Start your Own Homeschool Co-op

Interested in starting your homeschooling collective / co-op? we have learned a lot over the years running ours and, for some of us, seeing a homeschooling collective appear on every corner is a dream worth working for.

Here are some tips to guide you through the process of setting up your own homeschool co-op.

  • believe in yourself. it's possible to do. we did it. we are average people. you will get out the effort you put in.
  • be selective: collectives require collective decision making and cooperation. difficult people can make things very... difficult. look for laid-back people who are even tempered, willing to think about others in addition to themselves, and are willing to contribute time and effort.
  • find a great teacher: word of mouth works great. it helps to hire younger teachers who are looking for the chance to run their own show and get experience.
  • hold regular meetings: try to run you coop in a professional manner.
  • follow the rules of your state: In New York homeschooling requires that parents do at least 20 hours of teaching. co-ops should not have a problem with this as the parents are directly involved in pretty much everything.  file a homeschooling plan for your child if that is required.
  • try to find people who are committed to the coop concept. it can be tiring to find new students every year as people who are not committed to making the school work drop out. 
  • reach out to the neighborhood and community.  the internet makes it easy to build bridges with affinity groups. these include traditional homeschoolers, parents with children who are struggling in public or private schools, and people whose children are approaching school age and are looking at schooling options.  
  • establish roles and responsibilities: appoint people to specific roles to avoid the burden falling on  any one person.  one person to handle finance, one to handle new student requests, on to manage the teacher and other folks (music instructor, substitutes, art instructors), one to manage the facilities, etc.
  • have a classroom.  it works best to use the space of one of the parents in the co-op. one approach in places where space is tight is to compensate the host family via a break on expenses.
we hope these tips help you in your search for an alternative, parent-centered, collective schooling solution that works for you. remember, there are a million different ways to raise a child and a million ways to homeschool or run a collective - find the way that works for you.