In early June of 2015, a family was hovering between school enrollment and continuing to home educate. A burned out, defeated mom told her husband, "If we're going to continue to homeschool, we have to join a co-op. We need that in our lives if we're going to make this work. Trouble is, I don't know if there's a co-op in our area to join."
Thus began discussion on the local homeschooler Facebook group. It quickly became clear there were over 100 families interested in starting a new co-op for the Southeastern CT area, and out of all that interest, Thames Valley Homeschool Cooperative was born.
Over the Summer of 2015, a small team of women poured many hours into solidifying our vision, drafting bylaws and an operating structure, researching organization requirements, planning classes, and searching for a location in which to meet. We ran our first classes in Norwich in the Winter of 2016.
Toward the end of 2016, we decided to morph our current co-op into a 4-H group. This turned out to be a wonderful solution to some of our roadblocks in growing the co-op, and it opens up many new homeschooling resources and opportunities for our members. As of January 2017, we are now Thames Valley 4-H.
We grew out of a need in our community for a co-op that serves all ages of homeschoolers, that is easy to find online, and open to new members. We have yet to find a location that makes it possible for our specific group to meet all those needs, but until a large enough location presents itself we have done our best to run the classes we can where we can. So far, we have been able to serve around 15-25 families at any given time with children ranging from pre-school to middle-school ages.