New Member Info.
Okay, you're official...and you're either new to homeschooling or new to our group...NOW WHAT?
First, we ask that you read and commit yourself to following the Honor Code for our group.
Next, we wholeheartedly recommend a few things that will help jump start your homeschooling year, and that will help you feel right at home in the fellowship that Eastside offers:
1. Pray. Know that you and your family are being prayed over. Pray that the Lord will be in charge of your home school and will bless you with friends that He has already chosen for you. He desires good for you and your family.
2. File your Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool, if you haven't already done so. The state of Arizona doesn't require this affidavit until your children are eight years old, but we have found that our members experience much peace knowing that they are "officially documented" regardless of the ages of their children. You will feel a certain amount of accountability as well, knowing that you've committed to teach your children at home.
3. Come to events! Our park days are informal gatherings, designed specifically for child play and easy parent interaction. Field trips are educational and fun. Mom's Nights Out are perfect for really connecting with other moms without interruptions. The more you participate, the more you'll appreciate and benefit from the "bonding" opportunities afforded by our group. Having said that, please do not feel that you must participate in every activity offered on our calendar. It is important that you be careful not to over-schedule yourself or your children in order to get the most out of your time at home together.
4. Join our hard-working Christian state homeschool organization, Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE) at www.afhe.org. This organization plans and implements our annual homeschool convention (held in the summer), monitors homeschool-friendly (and unfriendly) legislation, hosts our amazing Junior and Senior High Graduation each year, writes encouraging newsletters for homeschooling families, and offers a myriad of other support tools for co-ops such as ours.
5. Join our national homeschool organization, Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) at www.hslda.org. This team of Christian lawyers fights for homeschooling freedoms across our country on a daily basis. While we in Arizona enjoy much homeschooling freedom, many families are still faced with difficult situations with which they need assistance. As a member of this organization, you and your family will be represented by the HSLDA team should a need arise. You will also be supporting their efforts to offer assistance to homeschooling families who find themselves in an unexpected crisis. NOTE: When applying for membership to HSLDA, mention Eastside Explorers and group discount code '210119' to receive a special savings.
6. Spend some time surfing the Eastside Explorers site...familiarizing yourself with the important links, such as "Families," "Forum" and the "Calendar." A Help Manual is available should you have any questions. You may even create your very own "family page," with photos and information to allow others to get to know your family. The "Homeschool Helps & Links" section has lots of great homeschool tips and information.
7. Click our "Shop for Eastside" link in order to earn FREE MONEY for Eastside! Simply register the credit cards that you normally shop with...at the participating stores at which you normally shop. Each time you make purchases, a percentage of the amount you spend will benefit our group. While we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the amounts we earn give us extra money for planning group events and helping families in need.
8. Jump in and serve with Eastside, as a multitude of volunteer opportunities are available. Your time and talents are needed in order to ensure that our co-op stays strong and continues to grow. You will connect with others by working alongside them on something that you enjoy!
9. Pray for your Board of Directors and all of our Team Leaders. We continually need wisdom and direction from our Lord, in order to serve our families as He directs.
10. Ask for advice and help. We have fabulous Mentor Moms who are available to answer any of your questions. Whether you are trying to find the "perfect balance," need curriculum guidance, or just need someone to listen, we are here and would LOVE to help you on your journey. Email the board or reach out to moms during park day, field trips or other functions. Ask on the forum or facebook page. We are here to help each other.
We pray this year is a wonderful adventure and we are so thrilled to be a part of it with you! God bless you and yours!