So it is time for a new blog post. We will go with the obvious and discuss why cooperative learning for homeschoolers works.
Our last duty station we did not do any co-ops at first. We did join one that last year we were there but only because I had a wonderful church family with kids around the same ages with amazing moms. My heart still hurts when I think about what we left there. It wasn’t easy. We joined 3-4 families and met in someone’s home. I saw most of those kids 4-5 days a week. Our children were like cousins and it was wonderful.
I realized then some of the benefits of cooperative learning. I also realized it took what felt like moving a mountain to prepare, get everyone there on time with packed lunches, all my lesson materials (I taught 3 subjects then), and have enough energy left to actually teach. Those benefits were not always immediately apparent until after we left.
When we arrived here the area was MUCH smaller and our options were limited. As homeschoolers we have no built-in systems at each location for our kids to make new friends or find new activities. It changes each duty station and seemed more challenging at this one.
Now I am not saying you should join a co-op because it is for socialization or better education or any other reason. Your reason are you own and will change with each family, each duty station, and even for each child in the family.
We enjoy the fun day of learning. My children harass, HARASS, me asking when co-op will start again. They love the classes and kids they meet. I love meeting new parents and teaching some of those classes. It stretches my brain or in some cases forces it to recall information it hadn’t used since college. It also gives us opportunities to serve our community and other homeschoolers.
Does it work for everyone? No. Can one co-op be all things to all homeschoolers? No, no group can do that. We can only do our best with what we have and pray it is good.
I pray this group is good and what those who come to us need at that time. I pray it is what you need. See you Monday!