Co-ops Who Needs Them

I was just getting on a soapbox over at Kris's blog.  http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ClassicalEducation4Me/96749/


So I thought I'd come home and write about it. 


***First, let me warn you– I may step on toes.  I know co-ops are the new thing to do and many people think they are wonderful.  Kris was talking about how the children in her class at the co-op are rude, disrespectful and out of her control.  Here was my comment:


 


First of all, don't believe that children are quiet in government school–ask any gov't school teacher and the'll tell you (and if they are quiet, it's because all the boys are on Ritalin).  Secondly, think about the fit a sub teacher gets– at the co-op, you are the substitute.  Thirdly, IMO, too many hs families try to “do” gov't school at home — meaning the children are getting taught academics, but they still think socialization is getting 3rd graders with 3rd graders instead of with older children and adults.  I think I feel a blog entry coming on 🙂  I'll get off my soapbox here and go write on mine. 


 


I want to expound on it here. When homeschooling first began, people were doing it because they were convicted.  Not because it was the fad of the day. 


 


Who would arbitrarily pull their child out of school and risk having them taken away by the state and being charged with neglect if it wasn't for conviction?


 


People like my m-i-l worked in every state in the country to make it legal for parents to home educate their children.  When hubby graduated hs, I think there were 6 graduates.  He had no co-op, no sports, no you fill in the blank.   He learned how to play the accordian because that's the instrument his Mom knew how to play.  (He may hate me for telling you  but I think it maks an excellent illustration for my point)  He had his Dad, Mom and debate.  Oh, maybe a friend of the family would help him understand a concept if he couldn't quite grasp it and Mom and Dad couldn't get through.   He scored 31 on his ACT and got a full tuition scholarship to the college we attended.  He'll hate me for telling you that too, as he is a humble man– but I'm proud of him and I'll brag a little


And most importantly — he is a man of manners, character, and integrity.  One of his best friends was a 70 something year old man.  Most of his friends were older, because all the others were in gov't school. 


 


Fast forward to today…. Mothers are running their children to co-op, dance class, music lessons, homeschool sports, a playdate, this event, and that event.   They are not educating out of conviction, they are educating because it's the latest fad, they don't like the teacher this year, or their child is behind so they'll homeschool and put child back in gov't school next year.  Something happened at the school so they react and pull child out.  They are in it for the academics so on and so forth.  The children must have socialization so parents set up multiple play dates with same age peers, join the co-op, put the child in Sunday school, etc.  (using the same plan as atheists used to develop the current gov't school situation)  run them from this event to that event.  Eat meals on the run.  And generally follow the pattern of the government school system. 


 


This is a different mindset than the homeschoolers of 20+ years ago.  Children don't need co-op, they don't need socialization with peers of the same age,


they need their parents to home educate them at home! They need to learn how to get along with their siblings, they need the older to teach the younger. 


 


Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child– why in the world would I want my child socialized with other foolish beings? 


 


Our children take ballet and CYT classes once a week.  They do play with other children their age.  We go on field trips with the local group.  But this is a rarity– a treat for them. 


 


Gena (TOSPUBLISHER) says “bring them home”  I say that too, however, don't do it if you're not convicted.  Do it because you want to give your child more than the gov't school can.  Do it because you want to teach them the ways of the Lord.  Do it because of conviction! 


 


I've said it before and I'll say it again.  If home education continues down this path, my children or grandchildren will be fighting the same battle that my in-laws fought.  Only then it will be harder.  It will be like trying to reverse Roe V Wade. They will have a much bigger, stronger fight on their hands.  One I do not relish my children fighting.  But, if they do– they won't be alone, they'll have a legacy in my husband's parents. 


 


 

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8 thoughts on “Co-ops Who Needs Them

  1. I hadn’t been to Kris’s blog yet, but yours seems to be all I need to read! I totally agree with you. We have raised (I hope) a next generation gentleman who loves the Lord and who can get along with every age group. We did not (and do not still) have him (the younger ones) in tons of activities…that’s just the devil’s way of keeping us too busy to be a family. Praise the Lord for helping us keep our family a family.
    ~Betsy

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  2. I have to agree with you! One reason we don’t do much running around is that *mom can’t take it!* *I* can’t handle it. My house falls completely apart and I get very disorganized, which makes me grumpy. Where one of us goes, all go, including the infant. It’s just too much to run around every day of the week.

    I find that I tend to pull away from homeschool group activities by the end of the year. At the beginning, enthusiasm is fresh, but I get tired by spring. We are homebodies, for the most part. I don’t even do most of the field trips because of our age range (some aren’t appropriate for little ones).

    That said, we are involved in a co-op…but it’s very small. Four families were doing Story of the World this year in our homeschooling group, so we got together to do the activities in the activity book. It has worked out very well. One of the moms takes the preschoolers and teaches them simple things (days of the week, counting, simple addition, etc.). We eat lunch together. We take turns teaching and bringing lunches. We are responsible for disciplining our own children. We do this once a week, and I have learned a lot of history myself. It’s good fellowship, educational, and fun, and I consider it more than worthwhile.

    Lately, we’ve had so many doctor’s appointments and errands that I’ve been going out several days a week. I’m ready to stay home for a stretch!

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  3. I’m not a proponent of co-ops either. For many of the same reasons you stated. Good for you to have the courage to speak up. I think there is a place for homeschooling families to get together and help with teaching certain subjects, but I don’t think co-ops are the way to go for home minded homeschoolers.

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  4. I have never been in coop so I have no idea. I wanted to look into it as soon as we move to our new place but you let me think about it more. Thanks for the info.

    I was just reading your post in DeafHomeschoolMom, so I thought I’d write you too. I’ve been a Deaf Interpreter myself when I was in the Philippines. I work for a Deaf MInistry before I came here. I am still involve with it from the distance, I am teaching my sons sign language and yes including my 9 month old baby. He is not repsonding to it yet but I know eventually he will. These past few months I am seriously praying about something I can do at home that would involve using my skills since working outside the house is totally not an option at this time.

    Blessings, Melanie

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  5. My title says it–mostly. The only thing I would add is “Who has time to go to co-op?” I am so busy with life and our curriculum, that I don’t have the time or the desire to go anywhere else.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  6. It is me again, and I once again, agree with what you are saying. We have two homeschool groups in our area, and we are involved with the one that may have a field trip a month, and provides a nice support circle. The other one, while it has a lot of wonderful people, is so incredibly active with the co-op groups. I can honestly say that we have not been to one, and really have no desire to go!! I have a heart to HOMEschool and it works well for us. Of course, there are things that I want to teach them that I don’t know about yet, but that is why I love the library. It keeps me on my toes!! I know there are others without the same conviction, and are in different places with different needs. I respect them…we are each so different. I do have strong conviction, however for our own lives, and have great joy with what we do. Every now and then we get lonely, but that is not a bad thing…it draws us closer to our Savior, and prods us to better the relationships in our own home. Have a great day!! Melissa

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