Monday, September 26, 2011

CSH - Becoming a Non-Profit Organization!

Catholic Schoolhouse (CSH) is in the process of becoming a formal non-profit organization. We strive to help "raise the bar" for homeschooling families by providing valuable peer interactions, academics, and enrichment for our homeschooled students.

This is exciting news as  encouraging and uniting Catholic homeschool families is truly our mission.  While we must all keep our lives properly balanced - God, family, others - we are working to optimize the CSH program by fine-tuning the grammar years, developing the dialectic and rhetoric programs, and striving to offer a useful and easy to navigate on-line community. 

In order to further our mission, there's a fee for CSH families to participate.  All money stays with the local program, except for a portion of the registration fee.  Three years of experience have really emphasized the importance of this.

To give some insight on our fee structure that requires an annual commitment, I'd like to share an experience with another homeschool group. This group charged a small fee to participate, but supplies were not included. Parents were solicited to bring snacks, art supplies, etc. each week. Next, we were requested to make donations to the facility. Volunteers rotated leaving the students with a new teacher each week. Then, the thank you gifts for volunteers began.  While this program sounded enriching and affordable, it didn't quite turn out as I had hoped. I felt that I was constantly being solicited for donations.

With this in mind, perhaps you can see why CSH requires families to pay for the entire year up front and does not offer refunds.  The director of each CSH uses the collected funds to run a consistent, good quality program. (This includes paying the facility, the workers, and providing all supplies.)   Family consistency is key to the program's success.  If families would like to try CSH on a trial basis, it is critical that they discuss this with their local director prior to enrolling.  This way, moderate flexibility can be allwed without destroying class sizes or the program budget (which really is tight).  Consistent teachers and peers helps our children normalize in class and allows them to encourage each other in their studies. 

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