What is Branches?
Branches is a homeschool co-op community that offers academic and enrichment classes, sports activities and clubs, once a week to families in the east Mesa 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.
What is a homeschool co-op?
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.
Why join a homeschool co-op?
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.
When and where does Branches meet?
Branches Mesa campus meets on Wednesdays at a large church in northeast Mesa, just off the 202/Red Mountain Freeway and Recker Road. Classes start at 9am and run through the afternoon. A full day is not required to attend, but highly recommended for the building of friendships and community. Branches has other campuses around the valley that meet other days of the week.
What type of classes does Branches offer?
Branches offers a variety of academic and enrichment classes. Most classes are taught by members of our community, volunteer moms and dads like you! These classes will change over time based on the talents of our members.
How does the Mini-Branches Classes run?
Mini-Branches is run similarily to a pre-school setting. They stay in the same classroom for the duration of co-op. Teachers rotate through the classrooms and lead the kids in different lessons or activities.
Do families use the same curriculum?
All of our families use a variety of curriculum in their homes. We are not an academic co-op, meaning the subjects/lessons we have are not associated to any specific curriculum and are aimed at being supplemental.
What are the costs involved in joining Branches?
We charge a yearly membership fee per family of $50. This amount helps to cover our fixed expenses including the website, insurance, background checks, and facilities fees.
Each class, whether it's for Mini-Branches or regular Branches, has a $5 class fee, which helps to pay for operation costs. Classes may also include supplies fees. Supplies fees for Mini-Branches range from $15 (nursery) to $50; these fees cover the costs of materials, supplies, and snacks. Supplies fees for regular Branches classes (elementary-high school) depend on the class being taught.
What is the refund policy?
Because Branches is on a tight budget (money comes in and money goes out almost immediately) we cannot refund any registration fees or class fees 2 weeks prior to the first day of class. Teachers 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.
How do I contribute my talents to this co-op?
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. See the link in the left-hand Menu Bar for further explanation.
Does my family need to stay all day?
No, your family does not need to stay all day. However, staying all day will be much more fun! Families are required to stay for a minimum of two class periods.
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?"
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.