Valley Homeschool Co-op
All the world is my school. – GEORGE WHITMAN
Our Vision & Mission
Valley Homeschool Co-op is a secular, inclusive group of homeschooling families who gather together to create a community of strong relationships and support the pursuit of home education by hosting fun, engaging, and relaxed enrichment classes.
By having an organized meeting location where members have committed to attend, Valley Co-op members develop relationships they might not experience, otherwise, in less formal gatherings such as park days and library meetups.
Valley Homeschool Co-op offers collaborative, project-based and hands-on enrichment style classes for our student members from primary through high-school age. Students are divided into multi-age groups and attend four parent-led classes under the scope of the following categories: Arts, STEM, Gameschooling & Unit Studies. Actual class offerings vary from semester to semester but all classes fall under these categories and adhere to Valley Co-op’s vision for enrichment-style learning.
Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and even Language Arts fall into this category. Let’s get our creative juices flowing! Arts Classes can include: Theatre, Drawing, Painting, Foreign Language, Singing, Photography, and Dancing.
Engaging students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They work together to solve real-world problems. STEM classes can include: Inventing, Building Challenges, LEGO, Natural Disasters, and Weather.
Learning through games! Classes can include: Board Games, Strategy Games, Logic Puzzles, Co-operative Gaming, Storytelling, Role-Play, Simulations, and Sports/Physical Fitness.
This incorporates multiple study methods to learn about one topic. A study of Medieval History could include: Historical Works, Building Catapults, Studying Knights, Armor and Sword Play, Creating Heraldry, and Family Crests.
Our Leadership Team
Our Board of Directors are awesome, hardworking volunteers here to serve the members of Valley Homeschool Co-op. A mix of experienced homeschoolers and homeschoolers just starting out, they have been able to use their combined experiences and fresh energy to create a secular, inclusive homeschool community. They are passionate about homeschooling and are excited to share their passion with Valley Homeschool Co-op.
Valley Co-op does not employ teachers or instructors outside our membership. Instead, our parents volunteer to teach, aka lead, classes based on their skills, interests, and backgrounds. Our devoted parents are the heart of Valley co-op providing our children with unique opportunities for learning and growth.
Our Membership Handbook
All policies, procedures and guidelines established by Valley Homeschool Co-op are set forth in the Member Handbook.
Our members comprise families from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Our families have different styles of parenting and homeschooling but share the desire to educate their children outside of the traditional mainstream educational model. We embrace the diversity of our membership and strive for tolerance and respect for our members.
When and where do you meet?
We meet on Thursdays from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm for two semesters per year at Tempe Church of Christ off Mill avenue in Tempe.
Do you offer academic classes or classes that fulfill high school credits?
No, as Valley Co-op’s primary mission is to provide an environment for families to gather together and develop strong relationships, we focus on collaborative, project-based and hands-on enrichment style classes. Additionally, we recognize parents as the primary educators and are not a substitute for home education.
Where can I find a list of specific classes you offer in advance of registration?
We do not post a list of classes available because classes at Valley Homeschool Co-op change throughout the semester. You can expect your student to take four classes within each of our broader categories of STEM, ARTs, Gameschooling and Unit Studies. However, we give our parent leads a lot of flexibility when planning their classes so they can follow the class’ interest.
Is teaching a class a requirement for membership in Valley Co-op?
At this time, we ask all parents to teach (or, lead, as we like to call it) a class, with some exceptions. Since Valley Co-op does not hire outside educators, we depend on our parents to facilitate classes. We also find that each parent brings a unique, valuable dynamic to the co-op that benefits our children. Often a parent’s hesitancy in regard to teaching stems from a belief they don’t have the skills to teach formally. Valley Co-op believes homeschooling parents are more than equipped to lead class; no special degree required. We invite you to lead a class based on your own passions and interests.
Can my child elect not to take a class or choose a study hall period instead?
Valley Co-op does not offer a la carte classes and, as such, each student is assigned to a class with their peer group for every block. However, we believe that our children learn best when they are interested and motivated to participate. Our class leads facilitate projects and discussion while giving our students the autonomy and space to participate as desired.
Is this a drop-off program?
No, parent participation is an important part of co-op. Valley Co-op is a volunteer-run organization and all members are expected to fulfill volunteer roles throughout the day. Also, we find parents realize the same benefits from co-op as their children: community, friendships and fun!
What does it mean that Valley Co-op is a secular, inclusive group?
Our members represent families of all different backgrounds, beliefs, and homeschooling methodologies. We are an eclectic, tolerant group and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status or any other basis of discrimination. Additionally, our classes are taught from a secular perspective and remain neutral on matters of religion while simultaneously teaching our children to understand and respect different religious beliefs.
Can my special-needs child attend Valley Co-op?
As Valley Co-op is an inclusive group, we hope to accommodate anyone within the homeschooling community. However, due to the nature of our group requiring a volunteer role during the co-op day, we may need to discuss your child’s unique circumstances with you and determine whether Valley Co-op is a good fit for your family.
Can you accommodate my child with severe food allergies?
Valley Co-op will implement guidelines, as our membership requires, to guarantee the safety of all of our members. If your child has a life-threatening, doctor-recognized food allergy, please inform us at registration and we will communicate any new or changing guidelines to our members prior to the start of the semester. Please note, while we will do our best to accommodate your child, the parent has the primary responsibility of ensuring their child’s safety and should take precautionary steps such as carrying an EpiPen at all times while on campus.
Can I attend co-op for a trial day?
We cannot allow visitors to attend co-op for the day and participate in classes due to our insurance requirements. Also, our members are actively engaged in classes and we could not give our visitors the personal attention required. We can, however, offer a personal tour of our campus and give you a sneak peek of co-op during the last 30 minutes of our meeting day. Please send us a note through our Contact Us form to arrange a tour, if interested.
Do you have a Facebook page I can join?
Yes. You can join our Facebook group here. We keep it updated with important dates, upcoming events, and answer questions prospective members may have.