There are many different kinds of co-ops. Of course you will want to find one that works best for your family. Here are some ways to find out.
- Read the Handbook and Statement of Faith or Purpose (if there is one), and Class Schedule for the co-op you’re considering. Read all the documents they have available. This will give you a lot of information about the general aim of the co-op as well as how it is run, when, where, how often, how strict, what kind of classes, how much it costs, etc. If they do not have this kind of documentation (perhaps they are very new) skip this step and go on to number 2…
- Contact the co-op and ask to speak to someone in leadership. Talk to them on the phone or over coffee if possible. Any co-op worth their salt will be happy to talk to you. Ask lots of questions!
- Talk to people that attend or have attended in the past. This will give you a good idea of how others, who are not so invested in the co-op as the leadership would be, view their experience participating in this group. This may give you a more objective view of the co-op and how it may fit with your family.
- Post questions to their Facebook, Website, etc. This will not only give you feedback to specific questions, but give you a sense of how involved the members are. Groups that have active, enthusiastic members will be quick to respond and excited to help you.
- Try it out! You are not marrying the co-op! If after a semester you are not happy, you can always try something else! Sometimes you just can’t fully tell if something will work until you try it. But if you follow the steps above, your chances of success will be much greater. So do your homework, and don’t be afraid to jump in!