Mom-to-Mom Support/Should one attend a community co-op just for socializing?

Should one attend a community co-op just for socializing?

Teacher with group of kids at homeschool co-op


Last year was our first year of homeschooling. We live in a small rural area and I joined a newly formed small co-op at the beginning of the school year that met just once a week. Being my first year of homeschooling, I welcomed the support and knowledge of the mothers who had been doing it for a while, however I didn’t really feel like my kids were actually learning anything. I discovered your curriculum late in the year and plan on using it again. I am really torn as to whether or not I should continue with the co-op. It was very time-consuming and the material that they use is different from what we use, so I would have to be doing extra work to keep my kids up to their speed. The group is small and depending on me to be there this year so the decision of attending or not is a hard one. I feel like we would be attending only for the socializing, and the support of other homeschooling families and I am struggling with deciding if that alone warrants the extra work and time commitment. I would appreciate any advice you have as to the value of co-ops.

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question. This is a difficult decision to make, and I have not had much involvement with co-ops, but here is my advice based upon your situation.

Your children are young and probably not feeling a tremendous need for frequent socialization at this point. They may want that in a few years. Right now, the time that you can give to them is valuable. Co-ops are valuable, too, but I’m guessing that you did not decide to homeschool in order to be available for other children but for your own.

You may be letting down other families, but your primary responsibility is your own family. It’s easy to put every waking moment into homeschooling, and I understand that many wonderful co-ops and other support groups would not be able to exist without the commitment and sacrifice of key members.

I advise you to focus on your children’s learning. As a new homeschooling mother, you need to feel confident regarding what your children are learning. The co-op may fall apart (and many do), or it may grow from year to year. As you become more confident and gain experience, then you may decide to form a new co-op or to join an existing one. Give yourself a chance to learn this new role as a homeschooling parent.

God bless you and grant you peace regarding your decision in this matter.

Sandra Garant

About Sandra Garant

Sandra Garant is a veteran homeschooling mom, certified teacher, writer, attorney, and administrative law judge. She taught her three children at home until they were ready for college. She tutored students in writing for many years and is the author of Language of God, Level F and Language of God, Level G