Start Your Own Mini Co-op Class

Start Your Own Mini Co-op Class

One way homeschooling parents break up the week and get out of the house is by joining a co-op. A co-op is a group of families that organize their own classes and other activities. Typically, the classes are taught by one of the parents. Some co-ops are highly organized. They publish regular newsletters, collect dues, rent classroom space, and even sometimes hire professional instructors. The most structured of these co-ops are virtually part-time private schools.

But you don’t have to create something as elaborate or expensive to get the benefit of group classes and regular get-togethers. When my kids were younger, we got a group together for occasional short classes that one or another of the parents would volunteer to teach. A mini co-op class can give you and your kids a chance to meet other families and share the learning experience that fits your busy lifestyle.

Pick a subject your family will enjoy.

It can be something you are qualified to teach, or something you would like to learn about too. The best use of a co-op class is something that lends itself to discussion and cooperation. Projects that involve specialized tools or materials are a good choice too, since you can split the cost with the group or make use of what another family can provide.

Invite other families to join you.

Use your local homeschooling networks to find families who want to take part. Decide how big a class you’d like to have, and what range of ages. If you get your group together at the planning stage, you’ll have a better idea of how to carry out the next steps.

Find a teacher.

If you’re not going to teach it yourself, you’ll need to find an instructor. Your first choice can be to ask the families who are interested in participating. Maybe there’s a chef who’s willing to lead a cooking class, or a mechanic who can teach bike repair. Another good resource is hobbyists and retirees in your community. They are often passionate about their subjects, and willing to share their knowledge for free or a small fee.