Grace Life Homeschool Community
 

Grace Life Handbook

Grace Life Homeschool Community Student Handbook
Updates for 2024-2025 are highlighted in green!

Grace Life is a Christian homeschool co-op and community. We want to build a loving community of parents and children, have our children benefit from quality and enjoyable classes, and enjoy getting to know other parents over a cup of coffee.

Although we welcome those of any faith or background, our leadership are people who love Jesus, and you'll probably hear about Him! Classes will be taught from a Biblical perspective, and we ask that co-op families respect our beliefs. 

Contact Info

General Info: hello@gracelifehomeschool.com 

When Filling Out the "Join" Page Info

Texting Service

Our website has texting capabilities! We send out our announcements via the texting service.

It is critical for us to get information to you in a timely manner. This is super important if we have to get information out quickly, such as if there is an issue and a class is canceled the morning of co-op. 

--> Unless your phone does not have texting capabilities, we are requiring all families to have at least one phone opted in for texting.

It is a one way/no-reply service, so you will not be spammed with reply messages. :)

Online Directory

We have an online directory that is only visible to current Grace Life members and is an easy way for members to find each other's info. We highly recommend you to select to have your info added to the directory when filling out the join page.

Family Photo

There is a place on the Join Page to upload a family photo, and we would love for you to do that! Please add a photo so we can all put kids and parents faces together in our minds!  

2024-25 Dates

Open House: Thursday July 18, 6:30-8pm 

Fall Semester dates: Aug. 15 to Nov. 14
Tentative Spring Semester dates: Jan. 9 to April 17
Spring Break: March 20

Grace Life meets Thursdays in the Largo/Seminole, FL area (33777). Please contact us for the exact location. Classes will be held at 8:30, 9:30. 10:30, 11:45 and 12:45. 

All of our classes run a full year, and we do not have a new registration in the spring, although new families may join in the spring.  

***LUNCH***

We have a 15 minute lunch/snack time added onto the end of third period, from 11:25-11:40. Students will stay in their third period class and can eat a lunch or snack in their class at that time. Since we have added an official lunch/snack time, other than that lunch time, we ask that students not be snacking except in the family room. This will just help keep classroom distractions and mess to a minimum. Thanks!! 

2024 Open House: DATE TBA
We'd love to see you! Come meet teachers, see our rooms, make new friends or see old ones. New families especially, please make plans to attend. If you are a new family and cannot make the open house, please email us at hello@gracelifehomeschool.com. 

Statement of Faith

We believe: 

  • The Bible is the inspired, true Word of God. Every decision that we make at Grace Life will be based on the Bible. 

    • 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 

  • There is one God, who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

    • “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19)

  • God is love. He is perfect, holy, and just. 

    • I John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

    • Lev 19:2 says, “You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”

    • Psalm 37:28a tells us, “For the Lord loves justice.” 

  • People were created in the image of God, to walk with him and have a close relationship with him. (Genesis 1:26). 

  • When people chose to do the opposite of what God told us, sin poisoned the world. Sin separated us from God, and everything changed. 

    • Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 

    • In Isaiah 59:2 we’re told, “your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.”

  • This is especially bad news because there is no way for us to get back to God on our own. We have tried to find our way back to God and a perfect world on our own ever since then, and without any luck. We try to get there by being good people, or through religion, money, morality, philosophy, education, or any number of other ways, but eventually we find out that none of it works. 

    • “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” Proverbs 14:12.

  • There is only one way to find peace with God, and the Bible says it is through Jesus Christ. We were stranded without any way of getting back to our Creator, and we needed a way to pay for our sins and be clean again so that we could be welcomed back to be with Him. To be saved, we must put our faith in Jesus and in what He did on the cross. 

    • Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” So this is the Good News—that even though we were still enemies of God (as one translation says), Jesus came to die on the cross and pay the price for our sins so that we could have a relationship with Him again. 

    • John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    • Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Family Statement:

  • The family is the basic social and spiritual unit created by God. In it, the child learns about himself, social relationships, and God (Duet 6:6-8, Eph 6:1 and Col 3:20). 

  • God designed each of us wonderfully, as male or female. Together, the two sexes reflect the image of God. To reject one's gender is to reject God's design. The Bible teaches that God’s design for marriage is between one man and one woman for life, and that sexual relationships should only occur in that context (1 Cor 6:18, Col 3:5, 1 Thes 4:3-4, Romans 18:1-32, Lev 18:22, 1 Cor 6:9). 

  • As Christians, we are called to love everyone; however, love does not mean that we affirm things that are not in line with scripture or are harmful. The fact is that we all sin and fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23). This is why we need Jesus! 

  • No matter what, we need to treat each person with love, dignity, and respect. There is no room for hateful behavior or talk in the body of Christ or at Grace Life.  

Class Registration 

  • When registration first opens, you may only register your child if they are within the stated grade range or age range for the class. If your child is outside the grade or age range for a class, but they are one grade older or younger than the grades listed, and there are still openings in the class after registration has been open for 4 weeks, your child can register for the class with teacher approval. You will need to contact the teacher for approval and then the registration coordinator to have them added to the class.  FYI, ages listed for preschool/preK classes may or may not have any flexibility as far as the youngest age able to take the class, depending on the class and the teacher preference. 
     
  • --> Please do not adjust your child's age or grade just to get them in a class! That will just cause problems, as we use the ages and grades in the system when we are planning for future classes. Also it will cause an issue for you for registering for other classes down the road, as the system will adjust them up each year. 
     
  • If your child has special needs/learning issues and needs to be in classes much younger than their grade, that is no problem, and just contact the registration coordinator to have them added to the class at registration open. 

For 2024 and going forward: 

  • Our preschool/preK classes will ONLY be for families with older students at Grace Life Homeschool Community (K-12, and at least 5 years old as of Sept. 1 for that school year). This is to ensure we have enough space for our current homeschool families who have younger kids. 

Co-op & Class Payments

  • The Yearly Family Registration is a fee that helps the co-op cover the cost of insurance and other business expenses. Every family must pay this when registering for co-op. 
     
  • **Each class will also have a monthly fee, and many have a per semester supply fee. Please click on each class on the "class schedule" page to see the monthly cost and semester supply fee for each class.
  • Payments will be made monthly through this website. OR you may pay for the entire semester cost, upfront with a check. This will save you the PayPal fees that have been added on, which are $1.25/class/month ($5/semester/class). The exception are clubs, as the co-op covers the paypal fees for those. If you want to pay upfront with a check, please contact us. We are not able to take monthly payments via check, only the entire semester for all classes. 
     
  • Please pay for your classes on time every month! The fall supply fees are due by 7/1. The four payments for fall are due 8/1, 9/1, 10/1, & 11/1. Spring supply fees are due 12/1. Spring semester payments are due 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, & 4/1. Payments are considered late and will have a late fee applied after the 15th of each month. 
     
  • If you owe a balance at the end of the semester, you will not be able to take classes the next semester until that is paid. If you owe a balance at the end of the year, you will not be able to register for classes the next year until it is paid. This is simply to be fair to the teachers. 
     
  • You can pay ahead of time on the website if you like, which can actually help you in making your payments. So if your fees are $100/month, and you are paid on the 5th and 20th, you can pay $50 on the 20th of the month BEFORE it's due (just select a few of your classes to total $50), and then $50 on the 5th. Then your balance will be zero by the 15th! Or if you were paid weekly, you could pay $25/week as long as it was paid down to zero by the 15th. 
     
  • Fees for Late Payments: If your payment is late and not made by the 15th of the month, a late fee of $30 WILL be added.    
     
  • We do NOT want your late fees, we just need your payments on time so we can pay our teachers on time. 
     
  • If you are having difficulty making your payments, please communicate with the payment coordinator. We can work with you somewhat, but ONLY if you communicate! And you need to communicate with the payment coordinator EACH month that you are still having an issue and/or asking for an extension. If you do not communicate EACH month, you will still recieve the late fee. We care about you, and do not want your late fees, but there are too many people in the co-op for us to chase people down each month. Please overcommunicate! 
     
  • -->>> Please consider carefully before registering, as the Family Registration Fee and Class Supply Fees are NOT refundable.  If you are not sure about a class, and will be upset at losing the supply fee if your child decides to drop, please do not register for the class. You can wait until co-op starts and then let your child try the class the first week before registering IF there is still space in the class.  
     
  • You can drop a class within the drop period without being required to pay further, but please consider dropping a class carefully, as many teachers have a minimum number of children they need for their classes, and we want to honor their time and efforts. 
     
  • The LAST day to drop a class without paying for the remainder of the semester is ALWAYS the day after the second week of class. 
  • You MUST contact the REGISTRATION COORDINATOR via text in order to drop a class. Just telling teachers (or anyone else) does not drop the class for you and you will still be responsible for payments. 
  • If you drop a class by the drop date, payment #1 WILL be refunded, however, remember that the supply fee is not refundable.  If you drop a class AFTER the drop deadline, you will need to continue payments through the end of the semester.
     
    • Many co-ops (most that we have been to) require the ENTIRE payment upfront and do not refund any portion of it if you drop a class. We feel that allowing monthly payments makes co-op more affordable; however, please realize that if you drop a class after the drop period, you will still owe the balance on the class. 
       
  • Please Note: All our classes are year long classes.
     
  • Some classes really need students to be registered both semesters in order to get the most out of them (especially core/academic classes), but others are flexible. If your child wants to make a class switch at the semester break, that is fine. 
     
  • NOTE: When registering, PLEASE make note if your classes have required books or supplies. You can see that by clicking on the class on the Class Schedule page.

Visiting Classes

  • A student may visit a class once for free after getting permission from the teacher. After that, they need to register if they would like to stay in the class. 
     
  • For new families who are not registered but want to visit the co-op, please contact us at hello@gracelifehomeschool.com prior to your visit, so we can be sure we have time to show you around. We require a parent to be on campus for the visit. If the child would like to sit in on a class they are interested in joining, that may be done after getting approval from the teacher. 

Classes for Credit

  • We offer some high school classes for credit. It is still the parent and student’s responsibility to save samples of work, etc. For it to count for credit, the student must complete the work and attend regularly. If the student misses a class, he or she will need to check with the teacher for any make up work. 

Volunteering

  • Grace Life is a community and we really value family involvement and families getting to know each other! This is one reason that we have a volunteer requirement. 
     
  • We want fellowship, not just for the kids, but for moms as well! We probably need it more than the kids! We feel that doesn't happen so easily at a drop off co-op. We don't require parents to be on campus the whole time (although we encourage you to hang out with us in the coffee area!), but we do require you to be there for at least your volunteering spot. 
     
  • There is also a lot of work that goes into keeping things running smoothly, and volunteering helps so much!!  
     
  • **We will require every family registered to have a parent volunteer. Most jobs are weekly, but aren't hard. Once you are approved to login, you will have access to the "Volunteering" page to request your volunteer position. 
     
  • We require every family to volunteer for TWO "Regular" jobs  OR ONE "Grande" job.  
     
  • Please consider volunteering for a TA spot, as we need to fill those! 
     
  • NEW: This coming year, we will have volunteers in the family room who are avaliable to watch young children  for parents who are teaching or volunteering ONLY. We will have a larger room for the family room next year. If you have an older child and are teaching/volunteering that period, it would be best if they are in a class if at all possible, as it is really designed mostly for children who are too young to be in classes.
     
  • If you are NOT teaching or volunteering during a period and you have a child in the family room, you need to be in there with your child. 
     
  • We have some "Sippy Cup" jobs  that are reserved just for mamas with kids under 2. 
     
  • Please fill out your volunteer form to request your volunteer position ASAP after your registration is approved! 
     
  • We will try to put you in one of your requested places, but realize that we may have to adjust to get all our spots covered. However, the volunteer coordinator will work with you to make sure we find a good fit for you. We do want everyone to be happy with their volunteer position(s). 
     
  • If you are not able to volunteer, you may pay an opt-out fee of $235/year. When you pay your family registration fee, select the option that includes the opt-out fee. 
     
  • NEW: Previously, we had lowered the volunteer requirement for parents with children under 2, however, since we now have a volunteer-staffed famly room, we will now require ALL famlies (even if you have children under 2) to have 2 regular jobs or 1 grande job. You can volunteer in the family room as a regular job, OR you can have your child watched in the family room while doing another TA job. 
     
  • If you have a child under 2, you may select 1 sippy cup job + 1 regular job, 2 sippy cup jobs, or one grande job if you prefer. 

Example of Sippy Cup Jobs: 

  • Family Room Volunteer (baby/toddler can be in the room with you) 
  • Front Desk 
  • Pizza Pick up
  • Field Trip Coordinator
  • Events Coordinator
  • Playground supervisor during clean up (after co-op)
  • -- Or you can have your child watched in the staffed family room while doing another TA job

SAMPLES OF POSSIBLE VOLUNTEER JOBS:
 

 GRANDE JOBS (CHOOSE ONE)

TA = Teacher’s Assistant  - Assists the teacher during class. We only have TAs in classes where they are needed, so be prepared to be on time and help when needed in class! 

TA's in a club will supervise the club. 

  • TA Supervisor in a Club 
     
  • TA in a preK class
     
  • CLEAN UP COORDINATOR - Stays after to supervise clean up after co-op and make sure all the rooms are cleaned. Assigns clean up tasks to each person on the clean up team, and ensures that all tasks are completed. Runs a quick cleanup team meeting at 1:15 to let the team know of any room setup changes, etc, and starts team on cleanup by 1:20. Then we have a quick walk through with the clean up coordinator afterwards to make sure it's all been done. Clean up usually is done by 2:15pm. 
     
  • SET UP COORDINATOR - Comes at 8:00 to supervise set up for co-op. 
     
  • FULL FLOATER - Is available all periods (1st-5th) to fill in for an absent TA as needed. You will generally only need to fill in one period each week.  

 REGULAR JOBS   (CHOOSE TWO)

  • TA in upper elementary or older class
  • SET UP TEAM - Comes at 8:00 SHARP to help set up for co-op. 

  • CLEAN UP TEAM - Stays after to help clean up after co-op. You would need to be available to come early to a cleanup meeting at 1:15 just to find out any changes, and start cleaning by 1:20.  We are usually done by 2:10 or 2:15 if we get started on time. Check with the clean up coordinator before leaving to make sure it's all been done. 

  • PARTIAL FLOATER - Is available at least 3 out of the 5 periods to fill in as needed for an absent TA. You will generally only need to fill in for one period each week. 

 SIPPY CUP JOBS   - if we have more of these jobs than we do mamas with kids 2 and under, the leftover jobs will revert to "regular" jobs. 

  • FAMILY ROOM VOLUNTEER - watch the younger children of parents who are teaching or volunteering during that period. 

  • PIZZA PICK UP - Collects pizza money, calls in the pizza order, and picks it up each month for the pizza & praise at the park. 

  • EVENTS COORDINATOR - Coordinates with teachers and puts together the showcase at the end of each semesters. Coordinates about dates, room set up, etc with the church. Is available to help the last few weeks of co-op during co-op time. Also helps coordinate dates and room set up with the church for the drama performances. Most of this job is texting and emailing until the last few weeks before the showcase. 

  • FIELD TRIP COORDINATOR - organizes one field trip, and one mom meet up each month. 

  • PLAYGROUND SUPERVISOR - Supervises kids on playground while cleanup is happening after co-op (usually 15-20 minutes). 

  • FRONT DESK - Watch the front desk during one period, assist students/parents who have questions. Make sure students sign in and out. 

Bright Futures Scholarship Volunteering!

  • With approval, responsible High School students may earn Bright Futures hours for volunteering!! Recommended jobs are helping with set up, clean up, family room volunteer, or front desk. A high school student who has experience working with children may volunteer as a class TA with approval. Students should be able to take their job seriously and do it well. 

While on Campus

  • Every adult on campus must complete a background check. PLEASE NOTE, we are moving to a NEW background check system this year, so EVERYONE will need to do a new background check this year. After that, you will only need to do a new background check every 3 years. There is a $28 fee that you will have to pay for the background check and that will be on the background check site. See the "Background Check" link to complete this. 

  • We have a family room with toys that you can hang out in with your kids if you have little ones or kids who are not in class during a period. There is also a playground that we can use as long as an adult is supervising. 

  • You will need to check your kids in and out at the front desk. If you are staying on campus, please wear your name badge. 

  • If you have a sick child, please keep them home. If your child has had a fever (over 100), rash, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. in the last 24 hours please keep them home. If a child falls ill while at co-op, and you are not on campus, we will contact you. 

  • Students should either be in class or with a parent while on campus. 

  • Please be quiet in the hallways during class, and students should only be in the hall with a hall pass from their class. 

  • In the family room, students may study, talk quietly, play board games, etc. 

  • Electronic devices are ONLY to be used for academic purposes on campus (typing papers, homework, etc). Instead of playing electronic games or apps in the family room, we would love for students to interact with each other, read, draw, play board games, etc. 

  • No weapons are allowed on campus, including pocket knives. On dress up days, if you have a fake weapon that goes with your outfit, you may bring it, but please put it away during class. A teacher may hold on to it if it is causing a problem in class. 

  • Please dress modestly, no short shorts, mini-skirts, or low cut shirts, no bellies or underwear showing. 

Treating Others 

For Parents:

As parents, we want to set the best example for our children. And as a co-op, we want to have an amazing, drama-free community, and to that effect, we want to ask all our members to try to abide by the following Peacemaker Commitment. 

  • I will go directly to someone if I have a problem with them or it looks like there is a problem between our children that they are unable to handle on their own. Instead of pretending that conflict doesn't exist or talking about others behind their backs, I will choose to overlook minor offenses, or I will talk directly and graciously with the person who has offended or hurt me.  When a conflict with another cannot be resolved between the two of us in private, together we will approach someone in co-op leadership to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner. I will extend grace and forgiveness to someone who offends me and not hold a grudge (Eph. 4:31-22, Col 3:13, Rom 12:17-21).

  • Matthew 18:15-16  “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.”

For Students:

  • Treat others like you want to be treated. No bullying, gossiping, or bad language, and please keep your hands to yourself. 

    • Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    • Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

  • If someone offends you, please go talk to that person first, as we are encouraged to do in Matthew 18. Then if that doesn’t resolve it, bring in a parent, teacher, or another adult who can help. 

    • Matthew 18:15-16  “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.”

  • Treat teachers, adults, and other students with respect. 

    • 1 Peter 2:17a “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers.” 

  • Please treat the church building and property with respect. We are so thankful to be able to meet on this wonderful campus, and we want to show them our gratitude by treating their campus well! 

Ready To Register?   -->> Click here!  laugh