This is one of those posts I am writing in the midst of preparing for our next co-op year. I have led one of our local co-ops for 4 years. During that time we have gone through a lot of changes and I have learned a lot about leading busy Mamas. Here are a few tips I have for other homeschool co-op leaders, teachers or members.
- Plan your homeschool co-op’s schedule – Most of the co-op I know work off a 36 week schedule. Some meet weekly and other, like mine, meet bi weekly. Decide where, which day and how often to meet. Once your dates are set don’t change your dates mid year on a whim, instead try to maintain the same dates.
- Be Flexible – Listen to the members of your co-op. We have had years with 3 class periods, 4 class periods, clubs, and more. Let your co-op expand and contract with your membership. Have fun
- Require an entire years syllabus from your homeschool co-op’s teachers –When school starts life gets really hectic. So require your teachers to have all (most) of their planning done, supplies purchased and copies made before the co-op begins. It sounds crazy but having done it both ways let me assure you the year in which we completed the vast majority of planning, buying and copying before hand was smooth sailing.
- Have a clear purpose for your homeschool co-op- Your co-op or community should have a clearly defined purpose. The purpose of our co-op is to Encourage Mama’s as they homeschool by doing history projects, science experiments & subjects we don’t do at home. Additionally, we want to encourage our members to form lasting friendships So we fellowship during the summer we swim, during the year we have ladies night out etc… By having a clearly defined purpose we are able to veto activities and to jump wholeheartedly into other activities that fit our purpose.
Through a little diligence over the summer you should have a very successful homeschool co-op year!
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