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Often an outgrowth of a homeschool support group, a homeschool cooperative (or “co-op”) is a unique type of local connection for home educating families. Usually, these co-ops are led by parents who volunteer as administrators, teachers, and helpers. The overall goal of a homeschool co-op is to provide a group learning environment for students who could benefit from regular socialization or who might enjoy specific coursework that’s ideal for groups, such as physical education.

An example of a homeschool co-op group in Indiana is Greenwood Home Educators. This Christian cooperative organizes its coursework around semester-long unit studies. The group meets twice a month during the school year at a local church. Dues for the co-op cover the coursework and field trips, but parents are still required to help volunteer for specific committees and activities that keep the co-op running smoothly.

Benefits of Joining a Homeschool Co-op

While initially you may be mostly interested in networking with local homeschoolers in order to get advice about getting started, over time, you’ll discover that homeschool groups and co-ops have multiple ways to enhance your experience. It’s also important to note that they can be equally beneficial for students and parents. Below is a list of advantages of local support that you may or may not have thought of.

Benefits of Joining of Homeschool Co-op

  • leveraging the talents of other parents means access to courses and subjects you might not have been able to teach at home
  • regular interactions with the same group of students weekly leads to friendships and camaraderie between homeschoolers
  • exposure to different teaching styles helps homeschoolers prepare for later school/college experiences