"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Homeschool CO-OPS 101

I am doing this book review for a fellow blogger friend of mine - Karen - she and I have been blogger friends now for a couple of years.  I think this is a FANTASTIC topic.  
Hope you enjoy ...

homeschool co-ops 101

Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families.

Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.
  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.
Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:


karen langeAbout the Author

Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens.

You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

homeschool co-ops 101

Blog Tour Schedule
November 4
~Ruth Schiffman, http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/
~Robyn Campbell, http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/
November 5
~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Diane Estrella, www.dianeestrella.com
November 6
~Gena Mayo, ichoosejoy.org
~Marja Meijers, http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.com/
November 7
~Sandie Crozek, http://chattycrone.blogspot.com/
~Melissa Brander, http://mkbrander.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
November 8
~Susan Reinhardt, http://www.susanjreinhardt.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
November 10
~Laura V. Hilton, http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
~Melissa & Tiffany, http://www.homegrownfamilies.net
~Janette Dolores, http://janettedolores.blogspot.com
November 11
~Susan Sundwall, www.sundwallsays.blogspot.com
~Michelle Isenhoff, http://www.michelleisenhoff.com/wp
November 12
~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Jeanette Levellie, http://www.jeanettelevellie.com/
November 13
~Susanne Dietze, http://susannedietze.blogspot.com/
~Sherryl Wilson, simplysherryl.com
~Anne Payne, duhpaynes.blogspot.com
November 14
~Rhonda Schrock, http://www.rhondaschrock.com/rhondas_blog/
~Abi Buening, http://myheartbelongs2books.blogspot.com/
~Amber Schamel, http://www.amberschamel.com/history-blog.html
~Renee, motherdaughterbookreviews.com
November 15
~Crystal King, http://asimpleheartforhome.blogspot.com/
~Barb Winters, inthemidstof.wordpress.com/
~Tyrean Martinson, http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/
November 16
~Julie, soaringeagle8.blogspot.com
~Sarah, myjoyfilledlife.com
November 17
~Amada Chavez, ascphotosanddesigns.blogspot.com
~Cindi Clubbs, http://ccclubbs.com/
~Rebecca Boerner, http://ohiohomeschool.blogspot.com/
November 18
~Carlene Havel, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440085.Carlene_Havel/blog
~Cindy Loven, http://cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
November 19
~Karen Loethen, http://taytayhser.blogspot.com.au/
~Amy Smith, myseasonsofopportunities.blogspot.com/
November 20
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada, http://lovebookslozada.blogspot.com/
November 22
~Sarah Bailey, http://growingforchrist.wordpress.com
~Thumb Updown, http://momsthumb.blogspot.com/
December 2
~Jennifer Shirk, http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/
~Ticia M., http://adventuresinmommydom.org/

The Giveaway

Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.I a

Homeschool Co-ops 101 Blog Tour Questions 

What prompted you to write this book?

Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog! I’m looking forward to visiting with you and your followers.

About ten years ago, I was encouraged by a good friend in the homeschool community to write a booklet about co-ops. She was the director of a statewide homeschool support network, and she knew people often asked me about how a co-op works. The booklet seemed like a good way to share the info, so I self published it.  In May of 2013, Helping Hands Press offered me a contract to expand it, so here we are! 

What can readers expect to find in the book?

The book offers info on how to start a co-op and weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for homeschool families. One thing I emphasize is that parents have options when it comes to co-oping. Co-ops come in all sizes and sometimes an existing one is not a good fit for a family. Parents shouldn’t feel bad or be intimidated if this is the case; they need to know that it’s okay to either not participate and even start their own co-op if they wish.

Another thing to note is that HC 101's usefulness is not limited to just homeschoolers. The how to section offers helpful setup and structure tips for other K-12 student groups. The activity segment has lessons, games, and hands on projects that suit these groups as well.                            

Here is a breakdown of each section of the book:

Section 1 includes info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.  Section 2 has a sampling of co-op games and activities, and Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. The topics include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or individual home use. Section 3 also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic. Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.

Tell us a little about your homeschool experience.

My husband and I homeschooled our three children (two sons and a daughter) in grades K-12. We chose to homeschool because, among other things, we wanted to personalize our children’s education and felt home was the best place to do that. During this time, we were active with our local homeschool support group’s events such as field trips and science and art fairs.  Co-ops played an important role too. These activities helped supplement our studies, provided balanced socialization, fellowship, and fun. They also offered a broader worldview as our children interacted with not just homeschool families, but the surrounding community.

If you happen to be interested in more info about the ups and downs of homeschooling, socialization, higher education, and other related topics, visit this link: http://www.insanitek.net/ink/archives/865

What would you like readers to take away from the book?

No one plan fits everyone, so I encourage families, whether they decide to co-op or not, to find the right balance and fit for them. My hope is that they would find ideas and encouragement for their children’s educational journey. 

Thanks again for sharing your space with me today. It’s been a pleasure!

I really love to support my family and friends on their projects.  It is not easy to write a book.  So when asked to help - I say yes! I think Karen is a great gal and this is a great idea.  
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Sounds like an interesting read for those with school age children.

Cheri said...

Sounds like a good book for home school families and so nice of you, Sandie, to help Karen out with her book.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today. You are a sweet friend, and I appreciate your support! Thanks so much!


OMG this would be so interesting for me my daughter is 2. :)
You are so kind and a good friend.
I will also visit your friend's blog. :)
Take care

Weekend-Windup said...

This is really interesting subject, thanks for sharing.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much! :)

Sandie is a peach, isn't she? :)


jack69 said...

YOu are one go-getter and such a person of variety. This is a great gesture and a well needed tool I am sure. A ver daunting process, home schooling, but in my opinion in most cases makes for a better education.

Karen Lange said...

Sandie is a good friend indeed! You just might find this helpful. The principles apply to most any group, too. :)

Weekend Windup,
Nice to meet you! :)


Karen Lange said...

It is a daunting process but it is one way to go if you're so inclined. Thanks so much for your thoughts! :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is perfect for people with school age kids.

I think homeschooling is an interesting concept, and from what I understand the kids test out higher academically.



Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sounds like a great resource for homeschoolers.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love Karen's blog as well. It's so neat how all of us have common Blogger connections :)

Along These Lines ... said...

My wife homeschooled for about six months. That was enough, she said!

Sandee said...

♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
♪♪Happy Birthday Dear Rick,♪♪
♪♪Happy Birthday to you.♪♪

Scritches to Disco and have a fabulous day. ♥♥♥

Diane Estrella said...

Thank you for spotlighting Karen's book and for being such a wonderful friend. Have a great week!

Dar said...

You're quite the gal, Sandie. You're always reaching out to others in most interesting ways...way to go!
Life is Educating

Theresa said...

I don't home school, but my neighbor does. I will have to recommend this book to her. Thanks for sharing it!

Ms. A said...

While I LOVE the idea of homeschooling, I don't think I could have done it. I couldn't keep my brain organized enough as it was, trying to raise four kids and just make it through the day.

NanaDiana said...

How nice of you to do this post for her. I hope someone gets the book that really appreciates it and does homeschooling- xo Diana

Catherine said...

Dear Sandie, This is a wonderful topic. People need to be introduced more to the wonders and blessings of homeschooling.

Blessings dear. Catherine xo

Love Of Quilts said...

That would be a good win for someone interested in home schooling.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much for your thoughts! :)

I hope many families find it helpful! :)

It really is a small world, isn't it? :)

Along These Lines,
It can be quite a task, that's for sure! :)

It's nice to meet you! :)

You have done such a great job with the tour! :) Thank you!

I agree, Sandie is a huge blessing! :)

Thanks so much for spreading the word! :)

Ms. A,
It is an undertaking, and not for everyone either. I know families in both camps that have had great experiences. :)

Thanks so much for your kind words! I agree, Sandie is a peach!

Happy Thursday,

Karen Lange said...

I think it's a great topic too, but I might be slightly biased. :) Thank you for sharing!

Love of Quilts,
I agree! Thanks so much for coming over. :)

Happy Thursday,

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Sandie, Are you thinking about home-schooling your grandson? As much as you have to help him, it probably would work for you… I have a good friend in Texas who has home-schooled all three of her kids. She makes it her full-time job and is really a talented lady who does a fantastic job.. Her daughters are very smart--thanks to their Mom's heard work. ME??? I could never have done that… I guess you have to 'want' to do it. I never did.

Please don't add me to your Giveaway.. It does look like a good book though. I'm sure your readers will enjoy it.


betty said...

Sounds like a great book/topic, Sandie. I do admire those that can home school their kids!


Art and Sand said...

I was scrolling along your sidebar and looking at all the fun pictures and quotes.

I thought you might enjoy this one.

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

― Bob Dylan

I am happy to say that according to Bob Dylan, I am a success.

Shelly said...

I've read some of this book, and it certainly sounds like a needed one. I'm recommending it to home schooling friends of mine~

Ann said...

not having young children I kind of zoned out a bit there....lol

Lucy said...

Sounds like a good idea. If I had school age children, I sure would be looking into it, when you made the comment on my blog about wishing Spunky could understand us when we say it will be alright. That would surely help.

Terri D. said...

I so admire those who choose to home-school. Lucky kids.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I have much admiration for those who home school. I don't need the book, so don't enter me in the drawing. I hope someone who really can put it to good use wins!

Karen Lange said...

So nice to meet you! Isn't Sandie a sweetheart for sharing her space? :)

I admire homeschool parents too. Sometimes I wonder how any parent gets everything they need to done! :)

Art and Sand,
Thanks for coming by! :)

Thanks for reading a portion! Thanks also for passing the word. :)

Thanks for coming by! :)

Thank you! Nice to meet you! :)

I really wish I had been homeschooled too! But I was blessed to homeschool mine. :) Thanks for your thoughts.

Good to meet you! :) Appreciate your thoughts!

Happy Thursday,

BECKY said...

Sandie, this is so nice of you to do for Karen, but you are both sweeties, so it just fits perfectly!

Betty Manousos said...

sounds like an interesting book for homeschoolers.
have a great friday~

Nikki (Sarah) said...

homeschooling is huge where I live. People here wanted to instill their values in their kids and hence homeschooling has grown by leaps and bounds. I'm sure the book will be a help to many....

DogsMom said...

Very nice interview.
When my kids were that age home schooling was not an option in our area. There were several frightening times when I wished it was.

Karen Lange said...

You are a sweetie too! Thanks so much; you made me smile. :) Congrats on your upcoming book!

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts!

Thank you! I hope it does. :)

Thank you! Yes, it isn't so doable everywhere, is it?

Happy Friday,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Chatty and Karen,

The nice part about the book is that many of the ideas can be applied even if you aren't homeschooling. The lesson plans have fabulous suggestions for activities and studies.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

That's right, the principles and lessons apply to other student groups too. Thank you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandie and Karen - I've thought it would be a really good book and parts of it could be applied to elderly stimulation - so I bought a copy ...

It's very professionally written, but in a lovely relaxed style - I'm sure it will do really well ... I sure hope so ..

Cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

You are so sweet! Yes, I think that the projects in there might be useful. Keep me posted, okay?
Thanks and blessings,