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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Co-Op

Posted by on May. 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM
  • 8 Replies

What do you all think of co-ops?

I always thought I loved the concept of co-ops....group instruction run by homeschool families. But we actually just completed our first semester, now I'm not so sure. My boys are really impressionable. My oldest being special needs, he doesn't have the capacity to tell bullies or other kids when he's not having fun...he'll sacrifice everything he has if some stranger kid says they want something he has (and he'll believe this means they are his new BFF). This semester was an eye opener. I have always counciled new HS'ers that HS'ers are diverse and not that different fundamentally from PS'ers...but even I started to doubt, even I started to get arrogant thinking HS'ers must be closer to their kids, must be they are tighter knit, and all must have kids that are well behaved and respectful....then I started co-op, and saw many kids who didn't behave themselves, pushing and hitting, being verbally abusive to their friends, etc. WHen I complained at a parent meeting about such behavior - I was told "parents parent differently" to which I was confused because I had believed ALL parents encouraged respect for others....within a few weeks my boys started emulating such behavior and I had to literally sit through every class with them (the small group of 3 or 4 moms who shared my opinion jokingly called us the Natzi Moms as we ruined all the fun...lol). I was even sent a nasty email from one mother who made rude comments about my special needs child!...Now I'm trying to balance the desire for some group gatherings like the co-op (as the boys LOVED it) with my need to keep my boys behaving in a way I deem appropriate....Anyone else have such issues?

by on May. 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM
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Replies (1-8):
hailnbray
by on May. 23, 2011 at 10:41 AM

 i dont think u can avoid nasty rude kids. I think its a great way for kids to learn how to handle social issues in a closely watched situation. you are able to see the kids and control the behaviors.

oredeb
by on May. 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM

well we've done cooping for a while, kids are kids no matter if  you homeschool them or public school them or christian or secular, theres bullies everywhere! i use that as a learning time for the kids-we have some good discussions about it in our class or at home(i teach in the coop), bully kids probably equals bully adults!! so my kids do need to learn how to handle it.

 

  if i see it in the coop i just nip it in the bud fast, i wont stand for it. and i dont care what the other moms/dads think. we have a set of rules in the co op and they need to be followed!

 

debbie

 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on May. 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM


Quoting oredeb:

well we've done cooping for a while, kids are kids no matter if  you homeschool them or public school them or christian or secular, theres bullies everywhere! i use that as a learning time for the kids-we have some good discussions about it in our class or at home(i teach in the coop), bully kids probably equals bully adults!! so my kids do need to learn how to handle it.

 

 

 

  if i see it in the coop i just nip it in the bud fast, i wont stand for it. and i dont care what the other moms/dads think. we have a set of rules in the co op and they need to be followed!

 

debbie

 

I agree its a great teaching tool, for my youngest. Sadly my oldest doesn't really understand social situations - since he has Aspergers. Heck he has trouble verbalizing what he wants for lunch, so telling a kid it isn't fun to have a paper plane tossed in his face on purpose is way beyond him.   

I was a little surprised at the reaction of the other parents at the meeting. I pointed out that we all had to sign a 'behavior' agreement - to respect the space and each other, so it's not like i'm trying to force my parenting style on others. But that I didn't feel tearing down the halls - when there are very young children about - nor shoving each other at the water fountain, were following those dictates. 

My real issue was how do you ask a kid to stop such behavior when their parent is standing right there? That's real awkward. And I had a hard time with one of the instructors/directors who is a dad, but seemed to yell at his own kids (and others) quite readily. (who I later found out had several harassment suits from other mothers)...but I think I'll just have to be extra-vigilant, as the co-op is like 1 block from our house, and the kids had a great time.  

oredeb
by on May. 23, 2011 at 6:43 PM

 oh yea kickbutt it would be harder with your older child w/ the aspergers, thats why i will talk about it in my class if i need to and confront the bullys, and try to stop it right away for the kids that arent able to know whats happening or stop it themselves.  thats my one reason i chose to homeschool is because of the bullying! cant stand to see another person pick on another person!

thats great that your co op in close to your home! makes it nice! its great your kids have a mom who cares enough about them to homeschool and teach them about all the other stuff!

debbie

Quoting KickButtMama:

 

 Sadly my oldest doesn't really understand social situations - since he has Aspergers.

RheaF
by Member on May. 23, 2011 at 7:44 PM

 We just finished our first semester as well, but we love it. Our co-op is still pretty new and small, so most of the kids do know each other and get along. I do agree with a PP though. It is a great way to introduce those situations in a controlled environment.

I would say, look for another co-op or group you can get involved in. It was really nice, but mine was no where near what your experiance was.

luvthesoap
by on May. 24, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I would change to a different co-op. If there isn't any more I would start one myself.

Betty in Ky

SimplySonita
by on May. 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Being homeschoolers doesn't mean our kids are perfect, just like we aren't all dress wearing, no make-up wearing fundies...We are as diverse as any other group.

There are bullies in every group.

There are adult bullies too!

Don't let it get you down! Is there another co-op in your area? Or could you start your own? Maybe just one weekly class at your house? Science classes are usuallya big hit-a weekly experiemnt is a good way to go.

Or pick a popular homeschool textbook and cover it in your home once a week...

Our co-op had a behavior agreement and parents were not allowed to just'drop kids off' It was 3 classes each week and parents had to  teach or assist in 2 classes each week. If behavior issues came up, an email was sent out and behavior rules were updated. There was an issue with older kids bullying younger kids between classes, and a dress code issue. Both resulted in emails to the group and modifications to the behavior agreement.

As far as I know, there wasn'ta big to-do about it-good leadership is important.

If your co-op doesn't have that, find a new one if the kids enjoy it!

Sonita-Homeschooling mama to Ephram (7) & Malachi (4)


 



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MommaChell
by on May. 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I just started researching co-ops with the intent to possibly join one. I'm so interested to hear more experiences; BUMP!

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