Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why We Attend a Homeschool Co-op

Some homeschoolers love them and others don't understand the fascination with homeschool co-ops. We were part of the second group for the first couple years we homeschooled, mainly because we didn't have time for any additional activities. Amber was in elementary school and danced almost every evening of the week. There was no time to take out of our daily routines for some co-op thing that I wasn't even sure I understood.

Then Amber became sick with the first symptoms of EDS and dysautonomia. Eventually her doctor made the call that was so hard for us to do: Amber needed to stop dancing for her health. That left her with an excessive amount of free time and almost no activities outside of our home. Neither of which are necessarily a bad thing, but for an only child who was still trying to understand what was happening to her, it was rather upsetting. I looked for a group to join so that Amber could feel camaraderie with kids her age, instead of feeling isolated.

We found a new homeschool group with a co-op that met at a Lutheran church that I always forgot existed. Taking that first step to join the co-op ended up being a huge catalyst to changes in our lives. We ended up transferring our membership from a different Lutheran congregation to the one where the co-op was held. We were looking to change churches and we found the perfect one for us. The co-op turned out to be a fantastic match for Amber too.

She met quite a few new friends and has thrived over the past 4 years that we have been members. What started out as an easy way for her break away from the isolation of her illness, ended up being the community we had been looking for. Amber found not only sincere and understanding friends, but classes and activities that grow her interests.

Co-op Fun: Character Day - she was Annabeth from Percy Jackson; Hat Day - Her One-Hat-To-Rule-Them-All; Yearbook Superlatives - She won Best Smile.

In our ever-increasing co-op, Amber has participated in several drama productions when she never really wanted to have speaking parts in plays before. She's taken and enjoyed art classes, while learning to deal with her feelings of inadequacy that had previously been fueled by poor art instruction and rather mean children in the private school. There have been Bible classes taught by our pastor with topics different from what she would take at church. She's been part of the homeschool group's yearbook staff for two years straight where she learned responsibility for herself and cooperation as part of a team.

I taught and Amber took a speech class that would have felt odd and unnatural at home. Instead she and her friends (new and old) were able to encourage each other past their nervousness to speak in front of a group. She's taken a mythology class, a hands-on ancient technology class, and my forensic science class, which was infinitely more fun with friends. She's learned to take classes that do not sound like her "cup of tea" to please a friend, and ended up enjoying herself as well as spending time with her friends.

All of this is why we continue to spare a day out of our busy school week to attend enrichment classes at our co-op. And while, yes, it does provide Amber (and me) with some much needed socialization, the real reason we attend is that we are enriched and bettered for attending - it's as simple as that.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew are also talking about their classes and learning experiences outside the home. Please follow the graphic below to read some of their amazing ideas.

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017


  1. We love our co-op. And finding a church family is such a bonus!

  2. SO glad you were able to find a good fit for her! And yes, speech classes are more fun with friends! ;)

  3. What a wonderful example of what a co-op can be! So glad you found the perfect one at the perfect time. - Lori