. . . Never start a Co-Op with moms just because they live near you
and your kids are in the same grade.
with immediate responses to questions is
the type of education that was reserved
for nobility in ancient days, as well as
the method that has made homeschoolers test in the 80% on the average. I do
not recommend abandoning the tutorial
method for the sake of more help.
On forming two smaller Co-Ops instead of one large one . . . It is best to
group kids into readers and non-reader
groups. That division helps immensely
with activity instructions.
Policies Solve Potential Problems
The more you iron out before hand, the
less wrinkles and tears you will have in
the middle of the school year. General
housekeeping questions concerning days,
hours, carpools, lunches, dress, etc. need
to be answered. In two or three summer
meetings, those items can be addressed.
Co-Ops can be weekly, twice a month,
or monthly. My vote is for the regularity
of weekly, and as long as you have taken
dressed kids to someone else’s house, I
vote for a full day of Co-Op.
This is not a day of seatwork and reading that can be done independently at
home. Co-Op day should be reserved for
Barnum and Bailey activities that take
time to organize and work better with
a group. As long as you are getting eyeballs to dissect, you might as well pick up
twelve of them!
Discipline is always a concern when
you take care of another person’s kids.
Personally, I can work with a known
felon—if I am in agreement with his
authorities or parents about what my
response should be and what their response to unruly behavior is going
With many families involved, be sensitive to money issues and dress issues.
While one family may have expendable
income for craft materials and field trips,
another may not. Dress is also an issue.
You don’t want Janey’s special dress ruined by paint, and you do not want the
kids to go to the museum representing
homeschoolers looking like ragamuffins.
Communication is the key.
Confucius says, “Faintest ink better
than strongest memory.” Discussion
that establishes agreed-upon, written
policies before issues arise gives everyone policies to refer back to when
issues arise, thereby putting the focus on
established policies rather than on personalities. Above all else, add a covering
of prayer for each other and each other’s
Jessica Hulcy, co-author of KONOS Curriculum, the first curriculum written for
homeschool, is an educator, author, and formerly popular national homeschool speaker
prior to her near-fatal wreck in 2009. A
graduate of the University of Texas, mom to
four grown sons, and “Grandear” to grandchildren, Jessica lives with her husband
Wade on acreage in Texas. Recently Jessica
and Wade started the ultimate online help
for homeschooling moms called Homeschool
Mentor. Visit www.homeschoolmentor.com
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