I have been homeschooling for 19 years now. We have tried many different things over the years. We have been a part of a few co-ops as we have lived in three different counties since beginning our homeschooling adventure. Our personal experiences have had both pros and cons. We enjoyed many aspects of joining the co-ops or groups, while having some issues with it.
I would like to give you a list of what I feel were the pros and cons. Let's begin with the positives.
1. Each mom or dad can bring their talents to the group. You can take turns teaching different subjects. One parent may be good at teaching art whereas another may enjoy teaching music.
2. The families involved can bring new perspectives to each subject that is being taught. You can learn different ways of teaching that your child may respond to better than the ones you are currently using.
3. Your children will be obtaining social skills as they mingle with many other children of different ages. They will also learn how to respect others in authority over them.
4. You can form relationships with other homeschooling families.
5. You can plan field trips as a group and that can make visiting some places cheaper for everyone involved.
Now the negatives.
1. They are a HUGE commitment. You will not have as much flexibility in your homeschooling days/weeks. You will need to be at a certain place at least once a week and there is no wiggle room.
2. You may not agree with the way certain subjects are taught.
3. For larger families, it can be very expensive.
4. It adds to your curriculum you are already using and can get a bit overwhelming.
5. If you are not a social butterfly or you have a student that is not an extrovert, it can be very trying at times.
Personally a co-op is not a fit for our family at the moment. We have other ways to keep our kiddos "socialized". They seem to be thriving so we won't be changing anything anytime soon :)
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