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Thread: Grrrr Co-ops

  1. #11

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    I can't recall who the author of this was (probably one of you knows) but "committees are where ideas go, to die" and co-ops are committees, run by people who like that sort of thing. Though there may be noble exceptions, in those who are willing to martyr themselves trying to make a Great Co-op (I'm sure you're out there!) and put up with the hair-pulling officiousness of it all.

    Me, I'll stick to herding my band of cats.
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

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  3. #12

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    I don't know, TFZ. Why don't you listen? LOL!!
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  4. #13

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    I have never understood "co-op", because to me, I thought it was parents cooperating together, not one or a few people being in charge and charging people money. In my definition, which I admit I made up in my head, parents only pay when they are paying directly for a service, like renting a venue or admission fees... or maybe even dues if there was full transparency.

    I have seen it used to describe things that make no sense to me. Example: People use it to describe public school programs for homeschoolers (parents cooperating with public schools?). Another example: I saw a post on a fb group by a lady wanting to charge parents to drop their kids off for a class at her home, and ask the parents to attend with the kids once a month, and she called this a co-op. If parents charging other parents for a free field trip is a co-op then I really am more confused.

  5. #14

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    I realized I do know of a group that does what Elly mentioned - they always charge because otherwise too many people flake out. And then they feed it into the next field trip. Which, yeah, I get it, it's not precisely fair, but neither is planning a trip, having an organization plan for your group, and then having to show up with a fraction of the people you said were coming - perhaps less than their minimum number - and face the organization and admit you're a bunch of flakes. I know of some places that have blacklisted homeschoolers because of things like that happening to them too often.

    If you were the planner though, you'd think you'd be exempted. And more importantly, if that's their policy and why, they should really just state that from the get go. I'm really curious what they said when you confronted them.
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  6. #15

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    There's a local homeschool group (not a co-op) that sets up field trips and does parties for different holidays and field/sports days each year, etc. The person who "owns" the group is basically making a full time salary out of the fees she charges people to be part of the group. She gets newbies to join for a fee, but opens up all events to her buddies first so newbies wind up on the wait-list all the time.
    Dorothy
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  7. #16

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    There's a group theater tickets for schools buy that we're a part of and the person who runs it charges a fee from every family. You pay... I forget? $15 or something to be able to get tickets with them. She keeps the money. But you wouldn't believe the hassles she has to go through to keep the group running and working. It's a huge PITA. Yes, she's making a couple hundred dollars off it every year. But she has to deal with the paperwork, make the phone calls, take the flack when kids misbehave, get everyone to show up on time. She's well within her right to do it, I think. It's easily more hassle than the money for her even with the money. She told me that in the end, all it pays for is her kids to also attend all the shows she wants.
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  8. #17
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    Wow DottieAnna that is truly messed up. I can see charging a fee and even paying yourself a little if you're like the super organizer and it's more of a service to the families. This one they straight up asked me to put something on. They were like,"If you ever want to do a class or host a field trip let us know we want all the parents to participate," etc. etc. I've been to two that other moms have hosted but no charge then. They just changed this for January.

    So I emailed and said, Why is there a fee when it's a free educational service that the fire station provides for the community? She said they (her and one other girl) were trying to think of a way to make up for the website/hosting fees and expenses that they've taken on in providing materials for the group, etc. The best way they could think of was tacking on the fee for field trips. She offered to remove the fee for this one - of course I said YES Please! And added a few "Lol"s to soften the tone, but I'm not sure it worked.

    I'm just annoyed. I would have never offered to set it up if I'd have know there would be any question of a fee. The other field trips this month are a $16/per person boat ride and a $5/kid sanctuary visit. How much are they collecting from those? What's next a fee for visiting the library? Parks? This is all bizarre to me. I'm more comfortable with a $10 per family annual fee or whatever. At least then you know how much you're paying. Like, if I'm doing 2-3 field trips per month say ten months out of the year, what am I paying? $60-$100 to be in a group where I'm also an active organizer? For website hosting? Hmmm.

    Anyway, I have no idea why I don't listen. Probably blame it on my Catholic elementary school and public middle and high school experiences. Though, my mom wasn't exactly cut out to homeschool me, haha.

    I told DH that the fire station will prob be our last event with these guys. There are other groups around with more transparent rules. I prob should be in such a rush to join something again anyway. Boo. Extrovert problems.
    I'm a homeschooling enthusiast excited to start an epic 1st grade-ish year with DD4 and DD2 tagging along. My homeschool superpower is ferreting out secular science resources.

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  9. #18
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    I was reading your last post and thinking 'they need to be more transparent' and then saw that in your last paragraph! Could you say that nicely to them? I know I often fall into the trap of somehow assuming that what is obvious to me must be to other people, then realizing that I've been expecting them to be mind readers (I'm working on not doing this).

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  10. #19
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    I might say something. I'm not sure I'm really invested in the group or people in it enough try to make it better. I'm sure they have plenty of people that won't bat an eye. Talking about money is funny. I'm counting every dollar we spend for parking, tickets, and memberships. Other people don't even notice. They might not even be thinking that far into it. Who knows. I just don't want them to ask me for suggestions or advice or anything like that. They already know I'm a former teacher and group organizer. I'm on the radar. Like when you meet someone and you know they are trying to figure out what they can use you for...
    I'm a homeschooling enthusiast excited to start an epic 1st grade-ish year with DD4 and DD2 tagging along. My homeschool superpower is ferreting out secular science resources.

    My site is somerandomlady.com and these are curriculum choices..

  11. #20

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    TFZ, I'm an extreme introvert. I require a day break after dealing with ppl I LIKE. People I didn't like would be a nightmare. I HATE when ppl ask advice. Either they follow it and it works out, which is great, or they follow it and it sucks. OR, they don't follow it AT ALL, and then get upset that I didn't tell them not to do that. Even though I DID. So, now I just mostly watch. Even the FB group I set up, I'm just the person that set up the group.

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