Co-op is a meeting of nearly 100 families who share in academic and enrichment classes for homeschooled students grades PreK-12. Our families come from a variety of Christian faith backgrounds which reflect the patchwork of denominations in Lancaster and southern Berks Counties as a whole. Co-op meets on Tuesday mornings 9am-2pm September through April (with a winter break between mid-November and early February). Each fall/spring session is ten weeks in length. Parents must remain on-site while their children are participating. All co-op parents are required to serve the group for one hour each week fulfilled during an hour your child is in class.
The co-op meets at a church near Shady Maple, East Earl, PA. The church does not organize or take messages for the co-op. Please contact TEACH directly with questions or needs. TEACH offers nearly 60 classes and uses approximately 10 classrooms, two kitchens, a gym, several large-instruction classrooms and a spacious Fellowship Hall for study, visiting between families and meals when students or parent-volunteers are not engaged in a classroom. Bethany Grace is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Registration for our fall session begins in April; registration for our spring session begins in November. Families who are current members of TEACH receive early registration for both sports and classes. Students may take as many or as few classes as suit their needs- efforts are made to ensure there is at least one selection for each age group during every co-op hour. Most classes are offered by parent-volunteers who design and teach each class. Since the state of Pennsylvania passed a volunteer law (HB 1276) requiring that all volunteers who work with children have security clearances on file, all TEACH volunteers (all participating members) have Pennsylvania Criminal History and Child Abuse clearances. These are updated every 5 years.
Some parents use co-op classes as enrichment activities to their homeschool lessons; others have co-op classes replace subjects they would otherwise cover at home. For example, a parent teaching her child to read may have her Kindergartner join an ‘ABC123’ class to reinforce what is taught at home. However, a parent may also opt to have her child take high school Chemistry at co-op and then not teach that subject at home. Families are free to register for one class or to take classes the whole five hours- whatever supports your educational goals for your child.
Participants in TEACH’s Bethany Grace Co-op pay a ‘facility fee’ each session (approx. $20 per family) which allows us to rent classroom space from Bethany Grace. This fee is sent/handed in with the Registration Form.
Each ten-week class at the co-op has an individual fee (generally between $20 and $40). Some upper-level academic classes run for 30 weeks and the full payment for these are made in the fall session. Some classes will also have a materials fee or will require the student to provide certain materials. Class/Materials fees are paid directly to instructors on the first day of class. Please do not send class payment with your Registration Form.
To join our co-op, please submit a Teach Registration
So what is a typical co-op day like?
Volunteers arrive at 8 am to begin setting up for the day. They put out tables and chairs in the Fellowship Hall for families’ use. Families begin arriving around 8:45, and as Moms hang jackets and place lunch bags on tables, students cheerfully make their way to their classes. Some moms and students are visiting or eating breakfast or getting a start on that project that needs to be done. Little ones toddle around the Hall and play with puzzles and trucks. Teachers and assistants hand their young children into welcoming arms in the nursery and then spend the next hour sharing their knowledge with students. When ten o’clock rolls around, nearly a hundred kids of all ages move on to their next class or return to the Fellowship Hall to find Mom. Teachers- having fulfilled their responsibilities to the group- scoop up their little ones from the nursery and return to the Hall to await their older children finishing their classes for the day. As the end of co-op approaches, assigned volunteers begin breaking down the tables and stacking the chairs. Floors are vacuumed and rooms are straightened after the final class ends at 2:00. As the last family leaves the doors are locked and thoughts turn to what’s needed for the following week.