As every mother realizes pretty quickly, I noticed I was never alone. I drink early morning coffees holding a sleepy baby in one hand. Cooking breakfast is a pantomime of toddlers clambering atop kitchen counters and cabinets. A simple trip to the bathroom is not without a troupe following me in and engaging in merry conversation. The rest of the day carries on the same way, baby on my back & children underfoot until my husband comes home. Yet another person to join me as we bring our busy day to a close with dinner, bath-time (again, not without baby) & then bed.
You may find it somewhat ironic that I found myself feeling rather alone. Tucked away in my own home, isolated from the world around. Homeschooling mothers often find themselves in such a juxtaposition – lonely, yet never alone.
Homeschooling in uncharted territory can magnify this feeling of loneliness. To be thrust in the throes of working full-time jobs while simultaneously educating children is a daunting undertaking. Homeschooling while maintaining a full-time job is no small feat for even veteran homeschoolers, let alone parents who had their schedules disrupted practically overnight.
In such times, it is nice to have community support. There is power in being part of something bigger than yourself. It feels good to know that others are going through a similar experience and that your concerns are justified.
With that in mind, here is a list of many more reasons why I think a homeschool co-op is a great option for families starting on this adventure.
7 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-Op
1. Your community, Your village
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Historically, women who lived in tribes and small societies worked cooperatively to raise children together. Honestly, I don’t believe we are meant to raise our children all by ourselves. It makes little sense to try to raise children all by ourselves without any community involvement. However, homeschooling provides the freedom to choose who influences your children. In the age of social distancing, virtual communities & membership programs can provide much-needed camaraderie & kinship. Your village is where you can lean onto each other during tough times and brainstorm solutions to ongoing problems. Experienced members can answer almost every question you have. It’s where you receive good feedback & positive encouragement.
Have you ever woken up intending to do school with your kids that day & somehow the day just slipped away from you? Did that day turn into a week and now you have no idea what lesson you are at with your child? Accountability matters when we find ourselves low on intrinsic motivation. Setting up a regular rendezvous with like-minded homeschoolers provides the boost needed to get out of a rut and back into a happy homeschool rhythm.
Homeschooling membership programs offer much-needed resources for its members. Parents are exposed to different teaching styles, packaged curriculum reviews, supplemental resources and a whole lot more! You get to choose topics & material that align with your family values. When you join a virtual community, you gain multicultural exposure as well. You get a glimpse of the lives of homeschooling families across the world, learn about their traditions & culture. It is a beautiful experience.
4. Time Saver
Communities can be a huge time saver. Instead of going down internet rabbit holes trying to find the perfect solution or perfect curriculum, we can ask its members. Chances are, somebody may have already done the bulk of the work you needed, so you don’t necessarily have to create or find resources yourself.
It is exceptionally convenient to have some help paving the path for you. While there are many knowledgeable blogs about homeschooling, it is helpful to have all the information you need in one place with a step by step road map. Support groups often provide that sense of direction. “The Confident Homeschooler Society” includes an entire course on gaining confidence with homeschooling for beginners. This course, “Homeschool With Confidence” is available to all members. Instead of having to find solutions yourself, you can access actionable advice that’s right at your fingertips.
Homeschooling communities often partner up with educational or recreational business. This means you have access to some sweet deals you wouldn’t usually have. Sometimes it is special coupon codes to a boxed curriculum or educational subscription boxes. Or exclusive artsy printable handmade by fellow homeschoolers. It could even be tickets to live events. The swag alone is well worth joining a membership group.
Imagine hanging out regularly with a group of people who don’t keep prodding you on questions such as, “how do you socialize your child?’ or “aren’t you concerned your child will fall behind?” How would it feel to finally be able to validate your concerns and share jokes with people who get it? Fellow members can also turn into trusted friends. By joining a community of like-minded people, you are almost guaranteed people who can make instant connections because you care about the same things.
Community is SO important and a vital part of your homeschooling confidence and success!
Have you joined a homeschooling co-op before? Let us know your experience in the comments.
And if you’re searching for on-ine community with resources, support, and more…we’d love for you to check out our free Confident Homeschooler Facebook Community!
Don’t do this Homeschooling thing alone! Find your people!
For our best homeschooling tips, be sure to download our free guide, “The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling!”