Someone sent me this today:
What this parent is doing is called forming a homeschooling co-op. It’s similar to a co-op in real estate, where everyone pitches in and shares the cost and responsibilities of a project. Homeschooling co-ops are immensely popular.
Essentially, you have a group of parents who are all homeschooling their kids. They decide to use the same (or mostly the same) curriculum and purchase the related materials. They get the kids together as often as they like, from every day to once a week, for something akin to a lesson in a traditional school.
The benefits of forming a co-op can be huge: It can minimize the time any one adult spends teaching. It can reduce the cost of purchasing homeschooling materials, as you can just reproduce them across a group. Your kids still have the feeling of having a social environment, especially if you couple co-op time with unstructured play or sports (playing on a playground; hosting a football, basketball, soccer game; getting a sensei to come teach everyone karate). You can bring in a tutor or guest instructor for some subjects or a special project. Like if your kids are working on biology, you can get a doctor to come present to them, or a zoologist.
You do not have to rent commercial space for a homeschool co-op. You can do it in someone’s home, rotate homes, reserve a space at your library, have an open-air meeting at a park, sit on the beach. It’s totally up to you.
There is also no rule that the co-op has to meet during the day. If everyone in co-op works outside of the home, the co-op can be a form of evening / night school.
I have not personally been involved in a co-op because I am pretty dead-set on using specific materials for homeschooling. I have a lot of friends who belong to co-ops, sometimes even more than one, however, and they love it.
Our town is not all that large, but there are still enough homeschoolers here to have regular homeschooling programs at the local community center. They have homeschooling art classes, homeschooling robotics classes, homeschooling P.E. groups.
If you are frustrated with the idea of doing public school online this year, consider organizing your friends into a co-op. It’s socialized lessons without the unnecessary stress and drama of being in a school environment.