11 Reasons NOT to Join Our Co-Op
Homeschool co-ops are a wonderful opportunity for many reasons, but they do not work for every homeschooling family. We would rather you determine whether or not our co-op is a good fit before you make the commitment to participate. If you are currently experiencing these situations, please sit down and honestly think about whether or not now is a good time to join our co-op!
1. If you have a full time job or a hectic extracurricular schedule and already have very limited days for your normal learning at home, you will find that co-op takes up your already very precious time needed for studies. Co-op takes a full day every other week. Co-op runs because everyone helps out. We expect members to respect the time that the teachers put into planning classes for our children and to honor the commitment co-op entails when they join. If you are already spread very thin and juggle lots of obligations, you probably won’t have enough time to devote to co-op.
2. If you or your close relatives are experiencing serious health concerns, please make those obligations your first priority. Joining co-op at this time will only add more stress to your life. If you and your children are unable to meet your weekly obligations due to medical concerns, doctor appointments, or health treatments, you will find yourself over extended and overly stressed. You will let yourself, your family, and the co-op down.
3. If you already know that you may miss two or more meetings during the upcoming semester, please do not join our co-op at this time. We understand that people get sick, cars break down, and other unexpected issues arise, but we also respect the time and effort that teachers put into their classes. They deserve to have students and teaching assistants in the room and ready to work prior to the start of class. We ask families to honor their commitment and make arriving on time a priority. It is very disruptive and unfair to have numerous people straggling in once class has begun. Try to schedule appointments and vacations on off-weeks or during co-op breaks. If you know that you cannot commit to being at a majority of meetings or to arriving on time, please refrain from signing up at this time.
4. If your children are prone to frequent illnesses, you may want to wait until their immune systems build up because you will likely miss too many days to make co-op worthwhile. If you or your children are sick or recovering from an illness, please do not attend co-op that week. We expect families to stay home until they are symptom-free and are no longer contagious. If you will likely miss numerous co-op meetings due to illnesses, you should not join.
5. If you are joining co-op as a substitute for school or so you won't have to teach your children at home, then co-op will not meet your needs. Classes only meet once every other week and only in the fall and spring, so you must still be the primary teacher. You are responsible for your children's education because the bulk of their education is completed at home and, as the parent, you know your children better than any teacher ever could. Co-op parents need to ensure that their students keep up with homework that is assigned during class, and they may need to assign supplemental coursework at home if their children need additional support in order to be successful during their co-op classes.
6. If you homeschool because your child could not learn in a classroom environment or if your child does not do well in a group setting, you probably will not be happy with co-op. We expect "classroom manners". We must rely on some rules and guidelines so that things move smoothly and effectively during lessons. If you unschool, you and/or your children may not feel comfortable with the structure required during classes. Proper behavior is required in order for learning to occur. It is not acceptable for someone to be a constant distraction during class.
7. If you join co-op purely for socialization experiences, you will likely find the classes too academic. Most high school and middle school classes that are academically based require homework. Some classes might even require independent work, lessons, or projects to be completed at home during winter break in order to finish the course in one year. Kindergarten and elementary classes are often academically based as well. It might be possible to select only enrichment classes (arts, music, phys. ed.), though it is not a guarantee that these will be available for every time block. If you just want co-op to be a fun place to hang out with friends, do not register.
8. If you join co-op for rigorous, college-prep courses and hope to get most of your required credits in here, you will find that the classes are not challenging enough. We do not administer tests or assign grades. The parents remain the primary teachers of their own children. Kindergarten and elementary classes typically do not have homework or lessons to follow through with at home. High school students read the material and do two weeks’ worth of homework to prepare for class lessons, discussions, or experiments. Although some high school classes are college-prep, a bi-weekly class for only 6 to 12 meetings cannot possibly cover all there is to know in a particular subject. Depending on the subject, you may want to supplement at home by assigning extra books or research.
9. If your middle school or high school students already have a full load of schoolwork at home and are members of other academic groups or another co-op, they probably will not have the time to complete the homework for our co-op. Please focus on only one co-op at a time.
10. If your child is going through obedience issues, a clingy phase, or social or behavioral problems, this is not a good time to join a co-op. Focus on the character and emotional growth of your child before putting him or her into a situation that s/ he may not be ready to deal with, whether the cause is behavioral or developmental. This applies to all children, regardless of age or grade level. Most parents volunteering to teach classes are not equipped to teach or maintain order in classes containing children with severe disabilities. If you have a child with extreme special needs, co-op may not be a good fit at this time. Please note that if your child is very shy and you would like to volunteer to assist in a classroom where your child is in order to help them to be successful in the room, you may do so as long as you are still available to assist other children with their learning and to help the teacher with materials.
11. If you are on an extremely tight budget or live a good distance from our location, you may not want to make the financial investment. Class fees are minimal (not more than $10 per class for the semester) and cover only the supplies that the teacher will be providing for your children, but fees can add up for larger families. Also, gas prices may be a concern if you live a considerable distance away. We do understand that families might go through tough financial situations for a variety of reasons and we do not want the cost of registering to be a factor for not joining co-op. If there are severe hardships, please speak with the Leadership Team. However, if you choose to sign your child up for classes that have additional fees, you will be responsible for paying those teachers regardless of monetary situations.
We love our co-op program. We feel that we are able to offer a lot to our families. No co-op can fit every family’s needs, though. Before joining our co-op, search your heart and ask yourself if participating in a co-op right now would help or hinder your family at this particular time. Also, consider your reasons for wanting to join a co-op. Ask yourself what you expect from participating in this co-op, and then ask some of our members whether or not this co-op will likely meet your expectations.
We really Do want you to join us, if it is a good fit for your family at this time.
Hollidaysburg Homeschool Co-op