8 Pros and Cons of Joining a Homeschool Co-Op

pre school age children blowing bubbles together

If you’re thinking of joining a homeschool co-op, you should consider the pros and cons of joining a homeschool co-op before you make your decision. Having the freedom to homeschool comes with the task of making a number of decisions that could vastly impact the homeschool experience for you and your kids.

Choosing to homeschool has been such a great decision for my family. Back when my kids were in public school, we hardly spent any quality time together and life was way more stressful than it currently is. That being said, homeschooling isn’t always easy and stress-free.

Whether you’re deciding on various homeschool curriculum options, planning educational travel and field trips, or looking for opportunities to add more friends to your homeschool community, deciding to join a homeschool co-op could be a great option for you and your family!

What is a Homeschool Co-Op?

In a nutshell, homeschool co-ops tend to be thought of as the homeschool version of a classroom setting.

Homeschool co-ops could certainly vary from location to location, but they’re basically a group of like-minded homeschooling families coming together for educational activities. Being that “co-op” is an abbreviation of “cooperation,” joining a homeschool co-op tends to require parents to participate in some capacity.

Homeschool Co-ops usually have a set meeting time that could vary vastly – some may only meet once a month while others meet Monday through Friday! A homeschool co-op may restrict membership based on religious affiliation, age or grade level, or might be open to anyone willing to participate. In addition, some co-ops may require a paid membership.

If you’re looking for a local co-op, I definitely recommend checking out the Homeschool Hall Directory. Doing a quick keyword search on local social media websites could also result in a number of options, too!

preschool children sitting on a parachute together

Pros of Joining a Homeschool Co-Op

Of course, every experience will vary, but there can be quite a few pros of joining a homeschool co-op! Of the many reasons out there, I’m sharing 4 with you today!

Opportunity to Learn from Other Parents

Don’t get me wrong, we are all capable of teaching our own kids (after all, we know them best, right?!), but having the opportunity for my kids to learn from other parents can be a great benefit of participating in a co-op. We all have our own learning and teaching styles, so it only makes sense that having a variety of people to learn from can be beneficial.

Making Friends

Having a solid homeschool community has made a world of difference in our lives as homeschoolers. When participating in a homeschool co-op that meets regularly, kids have the opportunity to form and grow potentially lifelong friendships with one another.

group of 5 kids with hands together

Gets you out of the house

Listen, I love days spent in pajamas just as much as the next person, but making the commitment to participate in a homeschool co-op ensures that the kids and I get out of the house a few times a week.

Exposed to Other View Points

I’m not saying you need to agree with other view points, but joining a homeschool co-op will expose your kids to a variety of people and, if you ask me, that’s a good thing! We are not all the same, so it’s important that we learn about other cultures and points of view so that we can become well-rounded members of society.

click here...to find your new homeschooling community in our FREE Facebook Group! That Homeschool Family Hangout. homeschooling our kids, one adventure at at time

Cons of Joining a Homeschool Co-Op

Just one negative experience could make or break your opinion of a co-op. I’m sure there are many more cons of joining a homeschool co-op, but I’m sharing 4 potential cons with you today.

Decreased Schedule Flexibility

When we joined our first homeschool co-op, I was excited to have our family on a fairly structured schedule. You know what, though? We’re not always “schedule people” unfortunately.

One of the reasons we started homeschooling was so we could take advantage of learning through travel. After joining a co-op, we soon found out that being “locked in” to activities meant we were no longer able to take rather spur-of-the-moment homeschool field trips on our own.

teachers and children playing a game with a parachute and balls together

Joining a Homeschool Co-Op can be Expensive

There seems to be a variety of co-ops ranging from offering free memberships to requiring a fee for pretty much every activity. While being a part of a co-op can be beneficial in so many ways, sometimes they can be hard on the wallet.

May Not Like It

Plainly said…you and your kids may not like being a part of a homeschool co-op! There’s nothing wrong with that but, if you have already put time and money into a co-op, you may feel like you have no choice but to ride it out for the duration of your membership.

Differing of Opinions

I’m trying to be nice, I swear. I do my best to get along with everyone (and encourage my kids to do the same) while knowing that there are people out there that are just…ahem…difficult to be around. Homeschool co-ops are no different.

Being a part of a structured group could mean having to be around people that you don’t get along with. After some time, that can be frustrating and reason enough to leave a co-op that otherwise would’ve been a great fit for you and your family.

As you can see there are some solid pros and cons of joining a homeschool co-op! These are, obviously, just a few of many reasons, but I hope that sharing this insight can help you in making a decision for your family.

I’d love to hear your experiences when it comes to being a part of homeschool co-ops, too! Feel free to send me an email, or leave a comment below, so we can chat!

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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