The Pro’s and Con’s of Homeschool Co-ops

Pros and Cons of Homeschool Co-ops

Now is the time of year when you begin seeing signs and hearing all about Homeschool Co-ops. Homeschool Co-ops can be a great thing! But, for some they are overwhelming, and another thing to “mark off” the schedule.

Before committing to a homeschool co-op it is important to weigh the pros and cons.

Pro’s of Homeschool co-ops

  • Socialization-This is a given and the reason many families choose to participate in co-ops. Homeschool co-ops allow your children to meet with the same kids week after week which encourage friendships to be built.
  • School like experience- One thing I hear often is “how will the kids operate in the real world”, while I don’t believe school is “real life” I know many parents want their children to experience a school like environment. Homeschool co-ops can offer this.
  • Takes care of the extras- Homeschool co-ops allow you to “mark off” the extras like music, art, and PE.
  • Allow children to learn new things-Homeschool co-ops allow children to learn from other parents, subjects that maybe you aren’t the most experienced at. Messy science experiments, calculus, finance and many other subjects can be taught at homeschool co-ops.

Con’s of Homeschool co-ops

  • Time- Time running to class, time coming home, time at class, time to prepare lessons (if you teach), are all things to consider. Especially if you are short on time BEFORE signing up for a homeschool co-op.
  • School like experience- Yes, this is a pro and a con. Many parents homeschool because they do not want their children to learn from others, or have the public school experience. If this is why you homeschool, then a homeschool co-op may not be the best choice.
  • Commitment- Homeschool co-ops require a commitment, this can be financial (co-ops often cost), a time commitment (you will often need to commit to the length of the co-op ranging from weeks to months), or a teaching commitment (many co-ops require parents to teach, help or work in another capacity during co-op).

In addition to evaluating the pros and cons, I also suggest you talk to the homeschool group leader, ask what will be required of you. Go over the classes with your children; make sure they WANT to make the commitment that a homeschool co-op requires. You do NOT want to be dragging them a few weeks in when they don’t even want to be there.

Before agreeing to a homeschool co-op it is important to know all the pros and cons. Hopefully this list will help you decide if a homeschool co-op is a good fit for your family.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

How Far has Homeschooling Come?

How far has homeschooling come?

 

I have been homeschooling for 6 years, and honestly I have never really thought about how far homeschooling has come. But, it has!

Freedom

Homeschooling has grown leaps and bounds, and many of us enjoy the freedom of homeschooling without really thinking about those who fought for our right to enjoy it.

Homeschooling began in the late 1960’s and 1970’s as a radical alternative to the public education system. It continued to grow in the 1980’s thanks to a movement by educational professionals Raymond and Dorothy Moore, as well as John Holt, both viewed home education as a natural aspect of life. NOT a reproduction of public education.  By the early 1990’s homeschooling was legal in every state.

Laws vary from state to state, and you can see your states laws regarding homeschooling here.

Popularity

Today there are as many as two million American children who are homeschooled. This number continues to grow as much as 15-20% each year (U.S. Census Bureau). Due to the growth of homeschooling, it is safe to say that it is no longer reserved to Christian families. Homeschooling has become more diversified, and the reasons families’ homeschool vary widely.

Curriculum Options

Early homeschoolers had few options when it came to educating their children. The library, and a few publishing companies was really the only help that they had.

Now days we have a plethora of options. The internet opened up a world of learning at our fingertips. That combined with a vast amount of curriculum options ranging from Christian, to secular, digital to literature based, and much more means that families can teach their children how they see fit, and find a curriculum that can help them do it!

Groups, Field Trips and More!

Many years ago there was not the number of homeschoolers that we have today. What did moms do for socialization? They had the park. Church activities, and community events, nothing like the socialization opportunities our kids have today. Now we have homeschool groups, co-ops, field days, public school sports teams (in many states), and field trips that involve more than just our family!

For more information regarding how far homeschooling has come check out these resources:

Look How Far Homeschooling Has Come

Homeschooling Goes Mainstream

Homeschooling

A Brief History of Homeschooling

History of Homeschooling in the US and Georgia

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

 

 

 

3 Unexpected Advantages of Homeschooling

Unexpected advantages to homeschooling

 

There are many advantages of homeschooling. Our kids perform better academically, we get to have a say in their education, and our families tend to be closer. But, these are all somewhat expected advantages of homeschooling.

When I began homeschooling I knew there were advantages, but there were a few that I was not expecting!

More Sleep for our Kids

A recent study found that teens are starting school too early to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, weight gain, and brain fog. Many teens are expected to start their school day when their brains are not even fully awake.

Homeschoolers are able to start school when they are ready; they are not rushed in the morning, and are able to get a good night’s rest. This unexpected advantage of homeschooling means that our kids are more ready to face their academic challenges than their public school counterparts.

Increased Responsibility

Homeschooled children tend to be able to work more independently, and are more responsible for their own education.  They tend to have more chores, allowing them to have better life skills.  This increased responsibility makes it more possible to stand on their own two feet as an adult.

Homeschooled children tend to be more responsible and more apt to think independently. Homeschoolers who have attended college claim that they feel more mature than their dorm mates because they know how to think for themselves and are less likely to cave to peer pressure.

Lack of Socialization

Yes, that is right, lack of socialization is an unexpected advantage to homeschooling. What does this mean?

Our children are less likely to succumb to peer pressure in schools because they are not in those “groups”. They are less likely to deal with bullying, violence, and other negative aspects of public school socialization.  They are not grouped by age and gender and expected to just “get along” with kids only their own age.

Public school socialization is not really socialization. In fact, recent studies have found that, ““The socialization of home-educated students was often better than that of their schooled peers.”

Why? Because they are able to live a normal life, in the “real” world with people of all ages. They are not in a school building for the majority of the week, confined to a desk, in a room with 20 other children that happen to have been born within the same year.

There are many unexpected advantages of homeschooling, these are just a few! What have you found to be the most unexpected advantage of homeschooling?

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

 

10 Things Homeschoolers Always Get Asked

Homeschool questions

 

If you have been homeschooling awhile you can probably name of at least a dozen questions that you get asked every day about homeschooling. If you are new to homeschooling, you may not be completely prepared for abundance of interest you will receive thanks to your education choice.

Homeschooling opens the door for critics.

Homeschooling opens the door for opinions.

Homeschooling will allow you to experience 10 of the most annoying questions ever to be asked. Here are 10 things homeschoolers always get asked.

  1. What about Socialization?- This question is still one that is asked even after homeschooling has grown in popularity. There are hundreds of blog posts wrote about it, some even on this site. However it is still asked. All the time.
  2. Is that legal?- Some people believe that we do not have the freedom to homeschool. But, in fact we do.
  3. How can you teach them when you didn’t graduate from college?- Teaching degrees are not required to homeschool, but some people still think that you need one. You don’t. Period.
  4. What do you do all day? –I like to respond to this one with “twiddle my thumbs”. Because you know, what else would I do all day
  5. Won’t your kids be weird?-At some point when this is asked your children will in fact be doing something weird. You could always respond with “too late”?!
  6. What about the prom?- Because while I am teaching my child to read, the prom is always in the back of my mind….
  7. Will they get a “real” diploma?- Yep, they sure will. I can print one off in about 2.5 seconds….
  8. What about college? –Homeschoolers are able to attend college, and in a lot of cases are recruited actively by universities. No worries here!
  9. What’s wrong with public school?-Because since I am choosing a different route, there has to be something majorly wrong, right? No. This is just the choice we have made for OUR children.
  10. What about socialization? I told you be prepared for this one. Homeschoolers always get asked this question! Over and over again.

Some people ask these questions because they genuinely want to know. Respond to those with a genuine answer. The other ones, the people just rude and nosy, respond as you best see fit. I will not judge you for a harsh answer…

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Four Ways to Celebrate NOT Back to School Day

Four  Ways to Celebrate NOT  going Back to School

As a homeschooler, do you ever feel like sometimes your kids miss out on school time milestones? For example, around the first day of school pictures take over your Facebook feed, and everyone shows how excited their kids are to be going “back to school”.

Our first year homeschooling I felt that my kids were missing out, and promised myself that the next year, I would do something different. This feeling led to us celebrating NOT  back to school day.

Having a not back to school tradition gives the kids something to look forward too. It lets them see that there are things we can do, because we are not going back to school. IT has become a celebration, a way for us to celebrate the freedom homeschooling.

Here are four ways you can celebrate NOT going back to school!

 

  1. Plan a park play date!  This is how we celebrate NOT going back to school. On the first day of public school in our district, we meet our homeschool group at a local park. We spend the day there, playing games, sliding, and basketball, whatever the kids want to do.
  2. Go out for breakfast! On the first day of public school make plans to go out for breakfast. Sit and watch the school buses go by and enjoy the freedom of not having to start school at a set time.
  3. Plan a field trip! Field trips are a huge bonus of homeschooling, as many public schools are ditching them due to budget cuts.
  4. Have a jammie day! Spend the day in your jammies, watch movies, eat popcorn, play a board game. The choice is yours!

These are just a few ways that you can start a NOT back to school tradition in your homeschool. For us NOT back to school day has become one of our favorite homeschooling traditions.

Do you celebrate NOT going back to school? If not consider planning something to celebrate the freedom homeschool offers next school year.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.