Homeschool co-ops are great for like-minded parents trying to provide their children with a good education outside of the local school system. In fact, many parents start the co-ops themselves because local options aren’t offering courses they deem valuable, or there isn’t one available locally at all.
In fact, some co-ops fill up quickly, leaving many parents on a waiting list, where they can come together and form their own co-op. So, whatever your motivation is, use these tips for starting a homeschool co-op successfully.
Don’t Do It Yourself
Managing a good homeschool co-op is challenging on your own, especially if your group continues expanding over time. Partner with several additional homeschooling parents who will assist with decision-making, from forming rules to choosing which classes to offer.
Whether the parents are teaching or you’re bringing in professionals for help, having a group of homeschooling parents overseeing everything is essential. Find other parents who you can trust and rely on to provide the students a meaningful education. However, for your team to work effectively, you must agree on a distinct goal.
Solidify a Goal
The inception of local homeschool co-ops begins for various reasons. Sometimes, parents want to homeschool kids without having them miss out on the social aspect of school. Other times, parents want to structure a curriculum with unique subjects that local schools don’t offer.
For example, you can add Spanish lessons to a homeschool co-op for young children. Kindergarten is the perfect time to introduce foreign languages to young children, though many local education providers wait until middle or high school before making foreign languages part of the curriculum. Having a clear, concise goal at the center of your co-op will make it much easier to bring newcomers in and make them feel comfortable.
Prioritize Your Marketing
One of the best tips for starting a homeschool co-op is to consider all possible avenues for reaching out to other homeschooling families. Contact families through email and social media to spread the word about your co-op; Facebook groups for homeschooling parents are a great place to begin.
How you structure your admission process can vary. For example, you can keep it small, focusing on an invite-only system. On the other hand, you can allow parents to request admission, then let the co-op approve or decline accordingly. However you choose to approach admissions, make sure other like-minded homeschooling parents hear your voice in your area.