Co-op Frequently asked questions

What are CHARIS Co-ops?

We are a community of Christian homeschool families with a vision to train up our children for God’s glory. We come from a variety of churches with a common statement of faith. As members of the CHARIS Homeschool Support Group, families may opt to register for the weekly or monthly co-op activities and engage in fun, hands-on learning enrichment activities for grades Pre-K - 12 that are operated by the parents on a volunteer basis. 

Who can participate in CHARIS Co-ops?

Participation in a CHARIS homeschool co-op is one of the privileges of CHARIS Membership. Families who have registered with the CHARIS Homeschool Support Group may choose to enroll in either of the co-op sessions in Fall or Winter/Spring. We welcome new members to the support group any time of year. Please visit http://mycharis.org for more information.

What's the difference between the Weekly & Monthly Co-op options?

There are two options, a weekly co-op, affectionately dubbed “Wacky Wednesdays,” and a monthly gathering, known as “Discovery Days.” “CHARIS Connect” is a special time for moms to meet once a month for a light brunch, fellowship, discussion and prayer, while their children are participating in monthly Discovery Days activities. 


WACKY WEDNESDAY: Wacky Wednesdays offers ongoing academic enrichment on grade-specific subjects, such as Learning Letters (Preschool), History, Art, Literature, Writing, Gym, Science, Home Ec, Life Skills, Foreign Language, to name a few. The schedule is built around parent suggestions and the workload is shared among CHARIS families. Wacky Wednesday enrollment includes Discovery Days & CHARIS Connect. Each of the two sessions are 10 weeks long total. Choose Fall and/or Winter-Spring.


DISCOVERY DAYS: At Discovery Days, students will explore a variety of fun and educational activities apart from what they may be learning during the weekly (Wacky Wednesday) co-op. Some past classes have included hands-on service projects, orienteering games, scavenger hunts, visits from the fire department, science experiment fun, and gym games, to name just a few. The focus is on fun, enrichment activities in a positive social setting.


During DISCOVER DAYS, parents will enjoy CHARIS CONNECT. Read on...


CHARIS CONNECT: Moms, would you enjoy some time to connect with those who understand  you the most? Here is your chance for some meaningful conversations, fellowship and fun while your kids are immersed in their own activities at Discovery Days. Parents will attend two of three monthly CHARIS Connect days and assist with Discovery Days student activities on their assigned turn in the rotation.

What is the Wacky Wednesday co-op schedule?

Please see the website for specific class descriptions and dates. Here’s the hourly schedule:


PRE-K - 5th GRADE

9:00 am ~ Doors open

9:30 - 10:15 ~  Class Period 1

10:15 - 10:45 ~ Large group devotion time

10:45 - 11:30 ~ Class Period 2

11:30 - 12:30 ~ Lunch/Social Time


MIDDLE SCHOOL - HIGH SCHOOL

9:00 am ~ Doors open

9:30-10:45 ~ Class Period 1

10:45 - 11:30 ~ Small Group Bible Study

11:30 - 12:30 ~ Lunch/Social Time

What is the Discovery Days co-op schedule?

Please see the website for specific class descriptions and dates. Here’s the hourly schedule:


9:00 - 9:25 ~ Families begin arriving for open gym

9:25 am ~ Opening prayer. Parents drop children off at their Discovery Days class. A nursery is also available for children younger than Pre-K.

9:30 - 11:30 ~ CHARIS Connect time for parents while students participate in Discovery Day activities.

How do I register my children for the next co-op session?

There are two steps:


1) If you are not already a current member of CHARIS, you must first join by completing the registration on the CHARIS website: https://mycharis.org/ 


2) Once you are registered as a CHARIS Member, you may then go through the Co-op enrollment process found on the website. Choose the Weekly (“Wacky Wednesday”) or Monthly (“Discovery Days”) Co-op Options.

What are the fees?

WACKY WEDNESDAYS (Weekly co-op): The ten week session fee is $40/student (Pre-K - HS). This covers church rental and material fees for both classes. There is also a $28 fee per family to cover liability insurance costs for each session.


Middle school and high school students pay an additional $24/student (maximum additional fee capped at $72/family). This additional fee is a compensation gift to the teachers of these two classes.


DISCOVERY DAYS/CHARIS CONNECT: If you are a part of Wacky Wednesday, the cost is included in the session fee, so there is no additional cost to participate. If you are not a part of the weekly co-op, the cost for the Fall or Winter/Spring Session of Discovery Days is $12/child. This includes the costs for materials and rent to the church. There is also a liability fee of $14 per family.

Who teaches the classes?

CHARIS moms and dads, and sometimes graduates, share their skills and interests through teaching. Parents are required to participate in some capacity, either by volunteering to be part of a class teaching team or assisting in various other ways (administrative, etc.). You may indicate your preference on the registration form.

Am I required to teach a class?

Tasks such as assisting students in the classrooms and helping with set-up and cleanup are a normal part of what a parent can expect to do each week. Serving as part of a team, each parent will also play a direct role in planning and/or teaching classes over the course of the session.

 
Among the many roles that need to be filled are helping to purchase and prepare materials for classes, organizing crafts for Pre-K, facilitating art projects and gym games, and assisting in the classroom. We also need parents who are willing to help in the nursery and lead devotions. While every effort will be made to place you in your area of strength or interest, we do sometimes have to ask parents to fill open roles that may not be their first choice.


Many hands make light work, so the workload is not overwhelming. The teamwork and fellowship is what makes it unique and special.  By tapping into the talents, skills and service of parents, the co-op is very affordable for families.

What kinds of classes can parents offer to teach?

In past years, there have been a wide variety of classes and enrichment activities offered, from science, math, social studies, gym, literature, writing, photography, arts and crafts, cooking, music, gym, government, and foreign language, to name a few. Parents’ ideas are encouraged and classes are based on what families volunteer to do.


Some examples of Discovery Days are Literature Day, Thanksgiving Celebration, Community Helpers Day, Dissection Day, Hands-on Science Lab or Art Project Day, Exploring Senses Day, and Special Service Projects.

Do I have to attend? Or can I drop my children off and do something else during class time?

No, this is not a drop-off co-op. On Wacky Wednesdays, even if you aren't teaching on a specific day, the fellowship with other homeschool families is a benefit. On monthly CHARIS Connect & Discovery Days, parents will be participating as class leaders/facilitators one of the three months. The teamwork of our families is what makes the co-op work so well, and the connection with other parents is a blessing.

Can high school age students get involved?

Yes, we encourage participation by students in the upper grades, as we value homeschooling through the high school level. 

What about babies & toddlers?

The youngest family members are always welcome. Fees do not apply to those who are not participating in classes, but there is an optional nursery available for little ones to play and enjoy one another’s company.

What if one of my children chooses not to take a class?

Accompanying children who are not participating in a class may sit quietly in a study hall room under the supervision of the parent.

Is there a refund if my child is sick or no longer interested in the class?

If extended illness prevents you from attending a number of classes, or if you find that a class was not a good fit for your child after the first week, we would be glad to issue a refund less any material fees and/or rental feels that have already been paid out.

Can a grandparent or relative bring my child?

Yes, grandparents or relatives are welcome to participate. We just ask that they volunteer wherever possible in order to help in the functioning of the group. 

What about my child who will have a hard time with me leaving them at their Discovery class?

One option is to have an older sibling act as a helper in their Discovery classroom. Also, as fellow homeschoolers who understand how valuable your time at Charis Connect​will be, we will lovingly work with your child to help him/her feel as comfortable as possible. Babies and toddlers are welcome to join our Charis Connect​gatherings (a nursery will also be provided).

Can I visit one day to see if it’s a good fit for our family?

We welcome visitors during one of the regular weekly co-op “Wacky Wednesday” days. If you would like to arrange a time to visit, please contact us in advance: leaders@mycharis.org.

Can I attend just one CHARIS Connect/Discovery Days meeting to try it out first?

No, because in order for everyone to share in the fun of having some free time, we also need everyone to share the load of caring for our kids. Plus, we believe you’ll love it so much, you won’t want to limit yourself to one week! Your family is welcome to visit us during one of our Wacky Wednesday weekly meetings where you can also get an idea of what our group has to offer. Contact leaders@mycharis.org to schedule a visit.

I missed the registration deadline. Can I still join the current session?

Deadlines are in place to help teaching teams plan accordingly. If you have missed the registration deadline, please contact the CHARIS leadership to discuss your options. 

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us by email: leaders@mycharis.org