Homeschool Support Groups and Co-ops

As homeschooling continues to grow, so do the number of support groups, associations and co-ops. These provide excellent resources for enrichment opportunities, classes, field trips, park days and support for parents. There is a huge variety in the types of groups available, particularly the closer you live to a metropolitan area.

So, what’s the difference between a “support group” and a “co-op” and an “association”? These groups come in all shapes and sizes, but the main difference is the focus of the group.

Homeschool Co-ops

Co-ops are set up to offer classes, either taught by parents or by paid instructors and are a great way to give your children classroom experience, social time and more in-depth subject exposure. They may also include group meetings, field trips, etc. Classes may be designed to be core subjects or they may be intended for “enrichment”. Co-ops that offer ┬ásuch as science, math, language arts, history, etc. may hire teachers and usually the fees for these classes are higher.┬áCo-ops that offer enrichment classes are usually parent-taught and less expensive, and might be any number of subjects and may change year to year depending on the parents available to teach. Enrichment classes include things like PE, music, cooking, drama, art, and occasionally subjects that are considered “core” as well, depending on the availability of teachers.

In most co-ops, members are expected to either teach, clean up, monitor areas or work in the nursery. There are usually annual dues for each family as well. Co-ops sometimes offer graduation ceremonies and yearbooks.

Homeschool Support Groups & Associations

Support groups and associations are more about supporting families through the process of homeschooling. They often have regular meetings, newsletters, field trips, clubs, PE, playgroups etc. Often members share information like homeschool discounts, reading clubs, curriculum ideas, items for sale,and organization tips. This is a great way to get connected with families in your area that are like-minded for support and friendships.

There are several online directories which might help you to search for a group in your area: Directory

Home Educators Directory


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