What is a co-op and is it for you? 

A home education co-op (co-operative) can be a fantastic way for your kids to make connections and be exposed to a range of group activities. What is a co-op? 

An Australian co-op is quite different to an American one. Co-ops in the US are often parent-run schools where parents teach classes – complete with projects, homework and tests – and may be absent when not teaching. 

By contrast, co-ops in Australia are not a quasi-school arrangement, instead a co-op consists of families who meet regularly for activities. Parents might run the activities together or take turns. Instructors may be brought in to lead some sessions, but parents retain the primary responsibility for their child’s education and remain present always. Meetings (in person or online) are often held to discuss the direction of the group and plan for future activities. In some cases, the only difference from a home ed group is in the name; in other cases, co-ops have more structure, planning and defined expectations. 

Some helpful information can be found on the following links:

Starting a group

A Brainstorming Checklist

Some articles previously published in Otherways:

The C’s of Co-ops

Your Guide to Co-ops

Starting THAT Co-op

The Teen Scene

Some links to find ideas of activities you can do:

Covering the KLA’s through Activity Based Learning

HEN Pinterest Board

Other resources can be found on the HEN resources page