The term “Co-op” is the abbreviated way to say cooperatively, collectively or together.
Don’t do it on your own!
According to the homeschool mom dot com, “a homeschool co-op is a group of families who meet together and work cooperatively to achieve common goals. Co-ops can be organized around, academics, social-time, the arts, activities, crafts, service work, or projects – or some combination of these. Activities and classes that are part of a co-op may be led by parents, or the parents may chip in to pay all or some of the teachers and activity leaders. There may be as few as three families in a small co-op or as many as several hundred children in the largest co-op“.
Homeschooling can look like a co-op~
When it comes to homeschooling there is no one, set way of doing things- your options are limitless. How you structure your time and attention during the days and hours you choose to facilitate homeschooling lessons is totally up to you! What’s most important is that the student (your child) demonstrates growth and progress in age appropriate areas of study.
One common way of structuring your homeschooling sessions is by partnering with other parents or with instructors who can help you facilitate learning. THIS is one of our main goals at Dreamers Virtual Learning Academy (DVLA)! It is our hope that the learning sessions we offer 2-3 days per week supplement and add to the lessons already being facilitated at home by parents.
Why Join a Co-op?
Here are a few common reasons homeschooling parents choose to join a co-op:
- To create community for the parents and the children. Without community homeschooling can feel like you’re on an island, isolated from the world. One of the benefits of attending public school is that there are PLENTY of opportunities to interact with others and to SOCIALIZE! When you make the decision to homeschool this doesn’t mean you must forfeit all social activities or social skill building. Creating a co-op or joining an already existing co-op means creating opportunities for your child to learn within a group setting AND providing opportunities for parents to feel supported in their home education efforts! Its a win-win!
- To share resources, skill sets, and knowledge. There are some areas of home education that you may feel more or less equipped or just confident to teach, especially as your student -dreamer moves into higher grade levels. Becoming a part of a homeschooling co-op means you don’t have to do all the things!! This can feel refreshing to a homeschooling parent. You may discover that there are parents in your co-op who have expertise in subjects that you have not yet mastered and at DVLA we encourage parents to assist in educating students by committing to a semester or two of educating students in various subject matters (DVLA compensates all Educators). In addition to sharing expertise and knowledge, you may discover that there is just a whole lot of lived experience in your co-op so it can be beneficial to take your homeschooling questions to your co-op meet ups to gain insight and clarity on how to improve your families homeschooling experience.
- To gain inspiration. If we aren’t careful our homeschooling setting can easily mimic a public school setting which feels counterproductive to facilitating home education in the first place. Without the proper inspiration, a homeschooling parent can suck all the fun and excitement out of learning. Being a part of a homeschooling co-op increases your chances of creating fun, engaging lessons and field trips because you are meeting up with other parents who are focused on the same goal. Most times, when you get around other parents who are focused on creating fun for their children you also feel motivated and inspired to do the same (which may not necessarily be the case if you are homeschooling “on an island” alone).
For you new homeschooling parents who chose to take the lead in teaching your child at home, you couldn’t have made a more excellent decision. And even if you are a parent who was involuntarily thrust into the world of homeschooling, consider this a blessing in disguise because often times a child’s primary, core group of caregivers (i.e. family, parents, their “village”) are best suited to educate them about not just academics but also about themselves and their cultural “ways”/practices..and this applies to all cultures.
Join DVLA today.
DVLA is a black owned, woman led homeschooling coop that infuses afrocentric language and practices into basic teaching lessons to provide academic support to “school at home”, “unschooling” and “world schooling” families. We are NOW ACCEPTING NEW STUDENT-DREAMERS, enroll today!!