We’ve all heard the age-old concern about socialization in homeschooled kids. How are you to help kids socialize when homeschooling?
While the majority of homeschool parents don’t struggle with finding outlets to socialize their students, for some it is a concern. A great way to meet other homeschooling families and to help socialize your kids is participating in a local homeschool co-op.
What is a homeschool co-op?
The basic definition of a homeschool co-op is just what the name denotes. It is a cooperative group of like-minded homeschool parents and students working together to create a community of homeschoolers to the benefit of the group. Some groups offer extensive, planned classes, sports and activities that meet on a regular basis. Still yet, others exist just as a support system for parents and a play group for children. Some of the neatest co-ops will have the parents use their talents and abilities to teach classes on a specific subject to kids in a certain age group, a sort of “shared learning” if you will.
How do I find a homeschool co-op?
If you’re new to an area, sometimes it can be tough to find like-minded homeschool families. A great way to find groups in your area is by asking around, or searching via the internet on Facebook or Google. If you have lived in an area for a long time, check with fellow homeschool families and see if they are involved in a homeschool co-op that you can be a part of. Many co-ops will have a Spring semester and a Fall semester. Some will even have a sign-up in advance, and sometimes there are waiting lists, so make sure you sign-up early, if sign-ups are required.
What if there aren’t any co-ops in my area?
Start one! It can be as simple as meeting up at the park, or at each other’s houses once a month for a play date or planned activity. Make sure you do plenty of research before just starting a group, to make sure there aren’t multiple co-ops in one area. Sometimes that can just prove to divide areas, instead of creating community. There are no set rules on how a co-op needs to work, so get together with fellow homeschool families and brainstorm over what ideas you think would be beneficial to your group of students!
Make sure you catch up on all of our posts in our 14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Series.