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Has anyone homeschool without doing co-op ?


miracleone
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I hope this doesn't sound silly but I was wondering if there are people out there who just basically keep their kids at home at least 5 Days a week to do school work without joining "school-like" co-op? This excludes piano lessons or enrichment classes.

 

Our homeschooling community seems to be big on having a day where kids get together for a day or about 5 hours a day and have some kind of planned instructions.

 

I am not against that at all as I realized that it does work for many people but I am curious to know if there are people at the hive who have NOT done any co-op and felt that it doesn't affect the well-being of their homeschool? What about needing to be with others for "public speaking or oral presentation skills?"

 

This is not meant as a debate. We have many invitations to join co-ops. While I know my child might enjoy the socialization and learning with friends, I am hesitant because I personally want to teach my child and spend time with her. I am also selective as to whom my child associate with.

 

Thank you.

Edited by miracleone
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We are not in a co-op and I don't worry about it. My third grader is happy with his weekly rockclimbing and swim lessons and doesnt want to take classes with other kids unless it was music. He is very social (neighborhood kids, scouts, etc.), but prefers to have quiet for his studies. Well, maybe its not that quiet with his vivacious, joyous, silly two year old brother interupting every thirty seconds, but he is at home where he wants to be.

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The monkeys went to a local, parent run coop for a year. They enjoyed it for the socialization, not so much for the classes. While I enjoyed meeting other families, I wasn't disappointed when my work schedule changed. The 5 hour days were long, teacher prep for a course I wound up taking over on top of my 30 hour work week was tiring, and I wasn't a fan of having to jump in at the last minute to keep a class going. Instead we go to park day and get that out of the house socialization we all need.

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I don't think we have co-ops in Belgium.

Sometimes a little excursion to meet with other hs-families (maybe 3-4 times a year), but that's it.

To be honest, I think the whole co-op thing is a bit overrated.

Not that it's bad for the children, I'm sure most will do great with it, but I don't think it's really necessary either. Kids without a co-op are doing fine too.

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We've been part of two different co-ops in the past. They are really overrated. The idea sounds good, but we ended up with one day a week where nothing but socialization happened, and it was stressful for me.

 

I wouldn't mind a co-op that involved academic classes rather than enrichment, but I am not sure they exist.;)

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There are no co-ops in this part of the UK. We don't even know of any local homeschoolers. The boys get plenty of 'socialisation' doing various outside activities each day. If I thought they needed time in a classroom I'd flexi-school, but I think they get enough schoolwork here :tongue_smilie:.

 

Best wishes

 

Cassy

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No co-ops for us, at least right now. We've yet to find one that fits into our schedule and with the ages of my kids, so...we pretty much stay home to do our school work, have informal get-togethers with other homeschoolers at the science center or a park or whatever, and have extracurricular activities that are not exclusive to homeschooled kids. It's working for us.

 

:)

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I live in an area w/an abundance of co-ops. I will not join one. Let's just say that academics is pretty much a topic I avoid when I am around other homeschoolers. Groups for fun are one thing, but teaching my children is another (and the reason I homeschool in the first place.)

 

This!

 

In addition to co-ops, another trend near me is "university model schools." At one the middle and high schoolers go there M,W,F and the elementary schoolers go there T, Th. They're at home on their days off doing their homework from the school. Many of the kids say they go to XYZ school, and many of their parents say that they homeschool.:confused:

 

Full disclosure: My first born is 16, and my baby is 12. They are in a debate club that meets twice a month for 6 months (including a month's break in Dec.) I did enroll dd in an AP music theory class b/c I can't teach that and she will major in music in college, so she needs that info. She intends to take the AP test and hopes to earn college credit for it. It's not just to look good on her transcript. Add in private music lessons and student orchestra, and we do some things outside of the house. They're all things I can't teach or arrange.

 

But many homeschoolers near me have their children in co-ops. They aren't for us. I joke that I don't work and play well w/ others, lol, but I just want to homeschool my dc and not have others teach them.

Edited by Angie in VA
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There are a few co-ops around here and we did one once when my boys were young. It just seemed like a waste of time so we never did one again. I have thought about trying one with dd now that she's the only one home but I don't have good memories of the other so I haven't.

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No co-op here. I like to outsource only what I can't do. My kids attend a homeschool PE class and you would not believe the nasty behavior exhibited by these children. A friend attended a larger co-op and was also shocked bybthe teasing, rudeness, whining, inappropriate comments, talk about boyfriends, etc.

 

Nowadays wherever you go there are kids like this, and therefore I try to only join the activities that I cannot produce at home. (like PE)

 

Another reason is that I don't prefer a super busy lifestyle. I do t think it's healthy for children to be rushed here and there all the time. I believe they need hours every day to read, explore and play. And I want energy left for my husband.

 

The last reason is that now that I use Calvert everything is included. I have zero need for a co-op or to worry about what my kids are missing.

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We have never used a Co-op. As a matter of fact, in our area, there is no such thing. We are all too busy homeschooling and raising our kids, working, and doing life, that when homeschoolers DO get together, it is more for chatting, socializing or doing something cultural such as a play or ballet.

 

Faithe

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We have many co-ops around but have resisted joining. I have been organizing field trips for people we've met but I'm even backing off of that. Too much headache.

 

I see too many examples of co-ops that are started by people because they have a vision of how it should be. If you join, you have to buy into their vision. If you want to influence the vision, you have to take the time to start one. And, they all seem to fall apart eventually when the leadership changes or as the kids age. I hear all too often people say they "handpick" people to participate in their groups. I'm not crazy over that but I think we'll just keep networking and join in what makes sense for us.

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So far I haven't even found a co-op I am interested in.

 

There is a group that gets together for social time, and sometimes does enrichment stuff, and another group that plays in the park or other outings. There are also some semi-local Christian co-ops.

 

That being said, I don't take them anywhere. My parents seem to think co-ops are the way to go as the two other HSing families they know are way into them, but I am not interested in someone else's parent teaching my kid.

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We've never done a co-op. It takes 40 minutes to drive into town and that means 80 minutes wasted in just travel time. Yes, I know we can listen to auido cds. The fact is not all my kids are at the same level and 80 minutes of school time spent in travel, per week, is not a good use of our time. I'd rather plan social time and leave school time at home.

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We have not and will not do a co-op. That doesn't mean we're stuck at home five days a week. We do our lessons and then we're free. I don't see that a co-op would benefit us at all. It seems like a waste of a day to me. I have an academic plan and a co-op doesn't fit into that. When they're high-school aged, I might outsource to one of the local homeschool resource centers (which have paid professional teachers teaching high school level courses) or the community college. But, for elementary level, and even middle school, I see absolutely no reason for my children to participate in a co-op.

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I've done both and I don't think you really need one. At some point you may need to out source some instructional work but you can use online classes for much of that.

 

When I did a large co-op with organized classes, we got less out of it than now doing a small co-op with only 3 other families. Part of that is because we've developed more closeness to those families because of the size.

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I have to agree with everyone else. I was invited to join a co-op this fall, but in looking at the time commitment involved it was going to really cut down on our time to do our normal work. I realized it was going to end up causing more stress for myself, and the kids, to try to fit in our normal work around the other extra lessons provided. We are involved in a Wednesday night church program for interaction with other kids. We also try to get together with other families to play. We did join a homeschool soccer group that my boys love, but the understanding is that all their school work needs to be done before attending Friday afternoon. We spend time in the summer with other families by participating in the National Bible Bee, this provides interaction time for fun, as well as time talking and presenting their passages to other people throughout the summer and on the Local Bible Bee Competition day.

As far as public speaking...there is a local group in our area that does drama camps during the summer, and then some of the children are invited to participate in a fall play production as well. We also have a local "international fair" that is open to homeschoolers. Each child picks a different country to represent, and presents a 20 minute presentation, talking, games... We plan to be "tourists" at the one held this spring and my boys, 8 and 5, and I will be able to see what is involved in putting together a presentation. I think I will want to involve my oldest in this next year.

Maybe there are some other programs in your area that would be able to focus more on the public speaking part of their education without tying up an entire school day each week! :)

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We did not do coop last year, and we may not do it every year, but right now, my kids love it. It is where we do PE, and arts and crafts.....two things I eoyld not do at home. I would not go to an all day co-op, ours is three hours, there is one around here that is 9-5 every Monday. I would also not do an academic co-op where we would be expected to follow a certain curriculum at home amd keep up with a whole group. I just want enrichment and field trips. You have to know what you want out of it and find one that fills that need. If you don't do one, no big deal.

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I might join a secular co-op when the girls are old enough for the tween/teen catalog of classes, but it is a 40 minute drive away, so I'll have to analyze our financial situation (can we afford the gas?) when the time comes. I'm hoping we can do it, because that particular co-op also offers classes for parents too.

 

There are other co-ops closer to home, but one has a statement of faith I can't sign, and the other is inclusive but still too religious for me. They use SOTW history, yay! However, they also use Apologia science, which is not a good fit for us. Sure, we could pick and choose, but then I'd end up spending all day at the co-op in order for each kid to take one or two classes. It'd be a waste of time, especially since the classes for K/1st graders look fluffy.

 

So for now we do a smattering of monthly homeschooler classes at local institutions, the kids take a few weekly classes (gymnastics, yoga, art for older DD), and we have a few semi-regular playdates. That's plenty!

Edited by jplain
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We do nothing academic with other homeschoolers except a once a week paid lab science class. We are part of a "co-op", but it's a fun, social thing where parents lead an activity in an area they're interested in for an hour (so one week might be crafts, the next music, the next cooking....), followed by eating lunch and playing.

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We did co-ops/playgroups when dd was younger and only doing 3-4 days of desk work a week. Now we are home during our school hours 5 days a week. (We have activities some evenings.) Our reasons for not doing co-ops are the same reasons many pp have already mentioned. I was going to quote, but there were too many!;)

Edited by Hilltop Academy
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We did without for years, though we didn't stay home only (we had music and art lessons and field trips.) We top out academically in our area, so they are rarely worth it for us.

 

We did join one for high schoolers this year because my dds wanted Spanish, ASL, and drafting, and it was a cheap way to get those in trade for me teaching writing. But we would never do our core academics at one.

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We don't. I have to pick and choose things to fit into our budget... if we did a co-op we wouldn't have the funds for extra activites such as t-ball, karate, etc.

 

Plus, I'm not the type that enjoys being out of the house every day...which would be the case if we did a co-op plus activities.

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We did when ds was younger. We could afford the day away, and they were enrichment classes, not academics. We were involved for two years, but after that we've been home.

 

At his current level we don't have time for enrichment classes, and they don't offer any academic subjects we'd need.

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No co-op here, although we do participate in a few classes just for homeschoolers. The science center runs homeschool science classes/labs once a month, and they usually attend those. We do homeschool P.E. weekly at the YMCA (they run it twice a week but we go once a week, because my kids have gymnastics/dance other days), and occasionally other homeschool one-time classes at the history center, children's museum, etc. I also sometimes teach an art class for homeschoolers in 6-week sessions (once a week for 6 weeks).

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There are no co-ops where I live. We get together once in awhile with other h'sers for playdates but that is the extent of it. Now that the highschool years are creeping up on me, I am starting to think that it would be nice to have some other options so that the pressure wouldn't solely be on me as teacher. But it is looking like there will be no other choice. :001_smile:

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Where we live co-ops don't really exist. There are a few home education social groups that sometimes do activities. We aren't actively part of any at the moment. After doing a few of the social groups for a while I felt they were often a bit of a waste of time. I seemed better to just go for a short while to make a few friends and then continue to see those families outside of the group.

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The closest co-ops I know of are an hour to two hours away and are more religious than I would be interested in. Plus, my kids are very young and I don't feel the need for that kind of structure right now. When they are older there are classes offered to homeschoolers through our local community college but that is a long way away.

 

We do some classes geared especially for homeschoolers - bowling, gymnastics and 4-H Cloverbuds. We belong to a few groups that get together for park days and field trips. I can find anything I could possibly want in classes locally although they may not be just homeschoolers.

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We don't have any co-ops nearby - the closest one is 2-hours away.

 

Honestly though, I probably wouldn't join one even if it were near, I'm not sure we'd have time and don't think it would add to what we're already doing - for experience of others teaching DS and that pesky "socialization", I have him enrolled in two different art classes in town (one structured, one open creative), scouts, swim team, martial arts and now the weekly lunch following the structured art class that everyone has sort of just made into the routine each week.

 

Every other week we also have a field trip day - we'll go somewhere (science center, nature center, botanical gardens, etc.) for a change of pace and do our day away from home and the routine for the day.

 

Once a week we also get together with one or two other families, usually those whose child(ren) are in one of the art classes, to do something together - roller skating, bowling, park, ceramics; that's usually for a couple of hours. Plus DS plays with his other friends once they're home from school during the week or on the weekends.

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We don't belong to a co-op. To be honest, I would resent the intrusion on our schooling time. It's hard enough to fit in what I need to, since we have afternoon extracurriculars and I work after that.

 

We do have a small group of homeschooling friends that we get together with in a casual way... like yesterday three families got together and went skating. We'll sometimes plan a field trip or a art/craft afternoon for the kids, or even straight play time while the moms drink tea. Also, the small group people sometimes link us in to a larger group's excursion (like a major field trip). I'm thankful for these families, and I'm thankful that it's so easy and flexible. A co-op would be too much for us.

 

We do meet plenty of homeschooling families at homeschool groups like gymnastics, choir, and track and field.

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No coop here. We are part of a homeschool group that has weekly fun fridays in the afternoon and we participate in those (park, museum, aquarium, skating etc). Our group also has art shows, biography fair, geography fair, and a few other "educational" events that we participate in. A regular academic coop does not really appeal to me unless they can teach something better than I can at home, or at least supplement it. :tongue_smilie:

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I would love to be part of an awesome co-op, but we're small and rural here. After months of searching, I finally found a secular play group in our vicinity. Unfortunately, there are only about 30 kids who are a part of it and most are significantly older than my DD. Plus, all of the play times haven't worked out for us so far. :sad: So, we're pretty much on our own. The play group is just that anyway. I was hoping for something more.

 

My focus now is finding a 4-H group for DD. We wanted her to be a part of Girl Scouts, but the way that group is going, I think we'll steer clear.

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I have never done anything with a coop, honestly don't even know if there is any around here. I don't participate in any group homeschool stuff. I did take DD to swim lessons a few months ago that was for homeschool kids. It was at 1pm when all the other kids are in school. I will take her again in March when it starts again.

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I don't do co-ops. I want to teach my kids their academics, then let them go play.

 

I am part of a support group that does field trips and parties. I've attended 3 of those in the last year.

 

There is a nearby co-op that has a band program we might participate in later, but it meets at a certain time each week, not an all day set of classes deal.

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No, we have never belonged to a co-op. I'm not sure there is one around here. If there is, it's evangelical and requires an SOF, and I don't do SOFs (nor could I sign an evangelical one).

 

There is a new program here that's sort of an unschooling co-op. But I struggle to get enough school-time at home as it is, and I don't really want to send my kids away for a whole morning every week. I might do it if I had more time at home, but I have to work a little bit and so my time is more limited than I would like.

 

We have a park day group, which I enjoy a lot.

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