How to Start a Small Co-op in your Home

Starting a co-op is easier than you think and boasts  tremendous benefits for both you and your child. Keeping a few things in mind before starting will guide you into a positive co-op adventure.

Choose the subject that works best for you. When researching my educational interests before starting the co-op, I found I liked fun writing activities. I was already good at both projects and writing. If I choose another subject it would be more work. That was something I didn’t have time for!

Choose a time and day that works best for your family. Wednesday afternoon was perfect. We were free and didn’t have any other things going. Other families asked for another day, and I was tempted to try and accommodate but since I was the one leading it, I chose to be firm on what worked for me.

Choose a good length of time. My Writing Club was two hours long. This was long enough for a parent to do errands and not sit around my house! It was a drop off and pick up. They could chat a minute each way but no one was to stay during class thus not having to have a sparkling clean house.

Limit the number of participants to your space. Stick to the number of children that feels like fun and not work! I chose to allow as many children as would fit around my kitchen table. That was seven. Other kids wanted to join, but I politely declined because there was no room.

Schedule in a break time. I gave a thirty minute break in between writing and art when my daughter could play with the other children and get to know them. I released them into my fenced-in back yard with our dog, balls and sidewalk chalk. The kids loved this and it gave me time to transition into the project section of the club.

Ask for help where you need it. I chose to run the writing club by myself. It took a lot of pressure off me not to have to dress up or keep the house in “adult” company order. One mom offered to help but I declined. I did ask for snacks and art supplies which the other moms gladly supplied.

I offered it for free. This put the pressure on the parents and not me if they wanted their kids to have perfect spelling and grammar on their papers. I let them know this upfront. My goal was to lead the children into an enjoyable creative writing experience hoping they would get hooked before the end of the semester. They did!

I offered to have one student’s younger sibling per week to come and play with my younger son during club time. This worked wonderfully!

I used what I enjoyed to enhance the club with art activities. Instead of adding more work, art was actually therapeutic for me! It was stress relieving and the kids really enjoyed it.

Leading a Writing Club in my home filled a need for us as a new homeschool family. My daughter made close friendships and matured during the group activities. It was a highlight in her homeschooling years. Give it a try; it’s not as hard as you think!

For Writing Club ideas and activities visit my website at www.NewMillenniumGirlBooks.com

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