for you may be an awful environment for your child; the final decision should be based upon an environment that will provide positive social and educational opportunities for everyone in your family.