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    Raising our children and educating them could be described as, "a long obedience in the same direction." The longer we homeschool, the more we believe that to be obedient, to stay on the "narrow pathway" that Jesus described, we need the Lord desperately, and we also need each other.

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    Encouragement

    Encourage means, "to inspire with hope, courage, or confidence; hearten."

     

    "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up." I Thessalonians 5:11


How Do I Pick a Co-op?

flowertitle What I Wish I Knew 

Heather - Welcome to the 5th installment of What I Wish I Knew! In the last installment we talked about whether younger children need a co-op. Let's say you have decided that a co-op is right for your family. Today, we answer the question "How do I pick a co-op?  There are many co-ops to choose from, how do you find the best fit?

Monica - Begin your quest by NARROWING THE SEARCH.  Review printed information, newsletters, websites, talk to friends!  These sources can give you a general understanding of the age range the coop serves, whether the coop employees professional instructors or community or parental volunteers for learning activities.  Nothing beats a face-to-face encounter!  REQUEST VISITS to coops that appeal to you.  Observe the cooperatives atmosphere, how the students and adults engage with one another, and the instructional style.  You may want to consider the group's religious affiliations or beliefs if this is a concern for you. Consider exploring whether or not the group has membership fees that fits into your budget or certain membership requirements you can fulfill throughout the year. An interview with the coop's directors is a great idea.

Jennifer - When I was first homeschooling, I felt insecure and fearful at times that I wasn't going to provide something vital that my children needed.  One thing that added to my insecurity at times was that in our local area, there are so many GREAT opportunities for homeschoolers - classes, groups, co-ops, etc.  In an effort to not deprive my children, I sometimes over-committed and over-scheduled.  I was feeling burnt out and exhausted.  A wise woman stated something that struck me and still helps me as I make schooling decisions today with my high schoolers...she said - "Just because it is GOOD, doesn't mean it is THE BEST for your family.  Seek out THE BEST!"  That simple statement really changed my perspective.  There are lots of GREAT opportunities out there, but what serves my family THE BEST in our particular season.

Heather - We have had visitors that love the atmosphere and love the idea of being a part of the co-op, but when they take a minute to think it over it just doesn't click, and there are aspects that are deal breakers. We encourage you not to force it to fit.  If something just doesn't work, be at peace that there is a better fit for your family in this season.

Now, If what you are feeling is fear, and it seems scary, it could mean you are just being moved out of your comfort zone.  If could be that the Lord is challenging you.  Sometimes it is more about character building and the journey than about the co-op you pick.

Monica - Isaiah 41:13 says "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.

Jennifer - We pray that you would feel the right hand of God holding yours as you make plans for your schooling.  Thank you so much for joining us for this installment of What I Wish I Knew.  We look forward to meeting with you next week!


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