Starting a Homeschool Co-op
A homeschool co-op is a good place to find study materials for your homeschool students at a reasonable rate. Depending on where you stay, a homeschool co-op may already be in existence and could be traced through other homeschooling friends. However if there is no active homeschool co-op in your area, you may consider starting one of your own. It’s not really very difficult and will provide ample saving for the little time that you invest in setting it up. Here’s how you can go about it.
Set a Venue
If you have a place that all the homeschool families in your area can congregate to, it will serve well as the venue for your homeschool co-op. However, if there is no place close by you can simply host it in your own home. If the other members of the co-op are willing, you can have it by turns at each homeschool co-op member’s home.
Have a Schedule
It is important to have a fixed date for the homeschool co-op meeting each month. Pick something generic like the second Monday of each month at 10 am. Make sure that the majority of the homeschool co-op members are comfortable with this. Now you don’t have to spend hours trying to find out which member is available on what date in a given month. Then schedule the hosts for each month in the year on the first meeting in your house. This makes it easy for people to plan ahead.
Clarify Guidelines and Roles
Do make sure that people understand that it’s not a social event. The host should not be expected to serve food and drink. The focus of the meet is to drop off material that you are not using and to pick up stuff that you do want. Having food and drink around will be actually bad in case of spills. Also the host of the day should be able to direct the others about where grade wise material needs to be placed.
Offer a Material List
Not everything may be claimed at a homeschool co-op. Stuff that can still be made available should go on to a master list that you can maintain online. Mention the material available along with the contact information of the person offering the material. This will make it easier for people to sift through the material available.