If you are starting a homeschool co-op, setting up a schedule for the semester is next on the list of things that have to happen before you can successfully begin a co-op semester. If you are new here check out the first post in this series.
The key to a successful co-op is organization. When you have a good system in place you will be able to function smoothly and spend less time working. Not only will life be easier on you, but your members will appreciate always knowing what to expect and how to get information. As you begin to set up your schedule of classes for the school year there are a few steps you need to work out.
- Who are your teachers or facilitators going to be?
- Who will decide on which classes will be offered? Teachers? Admin? Parents?
- Will your teachers be paid or volunteers?
I have always found that when looking for teachers it’s best to have an idea of what I want them to teach. Many people are willing to teach but they don’t often know what to teach. If you are needing teachers for enrichment classes (these would be classes like cooking, animal classification, creative writing etc.) have a list of those classes available for teachers to choose from. You can grab some more ideas on my co-op Pinterest page.
If you are needing teachers for core classes like Biology or Algebra, then it is best to begin by doing a survey of teacher’s interest and abilities, in order to ensure that they can successfully teach those classes.
Once you have found your teachers and you know what they are going to teach we get as much information about the class as possible. Our form looks like this:
Setting up the Schedule
Now, It’s time for you to set up your schedule. There are different ways of doing this but a few things that need to be taken into consideration are:
- What days and times are you planning on meeting?
- How many class hours are you wanting to have?
- Will your day include time for lunch?
- Will you need to factor in set up and clean up time?
- What will be your start and end date?
- Will you take time off for holidays or special events?
- Will you factor in make up days for bad weather or other unforeseeable circumstances?
Once these have been considered you can begin to set up your schedule. Start with the schedule for the school year. If you do in person registration make sure that goes on the schedule. Also think about whether or not having an orientation is appropriate for your group.
We have an orientation/meet the teacher day where we review our policies and procedures, go over our handbook and then students and parents have time to meet their teachers.
As you are thinking through the schedule make sure you consider teachers who is teaching more than one class and input their classes into the schedule first. Also consider those who have little ones that might need to nurse or spend time in the nursery with them. My working class co-op schedule looks like this: (with teacher’s names included with their class)
I set up this schedule using an excel sheet so that I can edit it until we have a final document. And then it gets transferred to our website.
The way you set your schedule up will be unique to your own group but if I can help you in any way please shoot me an email or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. Don’t forget that you can be part of my Homeschool Leader Newsletter where I give encouraging tips and resources every month. Sign up below!
In case you missed the rest of series!
Part 5: Setting up your schedule for the Semester
Part 6: Registration and other Necessary Paperwork
Part 7: Wrap up with Q &A