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Frequently Asked Questions

Learning Tree, founded in 1997, is a Christian community of homeschooling families working together to provide a unique learning environment providing both academic and enrichment classes on a weekly basis.

What makes Learning Tree a Co-op?

We are a dedicated group of families who co-labor to provide a safe place for home-school families to learn, grow and make new friends. Our co-op can only be successful when each family makes a significant contribution of time, energy, and skills. For this reason, we have specific expectations regarding families’ commitments. This includes teaching/aiding, subbing, and cleaning. Beyond specific jobs requirements, we need all of our families to come together as a community to create a supportive environment for all.

Are You a School?
No, we are not a school.  We provide supplemental classes for homeschool families.  Although we do offer both academic and elective classes, our classes are not meant to be a complete curriculum. 

Why would I want to join a homeschool co-op?
A homeschool co-op provides parents and students with friendship, a support system, social activities and educational opportunities.  Some families come mainly for academic classes while others come mostly for electives.  For various reasons a homeschool co-op is not always the best fit for everyone.  If you find Learning Tree is not the best fit for your family you may want to check into one of these other Cincinnati area co-ops.

What if I am not sure whether or not to homeschool?

We are fortunate that Cincinnati has a strong homeschooling community and many wonderful support systems.  We strongly encourage you to check out Christian Home Educators of Cincinnati (CHEC).  CHEC offers a wide range of support, encouragement, and activities to the Christian home-educating community in the Cincinnati area, benefiting both experienced home educators as well as those just beginning to investigate home education as a viable option for their family.  They hold monthly meetings, field trips/ outings, social events, and an annual home education orientation day (typically in July) with workshops planned specifically to answer basic questions for those seeking alternatives for their children’s education and to equip parents as they begin their family adventure in home education.  This is an excellent resource for those thinking about homeschooling.

Can I drop my child off?  Do I have to stay?
We are not a drop-off program.  The adult must remain on the premises.  We are a co-op, which means we co-labor with each other and God to achieve creative excellence by serving each other through our strengths.  We require all members serve as part of the co-op.  More details on job requirements can be found in the document below.

Are your classes taught with a Christian focus?

Our teachers agree to present materials in accordance with a Christian worldview. Many of our classes incorporate prayer, scripture, and Christian theology in their curriculum.

What ages and grades do you include?

Our classes are intended for Kindergarten through 12th grade. We do provide preschool for younger siblings of K-12 students participating in our co-op.  Our preschool is not a complete program, but meant to be an enrichment environment for these younger siblings.  We typically do not admit families with preschoolers until at least the oldest child is in kindergarten.

Do you provide nursery care?

We provide nursery care for infants 6wks-12mos for our teachers and our aids during the hours that they are working in classes. We do not provide nursery care beyond this.

When do you meet?

We meet 30 Mondays starting the first Monday after Labor Day and ending before Memorial Day.  We have off a month during mid-December to mid-January and also the Monday after Easter.  We meet Mondays from 10am-2:30pm.  (A limited 9am hour is offered for high schoolers and their younger siblings.)

For how many classes would we enroll?

The majority of our students take 4 one hour long classes from 10am-2:30pm.  You may sign up for two classes in the morning, two classes in the afternoon, or all four classes.  There is also a 9:00 hour with limited classes for high schoolers, as well as a few limited class choices for younger students.  Preference for the younger grade classes at 9:00 is given to siblings of high schoolers enrolled at 9, children of 9:00 teachers, and children of co-op leaders who are required to work at 9:00.

What are the parent co-op job requirements?
An adult representative from each family is required to work at co-op as part of their family membership. We require 2 hours of teaching or aiding for families who have a child enrolled in class 3-4 hours, 1 hour working if child is enrolled 1-2 hours and 3 hours working if child is enrolled at co-op for 5 hours of the day. The adult must remain on the premises at all times. All families, whose youngest child is in Kindergarten or older, are also required to help with one 4-6 week cleanup rotation after co-op each school year.  Additionally, each parent is required to be on call during their free hours for our sub rotation list for three weeks each semester.

I Heard You Have a Long Wait List

We do sometimes still run with a waiting list, but it is typically not long.  New members are admitted when space becomes available.  We do also take into consideration perspective member’s willingness to teach and help in areas of co-op need, and ages of children and how much space we have in those age groups.  We typically do not admit families with preschoolers until at least the oldest child is in kindergarten.  We also take into consideration Learning Tree member referrals, returning Learning Tree members, and family affiliation with the Vineyard.  So, for example, we may have room for a high schooler, but not a preschooler.  So the family with only a freshman, whose parent is willing to teach, may be admitted before the family with younger children, even though the family with younger children completed an application first.

What curriculum do you use?

Curricula used varies and is up to the teacher.  We do not use one specific curriculum.  The same goes for our families at home.  We have a variety of goals, teaching and learning styles, and curriculum.  

Are your classes the same every year?

That depends.    Our classes do change yearly depending on the needs/ interests of the co-op and the availability of teachers.  At a high school level, however, we do try to offer the same classes yearly, or a couple year rotation.  We do also offer some classes such as art and PE every year.  And we also make certain we have a mix of social studies, language arts, science and fine arts, and a few math classes each year.  Check out our schedule to see this year’s class offerings.

Do I have to teach?
Our co-op can only be successful in offering classes when everyone is involved.  Therefore, we encourage people to teach.  We usually accept teachers into our co-op before accepting classroom aides.  We do, however, also understand and are sensitive that some years individual are not able to teach and may need a year or two off until they teach.  Teachers do agree to present materials in accordance with a Christian worldview.  

What is tuition?

Every family registering is required to pay a $150 non-refundable Annual Family Membership Fee. Yearly tuition is $140 per student (3 or more hours of classes). Half-day tuition is $110 per year (less than 3 hours of classes). Nursery for ages 0-12 months is provided free of charge while you are working in a classroom. Families pay for a maximum of 3 children. Teachers and leaders receive one child’s tuition free. Co-teachers receive half a child’s tuition free. Some classes (including high school science, preschool, art, handcrafts) may charge an additional fee.  High school students pay an additional $120 charge per student per year and $60 for half-day students.

When is tuition due?
The $150 non-refundable Annual Family Membership Fee is paid at the time of registration.  You must pay a minimum of 1/4 of your balance by the end of May, and then 1/4 in August, 1/4 September and then the final payment by the end of October.  Once co-op begins, tuition is non-refundable and you will be responsible for full year tuition even if your family drops from co-op.

Where are you located?

We are located in the Children’s Ministry area of Vineyard Community Church in Tri-County in the Cincinnati area.

Who leads Learning Tree?

Learning Tree is an all volunteer community.  Jen Moore and Lexi O’Connor, our volunteer co-directors, successfully balance co-op leadership, large families and homeschooling their own preschool to high school aged children.  They are passionate about homeschooling and making Learning Tree a success.  In addition to our co-directors we have about 12 volunteers participating on a leadership and administrative team.

Do I have to attend Vineyard Community Church to join?

No.  VCC generously supports us with wonderful building facilities.  Some of our families do attend VCC, but the vast majority do not.

Can I visit?
We hold occasional Open Houses throughout the school year.  During this hour you will be able to learn more about us, take a tour of the facility, have your questions answered, and learn about our new application process.  By contacting us we can notify you of our upcoming Open Houses. Contact Us.

How do I join?

We take applications during our Open House.  We prefer that you attend the Open House as this gives you the opportunity to see us first hand and to learn if we are a good fit for your family.  Sometimes, say in summer, an Open House isn’t an option.  At those times, please contact us for more information and an application. 
Contact Us.