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Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Members

(FAQ for current members, please continue scrolling way down ...)

  

How often does co-op meet?

Co-op meets approximately every other week from mid September through the beginning of June.  We break our year into three trimesters, with six meetings per trimester; therefore our co-op meets eighteen times in each school year.

 

When and where does co-op meet?
We meet on Monday afternoons from 12:45 - 3:15, in Bridgewater, a very short distance from the Somerville Circle.

 

How much does it cost to join co-op?
The total cost per year per family is $155.00 per family per school year. We anticipate two upcoming increases in the future, and by 2019 we estimate the cost per family will be at or close to $200 per year. (This number is per family, no matter how many children you have.)

It is also possible to join SCCH without being part of the co-op; in that case it costs $30 per year per family to be an "SCCH-only" member.

(Note: SCCH-only members receive our monthly newsletter, and are invited to participate in our extra optional activities. See the "activities" tab for descriptions. Obviously, if a family is an SCCH-only member, they cannot attend co-op.)

 

Can I sign up to receive your newsletter?

All co-op and SCCH-only members receive our newsletter, but it is not distributed to non-members.

 

What age students can attend co-op?
In order to join and attend the co-op, families must be home educating at least one child who will be at least 5 years old by December 31st of the specific school year AND be in kindergarten in that specific school year. (In other words, you cannot attend if your children are all preschoolers and younger, or if none of your children will be 5 by December 31st.  Sorry, but we do not make exceptions to this rule.)


If at least one of your children fall into that age range (5 years old AND in kindergarten, or above), we offer childcare for babies and toddlers for the siblings of the attending children, and we also hold PreK classes for siblings of attending children.


To attend our high school classes, students need to be at least 14 years old by December 31st of the specific school year AND be in 9th through 12th grade. The only exception to this rule is that a 13 year old who is doing all 9th grade (or above) work in their individual homeschool, AND who is planning to graduate high school in the next 4 years can request enrollment in a high school class. Any 13 year old wishing to enroll in a high school class must meet these two criteria, and must also have SCCH Co-op Director approval before enrolling.


Are there any other rules about who can attend co-op?

Any family who is not conducting the majority of the child's educational program under the direction of the parents is ineligible for membership. Any family that is homeschooling via a government funded program is ineligible for membership. 

  

Who teaches the classes at co-op?

We are a homeschool parent volunteer run co-op.  Each parent who attends co-op is expected to teach or assistant teach a class at every meeting of co-op.  We do not hire any outside teachers, although sometimes teachers invite volunteer guest speakers that are fluent in a particular topic.

 

Does every parent have to attend co-op, or can a child/children in a family just be dropped off and attend the classes?

Each family must have one parent attend co-op with their children at every meeting.  As stated above, each parent who attends is expected to teach or assistant teach a class at every meeting.  There are no exceptions to this rule, as we cannot exist in our current configuration without every parent participating.

 

If a child takes a class at co-op, does that mean those children don't have to do that particular class at home?

We hold classes for our students, but these classes are what we consider supplemental. The classes our children take at SCCH co-op are "extra;" with this supplemental model, parents continue to take full responsibility for their children's academics. So while we offer supplemental academic and gym classes, these classes do not take the place of any of the core curriculum you would be doing with your children.


The exception to our "supplemental" classes is our high schoolers: We are an academic co-op for high schoolers, and classes done at SCCH co-op for high school are planned so that they can be used on a high school transcript, typically for a half credit.

 

What kinds of classes do you offer?

For our PreK through 8th graders, our year is broken into trimesters. We offer academic classes each trimester, on a two year rotation, in different subjects.

 

Specifically, we rotate between the following subjects in any two year period for our PreK through 8th grade as follows:

History (Fall), Literature (Winter), Music (Spring)

Geography (Fall), Science (Winter), Art (Spring)


In addition to those supplemental academic classes, we also have a gym class at each co-op for the PreK through 8th graders.

 

For our high school students, we take into account what ages/grades we will have in any given year, and together the moms decide what classes we'd like to offer for the high school students. All four grade levels take classes together. Just like the other grade levels, these classes are taught by volunteer moms.


How do the volunteer teachers know what to teach?  Do you give them their curriculum?

Other than the general guidelines of which subject we are doing in which trimester (see schedule above), we leave it up to the volunteer teachers to choose what they want to teach.  For example, if we are in the trimester where history is being taught, you might walk past the classrooms and find that 1st and 2nd graders learning about ancient Bible times, hear the 3rd and 4th graders discussing the Revolutionary War, and see the middle school students giving reports on famous inventors.

 

What each teacher does within each particular subject is their choice, and the teacher gears what is taught to the particular age level of the students. Each teacher will decide what will be taught, and each teacher will find or make his/her own lessons.

 

Can I visit a co-op meeting now?

In order to become a member, you need to go through a two step phone interview process, and following that you may be invited to schedule a visit to a co-op meeting. Please note that you must complete the two interviews before we invite you to visit our group. We reserve the right to tell you that we will not be inviting you to visit our group once the interviews are complete. If you are invited to visit, we will follow up with an email or phone call letting you know whether or not we will be inviting you to join our group. To begin this process, please send an email indicating you are interested in the interview process to co-op@njhomeschoolers.org.


Can I visit a co-op meeting so that I can find out more about homeschooling, or to find out if homeschooling right for me?

No, you cannot.  The purpose of a co-op visit is to find out how our co-op is run, and to find out if you think it will be a good fit for your family, not to find out about homeschooling in general.  Only people seriously considering joining our co-op are invited to attend.  In addition, as stated elsewhere, to be invited to visit you must first complete a two interview process.

 

When is the best time to join your group?

The best time to begin the interview process is anywhere from January through the middle of April, prior to the year you want to join, so that you can participate for an entire school year.  However, if you are new to homeschooling or new to the area, we do permit people to join partway through the year, as long as they go through the interview and visitation process during the registration period.

 

Our registration is over towards the beginning of May for the next upcoming school year. We do not interview during May through August - our volunteers take the summer off from co-op - but it is possible to interview and visit during the fall or winter sessions, and join partway through the year if you miss the spring deadline.

 

What are your requirements about attendance? Do you have SCCH meetings that members have to attend?
We expect excellent and timely attendance at co-op, which meets approximately every other Monday afternoon. Since we only meet 18 times in the year, we ask that everyone who commits to attend co-op make it a top priority on their family schedule. 

 

Other than attendance at co-op, there is one and only one mandatory meeting for all co-op members. It is held on an evening in May, and all parents who have registered for the following school year get together at that mandatory meeting to plan for the upcoming co-op year. (Only the parent who will attend co-op is required to attend the meeting, not both parents.)

 

Can I join for just one or two trimesters, rather than the whole year?

No, members are expected to sign up for the entire year of co-op.


(Note:  There are a few specific exceptions to this rule, which can be discussed with the co-op director under special circumstances.  The main exception to this rule is that brand new members may join for the winter and spring session, or just the spring session, depending on when they interview and visit.)

 

Frequently Asked Questions for Current Members

 

I cannot attend a particular week of co-op, but my children are available.  Can I send them with another co-op parent?

No, you cannot send your children to co-op in the care of another co-op parent. Our policy is that you cannot send your children with another co-op parent.  However, the parent may send their children to co-op with another responsible adult relative. This responsible adult relative may be a spouse, grandparent, aunt or uncle who is committed to the same Statement of Faith as the parent, can medically make decisions for the child in the event of an emergency, and who will fulfill the parent’s assigned responsibilities at co-op, whether that be teaching or assisting in a class. If these conditions are too difficult to meet on an individual date, then it is recommended that the family stay home, relax, get healthier, and make it to the next co-op date.


I have arrived at co-op, but I need to run out for a few minutes because I forgot something/I need to get something/etc. Can I leave my children for a short time since I'll be right back?

No, you may not. Our policy is that if you leave the co-op building, then your children need to leave with you as well.

 

I have a home based or other business?  May I advertise my business at co-op?

OR ... My children are selling girl scout cookies/wrapping paper for a church fund raiser/etc.  May I put the sign up sheet out at co-op?

Our policy is that we do not solicit for anything at co-op; be it a business you run or something your children may be promoting or selling.  If these things come up as a course of conversation with other parents, that is fine, but we do not purposefully solicit.

 

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