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Reasons NOT to join a co-op


1. You don’t plan on giving your time

Like most co-ops, Navigators is set up for team players. By its nature, you are going to have to do something to help. Before you sign up, think of what you can offer the group. Is there a subject you are comfortable teaching to a small group? Are you willing to help where ever needed?  Does it meet close to home (are you willing to drive the distance/time)? Does it meet at convenient time for you without interfering with homeschooling your children or other commitments?

Co-ops are a “participate to play” system. Make sure you are ready to pull your family’s weight when you join.


2. Your week is already too packed and/or you're unwilling to give up a day

If you are already feeling busy and overwhelmed, an academic co-op is not going to help. For most families the only thing they accomplish on co-op day is co-op day. By the time you get all of the kids up and ready to go (with all their papers and bags and lunches), teach a class, socialize with the other parents, and get home, you will probably be wiped out.  So unless you school 4 days, or are willing to add Saturday to your school week, you may want to skip the academic co-op. Many groups, like Navigators, offers a social membership where you can attend events, field trips, etc, with less required commitment to interfere with your school week.


3. It doesn’t meet your needs

If you join a co-op, make sure the program is going to meet your needs. Don’t join a co-op just because you think you should.


4. It’s your first year homeschooling

Whether you’re starting out with Kindergarten or with your 8th grader, your first year homeschooling can be stressful. As you navigate the ins and outs, what works for your student, what doesn’t, adding commitments to your first year can just add to the stress. If you’re still worried about socialization, join a social group instead of a group that offers classes. This will allow you to engage with other homeschool families socially, offering you the opportunity to ask questions, without the time commitment (see #1).


What makes Navigators unique from other area support groups and co-ops?


When you are part of Navigators, you are part of a family! Navigators is not only a homeschool group or social group but also a ministry. We exist to disciple our children, encourage moms, serve our community and reach out to other homeschooling families in all that we do.

Since parents are required to be actively involved during the co-op day, it enables us to keep fees low with a wide diversity of options. We encourage all members to participate in our group whether that's hosting a Mom's Night Out (MNO), Teens Night Out (TNO for those 13 years old and up), organizing a play date or field trip or teaching classes. We work together, so we are one family doing the best we can to support one another in this journey, and using our gifts to enrich the education of our children.

To insure you get the most out of your co-op experience:

  • Be involved! Join in other activities like play dates, field trips, holiday celebrations and the like. You and your kids will build great friendships and make many fun memories.
  • Be committed to the group. If you believe in and invest in the ministry of Navigators, you'll teach your kids to do the same and inspire other parents as well!
  • Attitudes are contagious! Is yours worth catching?
  • See a need - meet the need.


If Navigators is a Christ-centered ministry, can people from different faiths participate?


Yes! We exist not only to educate our children and offer a support system for our own families but to also share Christ’s love with the community. We welcome all homeschoolers regardless of their spiritual walk so long as they sign and abide by our Policies & Procedures which includes our Statement of Faith.


How do I join?


There will be specific dates open for membership if you wish to participate in classes depending on Campus (Bay Minette, Fairhope or Spanish Fort). Once our current membership register for classes, we will allow new members to join as space is available. 

Once it's open for the semester, you'll click JOIN at the very top of the website. You'll fill in all relevant information and pay the required fee.

Once the fee is received, your membership will be approved and you'll receive an email with instructions on how to register for classes. You'll register for classes for each child and yourself (as an aide). Then classes fees will need to be paid.

As a new member, you'll need to attend the Orientation meeting (for those registering for classes) see website for specific dates per semester. This will be a quick 45-60 minute meeting to share some insight into how the co-op day works and allow for you to ask any questions.


What is required as a Member?


We are a cooperative. Every member works together to make our group and co-op days run smoothly.

For the Co-Op day, as a parent, you are required to work up to 2-3 periods and are allotted 1 break period (for a total of 3-4 periods). 

Duties for the day include:

  • Teaching
  • Aide if not teaching.
  • Set up /Clean Up Team: Prepare the building for classes (adding tables, moving chairs, make coffee, etc). Returning rooms back to their original state (move chairs, put away tables, clean up messes, trash out, etc). You are generally assigned a specific task for the entire semester.

You must register all children that will be on campus for the entire day - 3/4 classes. That includes babies and toddlers so we can account for them and provide the necessary supervision.

Please note, your oldest child must be 6 years old and in 1st grade, by Sept 1st for the Fall semester to join us for Academic membership. If you also have an a toddler, they are welcomed on campus and we will provide class/care for them. Infants (0-1yo) must be registered, but will remain with mom for the day.

We will also have approximately 30-40 minute lunch period in which you will be responsible for your children as they eat.


What does a typical Co-Op day look like?


We begin at roughly 8:30am with set-up. This includes getting tables set out for specific rooms, making coffee for the Lounge, making sure communal materials are available. This is often a designated team.

Our Co-Op day begins with the Pledge of Allegiance and approximately 10min Bible study with their first block teacher. We also share any announcements for the day.

Students will move to each class during each block (period). They'll need to bring any necessary materials to their classes. While teachers often supply specific materials, each student should have at least basics like pencils, crayons, etc. Make sure to label everything.

Parents will also move to different classes as they either teach or aide in the class. Babies, Toddlers, and most often Preschoolers remain in the same room throughout the day. Toddlers and Preschoolers may be taken outside to play.

During the lunch break, parents are responsible for their own children.

At end of day, Toddlers/Preschoolers will be at the playground (or a designated room with bad weather). Students age 5-7 will be
escorted o he playground after their class. All other students, 8+ are dismissed directly to their parent's vehicle. 

Once you have collected your child(ren), you are asked to leave the premises ASAP. This allows the cleaning crew to complete their duties in an empty building. Once picked up, children should not be left to play, but immediately escorted to the vehicle for departure.

Adults, as well as some of our older students, will be assigned rooms to clean up.
**If you are a member of the clean-up crew, your children will be cared for as you perform your assignment. Once done, you can then collect your child(ren).

Set-up is roughly 30 minutes

Classes are 40 minutes for ages 8 and under, 60 minutes for ages 9 and up. There is a a 5min transition time
Lunch is 30 minutes
Clean-up is roughly 30 minutes
Co-Op Day runs roughly 8:30am-1:30pm


What is my role as a parent during the Co-Op Day


Generally all parents will work as either a Teacher or Aide throughout the day. You will serve during 2 or 3 of the 3 or 4 blocks (periods), and have 1 block (period) off to relax and fellowship in our Parent Lounge.

You may be assigned an additional sub assignment to cover an absent adult (or permanently replace a member who drops).

You can not leave campus during this break.

You do not have to be an aide in your child's class.

If you are not teaching, you will be required to be part of our Set-Up OR Clean-Up Teams.


Class Requirements Parent/Student


Classes meet on Fridays from 9:00am to 1:15pm at  Bay Minette First Baptist (Bay Minette), Faith Family (Spanish Fort), and Fairhope Baptist (Fairhope). 


  1. Block: (period) class time slots

  2. Teacher: Parent who is volunteering to teach a class

  3. Guest Teacher: Adult who is not registered as a member, but offers their time to teach a class.

  4. Aide: Assist with the class (help teacher with lesson, help students as needed). You may need to substitute for the teacher (teach the class) in case of an absent.

  5. Floater: The first person asked to substitute for an absent adult during their assigned floater block.

Please be mindful of class expectations and requirements before registering your child for a class.

Some classes are more academically geared, meaning your student may be required to do homework or other projects outside of the class time. If this is something you or your student can not commit to, please register for a different class. Registering for a class that your student may refuse to participate in denies another student from registering because your reluctant student is enrolled.

In the Class Description, we have provided whether the class is either more academic or extracurricular. Extracurricular means almost all the work will be done during class time. Academic means that there may be some homework required, such as reading, writing, preparing, etc.

Also, there are bound to be personality conflicts. This is a good opportunity to teach your child that they may not always “like” the person who has authority over them - teacher, boss, supervisor, etc - but they are to be respectful and abide by expectations and/or assignments.

You can view all information by clicking on the name of the class. The window will expand showing fees, description, expectations and number of students and volunteers allowed.

Class sizes:

Class sizes are limited will be adhered strictly. If a class your child(ren) really wanted is not available, please have a second option ready. As we have grown, we must accommodate the capacity of the space we have available, including classroom sizes. There are no waiting lists or exceptions. We provide enough options so all students have enough choices for a responsible class size and options.

Adult Registration

All adults on campus are required to serve. Currently, parents register for their own Aide assignments and Set-up/Clean-up Team positions.

  • Teachers who teach 2 classes may not be required to aide in classes. You may be asked to substitute if no other adult is available.
  • Teachers who teach 1 class will need to also aide in at least 1 class. You may be asked to substitute if no other adult is available.
  • Non-teachers must register for 2 or 3 aide positions plus a position on the set-up and/or clean-up team. You may also be assigned a "floater" block.

Clean-up/Set-up Teams

We work together to keep the facilities we use clean, as well as preparing class rooms for the day.

  • Set-up team arrives 30 minutes early to complete their tasks.
  • Clean-up team remains after classes to return the building to its original layout.

For both teams, positions included Room Assignments (set up/put up chairs and tables), bathrooms, vacuuming and childcare (caring for children for the set-up or clean-up so they can perform their duties). Parents choose their service positions as first come, first serve. Each position has a set number. Once that number is fulfilled, you should choose a different option. This will be your assignment for the entire semester

Please register for your child(ren)’s age and maturity.

Please register all children who will be on campus, regardless of age. This allows us to properly provide enough teachers/helpers for the number of children on campus. You should register for a full day for each child. If this is a burden, please talk to a member of Leadership to discuss your options.

Your oldest child must be at least 6 years old, 1st grade, by end of the year for Fall semester or January 15th for Spring semester to participate as an Academic Member.

We provide options based on the demographics of those members registered. Therefore options for each age group per Block (period) may vary per semester. These groups allow students to learn with their peers and allows the teacher to prepare age appropriate lessons and activities.

We base student placement on the age/grade they are in Fall (August). You may register your child based on their age/grade based on that guideline. For instance, if your child will be 10 by the end of the current year working doing 5th grade course work, you should register them in the Upper Elementary classes (9-11yo/5th grade). They will remain in that age/grade for both Fall and Spring semesters. If your child will age up the beginning of the next year, they should remain in the same age group/grade they started in the Fall. We also understand as homeschoolers children move at their own pace and abilities. If you need special accommodations for classes, please speak to a member of Leadership to discuss your options.

Infants 0 - 12mths Please register your baby so we know to expect them for the day. They will remain with mom throughout the day
Toddlers 1yo- 2yo walking If your little is walking, than he/she will enjoy this more interactive environment.
Preschool 3yo - 4yo Preschool classes are more class oriented allowing for children to learn and play. (Child must be potty trained)
Lower Elementary 5yo - 7yo Kinder, 1st & 2nd grades
Upper Elementary 8 - 10yo 3rd - 5th grades
Middle School 11-13 6th-8th grades. Some classes offered may help supplement academic requirements.
High School 14+ 9th -12th. Some classes offered may help supplement academic requirements for high school graduations.
Mixed Ages  

These classes are general enough that all ages can participate together. Often these will be music or art classes. We may limit the class to ages, depending on teacher's request or other factors.


If there are only 10 /12 classes, why does the semester last longer?


When deciding on dates for each semester we take into account holidays, Baldwin County's school schedule (however we do not follow their schedule) and other factors.

For Fall, our goal is to finish before the Thanksgiving holiday. Depending on the calendar we will run 10-12 weeks with a scheduled off Friday mid-semester.

Typically for Spring we take advantage of a more holiday free season. We schedule a mid-semester Friday off. We also take Good Friday off. Since we do not follow the public school schedule, we may not have the Friday during Baldwin County's public school scheduled spring break off (though we do take it into consideration when scheduling semester dates)


Does Navigators offer social membership?


We offer social membership which allows you to participate in all activities except classes. You are encouarged to not just participate, but plan activities as well - play dates, park days, field trips, etc. We're a cooperative, meaning we all work together to make our group something worth participating in. Membership fee is $50 per family, per semester.


Why are inactive members removed for the website?


The security, privacy and comfort of our Navigators family is very important and the best way to ensure this is to maintain the privacy. Since the website allows members to access contact information of our families, we feel this information is for current members only. We are also charged a "per family" fee, so we don't want to be poor stewarts of our funds by paying for non-active members.


 Why are inactive members removed from the private Facebook page if our intent is to minister to all homeschoolers?


The security, privacy and comfort of our Navigators family is very important and the best way to ensure this is to maintain the privacy of the page. We want our members to feel comfortable using this forum to post prayer requests, ask for advice on things they're struggling with, or just to vent about a bad day. We encourage ALL friends, family members, and the community to "like" our public Facebook page where we post encouragement, relevant dates and info, and public events.