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Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out Paperback – October 7, 2013
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About the Author
Carol Topp, CPA (www.HomeschoolCPA.com) is the author of The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization and Money Management in a Homeschool Organization, as well as several ebooks and articles helping homeschool leaders. Carol runs a home-based accounting practice specializing in tax preparation, small/micro business accounting, and nonprofit accounting. Carol has presented numerous workshops on money management, business start up, taxes, budgeting, nonprofit management and homeschooling to various community, church and homeschool groups. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two daughters, both homeschool graduates.
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Although insights from others who have led or participated in co-ops are valuable, one of this book's greatest strengths comes from Carol's insight as a CPA with personal experience in home school co-op business matters. Carol presents clear explanations regarding the various non-profit organizational structures and by-laws. She explains how to prepare a budget, bookkeeping basics, and the benefits and disadvantages of the coveted 501(c)(3) status. A more detailed treatment of these matters as well as guidelines regarding hiring teachers and other employees may be found in her eBook titled, Money Management for Homeschool Organizations (see her website for ordering details).
In the last section of her manuscript, she underscores an obvious but too often neglected reality: a co-op is not a solo venture! Fortunately, she provides concise instructions on how to avoid burn out: "Strive for a co-op that lives up to its name..." Carol closes her counsel with the ABC's of successful homeschool co-ops: "A Board" (establish one), "Bylaws" (write them, and include a clear mission statement), and "Create a Budget."
In summary, this updated title brims with wise counsel and practical resources for those who lead or attend or are simply considering participating in a homeschool co-op.
I would have loved to have had this book years ago when I joined my first co-op. Being brand new to home schooling, the other moms and I knew nothing on how to get a co-op off the ground. We forged a path through uncharted territory, figuring it out as we went. Though we gained friendships, fellowship, and a shared learning experience, we weren't without our struggles, personality conflicts, and growing pains. That's when a book like this is invaluable.
Anything you want to know about cooperation of families working together - small co-ops, large ones, mission statement and purpose, leadership and volunteer roles, handling conflict, potential class topic ideas, location, and even tax-exempt issues are explained.
Carol writes, "It may not be problem free to start or run a home school co-op, but most homeschool parents find that co-oping is worth the commitment and expense! Homeschool co-ops are becoming more and more popular because they are meeting the needs and expectations of homeschooling families."
No matter what your need or group size, this book is a great help to start and keep your Co-op healthy.