As my regular readers already know, each school year I participate in a preschool co-op. This is where I gather together with a small group of moms and we all take responsibility in creating a school-like atmosphere in our homes to teach our children during their preschool years, instead of sending them to a formal preschool. I have done this for two years, and have learned a few things along the way, which it why I’m offering you to follow along a five day series of posts about how to organize a preschool co-op in your area.
This five day series will include the following:
This post will focus on how to find other moms willing to participate in a preschool co-op and some things to consider when inviting others to join. For example: Where do you find other mothers to join in? Are any mothers working part time? Are all homes suitable for housing preschool co-op? Are all dads on board, too? What is everyone’s level of commitment? Etcetera.
Now that you have others who will join in the work and fun, this post will focus on how to set goals and expectations for the group. For example: What kind of atmosphere do you want preschool co-op to have? What about disciplining students? Are your goals academic focused or social focused? Play based or skills based learning? Etcetera.
You know what the goals and expectations are, so now it is time to select learning materials that meet those expectations. For example: Are you buying a curriculum? Are you writing your own curriculum? Buying workbooks? How are materials to be paid for? What is the sequence of learning concepts? Are you following state standards, if available? Etcetera.
So far so good. You’re well on your way to having a well organized, functional preschool co-op. Now to decide on when to have preschool and how often. For example: When should you start in the year? Should you follow a public school calendar? What time of day works best? How often should preschool be held? Etcetera.
Finally, it is time to assign roles and responsibilities for each participating mother. This post will focus on things to consider when assigning and taking on responsibilities and what they might entail. For example: Will each mom take equal time teaching? What if a mom doesn’t feel she is capable of teaching? What are other roles moms can have if not teaching? If developing learning curriculum from scratch, who will write it? Who will make manipulatives? How will materials be paid for? Etcetera.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.