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dottieanna29
09-27-2011, 05:17 PM
I'm going through the process to become a leader for a new 4-H Cloverbud Club. The cloverbuds are the group for kids who are too young for regular 4-H, K-3rd grade or 5 through 8 years old. I plan to post to my local groups to see if anyone is interested in joining the group since I need at least 5 members from a minimum of 3 families.

-Does anyone have any suggestions on things I should mention?
-What are some good behavior standards to set?
-My son is 6 but my dd is only 4. Obviously she will be at the meetings so I feel like I should say something about younger siblings. I will probably bring things for my younger to do during the meeting but I could see her participating in the activities as well. (she's used to doing everything her brother does) so I don't want to make it a firm "younger siblings must be entertained separately" when mine might be in there, but I don't want people to assume their younger kids will be capable of doing everything. I will put something about needing them to not be disruptive.
-I can't decide if I want parents to stay or not. This will be a homeschooling group so it could go either way. Any thoughts? How would you word it if you expect drop-off? How about parents staying?
-Meetings will more than likely be held at our County Library unless there are activities that need to be held outside.

Thanks for any suggestions. I haven't led a group since my 17 year old was in Daisy/Brownies.

dottieanna29
09-27-2011, 07:52 PM
Just saw this on a local groups page:
"Younger siblings are welcome but activities will not be targeted toward them and they should not be disruptive."

What do you think?

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
09-27-2011, 08:03 PM
I have a brand new Cloverbud, and her club has this to say about parental involvement on their website:

"Unlike some organizations for kids, 4-H is based on family involvement. 4-H meetings are not drop-off meetings. Generally, children are accompanied by a parent or other adult during meetings. This is important for safety around large animals and also to foster the family learning aspects of 4-H. Parents also help by organizing specific meetings or field trips, preparing meeting activities, assisting leaders, and sleeping overnight as chaperones at the Fair."

I haven't seen any under-five siblings at the meetings we've attended, so I don't know how they deal with that.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-27-2011, 08:13 PM
Well my 6yo is a clover kid here, pre-4H. Parents can stay or not but our leader has been doing it for 20+ years so she is pretty good and doesn't really need help. I stay because I worry about my dd having a melt down. I think at that age to make staying/leaving the parent's choice is good. The parents that choose to stay will likely be the ones like me and you might be glad they are there. I usually help clean up after. The information I got states clearly that disruptive/disrespectful behavior means the child will be asked to leave the meeting (this does not mean they can't try again at the next meeting). If my dd does have problems and needs to leave the meeting I want to be right there. So far she has been fine. She got upset at losing a game once but the leader handled the situation well. As it is the library can they stay elsewhere in the library while you have your meeting?

Our leader usually has some drawing/coloring/craft type stuff out for the kids to do while she sets up the activity and sometimes a game after. I think that it would be ok to say no to younger sibs even if your younger child is there, as you are volunteering your time and everyone should be grateful for that and not expect you to entertain their preschoolers on top of it. Good luck!

coloradoalice
09-28-2011, 01:45 AM
In our area parents always stay with the kids, not only for the cloverbuds but for the regular club meetings as well. Everyone brings all their kids, babies, toddlers, whatever. I love that aspect of 4H, it's very family friendly.

dottieanna29
09-28-2011, 08:48 AM
Looking at our regional office website, it seems like cloverbuds CAN be drop off because they aren't allowed to do any animal projects or anything that is ongoing. It's supposed to be activity based.

I don't mind parents staying but I think if there are too many younger siblings in the room, it could get pretty distracting especially if they're doing anything fun. I think I'm going to send out a message seeing who is interested and what ages their kids are - asking also for the ages of any younger siblings. Then I'll see if it looks like the younger siblings will out number the participating. I will probably give parents the option of staying or leaving but mention that anyone disruptive will need to leave the room - hopefully anyone who things their participating child may be disruptive will stick around just in case. To be honest, my son is kind of the most likely kid to be disruptive.

coloradoalice
09-28-2011, 01:23 PM
It's always the leaders kid, right? :) I think in our area the reason people stay is we are so rural and meetings are usually about an hour long. There's really not much you can accomplish in an hour with driving so people just stay. For groups that meet in a larger town that might not be an issue. I did drop the kids off for Cloverbud camp but those days were 3 hours long so the driving back and forth was worth it.

dottieanna29
09-28-2011, 02:05 PM
It's always the leaders kid, right? :) I think in our area the reason people stay is we are so rural and meetings are usually about an hour long. There's really not much you can accomplish in an hour with driving so people just stay. For groups that meet in a larger town that might not be an issue. I did drop the kids off for Cloverbud camp but those days were 3 hours long so the driving back and forth was worth it.

We're located right in the middle of suburbia. Around the corner from the library is a mall with a Walmart, grocery store, dollar store, etc. Not much farther is a downtown area. Definitely a lot to do pretty nearby. I'm not even sure how long the meetings will run. I guess I'll decide once I go through training and get a look at the activities binder.

Jeni
10-15-2011, 06:38 PM
My daughter is in cloverbuds and my son who's 3 has joined in every lesson this year. They dissolved the "Futures" group he would have been in, since he's the only one of his age left. Everyone was fine with it, as long as he participates and isn't a distraction.

Parents are always welcome to stay and are utilized during most classes. We usually have a few in each class who aren't teaching that just stick around to be an extra set of hands. Cloverbuds can get really out of hand, especially with a large group. And in my experience, it can be really difficult to find material for kids that range from 5 to 8+. I found a lot of the little kids were not able to handle the crafts without help or do any of the writing activities and the older kids were done too quickly if the activity was geared to involve everyone. I found it difficult to balance. Having the parents there to help was needed.

Our group has always made arrangements for a nursery for younger siblings if needed. And it sounds like your group might need to think about that option.

crunchynerd
10-20-2011, 11:03 AM
I quit wrestling with the whole 4-H thing for now, primarily because I'm too busy and my kids have plenty to do with other kids at present, but, was for a while thinking of starting my own. Since then, I have started watching an after-school child (who is a real treasure to have around, I might add! Lovely girl and great role model for my daughter!) and can't even consider starting a 4-H group alongside our other activities. Life got really full, really quickly, and we're hosting a weekly crafting afternoon at our house, so even though I still like the idea of getting into 4-H one of these days, this isn't the year.