Part I

 

What are co-ops? Are they a dumping ground for moms too busy to teach their children, or are they a blessing to moms wanting innovative ideas and weekly interaction with others?  What makes a successful co-op? This 3-part article will address:

 

  • Different types of co-ops
  • Benefits and shortcomings
  • Starting one
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Nuts and bolts of a history co-op

 

I’ve been involved in co-ops since my first day home schooling back in 1991. They take time and preparation. Sometimes they are inconvenient or downright aggravating. Why do I stick with them? Because they have been such a blessing to us. Some of my boys’ favorite memories involve co-op activities. Mine, too! However, a group that works well together and provides motivation and a positive learning environment doesn’t happen by chance. Someone needs to organize it.  Someone needs to have a vision and a plan. And someone needs to really, and I mean  really, COMMUNICATE!!

 

Communication Is the Key!

 

Define co-op. Not surprisingly, it may mean something different to your best friend than it means to you. Make sure everyone involved is on the same page. Since co-op stands for “cooperative,” the assumption is that a co-op is a group where everyone involved cooperates with one another to make something happen. While that sounds lovely, the reality is a committee is not the most effective means for running co-ops. I prefer when starting a co-op to either go it alone or involve just one or two close friends with whom I already know I work well. After it is planned and organized, I then invite other people who buy into our vision to join us.

 

Important Issues to Decide