What is a Homeschool Co-op?

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A good percentage of American children nowadays are homeschooled. There is nothing wrong with homeschooling per se, but parents do face a variety of challenges. As a parent homeschooling a child, you technically have to be a master of everything.

You need to know mathematics, arts, sciences, and more. You also need to provide your child with adequate social skills, skills to prepare them for adulthood, and exercise.

Realistically, as a parent homeschooling a child, doing all of these things is nearly impossible. However, this is where the homeschool co-op comes into play. A homeschool co-op can help make up for the shortcomings that your child faces due to homeschooling.

Today, we want to find out exactly what is a homeschool co-op, what the different types of homeschool co-ops are, what their benefits are, and more. We’re also going to answer other important questions, such as how often homeschool co-ops meet, how many people are in these homeschool co-ops, and more.

What is a Homeschool Co-op?

A home school co-op is a cooperative or group of families that work together to achieve a variety of goals related to the schooling and education of their children. These are groups of people who get together with the aim of helping their children develop a variety of skills.

The purpose here is to allow homeschool children to learn all of the same things that children in public or private schools learn. The purpose of homeschool co-ops is also to provide your children with the same opportunities that private and public school children get.

This could include time to make music and create art, to engage in extracurricular activities and sports, to go on field trips, to do social work, and much more. Homeschool co-ops follow the it takes a village to raise a child mentality. The reality is of course that a single parent can’t do everything.

You can’t be a master of all academic subjects, be a sports aficionado, know how to develop your child’s social skills, take them on field trips, and more. This is why homeschool co-ops exist.

They are groups that focus on a variety of topics or fields to help your child develop. If you as a single parent cannot take care of all of these things, then a homeschool co-op is the answer.

These homeschool co-ops are designed to prevent your children from missing out on any of the important developmental or social aspects that public and private schools incorporate.

If you want to raise a child that is going to become a well-rounded adult, and you are homeschooling them, then a homeschool co-op is a very good idea to join.

Types of Homeschool Coops

What you need to be aware of is that there are many different types of homeschool co-ops out there. What kind of homeschool co-op you and your children join really depends on what their needs are. Is there any one area where you as a teacher or mentor fall short? If this is the case, then that specific area makes for a prime candidate for a homeschool co-op.

Extracurriculars and Sport Co-ops

One of the most common types of homeschool co-op is that for sports and extracurricular activities. If you are homeschooling your children, chances are that you only have one or maybe two children at home. Of course, that’s not really enough people to play sports or engage in extracurricular activities.

If you plan on playing some team sports, you need to have enough people to form two teams. This is why the sport and extracurricular co-op is one of the most common and popular ones out there.

It allows children to get out there, engage in various extracurricular activities, and play on team sports too. When it comes to getting exercise and socialization, this is of course quite important.

Fieldtrip Co-ops

Another type of co-op that is quite common for homeschool kids to join is the field trip co-op. When kids are in regular public or private schools, there are many different field trips.

Kids go to museums, the zoo, science centers, and other such locations with their classes. However, homeschool kids often miss out on these opportunities.

Therefore, field trip co-ops exist, which allow children to go on these educational field trips with a group of their peers. Going to the zoo or a science center just isn’t very fun when you are alone, which makes these field trip co-ops such an attractive option.

It allows parents to organize trips to these various educational locations along with a few other children.

What is a Homeschool Co-op

Arts Co-ops

Yet another common type of home school co-op is the music and arts co-op. Sure, you might be able to teach your kids mathematics and history, but you might not be a great musician or artist. In fact, most of us aren’t. This is why arts and music co-ops exist.

They allow children to experience and explore their artistic side. When it comes to releasing emotions, being creative, and developing certain areas of the brain, art is very important. These arts co-ops could focus on painting, drawing, sculpting, music, or anything else of the sort.

Social Skills Co-ops  

One area where home school children tend to fall behind in is with social skills. Simply put, if you sit at home alone all day, or realistically with a parent, you’re just not going to develop very good social skills. This is one of the things that both public and private schools are so good for, for developing social skills.

In order to be a successful adult, children need to learn to socialize and interact with other people at a young age.

As a homeschool child, learning these social skills can be quite difficult. Therefore, there are social skills co-ops out there that teach children how to interact with other people in the right way.

Adult Preparedness Co-ops

Just like there are homeschool co-ops designed to teach children social skills, there are also those designed to teach children skills they will need as an adult. This could include a very wide variety of topics, everything from cooking and doing laundry to changing a tire or doing taxes. These are all things that kids in home school situations often don’t learn, which makes these co-ops such a great option.

Service Work Co-ops

You then have your service work co-ops. Service work co-ops focus on doing social work for the community. When children go to high school, they usually have to complete a certain number of volunteer hours before they can graduate. These service work co-ops allow children to get those volunteer hours in, while working with other children.

Academic Co-ops

Another one of the most common types of homeschool co-ops is the academic co-op. The reality is that you as a parent aren’t going to be a master of all subjects. Maybe you’re good at history but not math; maybe you’re good at English but not sciences, and so on and so forth.

The point here is that there are many academic co-ops that focus on specific topics that your child might be falling behind in. You could consider these as being something like tutoring co-ops. Here, you might see a single parent who really excels in that one category being the teacher of that specific co-op.

How Many People Are in Homeschool Co-ops?

This really depends on how many people are being homeschooled in a certain area and what the type of homeschool co-op is. Generally speaking, you might see anywhere from three to 10 children being in a single homeschool co-op.

How Often do Homeschool Co-ops Meet?

Unlike regular classroom learning, whether at home or in a school setting, homeschool co-ops don’t happen every single day. A homeschool co-op is generally going to happen once a week, or maybe twice a week at most.

These could take place over the course of a full day or half a day. Generally speaking, they take the form of either a single full day session or two half day sessions. It really depends on what the specific co-op is and how much material needs to be covered.

How Many Homeschool Co-ops Are People Usually In?

What you as a parent need to be aware of is that you obviously can’t join an unlimited amount of homeschool co-ops. There is only so much time you have at your disposal. Moreover, there’s only so much energy that your children have.

You should choose two or maybe three homeschool co-ops at most. Therefore, you need to determine what areas your child has the most needs in and where they might be falling behind in.


Homeschool co-ops are beneficial because they teach your children social skills, artistic skills, skills to prepare them as adults, and more. Many of these homeschool co-ops are good just because they get your children out and about and let them meet new friends.

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