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Homeschoolers who choose not to do co-op or many extras


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We are in Africa with no co-ops around. :) But after living here, I think that even homeschooling in America, I would not want my kids to live such a rushed lifestyle. It seems like so many Americans run from one activity to the next, with little opportunity for quietness in their souls.

 

I also think it would be hard for me to get everything done for our family's goals that I wanted if I went to a co-op--unless the co-op specifically met one of my goals and thus took that responsibility off of my plate--like if they did art the way I wanted, or handled science/history demonstrations from the exact curriculum I was using. I do like the idea of the kids learning to be around other people and in other settings, but I think if I were in America, that need would be filled in other ways.

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When my big kids were younger, we belonged to a mostly social co-op of sorts. It was pretty good for them, and I didn't mind too terribly much that it was cutting into our "real" school time. Unfortunately, so many kids were uncontrolled that we were kicked out of our space.

 

I'm unaware of any secular academic co-ops today, and my dds are not motivated enough to work harder on home days to allow for taking an entire day off every week to play.

 

If I had access to a space, I'd gladly put in the time and effort to help develop a solid co-op program.

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  1. They usually require a SoF, which I am not in favor of (though religious is okay).

I don't want other people teaching academics to my children when they are young, but I would be okay with it at middle or high school age. 

Similar to (2), I prefer a social co-op that doesn't meet during school hours.

They are too expensive.

They require too much of my time (see #3).  

I am an introvert and am really overstimulated by large groups.  

My kids would have the same (2e) academic issues in a co-op as they would in school.  

It is hard enough to teach my own kids.  I don't really want to teach other people's kids.  

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I don't want to deal with anyone else's...schedule...or schedule changes...or kids...or discipline issues...or roaming toddlers...or curriculum...or sickness...or inapporpriately placed kids...or teaching...or academic standards...or class offerings...or pay for something I can do much better and easier at home...

 

I think I should make this my personal mission statement. :D

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We had done a secular/AP minded, play based coop for years. It was wonderful, and I met three of my very best friends through it. Our kids became best friends as well, and we got together plenty putside of coop time to play. We still talk daily, even though we've moved out of state. :(

Now that we are where we are, ALL of the coops are very conservative religious based, and while they call themselves inclusive, if you aren't of their particular brand of Christianity, it's hard to break in. :( I was sucking it up and going anyway, because I wanted to see if my kids would meet any friends. My oldest just told me last week she isn't interested in going. :(

So, for now, we aren't doing any HS specific activities. We are at the gym Mon.-Thurs., and at the barn on Friday. We attend church on Saturday evening (kids go to kids church), and on Sunday we attend a life group at someone's house. There are a total of 9 kids at the Life Group, and the house provides a beautiful outdoor space for them.

In January, a new coop session will start for a more structured coop. They offer academic/elective type classes by the hour. You can pick and choose what you want to take. The prices are good, about $28 per month. Dd's are planning to take art and karate. Again, I certainly don't think they NEED the coop, but it's only two hours, once a week, and the price is decent. I don't have to stay, I can take my three year old on errands or to the park. I'm hoping we meet some other HS families. Oh, and even though a lot of families are religious, the coop is secular.

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I had my dd in a co-op class when she was 5..or 6...?  Can't quite remember.  The teachers were lovely, and she really enjoyed it, but the cost/benefit ratio wasn't worth it in my book, so we didn't continue, and my ds has not gone at all.

My cost/benefit analysis was along the lines of: dd spent the whole morning working on math and phonics that she was already getting at home; and in the same amount of time (entire morning) we could have covered every other subject as well.  Instead, we lost a morning a week out of our schedule, and it just wasn't worth it.  I still haven't seen where that cost/benefit ratio would be any different, and I don't anticipate it changing in the foreseeable future, either.

That said, we also do plenty of extra-curricular activities, some formal, some informal - but we do them on our schedule, when they fit into our lives, if I see them as beneficial and offering something that the kids aren't already getting at home.

(Don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon, but that's how it is for our family! :))

 

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We seem to move through cycles--times when we do lots of groups and activities, and times when we pull way back and just enjoy being at home. We're a bit overloaded with activities right now, not really sustainable but we're building some good connections and the kids are trying out some new things; we'll be deciding soon which groups and activities are keepers and which ones take more from our lives than they add back in.

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Our co-op is more enrichment based. My boys take a french class and a person fitness class. My girls are taking a Laura Ingle Wilder class and an American Girl doll class where they read stories, do crafts, etc.

 

None of our co-op classes interfere with our homeschooling and we only meet once a week for three hours, for 20 weeks a year total.

 

Other co-ops must require more time and effort?

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When my dc were all elementary and younger we got together with a couple of families once a week for nature study, 4-H projects and field trips!  It was great.

 

BUT as children got older each families priorities changed and the group no longer met everyone's criteria.

 

As my children have gotten older I feel like the time I have with them is so limited. So the one day a week that we might do a co-op we reserve to use as a family learning day.  Everything we do on that day is together - free-writes, movies, art  and music appreciation, poetry readings,  nature study, field trips, community service.   It is my gang's favorite day of the week and a memory they will never forget.  I doubt a co-op could do that.

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For various reasons, among them the fact that I work outside the home part-time, dh and I are both in college, and finances, plus taking into account the kids' preferences, we do not do co-op, or that many outside actvities.

 

Ds fences, twice a week.

Dd does roller derby, once a week.

We meet with friends almost every Friday for an afternoon at a local park.

 

And that's it. We used to do more, but found we were at home far too rarely when we had a different outing for nearly every day of the week.

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Why we don't do co-op so far:

 

1.  We have always had academics well covered

2.  I feel children thrive with less busy-ness

3.  I just am not excited about what they offer

4.  I like to "farm out" what I can't do at home and so far that is pretty much just some sports.

 

Reasons I don't do too many activities and I don't do co-op

 

1.  I feel that running around like chickens with heads cut off benefits no one.  I have never met a mom with her schedule packed full several days per week whose kids were cheerful, happy, and balanced.  bickering children, depressed (because of exhaustion) children, dirty house, dirty children, poor eating habits, etc. etc.

2.  CHILDREN NEED FREE TIME.  My happiest healthiest childhood memories were at the creek, riding bikes, playing in the backyard, running down the street, spending the whole day at the community pool (getting my $3 worth!) etc. etc.  Sure, when I got OLDER (aka 14) I enjoyed many activities which sparked my interest and helped me learn leadership and teamwork, but there is a time and a place for those things.  And even then, looking back I should have done half of what I involved myself in as a high schooler.

 

Right now my kids have the most on their schedules that they ever ever have, but we are still home going nowhere, 4 DAYS per week.  Even though they each have 2 activities they are involved in, they have plenty of down time, free time to dream, to explore, to make crafts, to write books, to play at the park, play in the back yard, get in fights and learn how to resolve them, make up "clubs" and so much more.  

 

I think we need to protect our children's childhoods from the schedule monster.  

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No co op and no support group. We will do courses offered by colleges later. The co op stories I hear seem like they are pretty watered down and pretty pricey for such watered down academics. The support groups we have tried have minimum requirements of participation and honestly, I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but most of the homeschoolers we meet in the groups, are a little weird. Or maybe they are normal and we are weird!

We have extracurricular activities seasonally when we can afford it. We attend church, as well as have a few friends we socialize with their whole family. My kids are out in the community often, and have great communication and peer relation skills despite the fact that we have never aimed to "socialize" them.

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So far my kids have done a parent drop off 3-hr horse riding lessons 1 morning a week and because of the time it's all homeschoolers who attend. But it's not really a co-op but a class. Which is neat! However both years we've ended up switching to the 4 pm class because I just don't like being out in the minting and losing a day a week for school, our "catch up day", or our day to do a field trip. I was also pregnant last year; this year I have a 8-month old, so I feel like I am less stressed doing less school each day but having M-F set aside for school, because then I can cut school down an hour M-Th.

 

I know it's an old thread. I am trying to consider whether we will do a co-op next year if I need to be out of the home 2 days a week and am just not interested really in doing that but I don't want my kids just sitting around watching tv all day at my mom's so I wonder is it better to have then in a co-op or classes, to have them in school that year, etc.

 

Many of the reasons above confirm why I probably won't do a co-op.

 

I would like to try a park day though!

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The coop’s statement of faith excludes us. Even if we felt we could abide by it, we have no interest in YEC science.

 

We would consider joining a purely social or enrichment group.

It's not a statement of faith per se, but it's the unspoken expectation that obviously everyone believes those same things anyway and the awkward moment when they discover you don't. It's "welcoming" and "inclusive" only if you agree. We have an "inclusive" support group, but everyone is friends with the people they met at co-op. One co-op is "inclusive" but Christian. The other co-op is Christian specifically. We're not Christian So, we don't do co-op and we're generally ignored. I keep thinking maybe it might be better if we were in co-op, but then there aren't always a huge number of classes that would work for us.

 

I'd love a support group that doesn't predicate all relationships on co-ops.

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I have never found a co-op that was academically solid enough, taught what I could use, was affordable and near us. We have plenty of friends and social time with church, neighbors, scouts etc.

 

We do a half day tutorial. Art and drama professionally taught, close to our home, fits our schedule and is affordable and small. Not a co-op where my participation is expected.

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Since this thread was resurrected, we have joined a local sports team where my children both do the same sport.  It's also downtown, where we have the library, many local shops, a UPS store, and two parks.  It has been a great experience for the ages my children are.  They outgrew just playing together in the backyard.

 

Now, we are still fighting the scheduling monster, and we have several times been invited to join CC, a co-op, local classes and a local Christian huge drop off co-op thing.  I just can't see why we would do it.  The only classes we outsource are math and some upper level Science.  Our homeschool support group offers many activities and park days, which we can skip or go, as we feel like it.  Our sports team offers exercise, and since it's downtown, time downtown for me to take walks and enjoy parks and both my kids have made a friend there.  Our church provides us with like-minded friends as well.  If we really want a class, we can use an online option or go to the local Christian school, or eventually, the community college.

 

So...IDK maybe we are blessed because we have other options but the co-op thing just doesn't make any sense to me.

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We are not interested in co-ops because I do not want to sacrifice an entire day of academics. It does not meet my academic goals for my children. We choose an alternative-- we are very involved with a homeschool group. 2x a month field trips-- usually educational/not park days, 6-8 week long outside taught classes such as art or Lego engineering, Spanish-- usually 2 hours once a week or every other week.

 

My kids are also involved in church and organized sports so they don't lack for social opportunities.

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We chose not to do a heavily academic co-op because they require too much of us. I didn't want to put my small babies in nursery, nor teach weekly, nor hand the major academics to anyone else. I want to teach most of the academics myself, especially at the lower grades. I also didn't want to do a weekly co-op. We do a small monthly co-op that is enrichment and social more than heavily academic; my kids get to hang out with their friends and get some extras that are harder to get at home, like public speaking and organized games in gym, and I only teach where I can have my babies with me. This is good for us, the right balance for us.

 

We do one extracurricular activity, one morning a week, for all three big kids. Driving time, our location, and finances prevent more. We couldn't do more classes, sports, etc. without a serious cut into our academic time, because we live far from everything. Plus, with five children, that's expensive, and when I realize how much gas it costs to get anywhere, that adds even more. So, one day out, and a second day once a month, and an occasional field trip or play date, and we have plenty to do. They have each other and a big yard for socializing.

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We pick and choose out outside activities. We swim all summer, and take swim lessons too, buying a yearly pass this year so we can lap swim in the off season. We rotate Aquarium yearly passes, with Science Museum and Botanical Gardens. We are not out of the house usually more than once every two weeks, except for swimming. I just can't afford it all, and outside classes in my area are more fun than educational.

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1. We don't have the need for a co-op. 

 

2. We don't have a budget that allows much out-sourcing, especially when you factor in multiple kids. 

 

3. Nearly everything we could do is 30 miles away. Every activity requires at least half a day, usually including lunch. Time and had money are limited.

 

4. I like having our own time, and lots of free time for me and the kids. I am not big on making time commitments.

 

5. We have no child care. Anywhere that one kid goes, all of the kids have to go along. We have not yet done drop offs. We are too far from anything to drop off and come home. We have to commit to the day.

 

We do get out and do activities, but I shoot for free and cheap, low commitment, multi age type of stuff.

 

ETA: I have only heard rumors of co-ops. They are quite rare here. 

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The co-ops here are not academically rigorous. If I wanted dd to sit in classes taught to the middle (or lower-middle, in some cases), I'd put her back into her old school.

 

She does plenty of extracurriculars, just none focused on homeschoolers.

 

This.

 

Add to that, coop teachers in our area do not tend to be professionals or experts in their subject matter (as I've heard described by some), let alone great at teaching a group of kids. They are homeschool moms, perhaps great at teaching their own kids, but that seems to be where the qualifications typically end. My kids had some wonderful teachers in public school. I didn't pull them out to homeschool only to put them in a classroom with inferior teachers. I wanted them in the 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 environment that I could provide. That was one of the reasons we homeschooled.

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Our workload at home has become such that I didn't feel the co-ops would take away from us educationally while not truly meeting a social need that couldn't just be met with a 1/2 day playdate once a week or so. We were involved with CC for several years, but after figuring out the program and not needing Essentials, I just couldn't justify the 5 hours of my time that it took for us to be involved since there was so very little socialization. We can review memory work (and add to it for younger dd) over lunchtime. The other co-ops in our area aren't that academically strong. There are some places that offer stronger individual high school classes, which we might make use of in the future. Otherwise, all her outside activities are individual classes/lessons which aren't "homeschool" related (e.g., art class by teacher who teachers broad range of children and adults, music lessons, etc).

 

I'd just as soon my kids play in the backyard when they're with buddies and leave the educating to those I deem worthy of delegating to.

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I would like to join a coop for extra classes such as gym, art, and music. Unfortunately, there are no inclusive, secular, Catholic, or Christian (in the general sense) coops in a reasonable driving distance. The only coops available are evangelical Christian.

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My reasons thus far are pretty similar to others-

1) expense- seems like I can get all my materials and extras for the amount of 1 kid

2) co-ops teaching what I like to teach my kids

3) cuts out a day of school a week and adds to those days

4) many require parent participation and I have a baby

5) disrupts daily quite time / nap

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Our homeschool group is about 75% high schoolers.

What I find interesting is that it's the younger kids' parents who are forever tossing around the co-op thing. Sometimes doing stuff, sometimes just brainstorming for more ideas.

We high school parents aren't particularly receptive, and all I can figure is it's because they're busy enough the way it is. Youth groups, 4H/Scouts, jobs... And we're all rural enough, it's always going to be a time commitment, just driving TO activities.

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1) I'm a control freak. I choose exactly what curriculum to use and how to use them.

 

2) I don't like at least half the curriculum used by co-ops I've looked at (see #1).

 

3) Creationism is a no-go here (see #2).

 

4) I'm an introvert, having to do small talk with strangers while my kid is in a class is my idea of torture.

 

5) We homeschool because my kid hated being in school. Why would I pay money to torture him?

 

6) But really, at his age they're just unnecessary. I'd rather save the money to pay for lab science and math tutors when he's older.

 

 

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The reasons we do not

 

1. The best fit socially, academically, location and cost required a SOF.

 

2. Other coops offered classes my son was interested in but was 3 months too young for and the alternatives were babyish.

 

3. He gets plenty of social elsewhere.

 

4. He is 2 E and could not read and write at his academic level.

 

5. My sons interests do not align with others his age. 4H is fitting that need so much better.

 

6. I am fine helping out as needed but do not want coop to be a full time job.

 

7. We stopped trying to docoops when my son took up travel sports due to time.

 

8. My son is immuno suppressed and families would drag sick kids along.

 

9. I do not need extra help with additional subjects, especially if they are way below his level. Once he hits higher levels I will send him to the community college. I will not even consider online classes such as Derek Owens that coat as much or more than community college classes that cover mostly the same material.

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I have a very motivated only child. It is much easier to teach her than a class of other people's kids. Plus I want to follow her interests and learning style, not that of the average homeschooler.

 

We do, however, attend a fine arts coop that has professional teachers. We parents just volunteer in a couple of classes as teacher helpers. This way my very artsy daughter can take classes that require classmates, like band and orchestra. This takes a whole day each week, but I figure why homeschool if a child can't pursue her own interests.

 

Other classes she takes like choir are not homeschool specific. I like her socializing with different kinds of kids.

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My oldest took Art Class with Larry for 10 years.  In her college Art History Class she is the only student who's done every technique listed so far.  Ancient Egyptians made a kind of paper with what was near by.  Larry taught them to make paper out of cactus pulp, sunflowers and cotton-including a watermark.  The Japanese did Riku firing.  Larry did Riku firing with them....and on and on. Larry is the best deal in town.

 

Be right back, need to go get a Larry.  :driving:

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We do best when we are home during the day, most of the time. We like to be home, but more than being just a matter of preference, there is the very real consideration that being home consistently is what allows us to get our school work done. There isn't any co-op or group that I know of (that we could or would try to afford with three children) that could replicate or top what we do at home (for a fraction of the cost, both in terms of money, effort, and time). At least at this point, I feel confident that the best education can be found right here at home. Just add diligence, patience, and love, and you have a good recipe.

 

We go out to our church midweek ministry one evening each week, and out again to children's choir practice one afternoon each week. We go to church every Sunday morning, and occasionally go to Homeschoolers' Game Day at the library (about 1x/month). We might also get together with friends about once a month, and we see my parents about 2-3 times each month. Put all that together, and it really is enough social interaction for all of us right now. No one in our family does well with running to activities, anyway. My children are almost 8 (twins) and almost 10, and they still take (and need) naps about 3-4 times per week, even though they sleep about 12 hours a night. Without the naps, they just get run down.

 

Another major reason we don't do co-ops: I don't perceive most other peoples' children as... shall we say responsive to adults, sometimes not even to their own parents or the person in authority. I have no interest in being responsible for unresponsive, uncooperative co-op children, who will just continue doing as they please. It doesn't matter how long you've known them or how kind you are, if they don't want to change direction, they just do what they please (e.g., pouring water on the carpet, standing on tables, doing cartwheels on the sofa, etc.). Hmmm. And if my children were to witness too much of this -- other children ignoring what responsible adults say and expect -- they might just get some ideas they don't currently have.

 

It's... awkward. That is to say, the way I've seen things happen here, I don't want to teach or direct or have any leadership responsibility whatsoever for children other than my own, because I think that in most settings (that I've been in), the children's response to rightful, kind, adult leadership is flawed. Our church is the one local exception to this (that I've seen). I think our church's children's ministry culture does instill a healthy, wholesome respect for adult leaders in the children (and vice versa). It's a joy to be a part of that, and it ends up being more fun for everyone involved. But in some of the homeschool co-op groups we've checked out, this is not so. In fact, quite the opposite -- it's as if some moms are competing for the "wild child" award -- see how my three year old daughter can play alone in the parking lot in the rain in bare feet in February while I'm nowhere to be found? Gah. So, no, I'm not interested in being responsible for children who run wild and/or have a flawed response to good authority (i.e., teachers). And it seems that most co-ops either require the moms to teach/lead something or make it cost prohibitive to not do so. The behavior of the children (and other parents) is going to make an activity either enjoyable or miserable for us, so this is a big factor here in deciding what to participate in.

 

I suppose we like doing our own thing. That's probably 99% of it.

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Hi! I'm curious about the reasoning that homeschool parents who have considered enrolling their child/children in a coop or many curricular activities.

Is it becuase...

You want the focus to be more on academics and coops are just social?

Your children aren't interested?

It is too expensive?

The schedule diesn't work?

The environment/other kids are not a positive influence on you or your children?

There aren't any available in your area?

You din't have enough time?

 

I'm just curious. I love the idea of homeschool coops, but they usually seem to require a lot from the parents- even if they don't have to volunteer, they have to be present. I have also seen coops that are mostly social. Being social is fine, but I prefer an academic environment. I just can't find anyone else who agrees...

 

We don't have a co-op, but there is a business that offers 6 to 12 week homeschool enrichment classes (science, art, etc.)  They're moderately priced.  Not too expensive.

 

We don't do them anymore because as the girls get older we need to focus more on academics and the classes interrupt our school day.  Also, the kids have other activities that are more important to them (karate, theater, music, dance).  

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There are roughly 25 co-ops in the city I live close too.  The ones I initially found were too far away or required me to volunteer or be on site so I didn't participate.  It is too hard to stay on-site when you have babies/toddlers.

  When I found one closer and that was a drop off (pay per class), I joined and my kids love it.  I teach there now each year, offering classes that my kids specifically want.  It is great fun and my kids love it. 

Our co-op was founded specifically for high school parents to have help in teaching upper level sciences and math.  It has expanded from there.

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Hi! I'm curious about the reasoning that homeschool parents who have considered enrolling their child/children in a coop or many curricular activities.

Is it becuase...

You want the focus to be more on academics and coops are just social?

Your children aren't interested?

It is too expensive?

The schedule diesn't work?

The environment/other kids are not a positive influence on you or your children?

There aren't any available in your area?

You din't have enough time?

 

I'm just curious. I love the idea of homeschool coops, but they usually seem to require a lot from the parents- even if they don't have to volunteer, they have to be present. I have also seen coops that are mostly social. Being social is fine, but I prefer an academic environment. I just can't find anyone else who agrees...

 

My kids have done a homeschool PE class, and occasional other extra-curricular group classes. My trouble with co-ops has usually been:

 

-the timing of the subject choices never seems to work out with where we are (ie, doing biology the year before we were ready, and other similar timing issues)

-the curriculum choices don't match what I want to use

-we can get more done, and be more tailored to my kids' needs at home.

-Many times when the kids were younger, I felt I had enough on my plate and didn't want to take on volunteering to lead a class or activity.

 

For younger years, I would have preferred a coop to offer extra-curriculars--pe, music, art--things that were harder for me to do at home. I didn't want "academic" but not exactly "social" either. When classes have been available for these things, we have done them. For social, we did Park days or friend days etc...

 

This is the first year that my kids have done a co-op, and the main reason is for a speech/rhetoric class, but they also do PE, a book discussion, and current events. It meets every other week, so doesn't impact the year too much and overall is an asset. 

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Be right back, need to go get a Larry. :driving:

No kidding! I've been toying with making my own Larry, but trying to get all the parts to work together would probably require a co-op which always brings me back to this thread...

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The first year of co-op was pretty good or so I thought.

I found out shortly after we paid and had started the second year 

that the "fine Christian folks"  spent their time bad mouthing me and my special needs child

about how can she (my daughter) make it to a party or to a horseback lesson but not come to co-op.

My daughter has multiple birth defects, physical, internal.

My daughter misses out on a lot. She has had multiple surgeries and spent the first several Christmases in the hospital, New Years too and birthdays. Last Thanksgiving we spent in the ER because her feeding tube surgical sight came open and the stomach acid was burning her and not allowing the wound to heal.

She has missed out on dance, swim team, playdates, field trips, horseback riding and so much more. (Several of these she does not even participate in currently).

This year alone she had a severe kidney infection and the antibiotics gave her horrible diarrhea, her tethered spinal cord is back, her hypoparathyroidism is back, and she has other issues. She has constant lab work, surgeries and other issues.

But oh my gawd is it a crime for her to make it to a birthday party or something specail.

That is not allowed. She must be punished on top of her challenges.

Yes, let us know God and make Him known.

*eyeroll*

I have become some disillusioned with Christians since moving to South Carolina.

I am too fat, my husband is too thin, We don't make piles of money and I did not go to Bob Jones University. Constant criticism, constant reasons why we are not good enough for Christians. 

We do not even attend church anymore, we just became so fed up.

 

I will say there were a few that have been lovely and I appreciate them.

My daughter's AHG troop is giving me hope, they are supportive and practice grace in a way I have not experienced in a long time. 

 

So obviously NO co-ops for us. 

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No kidding! I've been toying with making my own Larry, but trying to get all the parts to work together would probably require a co-op which always brings me back to this thread...

Can I just borrow and clone Larry please? Thanks! ☺

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The co-op we tried didn't work for us. I must admit it's something of a relief to realize that many other people have had similar issues.

 

Classes not particularly academic, certainly not enough for me to consider any class an adequate substitute for teaching at home.

 

Classes not particularly great for making friends with other kids.

 

Classes taught by people who weren't adept at managing groups of children.

 

Entrenched cliques made it difficult to get to know people.

 

Over time, none of the classes (even the "fun" ones) held my kids' interest.

 

Co-op took waaay too much time and energy to continue to go without pronounced academic or social benefits.

 

I am looking forward to plunging back into hsing in the future. This thread is prodding me into taking a good hard look at our social needs and how best to meet them. Thanks for starting it!

 

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For those of you that say that co-ops take too much time, how long/how many days a week are co-ops in your area?  In my area, co-ops are 1 day per week and you can take 1 class or 5 classes or anything in between.  Parents can drop and go (most do, Moms love free time) or you can stay.   Some high school classes are two days--Chemistry, A &P come to mind.  Just wondering what co-ops look like in areas where joining one takes too much time away from academics. 

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At one point I think I looked at co-op, church related activities and pure extra curriculars as desperate categories but am now looking at it like outside week day commitments period. So right now we are doing horse riding and ballet. Horse riding we are committed to long term, so if we chose to do a co-op (or anything else) then we drop ballet.

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-some of the local coops are uber-religious. While that isn't something I necessarily have a problem with, sometimes I can't help but wonder why, for a party, they require a Bible for the scavenger hunt. :confused: Can't you have just a regular scavenger hunt? Does EVERY last party, event, etc, have to have a biblical component? I'm a Christian myself, but I don't see the need for that much religious nuttiness (sorry, not trying to offend!!!) .

This! When we were using MFW as our core curriculum, doing AWANA and AHG, I could not fathom doing more memory verses through CC which is the popular co-op in our area! Our AHG troop took on more of a ministry emphasis last year and I get why (Our AHG's home church dropped AWANA so it could fill that need) but I felt like with us trying to keep up with all if this during various weekly activities it actually takes away from a religious education because it seems like we stay shallow instead of going deeper.

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For those of you that say that co-ops take too much time, how long/how many days a week are co-ops in your area?  In my area, co-ops are 1 day per week and you can take 1 class or 5 classes or anything in between.  Parents can drop and go (most do, Moms love free time) or you can stay.   Some high school classes are two days--Chemistry, A &P come to mind.  Just wondering what co-ops look like in areas where joining one takes too much time away from academics. 

 

It's usually the drive time in addition to the class that makes the time add up.  Also, many kids have a hard time focusing on academics after going from a co-op to other academic subjects back home.  That's usually less of an issue later in the day, but in the mornings it can be a huge factor. Also, this is TWTM boards, so a lot of people here are into very rigorous academics. 

 

Remember you're talking to a mix of homeschoolers here.

 

Those producing the education, meaning they're the person doing the actual researching materials and content, modeling, explaining, instructing, teaching, correcting and grading in subjects they're not outsourcing or using video instruction or a co-op or a paid class.

 

This crowd is far less likely to spend time driving somewhere at the start or middle of the day because they use co-ops for those subjects they don't teach themselves. Usually those are higher maths, sciences and English/Literature classes or they can be high quality enrichment classes once a week.  Teaching takes time, and since they do the vast majority of it for their own children in their own homes, they're far less interested in investing time in an outsourcing situation.

 

Those consuming the the education, meaning researching options, and dropping off or putting a child online a child for modeling, explaining, instructing, teaching, correcting and grading by someone else with materials and content researched and selected by someone else.  There are more and more of these homeschoolers these days.

 

 I'm in the camp of people who thinks people who do mostly this should have a legally recognized term that isn't "homeschooling" and a legally recognized and protected right to have their children schooled this way.  It's been discussed to death in other places, but this discussion is the perfect example of why it's important to have different words that mean different things and those words should be used consistently to avoid confusion.  What seems obvious to one person might be unclear to another because we have inadequate labels and not enough open discussion of the differences between them without people deciding to be hurt and offended.

 

There are lots of homeschoolers who do not consider it a co-op if a parent of every child attending the "co-op" is not contributing to the teaching time.  There are plenty of those threads that go into it in depth. Where I come from the term is used both ways so people have to specify what exactly they mean which is yet another example of inadequate labeling.  If people just used the terms "co-op" for equally shared teaching responsibilities (part time producing) between parents and "Class" to mean parents can sign a child up without being responsible for the teaching (consuming) then people wouldn't have to read my long annoying dictionary entry posts on these threads.

 

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The first year of co-op was pretty good or so I thought.

I found out shortly after we paid and had started the second year 

that the "fine Christian folks"  spent their time bad mouthing me and my special needs child

about how can she (my daughter) make it to a party or to a horseback lesson but not come to co-op.

My daughter has multiple birth defects, physical, internal.

My daughter misses out on a lot. She has had multiple surgeries and spent the first several Christmases in the hospital, New Years too and birthdays. Last Thanksgiving we spent in the ER because her feeding tube surgical sight came open and the stomach acid was burning her and not allowing the wound to heal.

She has missed out on dance, swim team, playdates, field trips, horseback riding and so much more. (Several of these she does not even participate in currently).

This year alone she had a severe kidney infection and the antibiotics gave her horrible diarrhea, her tethered spinal cord is back, her hypoparathyroidism is back, and she has other issues. She has constant lab work, surgeries and other issues.

But oh my gawd is it a crime for her to make it to a birthday party or something specail.

That is not allowed. She must be punished on top of her challenges.

Yes, let us know God and make Him known.

*eyeroll*

I have become some disillusioned with Christians since moving to South Carolina.

I am too fat, my husband is too thin, We don't make piles of money and I did not go to Bob Jones University. Constant criticism, constant reasons why we are not good enough for Christians. 

We do not even attend church anymore, we just became so fed up.

 

I will say there were a few that have been lovely and I appreciate them.

My daughter's AHG troop is giving me hope, they are supportive and practice grace in a way I have not experienced in a long time. 

 

So obviously NO co-ops for us. 

 

 

I'm sorry this happened to you. Stay strong, mama. Lots of hugs.  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Any outings we take in the middle of the school day are considered a break or for socialization. The only thing we choose to outsource is PE. My kids have no interest in doing coops and I can't justify paying a ridiculous amount of money each month for another parent to teach my kids when we are already doing school at home. Plus, I am not a fan of groups that are not all inclusive. Although I am Christian, I am not willing to sign a statement of faith to join a hs group.

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For those of you that say that co-ops take too much time, how long/how many days a week are co-ops in your area?  In my area, co-ops are 1 day per week and you can take 1 class or 5 classes or anything in between.  Parents can drop and go (most do, Moms love free time) or you can stay.   Some high school classes are two days--Chemistry, A &P come to mind.  Just wondering what co-ops look like in areas where joining one takes too much time away from academics. 

 

Co-ops are typically one day per week. In my area, none of them are drop-and-go, so it really isn't free time for Mom (or Dad.) Take into consideration the time it takes to get out the door in the morning, driving time, time waiting for the kids to finish their classes, which may or may not be scheduled simultaneously, then after we get home, working 2x as hard to get them to focus on schoolwork because they are so hyper, then on top of that having extra work to do the other four days to make up for the missing day or half day's work.

 

Also in our situation, none of the classes were "academic" enough to substitute for anything we did at home, nor did the boys get much sustained interaction with other kids.

 

All of these factors made our co-op experience very frustrating for me. :huh:

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