When we began our homeschooling adventure, we connected with other homeschool families found in our church and neighborhood. It wasn’t hard to plug in and find ways to hang out via playdates, field trips, and the essential monthly Moms’ Night Out.
During the time we were in the midst of moving, I was approached to join a homeschool co-op that was starting up with a trial run in the summer.
For those who don’t know, a homeschool co-op is when a group of homeschooling kids get together to learn in a co-operative setting. There are mixed grades/ ages and can provide one piece of the socialization puzzle that so many non-homeschooling people get hung up on. (Seriously. These days, if you aren’t a homeschooler and you ask a homeschool family about socialization, you just seem silly. I’ll still politely take your questions though.) Homeschool co-ops can range from a bunch of parents teaching one topic weekly to a bunch of families spending the money to hire qualified teachers to teach their kids subjects that might be out of the scope of the parents’ skill sets. There is really no wrong way to set up a co-op (from what I have seen).
Our parents teach classes- I teach the 3 year olds (ABC basics) and there are two other older classes who are learning about etiquette and a science class. There is also a PE element. And it’s a fun time for Fuller. Tebow tries to hang out in the nursery, but by the end of the morning he is toddling around following me, missing his morning nap.
But it is hard. By the time we are finished (we have to clean up afterward) and get home exhaustion has set in for all three of us. I did make the change that I don’t expect any other school to take place on Wednesdays, since it was obvious after a few weeks of trying that out was more misery than anyone should have to handle.
In the long run, the hard is going to be worth it. If not for the extra knowledge Fuller gains but for the midweek interaction with other homeschool families that kind of energizes us for the rest of the week.