It is hard to get through homeschooling alone without friendships, outings, and support. Whether you are new to homeschooling or have been at it for a while, it can be overwhelming to find homeschooling groups to join. Homeschooling doesn’t need to be a solitary thing.
Co-ops are when a group of families come together to help share in the education and teaching of the children. The group can meet at homes or at rented spaces. It helps bring homeschoolers into a class setting and share in the process of teaching different subjects. Kids get socialization and parents get support in homeschooling. Sometimes it may be a drop-off situation but most of the time it requires participation from all of the parents. Sometimes each parent is required to teach a different subject or lesson. Sometimes the children are sent home with work and lessons that require the parent to work with their children on the days that the coop does not meet. Sometimes parents have to stay and be involved. Co-ops can be free or have a fee; they can vary on how cheap or expensive they are.
There are different types of co-ops with different missions. Some are religious in nature. Others are based on a style of learning like unschooling, Montessori, or classical. Some co-ops meet based on age or grade.
Some in the area:
- SHEEP (Summerville Education Enriching Programs)
- A Christian based Co-op with classes for all ages, preschool up to seniors in high school.
- Carolina Homeschooler
- It’s unique in that this group only does field trips. Join other homeschooling families to travel all over the United States and even world to learn and enrich your homeschooling studies.
- Classical Conservations
- This is a nationwide group that meets in a few locations around the lowcountry. They meet once a week for about 3 hours. They focus on a classical way of teaching in a biblical view. It goes from K4 through 12th.
If you do not find a homeschooling co-op that sounds like a good fit for you and your family, think about starting one of your own. Find a few like-minded families and organize your own co-op. Everyone has their own strengths and can bring it to the table to teach different subject matters. You could even hire outside parties to help with teaching things like music, art, or fitness, if you want an expert teaching your children. Don’t be alone in homeschooling.