Is a Homeschool Co-op For Me?
Oftentimes families considering various educational options wonder if a homeschool community is a
good fit for their family. I hope this explanation provides insight:
Every involved parent homeschools. Some parents enroll their children in traditional schools but are
proactive participants in their children’s education. They proactively oversee their academic plan and are quick
to help as academic challenges arise. Other parents choose to assume the full burden and blessing of
educating their children. Neither choice is better than the other. Both should be preceded by prayer and
obedience. Joyce Meyers said the battlefield is the mind. Everything begins with a thought or mindset.
Homeschooling is no different. Most homeschool co-op families fall into one of three categories.
The Yellow School Bus mindset is mainly a hands-off approach. These homeschool families believe their main job
is to make sure their student has transportation to co-op. They believe it is the teacher’s job to train behavior,
instill godly character, provide supplies, and increase academic performance. They do not see their vital role
in these areas and are reluctant to embrace them. This mentality is not a good fit for CO-OPeration.
The Teaching Home mindset incorporates a very hands-on approach to homeschooling. A teaching home
provides a rich environment for learning. Parents are involved and see themselves as the primary educator
for their children. They comply with and exceed the state mandates for homeschooling. Although the approach
and methodologies might be as customized and as varied as the number of students, learning and academic engagement are evident. Their students readily describe many instances of a methodical plan of increased
learning and well-rounded academic exposure. They read. They write. They are exposed to science and math
at a level that, at a minimum, keeps pace with traditional public schools. Their schedules allow time to learn,
practice, and explore. They are still intellectually curious. Teaching Christian Homes often include Biblical studies
and activities. Unlike the Yellow School Bus mindset, these parents are quick to invest in their children.
They view training godly character, good behavior, academic integrity and support, as their sole responsibility.
This mentality is a necessary trait to being a good fit for co-op.
Possessing the Teaching Home mindset alone will not ensure anyone will thrive in a co-op setting. To thrive you
must be communal. You must have a thick skin to work closely with other families. You must have a forgiving
heart to withstand the frailties of the human spirit. You must be a hard worker. The uplifting Spirit of God
must rule your life to the point where you trust Him and His people. You must be willing to compromise.
You must model everything you hope to receive. If you can do this, you are ready for homeschool community!
Lastly, you must pray, listen, and do whatever God says for as long as He says it, knowing He, who promised, is faithful!
~ Barbara Johnson, New Generation Academy Director