Co-ops: Definitions and FAQ

Click here to find a co-op near you.

Group classes are a popular option for today’s homeschooling families because of the many benefits they provide to both students and parents. Also, there are a growing number of families that wish to pay teachers to conduct classes in group learning contexts.

We at Lampstand Press have long supported group teaching. For several years, we have offered excellent paid classes through our Lampstand Learning Center (LLC). We have also done our best to encourage all-volunteer co-ops that our customers have run on their own. Alternatively, some groups have paid teachers. Whichever category your group falls into, we are here to support and assist you.

We'd love to have your co-op registered on our directory. Click here for more information.

Benefits of Homeschool Co-ops

Although co-ops aren't necessary for using Tapestry, they do present many benefits to a homeschooling family! Here are just a few.

  • Group studies keep students (and their parents) accountable and thus on schedule. While parent-teachers lose a little freedom, they and their students learn to be good "team players," agreeing to the group's overall requirements for amounts and types of work be done in a timely and thorough manner.
  • Group studies often motivate students to do their best work by providing a peer audience and/or socializing context.
  • Skills that home schooled students often lack can be developed in a co-op setting, especially things like: raising hands, respecting others' speech, supporting/participating in a discussion, giving a speech, team work.
  • Parents can split the load of lectures and hands-on activities according to mutual strengths, and all benefit!
  • Various parents have sundry gifts and talents. In co-op groups, parent-teachers can each contribute their best skills, and students benefit from the added variety of teaching approaches.
  • One of the essential elements of a classical high school education is discussion: thinking on one's feet: taking a position and supporting it out of one's own knowledge base and the evidence one has gleaned from one's research. We believe that this is an essential element of historical and literary studies that, without a group context, your high school student will miss unless, of course, you engage in regular discussion with him one on one.
  • Group writing classes give the student the chance to have others enjoy (and critique) his writing. At first, we recommend that the instructor do the critique, unless the group knows each other well and can offer constructive and gracious comments.
  • Co-ops can provide contexts that single-family settings struggle to achieve. For instance, groups can hold formal debates, put on a Medieval Feast, and pool resources to allow older students to go on key local field trips while younger siblings are cared for.

Group Distance Learning Via the Internet

What is a Tapestry Virtual Co-op?

Tapestry virtual co-ops typically consist of Tapestry families from across the country desiring to provide discussion classes for their dialectic and rhetoric students. Such groups typically meet in virtual classrooms in real time to work through the discussion scripts provided in the curriculum. Many co-ops will also add in review and game days.

There are email-based virtual co-ops that share the products of student assignments (like writing assignments or answers to Student Activity Page questions). These are not limited by time zones but seek peer or teacher reviews as their main means to distance learning. Similarly, there are forum-based groups who post discussion questions and require students to answer these thoughtfully and thus have discussions, but not in real time. As with local co-ops, the number and types of virtual co-ops seem endless!

Our Online Classes

If you are interested in distance learning with Tapestry of Grace but a virtual co-op isn’t right for you, check out the Lampstand learning Center (LLC), where we offer a range of classes.

Options Abound for Families in Co-ops!

Get Everyone on the Same Page

Help Your Members Be Aware!

How do Co-op Copyrights and Licenses Work?

Get Everyone on the Same Page

We know that you may form or join groups with folks who already own either print-only plans or earlier editions of DE that are not identical in content to yours. The easiest way by far to get everyone in your group on the same page is to have everyone in your group update to DE, and then refresh to the currently offered DE at any time in the month or two before you start planning over the summer. Upgrading currently owned printed Tapestry copies is arguably cheaper (and certainly less time consuming) than reprinting pages book by book. Please give our office a call to discuss upgrading to DE.

The Major Variances Chart will show you how seriously divergent your members' year-plans are. The fix for tinkering is to determine the ruling version (coming to an established co-op book list for the year) and then asking members to use either archived pages or update pages from the Book Updates Chart to bring their content in line with the established norm. (While this may seem a bit cumbersome, we would like to remind you that no other homeschooling whole-book company provides as much support for reconciling dated versions of their product as we do!)

  1. Call our office to upgrade to DE.
  2. In upgrading at our low fee, you will be signing an agreement to not sell your printed units, because you’re turning your Tapestry into a Digital Edition PLUS print copy, and neither portion can be resold in this format.
  3. To upgrade, you'll send in your Loom CD, because the Loom will be included in your DE, and because this guarantees that 1) you own a valid copy of Redesigned Tapestry of Grace and 2) you can no longer resell your printed copy, since it cannot be fully utilized without the Loom content.
  4. Be sure to tell your members that they can upgrade their CD supplements (MapAids, Evaluations, Government, Lapbooks, Pop Quiz cards, Writing Aids) to the DE version as well.

Help Your Members Be Aware!

We support the sales of used copies of Tapestry but, because there are different versions of Tapestry of Grace, we want to alert you as a co-op leader to some commonly experienced pitfalls that have in the past led to disappointment and hard feelings.

  • Lampstand Press sells four different versions of each Tapestry unit: 1) A print-only version that has a physical Loom disc accompanying it, 2) the DE version, which is wholly made up of electrons but from which pages may be printed by the user for her family’s personal use only, and 3) the Print + DE version, which has both paper and digital components and is also printable from the disc as well as 4) Our newly developed Stages version of Tapestry of Grace. Only the first of these versions should ever be offered for resale.
  • DE Tapestry of Grace cannot be sold and transferred to another computer. You should not be offered a used digital version of Tapestry for any reason.
  • Pages printed from a DE (or DE + Print) version of Tapestry cannot be resold. To distinguish these from Print Only copies, we have placed a watermark (small copyright notice that goes vertically in the inner margin of each page) that will show up whenever pages are printed from this version. You’ll want to make sure that the printed pages you are purchasing are not watermarked with the notice: “not for resale.”
  • You can distinguish legal or illegal sales of printed copies lacking a watermark by the presence or absence of a physical Loom disc. All resalable year-plans come with a Loom CD, which you’ll want to make sure is included, as it is not for sale separately.
  • If someone offering Tapestry for resale claims to have lost their Loom disc, do not buy that copy. It cannot be replaced and is essential for using Tapestry of Grace.

How do Co-op Copyrights and Licenses Work?

More and more families are using Tapestry of Grace in a group settings, with excellent results because combining at-home, parent-directed study with group discussion works. Because local groups have been so successful, many co-op leaders have received requests for a way to include students whose families don't use Tapestry to attend their classes. Such co-op leaders need a way to make Tapestry materials available to such students if they admit them, but are rightly concerned about copyright infringement, knowing that the authors of Tapestry of Grace should receive due consideration for their hard work in the form of remuneration.

In an effort to serve these students and simplify matters for co-op leaders, we have implemented a licensing arrangement for co-ops. Call us at 1-423-765-2833 for more information.