I was wondering what others here think about homeschool Coop/Enrichment classes outside the home. We have done this 1x a week over the past couple of years with our boys ages 7 & 12. They have taken classes on Mondays with other homeschoolers in our city including art, science, social studies, music, math games, etc. I’m questioning whether or not to sign them up again for the fall. I don’t see them benefiting from it academically but instead it seems to be more of a social thing. Is it worth sending them only for the social reasons? It does seem to make the rest of our week feel crunched and it costs a pretty penny. Also, not all the classes are CM based. I just wondered what others take was on this and if anyone els sends their children to classes outside the home. I really appreciate all the wonderful thoughts, suggestions and advice you wise women offer. Thank you so much for answering all my questions! God Bless you all!
Heather~ I personally do not do anything outside the home other than a ommunity center ballet, etc on the weekends. I find that the week needs to have the peace of us just being at home, able to learn, without the stress of being out. We are a single income family as well, so to do that for 4 kids would be costly! However, we do do a co-op in eachothers homes, using other people’s strengths, etc. So right now, on Thursdays, we have another family come over and she teaches geography, while I sometimes do an art class in my home, as her art skills are very weak. This can sometimes acheieve what you are looking for while maintaining more peace in your week, and saving on your finances? Just thought I would share what we do! HTH! Blessings!BlessedMamaMember
Pretty much the only thing we’ve done outside the home during the week is music lessons. We also teach music lessons (to help pay for ours!) but we went to an every other week basis for both the “taking” and “giving”! That has helped tremendously in that every other week is totally at home with no one coming or going. When the dc were younger and I had no “older helpers”, I didn’t teach anything out of the home!
Once there were sign language classes just 5 minutes away, but the dc were in two different groups, I had to drag my little people out and around during nap-time–it just wasn’t worth it. We quit after 3 lessons, I think!
The cost of the homeschool co-op near us would be prohibitive, plus it’s a half hour drive (with gas prices, not feasible to do that weekly with the big red bus!). You can “work” for your fee, but that entails more time yet. So, we never joined. I know there are wonderful opportunities, but I also know there are lots of homeschool things out there to help teach just about anything! Maybe you could take the money you normally spend on the co-op and buy a few really neat things your dc would enjoy?
As for the social aspect—we have some families whose dc play with my younger ones while siblings are taking lessons. I have to watch it or there are “attitudes” in my dc that I have to deal with. I have said to my dc that if they are not being respectful, helpful, or are not treating their siblings well, they don’t *need* friends outside the family. And I will pull their “friend” time!
We to have very little outside the home activities, we have done swimming lessons which we have in our area durning the school hours which is great and needed being we spend a LOT of time at my parents lake place in the summer. Also, we do a youth orchastra hall program that takes 2 days and we have only picked 2 – 3 a year (one is for homeschoolers they teach about the music/artist the other is the actual performance).
One other thing we do Adoration once a week (but God is 1st in our home and this is time with him so I don’t count that as “intruding” on our school time).
That said we might do 2 things total a month outside the home. And I agree whole heartily about the social thing. If my kids are not getting along together at home then they are not to be out with others. Harmony here 1st outside the home 2nd.
Hope that helps, Blessings
We were involved in a co-op like the one you described for one year. It was definitely not for us; not something I would never consider again. We have always schooled 4 days a week and taken a nature study day (for 12 years). Being involved in co-op robbed us of that day.
I wouldn’t consider signing my children up for any core classes because they were very textbook taught, so they took electives. Like you, I then felt like I had to crunch everything in to fewer days. As you also mentioned it was very expensive. I would rather put those same $$ into field trips and pass opportunities.
We go outside the home for sports. The kids are at practice 2 days a week from 4:00-6:00. It is perfect; easy and not invasive of our school schedule. That is it.
Nedra in So. CAcsmammaParticipant
Thank you so much to everyone who responded. Thanks to your advice, prayeful consideration and my husbands leading we’ve made the decision to not sign our boys for the co-op classes next fall. It keeps us busy enough with 4-H and piano lessons. We also have a new baby in the house and I know that we need this time to adjust as a family to the changes. I like the idea of 4 days of school and 1 day of nature study. Blessings to you all!
In the Beautiful Name of Jesus
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