Homeschool co-ops can add a lot of flavor to your week! Our family goes to two different homeschool groups each week: one is a secular educational group where Care Bear takes classes in science and art, and the other is a Muslim social group that also includes a girl scout troop.
While it can be challenging to get all of us ready to be gone for most of the day twice a week, both groups serve different purposes. When we switched from a virtual school to traditional homeschooling, one thing I didn’t feel comfortable expanding upon was science. I mean, who remembers all the who’s, what’s, and why’s of cloud creation, plant life cycles, etc.? The science from the virtual school was also hard to get through, and once you get through the lesson, you don’t even feel like doing the experiment! This left a bad taste in our mouth for finding an outside science curriculum. Long story short, I don’t want to do science with Care Bear. The secular co-op allows me to basically outsource this subject for her and she does art for the fun of it, plus that’s not a strong suit of mine either. See? You don’t have to know everything to homeschool!
The Muslim homeschool group has been a great place for the kids to make friends, have Girl Scouts, and do activities and field trips together. Just this week we took our kids to an apple orchard (more on that tomorrow, inshaAllah)! As Muslims, we are definitely the minority in the homeschool circles, so it is nice for the kids to have a place where they aren’t the only ones fasting, or not celebrating Christmas. Everyone wants to feel they have friends with common experiences as them, and this groups provides that, alhamdulilah.
I’d love to be down to one group a week. InshaAllah I can do that for Little Miss, but for now this meets our needs. Using outside resources also seems to be quite a good argument for the nay sayers in our life… surprise, surprise.
Does your family use groups or homeschool co-ops to supplement your homeschool? Do you have a social group your kids enjoy? As Muslims, we have to start these groups if they are not already available. Humans want to be with like minded groups, and this brings a sense of relief to new homeschoolers who are still nervous about the journey ahead!