A co-op is short for co-operative, where people work together towards a common goal. In our case, we’re homeschooling parents pooling our talents and time to provide an opportunity for our children to be with peers while participating in PE, music, art, and unit studies. At Apple Tree every family is expected to participate each week and fill a role within our organization, whether it’s teaching or helping out in the nursery to assisting with clean-up at the end of the day. We strive to place a parent in an area based on their gifts and/or children’s needs; however, there are no guarantees, and we ask each parent to have a servant’s heart.
Apple Tree is an enrichment-based co-op, which means that students will participate each week in art, music, PE, and alternating unit studies in either science, literature, or history (and we have some great units that our students truly enjoy!) We do not replace what you’re doing at home (e.g., we don’t offer math or phonics.) While we do unit studies, they are meant to cover one area of science or history and are not a full-year course. Instead, we offer a supplement to what you are doing at home in an encouraging, Christ-centered learning environment alongside a group of peers.
Apple Tree meets in Lake Villa on Wednesdays from 8:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. during the months of September – April.
Fees are based on the number of enrolling families and can change annually. Generally, monthly fees (Sept-Apr) are approximately $30 for 1 child, $39 for 2 children, $48 for 3 children, and $57 for 4+ children (these numbers change from year to year and are only provided to you for planning purposes.) These fees do not include an annual enrollment fee (which is based on how many children you enroll each year) and additional insurance fees.
We are not affiliated with any particular Christian denomination. Please see our Doctrinal Statement for more details on what we believe and what we ask each member to sign before joining our group.
In the fall we have a fair (Egyptian or Medieval) and a fish-boil fundraiser, and these two events are required participation for our families. Additionally, our music team puts together a Christmas and spring program for PreK-8th graders, graduation for 8th & 12th grades, plus our high schoolers put on a play; we expect all families to attend these events to show their support for each other! We offer a couple optional activities that take place outside of our regularly scheduled days, such as our fall field trip to a pumpkin patch, our winter water-park get-away, and the high school trip (this is usually 3-4 days overnight). Participation is optional for these three events, as there is a fee associated with attending. We currently do not offer extra-curricular sports but are open to this when we have a parent who has a desire and time to coach.
Ideally we want our families to have at least one year of homeschooling under their belt before applying, which means for some that their oldest child would be in 1st grade before starting Apple Tree. We will, however, consider families who are just starting homeschooling since each family has different needs. Because of this, we have a scope & sequence for 1st-12th grades. We offer a nursery and PreK-K classrooms so little ones have a place to be while their older siblings are in their classrooms. Currently we do not have an official scope & sequence for these classes and leave it to the discretion of the parents teaching in PreK-K to plan their days for the students. We encourage parents whose oldest child is in Kindergarten to prayerfully consider the responsibilities and commitments involved to be a part of Apple Tree when the majority of our program is geared for 1st-12th grades.
Yes, we offer a graduation ceremony each May for our 8th and 12th graders. We ask that all Apple Tree families come to this wonderful event honoring not only the achievements of the students, but their parents as well! You’ll find an Apple Tree graduation is a little different than what you may be used to, as we incorporate student talent, music, photo montages, 12th grade speeches, and more to make this a truly meaningful celebration!
It’s up to each student to utilize his/her time spent at Apple Tree. While many units do not meet a high school requirement all by themselves, when you combine four years of PE at Apple Tree, for example, that would add up to high school credit. Likewise for other unit studies, such as history, but again it all depends on the student and if the work was completed in a manor worthy of receiving credit.