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FAQs



Q:

What is Branches?

A:

Branches is a homeschool co-op community that offers academic and enrichment classes, sports activities and clubs, once a week to families in the metro Phoenix area. We also seek to create a close knit community where families feel they belong and are supported. We do this through a co-op (cooperative) model, where each family contributes in some way.

Q:

What is a homeschool co-op?

A:

A homeschool co-op (or cooperative) is a group of families that come together one day a week and pool their resources to offer classes, both academic and enrichment, to children of all ages. By joining with other homeschooling families, responsibilities can be divided up and shared amongst the group. Costs are low for parent-led classes and are higher for teacher paid classes. Parents share expertise and resources with each other. Friendships are formed at the co-op and encouragement is readily available.

Q:

Why join a homeschool co-op?

A:

Growing at a tremendous rate, there is estimated to be 40,000 homeschooled children in Arizona. The need for homeschool community co-ops has never been higher. Isolation is one of the biggest problems for homeschool moms and their children. By creating Branches, we hope to connect homeschool families to a support system and a local church.
 

Q:

When and where does Branches meet?

A:

Branches Surprise meets on Wednesdays at a church near the Loop 303 and Grand Avenue for two 14 week semesters throughout the year.  There are five other Branches locations across the valley - Central, Chandler, North Valley, Southwest and West Valley.

Q:

What type of classes does Branches offer? 

A:

Branches offers a variety of academic and enrichment classes.  Some classes are taught by outside teachers and others are taught by members of our community.  These classes will change over time based on the talents of our members.

Q:

What are the costs involved in joining Branches?

 

A:

We charge a yearly registration fee per family of $50.  This amount helps to cover our fixed expenses including the website, insurance, and facilities fees.  
 
The classes we offer range in price depending on who will be teaching the classes. Classes taught by outside teachers will be higher, ranging from $60-$200 a 14 week semester depending on what they charge us. Classes taught by our members will be low and just cover the material fees.

Q:

What is the refund policy?
 
 
 

A:

Because Branches is on very tight budget (money comes in and money goes almost immediately out) we cannot refund any classes after the payment deadline which is typcically two weeks prior to the start of the semester.  Non-paid teacher families buy supplies based on the number of children enrolled in their classes.  Contracted teachers are paid for the entire semester the first day of classes. 

Q:

How do I contribute my talents to this co-op?

A:

There are a few ways to contribute to Branches.  The simplest way is to sign up for "jobs."  Once you are a member you can sign up for these jobs through the website.

Required Job Credits:

  • Families attending 1 class period = 3 credit minimum
  • Families attending 2 class periods = 5 credit minimum
  • Families attending 3 class periods = 6 credit minimum
  • Families attending 4 or more class periods = 7 credit minimum
  • Families attending 5 or more class periods = 8 credit minimum

Parent Job Examples (See class matrix for specific jobs):

2 Credits 3 Credits 8 Credits
Class Helper Teacher Coordinator
Snackbar Helper Snackbar Set-Up or Teardown Director
Floater Cleaning Crew Mini-Branchs Mornign or Afternoon Teacher
     

 

Q:

How do I sign up for classes and parent "jobs?"
 
 

A:

You sign up for classes for your children and parent jobs the same way.  After you are a member you will be able to sign up for classes and jobs on the website.  You pay for these classes through PayPal.

Q:

Does my family need to stay all day?  
 

A:

No, your family does not need to stay all day.  However, staying all day will be much more fun!  Sign up to take classes in the morning, the afternoon, or just come for one class.

Q:

Is it possible for me to leave campus if I have a doctors appointment, special errand, or other unusual situation that comes up during my "free period?"

A:

Yes.  As long as you have a responsible friend who is caring and keeping track of your children, you can leave campus during your free time.  Keep in mind that this really should be the exception, not the rule.  The purpose of Branches is to create a community of families who really get to know each other.  This can only happen if we stay on campus and spend time together.  Make sure to till out a Temporary Guardianship form and drop it off at the snackbar if you must leave campus.