Yes, visitors are always welcome. This is a great way to see the group in action, and also to decide if it will work for you and your children. Just contact us from our website on the contact tab, or phone/text 0272 209949. We can meet you on the day and show you around. Sometimes there are classes available mid term which you can join, for a discounted rate.
Is this a religious group?
The group has no religious affillitations. We do have policies around behaviour and class content and are mindful that this is a family group.
Who can join?
All homeschooling families are welcome. This means homeschooling, unschooling, part school and homeschooling - open to all. This group is also available to families who are wanting to find out more about homeschooling.
How do I join?
For each new term, families already enrolled get priority booking. After that, it's open to all families to join us. To receive up to date information on booking dates, just ask to be added to our email newsletter list. This way, you will be kept advised of sign up dates.
Is there a membership fee?
There is no membership fee. Classes are booked and paid for on a term by term basis, which gives complete flexibility for the changing needs of your children.
How do I book classes?
Booking is easy - just go to the "classes, events" tab. On the side bar look for "Term Programme". This will show you the time slots for all our classes. Once you have decided, just select the appropriate time slot, look for the class and add to the cart. When you're ready to purchase, we just need your name, email (to send the invoice to), a contact phone number (in case classes are cancelled), the name of your child / children for our class lists. We don't need your address details.
When do I pay?
Payment is at the time of booking, unless otherwise agreed. Internet banking and/or cash payments are accepted.
How is the group run?
Full details about how the group is run on our website here.
Why do existing families get to choose first?
Our group can be quite transient, with some families joining for just a term or two (which is fine). This is a group where you get to choose your attendance and classes on a term by term basis. This means though that numbers are tricky to predict and plan for. But the continuity of the families who support the group each and every term on a long term basis is the reason why it keeps going. These families provide stability for our planning. The group has always, and will continue to, support "currently enrolled" families. And once you sign up for any class in a term, you get to be a "currently enrolled family" and go first in the next term.
Please note though, that if you have taken a term off and want to join up again, you're a "new" family.
This is the most simple and fair system we can think of, and it works. New families join us every term. They might not exactly get the classes they want, but they still get to join & choose first next time.
We will always support the families that support us from term to term throughout the year. If you want to be one of those families, simply sign up for a class.
This is way the group has operated for 18 years, and is still the fairest system we can think of. And it works - our existing families feel supported and every term, new families join.
Our costs are upwards of $8,000 to $9,000 each term. A break even basis means you get really affordable classes. But this has risks, and we need to be careful planners. Too many empty spaces will mean we're not covering our costs.
Why aren't spaces reserved for new families in each class?
This won't work for us. In terms of logistics, planning and managing, it would take a huge amount of time with no guarantee that it would even be successful. Suppose new families didn't want any/all of the spaces, and existing families had already booked their classes? Then we'd have to frantically find people to fill the spare spaces, and face the possibility of the spaces not being filled at all.
If you're a new family trying to join and you haven't been able to book the exact classes you want, we're sorry. Some terms are easier than others - that's just the way it is.
Why not just put on new classes if there's not enough space?
If the majority of families have already booked, putting on a new class at the last minute becomes problematic. Let's say a class has four children on a waiting list. We put on an extra class for those children, and because most of our families will have already booked, we may only get those four students in a class that actually needs 12 students just to break even. Once the term programme has been finalised, we have to run with that. There are so many considerations with adding new classes - tutor availability, class numbers, break even points, possible financial loss, venue space, time to organise it all - please just trust us when we say this really isn't an option.
If you're a new family trying to join and can't get the classes you want, please let us know. We can put your name on a wait list.
And we'd love to know what classes you are interested in as this will help our planning for the next term.
What's the $5 admin fee for on my invoice?
That's a contribution to all the costs that the class fees may or may not cover. Website costs, advertising if we need it, cleaning products, bank fees, resources - scissors, paints, paper, or it might be just that extra top up when a class doesn't cover its costs. This tiny amount (nearly a cup of coffee) on your invoice, once a term, really helps us when we need it. Sometimes costs (toner, printing, photocopy paper etc) is out of our own pocket. Happy to do all the organising for free, to provide classes that are affordable, and we appreciate it when the $5 is paid.
The Homeschool Group is managed by an Admin Team of two. We are volunteers who (happily) work hard to bring a programme of quality, affordable classes. We are also homeschooling parents with, like all of you, lots of things to manage and do. We don't like to disappoint families, and we try our very best to manage a considerable financial responsibility every term and to provide something for everyone where we can. It's not always possible to please everyone, but a lot of work goes into trying. We're always happy to talk things through - please contact us if you have any questions.