Incorporating Homeschool Connections Classes into Your Co-Op
Many Homeschool Connections families participate in homeschooling co-ops, where groups of families gather together to homeschool communally. If you are participating in a homeschool cooperative, what is the best way to incorporate Homeschool Connections’ online classes into that co-op setting?
As you know, co-ops come in all shapes and sizes. A homeschooling co-op might be a simple affair—three families getting together in a living room to talk over a history lesson or discuss a piece of literature. Or they can be rather involved, incorporating hundreds of families, with a campus, paid classes and teachers, and parents supporting in various volunteer capacities.
Because very cooperative is different, Homeschool Connections works with you to find the best solution to integrate our online courses with what you want to do in your co-op. There are plenty of options for using online classes within your co-op. In this article, we will cover the most important details about incorporating Homeschool Connections into your co-op. First we’ll take a look at teaching options, then grading options, and finally, pricing options.
For teaching options, the vast majority co-ops who use Homeschool Connections prefer our Unlimited Access options, whereby the subscribed gets unlimited access to our entire pre-recorded course catalog for a monthly fee. Two scenarios are common:
(1) Students meet to watch the recorded lectures as a group. In this setting, a computer is typically projected onto a television via HDMI cable, Chromecast etc. so that all students can watch together. After the is over, the co-op leader leads the class in a discussion, reviews homework, and answers questions.
(2 ) The students watch the recordings at home, then come to co-op, bringing questions and comments to discuss in the class and work together on quizzes with the teacher or other students. This is an increasingly popular practice called “flipping education.” Traditionally, content is delivered in class while homework is done at home; “flipping education” means students learn content at home and do their homework with the teacher, so that the teacher is present when needed.
Homeschool Connections’ online courses have several grading options:
(1) Homework can be turned in to the co-op teacher/facilitator for grading. This works well if the teacher is knowledgeable in the subject matter and wants to be engaged with the students and their work.
(2) In situations where the class leader is more of a facilitator than a teacher, it might make more sense to have students self-grade or have parents handle grading. Most unlimited access courses for Homeschool Connections come with answer keys, so students can grade their work on their own—and on their own and on their honor! Admittedly, this might not work for all classes (for example, composition), but for many, self-grading works beautifully.
(3) Many Homeschool Connections have Instructor Access available for a fee (all our writing courses offer it, for example). With Instructor Access, you pay an additional fee for the instructor to grade students’ work. If you’re planning on signing a large number of co-op students up for this service, please let us know ahead of time so our instructors can be prepared!
What are the best ways to pay for online courses that you structure into your homeschooling co-op? You guessed it! There are options!
(1) Sometimes every family subscribes to Unlimited Access. This is very economical—for a monthly subscription fee, each family gives you unlimited access to every course in the Homeschool Connections catalog. Today it is over 450 courses, and it keeps growing every year as we continue to add new courses. If you have five or more families signing up for Unlimited Access, contact us for group pricing.
(2) You can also have each student purchase a single course through Single Access. Single Access is currently priced at $17.97 per course per student per month. When a student completes a course, you can cancel or transfer to a new course. Single Access is ideal for situations when you know a student will only need one specific course and is the only family member using recorded classes.
(3) You can also organize a LIVE course with Homeschool Connections. If you let us know with enough advance notice, we make sure we have enough seats available for a certain class, or have teacher at disposable on the day and time co-op meets. Just contact us ahead of time so we have time to make necessary preparations. LIVE courses are priced individually based on the length of the course and the difficulty of the grading.
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Because homeschooling is so eclectic, it’s totally possible that you might have a situation that doesn’t fit any of these scenarios. If so, please contact us so we can help you create an online co-op option that suits your needs.
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