FAQs

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Q:

Why should I pay $25 annual family membership to join Williamson County Homeschoolers (WCHS)?

A:

We are a high value investment that will hopefully enrich your homeschooling in many ways, such as:

  • Mom to Mom Support Meetings and Mentorship
  • Baby to Teen and often gender specific play groups and friend finders to make friends their age so that the socialization of kids who stay home is well supplemented
  • Family Events too such as classes, field trips, and fun for fellowship and learning
  • Academic Support and Competitions (such as spelling bees)
  • Forums on all kinds of issues -- setup a small group coop using your favorite text or discuss how to be a better wife and homemaker, for example.
  • Check our calendar for nearly daily opportunities to choose from, many of which are free or low cost.
Q:

What is happening to the yahoo group we've always had?  Why are we paying for what was free? Why can't we just use Facebook for events and chat?

A:

We have enjoyed many years of using yahoo groups, but this website will enable us to do so much more.  We do have to pay for the use of this site, which is part of your membership costs. Although yahoo is free we dodn't have the ability to do as many technological things as we can now. It greatly helps in the group administration when we can easily manage events and payments for them centrally connected to a calendar and email program.

The chat group we had will continue for the near future, but our forums on this group website will be much more specific.  This will help keep your inbox less cluttered with topics not interesting to you.  We've all had that email thread that just keeps going and going that we'd rather not have to read, but we also don't want you to miss something important or worse yet, unsubscribe and miss all kinds of wonderful events.  Homeschool-life solves this problem by letting you choose the frequency and which forums and sign ups you want notices for.

The announce group from yahoo vs. this site: You will now be able to get a weekly email with all the events for that week or month listed so you can get an overview at a glance IF YOU JOIN.  Other groups may send frequent emails with countless opportunities, but if you can't see them in a calendar to evaluate if it fits into your busy life and families needs, then it's not really very helpful :-).

For non-paying yahoo or Facebook following members: We intend to keep the yahoo announce group in the short term so that you don't loose connectivity all at once.  We will be phasing this out and using it only to announce main publicly open events eventually to be posted on the Facebook page (you'll find out at Belle Meade offers a homeschool days event, but no sign ups for instance). Altough we would hate for you to miss out on the myriad of nearly daily offerings of the new and improved WCHS if you choose not to join us.

There will be a transition curve as we move members over to this site.  Our goal is to have as many join by the end of March 2014 as possible so we are all "on the same page."  By next fall, we hope to be fully transitioned.  

 

Q:

I have been a part of WCHS for a long time.  Am I a member now?  I can see all the events on your public pages here, so why should I pay to join?

A:

Although there will be some outreach events to the community,  Homeschool-life.com members will be invited to exclusive Williamson County Homeschooler events.

We encourage you to join right away as many new events start happening that you will only see on this members only site (not the public pages you are possibly reading now if you are not logged in.). Ultimately, we are going to be more secure and not list very many events publicly, so events you see now, by the Fall may only be listed in the members-only site.  Most events can only be signed up for once you are a member.

Some events will remain publicly open like our park days, but we won't advertise the location online without login credentials for the safety of our kids (predators don't need to know from an online search that a big group of kids are playing while their moms are chatting busily).  You wouldn't want to have public signups either or your name and location could potentially be known to the World Wide Web.  

Hopefully, this answered most of your questions.  If you still have more questions,  please use the contact us tab and we will try and help.

Q:

Finances -- here are a couple of issues we'd like to address:

  • Scholarships for truly needy families to cover a part of the $25 annual family membership dues
  • Group Budget
  • Volunteer Leadership
A:

First, we are two homeschool moms who are volunteering our time and talents for helping launch and manage a spectacular homeschool group for this area.  One of us is new to town, having moved all over the country and been on boards leading highly successful large groups. We will use the best of those ideas to make this group run efficiently to meet the needs of our community.  The other of us has been in leadership of this group for more than a decade and knows many of you well and will thus be the backbone of WCHS continuing her commitment to helping homeschoolers.  We are not paid a salary or hourly wage to do this, just taking time from our family to help make your homeschooling local experience enriched because that is our heart to serve you.  So, no, the membership fund will not be paying us personally.

Instead, we will be establishing a group budget as we gain better insight this year into the income and expenses of this group.  In the past, many events that needed pre-payment had to come from someone's personal bank account setting up an event.  For instance, to purchase our performing arts tickets early requires hundreds of dollars for each show.  We have to do this months in advance and have personal funds tied up until much later when you actually pay to go to the event.  Some groups have opted to have you personally sign up in September for the whole year, but I don't know what I'm doing months from now, so I don't like this option personally, especially remembering a dozen post dated checks even worse. It's a real issue for new homeschoolers or people who move into town or miss the sign up meeting as they can't hook in until that next window.  Other groups charge a higher fee for membership to pay staff, but may still not be helping you sign up with group discounts by compiling a group for individual events.  We want to offer more than just bombarding your inbox with events, but none that are attractive because there is a group coordinated (for a discount and organized event) catered to our group. So, by having a bank account with some funding, we have leverage to utilize in a much more member friendly way.

Another main reason for the cost of membership is the website which will be up to a couple thousand dollars, depending on how many members sign up, is not something we should personally volunteer from our personal budgets.

Some of you are in particularly difficult times and we understand and do not want to exclude you for just the $25.  We will work out a reduced payment plan for potential members who have a deceased parent, and thus no breadwinner income, those who have lost the main income of the household, those with a life threatening illness in the family that has recently required extensive hospitalization and left them near bankrupt.  Those going through a divorce or some other particularly difficult financial situation need to email us at WilliamsonCountyHomeschoolers@gmail.com so that we can help.

 If you are financially secure and would like to contribute scholarship money for needy families to go on field trips or events, you may contact us as well as that will bless some who may have very large families or may have very low incomes to be able to participate more.  (A $10 event may seem cheap to a family with one child, but a family with 7 kids it would be more prohibitive.). For details on giving or receiving assistance, please email us at the email above.  We want to help occasionally as our funding allows.

Eventually, we hope to establish banking records that members can inquire with a notice period so our treasurer can show you where the money goes.