Personally I think every church should have a home school ministry. I absolutely adore the women who attend our co-op every week.
According to U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics reported that in 2012 there were 1,508,000 home schooled students. And that number is on a 7% annual increase. There are a number of reasons reported as to why families choose to home school. It’s on the rise in both the military and civilian world.
My experience with these families has shown me that each one of them is unique in their choice and has many factors, not just one, as to why they have made this decision. I know I personally embarked on home schooling due to frequent medical trips to St Jude and desiring more family time when my husband was actually home.
This post is in no way recruitment for home schooling or me saying one method of schooling is better than another. Not having found success in helping my son read, I eventually enrolled my children in public school. For our family it is a year by year decision. There are benefits to public, private, and home schooling as well as drawbacks.
But I digress. This post is simply about my adoration for these families and why I think every church should have a home school ministry.
- They are generally interested in their children’s lives
- They don’t believe in allowing someone else to raise their children, they don’t drop them off at co-op and run away, it’s not a babysitting ministry it is a ministry they are actively involved in
- My largest pool of volunteers. They always show up, follow through, and look for needs to fill.
- They believe in inter-generational learning. Older siblings help the younger, classes are not always divided by age but rather by interest. (if you aren’t sure why this is important or even how to do inter-generational learning I highly suggest checking out Sticky Faith’s blog.)
- The parents foster a love for learning and enjoy classes themselves
- They love life and getting their hands dirty. They play with their children, involve their children, and teach them real world survival skills. Every moment is a learning opportunity, not just 8 to 3.
- When discipline issues arrive, the parents are right there to deal with them. They enjoy parenting and don’t hide from it.
- There are over 1 mill home schooled children in the U.S.
- It is a great outreach to the community, to let them know you are interested in more than just the Sunday Church goers. Our home school ministry is actually larger then our church. Women whose husbands are not believers and do not want them coming on Sundays, allow them to come during the week. Unbelieving families as well as Christian families intermix at our co-op giving each a broader sense of the world around them.
- My experience, of all the ministries I work with, this is the only one that financially is self sustainable without fundraisers. The members believe in the group, donate supplies and money, so we can scholarship books to students who need them and they even share their supplies willingly with Sunday School classes whose rooms they use during the week.
- It accomplishes what Sticky Faith is all about. It allows younger children to see what church is like, how ministries are run, without having them crammed in the background. We actually allow our teens to teach classes in the summer and piano during the school year. Positions are not determined by age but by ability.
- It brings to light gifting in people that you would have never before seen. The parents want to learn and to socialize just as much, if not more, then the children. They have offered to teach different classes like Sewing, Couponing, and Bible Classes that we can then open up to other church members and people in the community. They come with experience in teaching and have the patience to do it well. (one particular highlight this year is one of the moms has offered to teach our church staff Spanish, which we are happy to take her up on)
Of course having a Co-op, like any ministry, does come with its challenges. But each one of them is well worth it and has taught me a great deal about myself and about people in general.
If you are in the El Paso/ Ft Bliss area I encourage you to check out the Sunrise Baptist Home School Ministry Co-Op. The main guidelines for our co-op are: respect one another and the church building, see a need fill it, teach from a Christian worldview but do include varying perspectives, stick to the topic the students signed up to learn, and just love one another. For a complete list of our rules you can check out our website, click on ministries and scroll down to the bottom for our home school co-op (the direct link doesn’t want to work for some reason).
If you are interested in starting up a co-op at your church I would be more than happy to talk to you. There isn’t one happy format. Ours tends to be more laid back then others and adapts a little every semester.