This year we began our adventure in homeschooling! I entered this year with a lot of fear. Unsure if we had made the right choice. Scared I was taking something from my child by choosing this road less traveled. Waves of doubt and worry come and go but one thing that has strengthened my confidence and resolve to continue homeschooling has been our co-op.
As a person who loves being with people, having a community to connect our family to has been invaluable. Seeing how real and amazing other families are that have made the choice to homeschool is so encouraging! It gives me hope this can work. Here are my top reasons why a co-op is an important addition to your homeschooling routine!
1. Community- I touched on this already but having people in your life who have been at this thing longer is gold. There is a lot to navigate in the homeschool world- curriculum, field trips, routines, parenting issues and so much more! Having a group of other Mom’s who have worked out some of this stuff successfully is so helpful!
2. Another Teacher for your kid- We are apart of Classical Conversations, which is a more structured co-op. I love this. I love that my kid has another “teacher” ( they call them tutors but for the little ones it’s a teacher). I want my kids to have practice receiving input, correction and learning from a variety of adults. This is one thing that can be missing in the mix as a homeschooling family. I want them to see our worldview stretches past our home. That there are rules that we follow in a class because following them shows kindness to others. That adults in our lives deserve respect. Also these tutors have skills I don’t. They explain things in new ways. They correct behavior with creativity. They offer more depth to my kids learning.
3. More friends! More friends! – We love people. We’d go crazy without lots of chances to love on people in our week. We may have forced this on our kids but they are the same. They love making friends. They love being around other kids. Our co-op just gives me and the kids more chances to make friends. We may not be best friends with everyone but just being apart and around a group fills us up. I’ve heard many people say their kid is too social for homeschool. We are kinda all like that. Momma’s too social for homeschool. Knowing that we cast a big net and take what could be a problem and turn it into an opportunity! Side rant- school doesn’t allow that much time to actually make friends. We can take our time. We lunch, we play, we go on field trips. There is time to really make friends. ❤️
4. Accountability- Joining a group invites more voices into your homeschooling journey. For us my guy has a tutor. She seems how my boy is doing and I can ask her if she feels he’s on track. It also ensures we cover a bunch of content each week that I probably would never get to on my own. Latin? Science experiments? Skip counting?
5. Breaks the “homeschool stereotype” – we all have in the back of our heads, that Mom. The actual terms of what it is we don’t want to become may vary from person to person. Confession: I hate when people hear about our lifestyle and comment, “oh I could never do that.” The comment may be honest but for me it makes me feel other, not relatable anymore. Honestly, one thing that held me back from wanting to homeschool was becoming that mom. The Mom’s I’ve met are so far from whatever crazy model of a homeschooler I had in my head. Even is ones that actually have seven kids! These families are amazing. They all have different backgrounds, reasons for choosing homeschool, they are smart, happy and full of life! Seeing their families thrive in this lifestyle is soooo encouraging. Especially at this stage in the game, where most the folks we know are starting public school and we haven’t got far enough along to see the results of our investment.
We are involved with a Classical Conversations co-op in our area. This is great for us! The good news is there are so many options. Find your people! The best part of this journey is there is no “one size fits all” way to do it. Happy Learning!