Friday, May 12, 2017

Co-op vs Enrichment Classes

I hear and read a lot about homeschoolers in other places attending Co-ops.  These appear to be great ways for parents to outsource things to other parents who may be more knowledgeable in certain areas.  They're also good for getting homeschooled kids together so they can form friendships and combat the mythical "socialization" issue.

It sounds like these homeschool families are able to form a strong community and plan really great things like proms or science fairs.  I don't see that happening to the same level where I live.  I think that's because of our Charter School system which gives families money to pay for enrichment classes.

Since we have this money for enrichment classes, we're filling up our schedules with all kinds of really great things.  But that doesn't leave us much time for casual get-togethers with other homeschool families.  And since we have so many different enrichment class options, every family is going in different directions instead of coming together in a tight-knit community.

Over the 6 years that I've been homeschooling, I've joined a couple different Homeschool Meet-up groups at different times.  They were filled with great people who worked hard to put on great events.  But group leadership changes happen, group attendance waxes and wanes, my schedule gets full, etc.

At the moment we're not members of any active Meet-up groups or Co-ops that do regular classes or activities.  Though, I have hosted a park playdate every week for a few years now.  I advertise it in a couple local homeschool facebook groups and I carry around cards with the information on it so when my kids make a new friend in an enrichment class, they can invite them.

I'd love to hear some perspective from other homeschoolers in all different situations on this idea of independant homeschoolers and their co-ops vs. charter school homeschoolers and their enrichment classes.  What's your local homeschool community like?  What factors have you seen that effect the way that homeschool families interact, form bonds, and prioritize time together?

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