Today I have a special treat for you. A couple years ago, I reviewed this little booklet on Everything Home called The Only Homeschool Co-op Booklet You Need To Start Your Very Own Best Co-op Ever! by my friend and our guest contributor Karen Lange. Well, since that time, her little booklet was picked up by a traditional publisher and re-done BIG! The result: Homeschool Co-ops 101.
If you’ve been homeschooling for any length of time, you know that co-ops can be a lifesaver. If you are struggling with homeschooling, thinking your kids need a teacher besides mama, some social interaction, or otherwise a change of pace, maybe you need to consider starting or joining a co-op. Well, this is the book to tell you all about it.
Today, I want to share a little chat with you that I had recently with Karen. Next week, I will have a full-fledged review of Homeschool Co-ops 101. So, please, let’s welcome Karen Lange.
Karen, I’m so glad you could talk with me today. I know the readers will enjoy hearing from you again. Please, tell us how long you homeschooedl your children?
Carol, thank you for inviting me to stop by! My husband and I homeschooled our two sons and daughter for grades K-12 for a total of 16 years.
What made you decide to start a homeschool co-op for your kids?
When we began homeschooling in 1987, we wanted to find a balance between real-life learning and traditional education. In addition, we had an audience that included extended family, many who were elementary and high school teachers. So we were motivated to provide a good, balanced experience for our kids.
Co-ops provided great opportunities to interact with families that shared our philosophy. Our first co-op was with one other family and it was a great experience for the kids when they were younger (grades pre-K through second). Through co-ops, we experienced hands-on learning, socialization, and lots of fun. Our desire was not to duplicate the traditional school experience, but to provide opportunities for the kids to stretch, sometimes beyond their comfort zone, in preparation for the real world.
What do you feel is the most rewarding experience that your family had as a result of your co-op?
You know, overall we had good co-op experiences – learning, socialization, and fun, but I think the thing that stands out the most was the great fellowship with like-minded families. Many of the co-op students and parents remain in contact with each other today.
Even though your kids are all adults now, you still keep involved with homeschooling. Can you tell us about that?
For me it’s been a “once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler” kind of thing. 🙂 My daughter in law is homeschooling our grandson, I have friends who homeschool, and my sisters are homeschooling nieces and nephews, so the topic often comes up! I also write articles for homeschool publications such as Homeschool Enrichment and Homeschool Magazine.com. In 2005, I started teaching online writing classes for homeschooled teens, and offerings now include creative writing, essays, research papers, and flash fiction. I just like working with homeschoolers; they’re a great bunch!
Your book, Homeschool Co-ops 101, is a re-work of an earlier book. What prompted you to re-do it, and what is different in the new edition?
I had wanted to expand a booklet on co-ops I self-published in 2007, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. So I was thrilled when Helping Hands Press offered to work with me to publish it. I’ve added updated material and additional activities, resources, and hands on K-12 unit studies on creative writing, science, and history.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would encourage parents to consider co-oping if they think it would be a good fit for their family. There are so many options – even a small co-op with one other family is a great way to supplement your children’s education. But know too, that families can have a great homeschool experience without a co-op. It’s all a matter of what fits your family best.
Thanks, Karen, for joining us. I’ve taken a peek at the new book and it looks like a winner. I wish you all the best.
Carol, thank you for having me over today. I wish you and your readers all the best with your homeschool endeavors!
Karen had expected Homeschool Co-ops 101 to be released earlier this year. But delays with the publisher happened and it was released just last week in digital format. You can purchase your own copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 at Amazon.
To connect with Karen, or check out her homeschool writing classes for your kids, visit the following sites.