If you have never been part of a co-op before, or if you want more details about our co-op classes, we hope this page will answer some of your questions.
A co-operative ("co-op") is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual benefit.
What's the difference between a co-op and a co-op class?
Co-op refers to our support group as a whole. Every activity, filed trip, family event and class we offer is part of the co-op experience, and we expect parents to be active participants. We offer our co-op classes in the Spring of each year. These usually run on Fridays for 5 or 6 weeks (depending on Spring Break).
What do you consider "active participation"?
We do not have any "drop-off" activities at this time. Some co-ops provide fee based classes where older students can be dropped off. Harlingen Homeschoolers provide that, and we usually post those classes at the beginning of the school year. When you sign up your child for a field trip or class, we plan on you being present to assist or to teach. For family activities, we may need supplies. we usually post requests on the forum.
How do you decide what classes to offer?
since this is a voluntary group, all our class offerings depend on parents who volunteer to teach. If you have a class that you would like to teach, please let someone in the Executive committee know. The EC works on planning, scheduling, and organizing field trips and events. However, the EC is not a paid board. You will notice that the EC members are active volunteers who teach a number of classes we offer. If you are teaching a unit to your child that would be enhanced by group participation, then we encourage you to volunteer.
How do you decide when activities are offered?
The EC tries very hard to offer activities at various times. We know that everyone's schedule differs, so we keep that in mind when we schedule activities. Field trips and community service events are based on the available time slots provided by the specific organizations or places where we go. family events are usually scheduled for evenings or on a Saturday. Specific classes are based on when the volunteer teacher can do the classes. When we do activities at CFC, we also need to co-ordinate with Phil Corzine and make sure that the times do not conflict with other activities.
Why are some events on the calendar at the start of the year, but later dropped?
We know most families have multiple commitments to juggle. we try to give you plenty of time to plan. Sometimes, we schedule an event that has to be cancelled due to lack of participation. If you see a class that you are interested in, please sign up or fill out interest surveys when they are sent out! That is the only way we can measure interest. If you are interested, but there is a scheduling conflict, let the co-ordinator for that event know. Perhaps we can find a solution together.
What if a child misbehaves during co-op classes?
We believe that each parent should be responsible for disciplining his/her own child. If you are a teacher or an assistant, and you see a child being disruptive, please ask the child (kindly) to stop. If that does not stop the disruptive behavior, then ask the parent to take the child outside of the classroom. Parents, please talk to your children and explain what is expected in a classroom setting. Here are some behaviors that will not be tolerated:
1. Disrespect towards the teacher.
2. Hitting another child
My child has food allergies, and he can't eat the food being offered during one of the events.
We understand that food allergies can be quite serious, so please let the teacher or event co-ordinator know. If you or your child have special dietary needs, it may be best to bring the foods you can eat to that event.
Why don't you offer a separate "Mom's night out" so I can have time to fellowship with other moms?
In the past, we offered this, but it has not been well attended. We've found that the parents are able to use the time before and after co-op to fellowship. At the start of the school year, we usually organize a new homeschoolers mentoring night. We encourage you to look at the directory and see which families have kids who are close to your children's ages. Ask them to join you for a play date or for an outing.
Do you do activities with other homeschool groups?
The evening at Donna's Corn maze is an event that we coordinate with the other Homeschool groups in the valley. We hope to be able to provide more of these.