CO-OP AND COMMONWEALTH INTEGRATION
ADDING CLASSES TO YOUR SCHOLAR PROGRAM
Co-ops and commonwealths serve an absolutely vital role in the homeschool community. Without them, many homeschool students and families would be left floundering in their educational experience. The Independent Education Program seeks to be as helpful to these groups as possible.
While many co-ops have thorough and comprehensive scholar programs for their secondary students, the simple fact is that most don't. This puts many families in a hard situation, feeling like the only option they have for their teenager is to enroll them in the public education system, even if they want to continue homeschooling.
It can be hard for commonwealths to maintain a full list of classes for their students. As students age out, the number of parents available to teach classes ebbs and flows. And this is where the Independent Education Program can be a great asset to commonwealths.
The IEP consistently offers high quality classes each year. This is a roster of classes your commonwealth can depend on being available. And as gaps in your scholar program's list of classes come and go, you can fill them in with the resources we have available. This creates a highly flexible and symbiotic relationship between co-ops and the IEProgram. All of our classes are available a-la-carte, so your scholar program can grow, change, and evolve as your students and their interests do.
Reach out to find out how to best integrate our classes with your commonwealth and if it's right for your group.
SUCCESSFULLY EXPANDING A SCHOLAR PROGRAM
The key to successfully building any roster of classes is planning early. Although the school year is often very busy for students and parents, it's also the best time to start planning for the following school year.
We recommend starting to plan your scholar program for the upcoming school year in February. This allows for plenty of time for you to find resources for the classes your students are interested in. This is also when we start communicating with commonwealths about incorporating our classes into their program.
Some co-ops use just one of our classes in their scholar program, some co-ops use several. It all depends on what they're looking for that year. And it can change according to the needs of the co-op.
SCHEDULE A COTTAGE MEETING
If you find that your commonwealth wants to have one or more of our classes in your scholar program, reach out to us and we will schedule a cottage meeting with you. These meetings are typically done weekday nights at a reasonable time and last about an hour and a half. During these meetings we cover the following:
What classes we have available in your area
The curriculum of each of the classes
Our vision for education and the purpose of our organization
How we can best partner with your commonwealth
Questions and answers
We find that these cottage meetings are very beneficial. We even run sample classes as they're beneficial for the group. We want parents, students, and leaders to become very familiar and comfortable with our program to see if it's something they want in their education programs. Our only interest is to find the best way that we can help students have a great education.
We know that it can be hard to find reliable, high quality content for secondary age students, and we believe that we can offer that to families looking for it.
FINDING A TEACHER
We have found the most success in finding a teacher that's local to the students. Our teachers can be leaders in the co-op or just someone who is invested in the success of the students. Ultimately, the quality of teaching is the most important factor.
Our classes have a pre-set curriculum, including lesson plans, reducing the friction and effort required from the teachers. This means that the teachers can focus almost exclusively on engaging with the students and facilitating the best educational experience possible. It also means that if there is a teacher that the students already know and trust, they can teach the classes that we offer.
All of our teachers go through training to ensure that they reflect our educational values and have the skills necessary for managing and effectively running a classroom. We've built an incredible team of teachers, and we get better with every new teacher we onboard.
Finding a teacher is a crucial step in the success of building out and expanding a scholar program for secondary students. We work with co-ops to find and prepare the best teachers available so students can have an incredible education.
If you're interested in finding out if the Independent Education Program would be a good partner for your commonwealth, reach out through our contact form and we'll be in touch with you as soon as we can.