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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

I throw up my hands in defeat

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 I give up. Our co-op is driving me bonkers. Our co-op is designed for kids 13 and under. We've been members for 5 years now. My kids love it. I HATE it. I teach classes, which are successful (for older kids, little ones give me hives). A few years ago I agreed to do the 'director' stuff because I'm good with a computer and am organized. I don't see why a director needs to be available all day every day at co-op. But apparently it's to hold the mom's hands and boss them around. Personally, I think if everyone acts like a grown-up then all will be good.

Tuesday I had to remain at the end of the day, in order to clean up the poop some kid had smeared ALL over the bathroom. And I do mean alllllll over. So, I sent out (another) email asking parents to please keep track of their little ones, again remainding them that the policy is that all children under 7 need an adult with them all day, in every class. And that families with more than one child need to communicate with the teachers. Since our teachers are parents, they don't feel comfortable leaving the class to go searching for a wayward parent.

Of course no one took credit for poop-gate. Insead I get a call from one of the moms about our end of day play class for the preschoolers. It's meant to just give the youngest members something to do while the older kids finish their final classes of the day. The original teacher quit after the 4th day. Which I can understand since children under age 7 make me crazy..lol..but I didn't understand when she said these kids don't listen. In my mind barely any child that age (and it was a class for the under 6 y/o's) will 'listen'. But this week we got a new parent in there as the ring leader....er...teacher. And apparently she was traumatized as well. Mostly because there is one family that has 2 children in the class. The mom sits in on the class with her youngest (an infant), but apparently doesn't step in if her children are running about like little mental patients. When asked this week she nodded her head vaguely and said something like, "kids will be kids". This horrified many moms aparently and made them question her compentency.

Though I don't get why they are surprised. See, I watch 19 kids and counting with equal parts amazement & horror (the horror is trying to put mysef in her shoes of course..lol.) So when the mom's were concerned that this mother isn't altogether there, I just gently reminded them that she has 13 kids....she probably just didn't recognize those two..lol...I feel like I have dementia after 2, so it makes sense to me?

So I guess I don't appreciate the problem, but aside from the email I sent this week reminding everyone to keep eyes on their own, I'm not sure whatelse everyone expects. What would you do?

by on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM
Replies (11-16):
jen2150
by Silver Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 1:09 PM
Thanks. I really like all the moms and yet they drive me crazy at times. I am usually torn. We are a very special lot. I never realized how much work went into co-ops until I had one thrown into my lap. We have a definate love hate relationship. My kids just love them.

Quoting KickButtMama:

Yes, I completely agree. We made sure, this semester, that we had activities in every class period for the youngest siblings - supervised play time, Lego, preschool fun and the ever traumatic movement class. This was because in previous semesters we had issues with the toddlers damaging the building we rent! I like your explanation of the independance of homeschoolers vs my explanation of them using us as an unpaid daycare...lol..

Quoting jen2150: Maybe sibling care could work. One of my co-ops has sibling care which we pay a certain amount per month. Parents sign their kids in and out. Next year at orientation I would definately take a good deal of the time to discuss this problem. Maybe consequences for not keeping track of your kids. I think homeschoolers sometimes are so independent they sometimes forget how to act in a group. We are used to doing our own time. I think need to realize if they can't follow the rules then maybe this co-op isn't right for them.

Quoting KickButtMama:

We have around 45 families. We are pretty relaxed on enforcing the manditory parent participation since many moms have babies and that can make it difficult, I guess, to participate in service hours. So we have about 10 parents who teach (I am teaching 4 classes) and we have a digital clipboard that sends reminders to parents who sign up to be hall parents, room set up/clean up, etc. 

I've sent several emails this semester (I think this is the third) reminding parents that they need to be in charge of their own children. We have a Lego club for the youngsters as well (it's not a class per se) and we had had an issue with parents just dropping the kids off and leaving. I sent an email and that fixed the problem. We don't usually have issues with classes. It's the moms with youngsters who don't do classes that seem to have the problem. You know....except for the wildly traumatic toddler class. 

Quoting jen2150: How many families are in the co-op and how many people helping do you have? Are you the only leader?


A few months ago I quit my co-op and returned. I asked someone to help me organize and that helped a lot. We have been having trouble getting people to communicate better and showing up for weeks with no communication. Honestly I would set up a meeting and let everyone know the issues. I think you need some people to handle some of the parents so you are not doing it all. Would it help to limit the class sizes more. I would also let people know that kids need to behave a certain way or they won't be allowed to continue. I don't care how many kids you have they need to know how to behave properly. Do the parents have required service hours? One of my co-ops is large and requires service hours of all the parents. The parents should not be coming to one person for everything.

TidewaterClan
by on Apr. 25, 2014 at 11:17 PM

I'd get mean as a snake.  In Girl Scouts I had parents who treated it like babysitting with a capital b and wouldn't help with anything.  I made a mandate after the 3rd year that parents had to help with ONE meeting during the entire year.  I lost the three most obnoxious parents which was great, honestly.

Even if parents have small children or babies they can organize a meeting, especially if they have enough notice, and have things set up for someone else if they can't manage during the co-op itself.  I organized and held all the GS meetings when my youngest was a baby and I was working full-time too.  No excuses for them! :)

I'd also sit on those children who keep acting up, whether the mother is there or not.  My most rambunctious GS acted worse when mom was around.  I gave her one meeting to say something, but when she didn't I just put my foot down.  I'd tell the teachers in the younger class to just go for it.

I like the shape up or ship out idea.  You're not getting paid, or not getting paid much if I remember right.  Life is too short to put up with people who make life miserable.  

I hope this doesn't sound grouchy!  After seven years (thankfully not this one!) of GS bs I have no patience left for people who don't help out when they're taking so much from others.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Apr. 26, 2014 at 2:32 PM
1 mom liked this

Yeah, I don't get paid at all. So it's especially irritating to feel like I'm being taken advantage of. Since I'm stuck teaching my own classes all day, I finally convinced another mom to be my enforcer since I'm otherwise occupied. I hope it doesn't ruin the vibe of the co-op

Quoting TidewaterClan:

I'd get mean as a snake.  In Girl Scouts I had parents who treated it like babysitting with a capital b and wouldn't help with anything.  I made a mandate after the 3rd year that parents had to help with ONE meeting during the entire year.  I lost the three most obnoxious parents which was great, honestly.

Even if parents have small children or babies they can organize a meeting, especially if they have enough notice, and have things set up for someone else if they can't manage during the co-op itself.  I organized and held all the GS meetings when my youngest was a baby and I was working full-time too.  No excuses for them! :)

I'd also sit on those children who keep acting up, whether the mother is there or not.  My most rambunctious GS acted worse when mom was around.  I gave her one meeting to say something, but when she didn't I just put my foot down.  I'd tell the teachers in the younger class to just go for it.

I like the shape up or ship out idea.  You're not getting paid, or not getting paid much if I remember right.  Life is too short to put up with people who make life miserable.  

I hope this doesn't sound grouchy!  After seven years (thankfully not this one!) of GS bs I have no patience left for people who don't help out when they're taking so much from others.


ablackdolphin
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I have hives for you just reading that!

Beniegenie
by Member on Apr. 27, 2014 at 9:10 PM
I agree. Parents shouldn't be able to bring their kids if they can't control their behavior. Also agree with limiting the class size for that age.
It would make better sense to seperate the kids 4-6 into a group with more structure, story time, projects, snack time and play time. Kids that age love to learn. It's when they learn most, they just need a more hands on approach with shortened activities. Get someone in trere that is lively and loves introducing youngsters to the world around them. I personally enjoy these ages the most because I love how excited this age is about learning new things. It also helps to have the teens help out with this age group an younger. They have more energy and if they enjoy little ones they can usually be a great help. The 0-3 group needs to be seperated with less structure, more play. Make sure there is plenty to do and don't allow everything to be put out at once or there will be chaos. Activity tubs are great. Change them out after 20-30 min. Make to stations with different activities. This too is a good place for teens to help out. Children under 7 shouldn't be allowed to use the bathrooms without an escort either. I hope this helps. And no you shouldn't be the ONLY person who can take charge. Be assertive and get people working together :) it will make all te difference. Co-op is teamwork and all the moms need to know this.

Quoting jen2150: How many families are in the co-op and how many people helping do you have? Are you the only leader?


A few months ago I quit my co-op and returned. I asked someone to help me organize and that helped a lot. We have been having trouble getting people to communicate better and showing up for weeks with no communication. Honestly I would set up a meeting and let everyone know the issues. I think you need some people to handle some of the parents so you are not doing it all. Would it help to limit the class sizes more. I would also let people know that kids need to behave a certain way or they won't be allowed to continue. I don't care how many kids you have they need to know how to behave properly. Do the parents have required service hours? One of my co-ops is large and requires service hours of all the parents. The parents should not be coming to one person for everything.
KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Apr. 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM
Create teams of moms that are responsible as janitors after coop every week and assign specific duties and areas to check.

Make all moms rotate and serve in different positions including active helpers in last class, janitors, hall monitors (making sure kids under 10 are accompanied by adults) etc. Rotate the jobs monthly, quarterly, or bi-monthly.

Exclude people already serving as lead teachers or such.

Otherwise, bill in a $15/20 monthly maintenance fee per family and hire a parent to take on the responsibility.
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