How Our Co-op Began

Finish Well Radio, Podcast #075, How Our Co-op Began with Meredith Curtis and Laura NoletteIn “How Our Co-op Began,” Episode #075, Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette reminisce together about history days in the early 2000s where they combined families to spend one day a week studying history with hands-on fun, reading aloud, and listening to audios. As they began to include other friends, a homeschool co-op was born. Learn how they used food to involve the entire family in their studies, especially the hungry dads. Glean ideas for your own co-oping adventure.





Powerline Productions, Inc. Families Learning Together American History Books


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Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!


Show Notes

Meet Laura & Meredith and their kids

History Days

Reading aloud

Listening to Diana Waring audios

Crafts, Sewing, Art Appreciation, Drama, Creating Radio Shows, Models

Timelines, Maps

Cooking & Baking

What we studied over the years: American History, British History, Geography, World History

Adding Friends

The homeschool friend whose mom started working and wanted some time with other people

The homeschool friend whose mom couldn’t teach physics

The mom who was struggling

A Co-op Is Birthed

Adding more families

What didn’t work anymore: Listening to Audios, laid back schedule

What continued: reading aloud, hands-on fun, timelines, maps


Which was Better?

Not really sure; both were perfect for us in the season we were in.

Happy Homeschooling!


Joyful and Successful Homeschooling by Meredith CurtisQuick & EZ Unit Study Fun by Meredith CurtisSeven R's of Homeschooling by Meredith CurtisUnlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette






Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!

HSHSP Ep 109: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op Your Teens Will Enjoy

This week on HSHSP Ep 109: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op Your Teens Will Enjoy.

HSHSP Ep 109: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op Your Teens Will Enjoy

HSHSP Ep 109: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op Your Teens Will Enjoy

The homeschooling community is famous for co-ops! What are co-ops? They are simply families homeschooling together in some format (co-operating on education).

Homeschool co-ops take lots of formats:

  • 2 families getting together to do fun learning activities
  • Huge co-ops that have 50 families with structured studies
  • 1 topic co-ops
  • There’s not ONE right way to homeschool co-op

What are the benefits of co-ops?

  • Experiencing other teacher’s styles, grading
  • Responsibility of a group setting
  • Fun of some subjects that are delightful in a group
  • Downloading teaching of subjects mom doesn’t like to moms who do like them

Here’s how to start a homeschool co-op you and your teens will enjoy:

  • Start with prayer together
  • Clarify expectations and goals (believe us it will save LOTS of storm and stress later on). Decide the goals co-operatively. Your goals might look like:
    • Aimed at middleschoolers and highschoolers that are science experiences and labs
    • Aimed at mostly reading and writing projects for highschoolers
    • Aimed for multi-subjects and multi-ages
    • Aimed at multi-ages as field trips to historic sites
    • And ENDLESS other goals
  • Decide here you’ll meet
  • Decide when you’ll meet
    • How often
    • Length of school year
    • Breaks
  • Choose class period lengths
  • Will you have a hard start? (Do we wait for everyone to show up? Do we start right on time? This determines who teaches what.)
  • What has God given us to work with?
    • Moms’ interests, gifts and needs
    • Teens’ interests, gifts and needs
  • Determine the costs per family or student
    • Facilities costs (even if you’re in someone’s home, there are expenses to the hosts)
    • Curriculum
    • Course resources and materials
    • What limitations are families experiencing?
  • Clarify logistics
    • Are set-up and clean-up chores assigned?
    • Are moms only involved?
    • Do teens help?
  • Clarify whether there will be a lunch break
    • How will that be organized
    • Beware everyone using the microwave (there’s TOO long a line)
  • Set group check-in times (evaluate yucks and yahoos of the co-op)
    • Also set your own checkins with your teens and yourself

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a helpful discussion about starting your co-op. Also, check out these episodes:


HSHSP Ep 93: How to Start a Homeschool Organization Interview with Carol Topp CPA

HSHSP Ep 85: Healthily Handling Homeschool Mean-Moms with Melanie Wilson


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HSHSP Ep 109: How to Start a Homeschool Co-op Your Teens Will Enjoy

Paying Volunteers Q&A with Homeschool Leaders

Paying Volunteers Q&A with Homeschool Leaders

The final episode from the Homeschool Leaders Retreat held in Indiana. Carol Topp discusses how to pay (or thank) a volunteer and paying teachers in a homeschool co-op.



Visit Carol’s website here














Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization

Are you paying workers in your homeschool organization? Can a volunteer be paid? Should a worker be treated as an employee or independent contractor? Do you know the difference?

Homeschool leader and CPA, Carol Topp, has the answers to your questions in her book Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization.

This 130 page book covers paying workers as employees or independent contractors. There are alos chapters on paying volunteers and board members. It includes sample forms, tips and advice to help you pay workers in accordance with the IRS laws to help your organization pay their workers correctly. Written specifically for homeschool organizations.

Click Here to request more information!




Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

Learning with Little Ones Around

Learning with Little Ones Around, Podcast #051, with Meredith CurtisLearning with Little Ones Around with Meredith Curtis, Podcast #051, speaks to teens who are wondering how on earth to get any schoolwork done with their noisy brothers and sisters around. Meredith goes on to speak to teens (and their parents) about how to establish quiet school hours (with parents’ help), how to learn more by imparting knowledge and wisdom to younger siblings, and how to learn with younger children in family and co-op settings. You will see younger brothers and sisters in a whole new way.





Today’s sponsor is Powerline Productions. Powerline Productions wants to equip you to be a world changer and raise world changers. They offer curriculum, unit studies, high school courses, Bible studies, cookbooks, and How-to-Homeschool books. Find them at

High School Curriculum by Powerline Productions God's Girls Books by Powerline Productions, Inc. Real Men Books by Powerline Productions, Inc.









Show Notes

So often, I talk to teens who are struggling to get their schoolwork done in a bustling home filled with younger siblings. My own older children struggled with this issue.

Examples of specific problems and solutions to helper teens in big families get their schoolwork done in a stress-free situation.


How do you we view our younger siblings? As a gift? Or as a burden?

Getting God’s perspective on why you have younger brothers and sisters. God places us in families to bless us, prepare us, and fill our lives with joy.

How to change your heart toward your siblings.

How to be a Hero

God calls you to be a hero to your younger siblings.

Example of virtue, love, and courage

Extending grace, mercy, and help

Teach Younger Children

One of the best ways we can learn material is to teach it to someone else. You have a captive audience at home.

What to teach.

How to teach.

Examples in our Life Skills courses.

Learn with Younger Children in Co-op

We always have one or two classes in our homeschool co-op that are age-integrated (babies to seniors in high school).

Why we do it.

Where did age segregation come from? Why is it harmful?

How to learn with little ones in a group setting.

Serving younger children & allowing younger children to serve you.

How teens can impact younger children and change the world

God bless you.

Tax Exempt Q&A with Homeschool Leaders

Tax Exempt Q&A with Homeschool Leaders

This episode is an excerpt from the Indiana Homeschool Leaders Retreat. Carol Topp discusses tax exempt status and answers questions about self-declaring tax exempt status for your homeschool support group.


Visit Carol’s website here











The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

Click Here for more information!



Churches and Homeschool Groups

Churches and Homeschool Groups - with the Homeschool CPA Some homeschool groups find it difficult to find a church host. Why is that? This episode is an excerpt from a homeschool leaders retreat held in Indiana. Carol Topp discusses the relationship homeschool groups have with churches who host their programs.


Visit Carol’s website here!















Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group manage their money well? Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent? Do you know how to prevent fraud? This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click Here to request more information!




Changes in Homeschooling

TChanges in Homeschoolinghis episode is an excerpt from a homeschool leaders retreat held in Indiana. Carol Topp discusses the changes she sees in homeschooling. The lines between homeschool groups and small micro schools is blurring. And more people are homeschooling but for different reasons than in the past. How will your group face these changes?


Visit Carol’s website here!









Phone consultation with Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA

A pre-arranged phone call to discuss your questions. My most popular service for homeschool leaders. It’s like having your own homeschool expert CPA on the phone!

Click Here to request more information!



HSHSP Ep 69: Homeschool Highschool Co-ops Pt 2

Join us for practical tips for success with homeschool highschool co-ops!

HSHSP Ep 68: Highschool Co-ops- Why and How to Start One

Today on The HSHSP Ep 68: Highschool Co-ops- Why and How to Start One.

HSHSP Ep 68: Highschool Co-ops- Why and How to Start One Homeschool highschool co-ops are fun and fruitful as part of a teen's education.

HSHSP Ep 68: Highschool Co-ops- Why and How to Start One

What’s fun and fulfilling and fine for creating credits? Co-op! Homeschool highschool co-ops are often a great resource for families with teens.

Our hosts Sabrina, Vicki and Marilyn have co-oped their homeschool highschoolers in several different formats:

  • Science lab co-ops
  • Highschool only co-ops
  • Electives co-op
  • Multi-family, multi-age big co-ops
  • Field trip co-ops
  • (and probably others we have forgotten…)

We’ve had some GREAT experiences and some experience that make GREAT stories. The ups and downs have taught us moms and our teens lots about rolling with life’s punches, social skills and supporting one another in good times and tough times.

Often co-ops classes can make up for subjects that we don’t like to teach or feel unqualified to teach.

Co-oping isn’t for everyone, but a good co-op is lots of help for homeschooling families…Plus the friendships can last for many years. We have found that our teens have made lifelong friends from their peers at homeschool co-op and a couple of the teens married in the years after highschool graduation.

That’s why we’d love for you to join Sabrina, Vicki and Marilyn on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast for Highschool Co-ops- Why and How to Start One.

Help and How-to’s for Homeschool High School Co-ops


10 Great Discussion Questions for Homeschool Literature Co-op

How to Create Filmmaking Elective in Homeschool High School Co-op


HSHSP Ep 68: Highschool Co-ops- Why and How to Start One


HSHSP Ep 68: Homeschool Highschool Co-ops Pt 1

Homeschool co-ops can be a valuable part of your teens’ highschool experience. Let us tell you why and how. Then join us for Pt 2 when we will share you practical tips on creating a great highschool co-op.