Case Study - a Homeschool Co-op quadruples in size in 6 years
In our area, homeschooling is common and many families are choosing to step out of the traditional school systems (public and private) and spend a significant amount of time and effort teaching their young bright future-changers at home. This historically works out well, according to numerous studies and reports. One source of skepticism from outsiders looking in is the question of socialization. "How do your kids, who spend a large amount of time inside the same four walls and away from other kids their age, get properly socialized?" Indeed, many times (not always) parents choose homeschooling as a result of poor socialization skills and bad socialization experiences (e.g. bullying). Enter the world of homeschool groups, "Co-ops," and Tutorials. These are an avenue for homeschooled children from Pre-K to 12th grade to come together once or twice a week, mixed in between their music, athletic, art, drama, science, math, and other specific interest classes, lessons, and groups. They take classes, study "enrichment topics," have specialized help for areas where they are weak, and PLAY. They play and spend quality time with other kids their own age, or that are brothers and sisters of kids their own age, or that just happen to be around. How many kids do the play with? Well that is the interesting part.
Our Co-op where we are members started with 12 families in a small church. We probably had about 40 kids attend, and things were easy to keep up with. Parents volunteered to teach classes in grades K-8. But the Co-op started to grow as more families heard about it, and soon we had 30, then 40, then 60 families and organization was hard. There was registration for classes each semester and it took ALL DAY LONG. So we built a custom web application to fix the problem. We never dreamed that online registration and automated placement would allow the Co-op to grow to 105 families and 275 kids from Pre-K to 12th grade. What a blessing it is each year to see all those kids, many of them who are building friendships for life, come together each week and shatter the question of socialization. Thanks to Custom Software, the administrators don't pull their hair out twice a year trying to make it happen.
You can get on board with your group or business and get more organized with custom software or web apps!