It is official. I recently resigned from our homeschool co-op board and let them know that we won’t be returning in the fall. It was with a lot of agonizing thought that we reached this decision as a family, but I am at peace. My children and I have had many positive educational experiences and made some amazing friends, so it wasn’t an easy choice.
My children and I have gained so many great things from our co-op experiences: enduring friendships, mentoring from other parents, and so many amazing learning opportunities. We have participated in performances, field trips, competitions, and classes.
Saying Goodbye to Co-op? Why Now?
For four years, countless hours have gone to our homeschool co-op, which I co-founded with a friend. I served on the board for the entire time and I loved helping run the co-op. However, life has shifted a lot in the last year or so. My oldest daughter began college and my second oldest is no longer feeling like the co-op is meeting her needs. Four years ago when we began this journey, all four of my daughters were participating and benefiting from our homeschool co-op experience.
When I first started evaluating our current co-op experience, I considered simply stepping down from the board of the co-op and continuing as a regular member. I didn’t want to lose the relationships with our friends and the weekly contact we have with one another. The more I considered this option, the worse I felt about it. I thought about what I want for my children, what I think will fit their needs and I worried that I would be unable to fulfill our homeschool goals while continuing co-op.
As the only member left from those who originally created the co-op, I was also concerned that stepping away from the leadership role while still continuing would be too difficult. I worried that others would continue to look to me for guidance. I worried that I would have a hard time without having a bigger say in how things were run. Maybe it would have been just fine, and we all would have adjusted beautifully. The other women in the co-op are amazing ladies and we might have all managed. But in the end, I felt that the best choice was to move on to a different experience.
Hopes for the Future as we are Saying Goodbye
As part of the process of saying goodbye, I recommended that the co-op start fresh. Since I was the only member left who helped create the bylaws, the ladies need to consider what they want from the experience. If they choose co-op for the future, it will be with changes. They will have a new name and new rules. If our family ever chooses to rejoin it will be a whole new experience.
In our home, we have talked a lot about what we are hoping for as we transition. We have two new groups we are planning to start to meet the various needs in our household. My older daughter who is still homeschooled will be beginning a small group to pursue her studies with friends. Our youngest two and I are still trying to decided what shape the group for them will take. We hope that many of our friends from our co-op will join us. We are excited to try something a little less structured.
I am looking forward to having more time to pursue some of my own personal goals. Now that I’m not helping organize a co-op, I will have more time back. Some of those goals have already been showing up on my blog and in my life. Be on the lookout for more about projects in the works.