What is a Co-op?
Our homeschool co-op is a group of homeschoolers that meet together once a week for exciting and enriching classes for all ages. Homeschooling is hard work and can feel isolating at times. A co-op can help with fellowship and fun!
We are not a group of paid educators or facilitators, but it is a great way to share our gifts, talents and skills. Classes are meant for children to get together to do electives that are more fun in a group setting and to provide additional learning opportunities for your main educational subjects. These are not meant to be “academically heavy” classes. While we want the classes to be educational, we do not want the students to be overwhelmed or not enjoy the classes.
Many members have special gifts or skills and desire to share them with our group…thus a co-op teacher is born. Classes are planned, organized and developed by parents for the sole purpose of blessing our families.
What is expected of me?
Each family must have a parent teach at least one class and/or assist one class each week. Since you already teach academics at home with your own kids, this is your chance to be more adventurous in a group. Be creative and think out of the box. No certain curriculum is required. Use your resources, there are thousands of ideas available on the internet. Brainstorm together with other parents and pair up to teach a class! Great things are accomplished in teams!
What makes our co-op unique?
We are military families so we understand separations, deployments, frequent moves, etc. Our co-op classes are not a big commitment. We have 12 week semesters, because we understand a military life is a busy life and family time is important, and the spring semester will always end before the start of PCS season in June.
We are flexible. We all homeschool our children using different methods and styles and with respect to that, no one certain method is used in the co-op.
It is affordable. Our teachers only collect supply fees when necessary, so as to keep the cost low for all of our families.
Advantages of co-op:
- Co-op’s classes provide the opportunity for group learning, interaction with peers, and the chance to make lifelong friends. CMH has other locations and families have been known to see each other again at other duty stations.
- Co-op is a wonderful place for parents to find encouragement and exchange resources. Often you will find parents that are familiar with your curriculum or can suggest one that worked for them. It is a great place to get ideas for a struggling learner or prayer for a difficult situation.
- A lot of parents use co-op to help their kids in the classes they themselves might not like teaching. The ability to share in the gifts and talents of other homeschooling parents can be a big help. We were all given unique gifts and using those gifts to help each other is a wonderful experience.
- Kids have a lot of fun at co-op. Classes are fun group electives such as drama or PE or messy classes like cooking and art. Your kids will look forward to co-op and not even realize you get to count it all as school!
- CMH co-op is unique because we not only understand military life, but we are also Christians dedicated to raising our children in accordance with God’s Word. We can share in our struggles of being far from family and friends, new places and parenting alone. No other co-op will be made exclusively of families that truly know what you are going through as a Christian military spouse.
Challenges of co-op:
- Unrealistic or unmet expectations. Parents will have different ideas and methods of teaching than you. You might have the perfect class in mind for your child, but the parent teaching it might not have that same idea.
- Trusting others. Most homeschoolers like control over all aspects of their child's education. In a co-op, you will be giving part of that control away to the parent teaching your child. This can be uncomfortable.
- Different styles, personalities, and values. While members need to acknowledge the statement of faith, this does not mean all members will be Christian or your same denomination. There might even be group rules and policies you disagree with.
- Socialization. Some children have difficulty getting along with others. Is your child a team player or able to work in a group, or deal with another student who isn’t?
- Commitment. For the most part, co-op classes do not have a lot of substitutes available. If you drop out mid semester, you leave kids without a class. Do not jump into the commitment of a co-op without making sure your schedule will be clear and that you will have the time it takes.
- Although we strive to create a welcoming and fitting place for all homeschoolers, we know CMH will not work out for everyone. If your family is not happy with CMH we ask that you please finish out your commitment and talk with the director so that we can address any problems.