Arrows desires to be a ministry that provides homeschool families with opportunities to serve, encourage, support and connect with each other. Although our daily operations at a glance may appear academically focused, the academic aspect of Arrows is secondary to the vision of facilitating a true ministry-minded Christ-centered community.
Arrows’ full name is Arrows Christian Homeschool Community. Why “community” instead of “co-op”? We believe that community is crucial to a healthy homeschool and is secondary in importance only to spiritual and family health/connections. Most of us would agree that our children need (and often desperately desire) to have close friendships and a sense of belonging. Arrows believes this as well and a core part of our program is to provide opportunity for students to connect by offering classes (which also benefits their education…bonus!), recess, lunch time, field trips, parties, etc…as well as providing Arrows t-shirts each year. We love hearing that when our students are asked where they go to school, that their answer is often, “Arrows” instead of “Homeschool.”
This sense of community and belonging is something we believe extends beyond just our students. Arrows is not a drop off program because we believe many (if not all) of our moms need it as much as their children do. As a homeschool mom, I know (before Arrows) I personally experienced feeling disconnected and isolated soon after we brought our kids home to school from the private school they attended. I was a “lunch room mom”, a classroom helper, and had many mom friend discussions after school while our kids played on the playground. I lost all of that when we started homeschooling. A large part of Arrows’ vision is to facilitate a place where homeschool moms can find their place and their “peeps”, as my friend Linda likes to say.
We believe community is only created and maintained by being together on a regular basis. We have structured the co-op in this way intentionally. Certainly, moms are needed to teach and help in classes, and this is the basis of our requirement for moms to work 2 out of our 3 class periods, but there is more to this aspect as well. We thoughtfully and prayerfully assign volunteers each semester with the intent to foster relationships. We place more experienced homeschool moms with moms who are just starting out on their homeschool journey. We place moms with children of similar ages together so they can form friendships with families in similar stages of life. One of our members Kelly recently texted me, “One of the things I have enjoyed most this semester is getting to know the younger moms and having them assist me in class….we have some really great conversations and while I’m no expert in parenting or homeschooling, I have had the opportunity to encourage them! I wish I could have had an opportunity like this when my kids were little…” Tanya, a mom of two young boys and a brand new baby girl also recently told me, “Arrows mamas have been so incredibly supportive—so happy I have found this group of amazing women to do life with!”
Arrows has three class periods, so each mom has at least one period where she is not working anywhere. We have a “Mom’s Room” and provide facilitators for book clubs and Bible studies each period so the moms that are off can find meaningful connection, discussion and prayer together. Participation in Mom Groups are not required, but are definitely encouraged. Arrows also facilitates meal schedules for those in our group that need it and we schedule Moms Nights and Christmas parties.
So, no, Arrows is not a drop-off program. Believe me, I understand the need for moms to have a break from having kiddos around every day as well to run errands, go to appointments or perhaps have a few minutes to breathe and think uninterrupted. We are praying that the Lord will show us if some form of drop off program would fit with Arrows vision and program in the future. However, for the time being, we see great value in the community that we do have and believe that our 4 hours together on Monday morning—connecting, encouraging and supporting each other—actually does have a great impact on the rest of week for most of us and makes the time at home more enjoyable.
Are you looking for a place to belong? You may not even know that this is something that you and your children need, but I encourage you to pray and seek the Lord about what He would have for your homeschool next year. There is room for you at Arrows and we would love for you to find a home with us.