Saturday, January 31, 2015

JCCH Co-op

In my area, the time has quickly rolled around for homeschool co-op classes again. I thought that telling about what we do might help other support groups to try the venture or give some new ideas for groups already offering classes.

Our support group began with four families getting together to share a day of activities. We took turns coming up with what to do. That was 20 years ago. Now the co-op read more
includes over 30 families and had to get more organized with some officers and more advanced planning. To tell the truth, I felt blessed by the small group and the large group. Either way, the members got to know each other better and felt the support of others in their homeschooling efforts.

Co-op time for me became a break from routine. Getting our children out the door to arrive by 9:00 A.M. sometimes proved to be a challenge, but worth it. They made friends, and I had other adults to talk to. The classes almost seemed secondary, but what our children learned during those years stuck fast and enriched their lives.

The way co-op is done at this point in time is to send out a letter asking who would like to be involved and how each family would be willing participate. They ask that each family plan one class either teaching themselves or by asking a community member to teach. After the survey letter comes back, the committee meets to make a list of classes trying for enough for each age group. The committee then sends a final list of classes to the interested members, and the families select classes for their children.

We meet for five to six weeks one morning a week offering two class periods of an hour each. We tried meeting in the fall but found that the late winter months are better. Those cooped up winter months seem alleviated by going to co-op. Everyone seems to appreciate the break it gives.

Our group always includes a devotional time led by one or more individuals. They have a half hour time of a short devotion with some singing, announcements, and ending with prayer. This happened first other years, but this year they decided to have the time between the two class periods.

What is offered? Such a wide variety that I am not going to list them all. Every year the offerings change. The favorites this year seem to be an All About Me class for K to 2 that plans to make a life size paper with paper organs, Plastic Canvas Craft  for grades 2 to 5, Ben Franklin Inventions for grades 3 to 6 during which the children will make crafts relating to the famous man’s inventions, and Math and Science with Legos for grades 5 to 7.

This year’s group is younger than some years. We have offered high school classes and had a good attendance. High schoolers also make good teachers and good helpers. A male high schooler asked to sit in on my class on Pennsylvania history last year and turned out to be an excellent help with the three active boys that I had.

At the end, the co-op chairman sees that each student is given a certificate for each class completed with the co-op name, dates, and class attended. The certificate is signed by the teacher. The last day of co-op we have a sharing time with display tables of projects and oral presentations by the classes.

We’ve found co-op fun, educational, and well worth the time spent planning and executing. 

Check out my writer friend's book, Homeschool Co-ops 101


  1. Sandy, thank you for the mention! Looks like this co-op is off to a great start! :)

    1. Always glad to advertise your books. They're great!

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