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  1. #1

    Default To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op

    Just curious how many people participate in a co-op versus no co-op.

    In my area, there are lots of Christian co-ops with required statements of faith. There is only one that is inclusive -the woman that runs it is Christian, but does not allow any preaching or promoting of religion, church, business, philosophy, essential oils, nothing! Which is great...except it's a 45 minute drive one way, and there is always some last minute change up or thing I have to bring, and it turned into a huge pain in the rear. The classes and activities were always sort of "meh".

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  3. #2

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    We don't participate in co-ops. Most are faith-based and are too strict and teach science from their perspective. DS resists the classroom-like structure.
    We will go to play groups where he can socialize freely, but those are only occasionally.

    I have given up on an organized group of homeschoolers. I am now focusing on after-school activities that are open to all kids. Sports, summer day camp and the like. For us, there are plenty of activities that he can participate in, that are not necessarily connected to homeschooling.
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  4. #3

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    I second Mariam. Coops just don't seem to work for us. They would be attending more for social reasons. We are also sticking to open to all kids after school activities. The only thing we do consistently is host a park day for families new to homeschooling.

    However, every once in a while if there is an all day homeschooling class of some sort, I will sign them up. I wish there was a true coop that didn't cost a lot and had parents taking turns running classes.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    We were lucky to find two secular co-ops in our immediate area. The one is run by Christian women and meets in a church. However, there is no religious content in the classes or field trips. They will sometimes advertise church events, but whatever, so did the public school. We have done several field trips with them and they were pretty good, stuff near us that I never knew existed. The other co-op does not meet in a church and doesn't promote any church activities.
    DS does classes with both groups but we have found them to not really be in our style of homeschooling. One class is way unschoolish, where the kids just do whatever they want. Another is a little too structured, where the activity must be done exactly as the teacher demonstrates. I have seen other classes with these groups that have a planned activity but where kids are encouraged to be creative. So, we are going to try a couple more classes next year with different teachers.

  6. #5
    firefly77
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    We don't co-op, but if I found a good one that was secular I wouldn't rule it out when my kids are older. Right now, we're meeting our school needs at home and have kids to play with at the park, so we're good.

    We have a really good one in our metro area - but like yours it's a 45-minute drive. It is run by secular people, though, so that's a huge plus. With three littles, it's just too much for me at the moment.

    If we did attend, though, I think we would use it more as a social outlet, so I'm still not sure it would be a great fit for us.

  7. #6

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    We don't coop. Not yet, at least, but I doubt we ever will. For one, they all have morning hours. We don't. For another, they just seem too....structured. Tech is not really into structured long classes. (of course he's 6). While we DON'T coop and have no plans to, we will be participating in various homeschooling classes offered by zoos, local museums, even the aquarium offers some. As well as fun, after school classes as well. Or, at least, ones that are scheduled for after school, but will probably be before we do our schooling for the day.:-)

  8. #7
    Senior Member Enlightened JenWrites's Avatar
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    We don't co-op for a variety of reasons, including my daughter's resistance to it. But we are tossing around the idea of starting a field trip/social club with a few friends. Something that would meet weekly or a few times per month and either do a local field trip together or hang out and play board games and Wii together at someone's house. Just because our kids are at that early teenage point where their friends and social time are their world, but the minute you add the element of "education", it becomes a whole Thing and they want no part of it.

    Or maybe that's just our kids...
    Kali: 5/03
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  9. #8

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    Education is a huge business here, and the closest I've seen to parent-run co-ops are book clubs. Most everything else is a class or ongoing program. But ScienceGeek lives in my area and has been homeschooling a lot longer, so if she posts, she might know more about the co-op scene.
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  10. #9

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    We have a small family co-op that alternates homes. The kids in the co-op are in charge of the co-op, sort of like a little learning community. We're only once a week. The kids have been together for more than 6 years now, with only slightly varying configurations.

    I'm definitely not anti-co-op, but when one started that was bigger nearby, I got some pressure to join and the math didn't work out at all on the money or the time. We declined in the end, though we might revisit in a year or two. There's another co-op like that that's much farther away that I'd be more inclined to join. Fewer personalities I dislike, cheaper, slightly better vibe. But we'll see.

    I think a lot of homeschoolers underestimate the social needs of their kids. So if there aren't enough outlets, I think it's worth some hassles. But if there are... meh. Co-ops are okay. Just depends.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Enlightened JenWrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farrarwilliams View Post
    I'm definitely not anti-co-op, but when one started that was bigger nearby, I got some pressure to join and the math didn't work out at all on the money or the time.
    Ugh, this happened to me, too. There's a popular co-op that I want no part of for many reasons, but about a year or two ago I felt like every person I spoke to was trying to sell it to me. It was so irritating to have my polite refusal met with pressure and cheerful arguments. I SAID NO, EM EFFER. Okay, I didn't word it like that, but I totally thought it a time or twelve.

    We are just not "big group" people. We love to hang out with our friends, but the big, two- or three-times-per-week co-ops are just not our jam. Too many people, too much commitment, too much money. It's like the Mega Church of secular homeschooling. I prefer a small "parish" with a few cool people who share our key values. I don't need the 300-person choir and the laser lights show. I'm good with cheap coffee and good conversation.

    BUT...that cheap coffee and good conversation it very important and not optional at all.
    Kali: 5/03
    J.C.: 8/11
    Homeschooling since: 6/12

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