HOME Member Handbook
Home-educators Organized for Ministry and Encouragement
HOME is a non-exclusive Christian support group that seeks to encourage and minister to families that homeschool in
Pitt County and surrounding areas.
“---he who refreshes others
will himself be refreshed.”
Approved by HOME Board April, 2018 (Revision of the 2016-2017 HOME Handbook)
HOME has a vision for flourishing families and thriving generations in which people remain passionate, curious, and actively engaged in their faith and in their learning. Home education is a great way to educate children, especially young children, and to nurture future generations. Home education situates a child’s development in their natural environment and encourages learning that is experiential and knowledge that is integrated. Home education fosters strong social relations, starting in the home. As a result, home education nurtures the whole child. HOME supports North Carolinians for Home Education, which encourages parents in their home education and advocates for a state, which respects and protects the right of parents to practice home education. (Adapted from NCHE’s Mission statement, with approval.)
HOME Statement of Purpose
The purpose of HOME is to:
- Provide support to parents who educate their children at home through benefits such as a website, opportunities for field trips/activities, coordinated efforts of political and legal concerns, and group meetings for spiritual/emotional encouragement as well as information on curricula and other homeschool issues.
- Encourage and inspire each other to develop our abilities and gifts as we pool our talents and resources in serving one another and the homeschool community at large.
- Strive to present a positive public image of homeschooling in our respective communities through (but not limited to) unity of spirit, academic excellence, and exemplary behavior when in public as families and on field trips as a group, and planned community service.
HOME is a nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
HOME Statement of Faith
Our Statement of Faith includes those truths upon which all Christians agree.
These truths concern the person and work of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible.
It is the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) which distinguishes believers from non-believers.
Since there are many other precious truths in the Bible, this statement does not include all that there is to believe, but that which is essential for Christian fellowship and unity (Romans 15:7).
WE BELIEVE in one God as existing eternally in three persons: God the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from both (Genesis 1:26; John 14:25-26).
WE BELIEVE that God created the world and all that exists, from nothing through his Word (Genesis 1; John 1:1-3).
WE BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, as God incarnate, being fully God and fully man (John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:5-7; Galatians 4:4-6).
WE BELIEVE that all men are sinners and have desperate need of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 3:23-24; John 3:16-17; Ecclesiastes 7:20).
WE BELIEVE that salvation is the free gift of God to men by the sacrificial death and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesian 2:8-10; Romans 5; Isaiah 53).
WE BELIEVE that the Bible is the inspired and infallible word of God, that is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 19; Hebrews 4:12-13).
WE BELIEVE that the sanctity of marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:31-33).
WE BELIEVE that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary sexes together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27).
WE BELIEVE that children are a gift from God to their parents, whose responsibility it is to train in a manner pleasing to Him—spiritually, academically, and socially (Psalm 127:3; Proverbs 22:6; Colossians 3:20).
HOME Code of Conduct
While not an exhaustive list, below are HOME’s expectations and guiding principles for appropriate behavior at all HOME sponsored events. These are put forth in an effort to honor HOME’s Mission, Statement of Purpose and Statement of Faith.
These policies apply to all HOME members and any guests they may bring to a HOME sponsored event. Therefore, HOME members should be sure their guests are aware of HOME policies and standards. If anyone is in violation of these codes, HOME Leadership reserves the right to ask them to leave HOME events for any reason they deem appropriate.
Romans 12: 9-11 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
All members and guests of HOME are expected to conduct themselves in the following manner while at HOME sponsored events:
Treat fellow HOME members with respect and dignity.
Show respect for those in authority of HOME: Board of Directors, HOME Leaders and HOME Teachers.
Dress appropriately and modestly: please do not wear offensive graphic t-shirts. Please refer to the dress code policies for specific HOME groups and events.
If you have been hurt or offended by someone in the group, HOME encourages you to go directly to them in the spirit of peace and speak to them in love. Seek reconciliation. Do not gossip within or outside of the group. If in doubt about how to handle something go to the leadership for guidance.
The following behaviors are NOT acceptable while at HOME sponsored events:
· Inappropriate public displays of affection
· Disruptive behavior
· Willful damage of property
· Use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or any vape products
· Purposeful personal injury
Refrain from being intoxicated while at HOME sponsored events.
It is expected that no alcoholic beverage be served during a HOME sponsored event.
HOME believes that God immutably creates each person as either male or female. Members are expected to conform their conduct and dress to reflect these beliefs.
All members of HOME are to use the appropriate restroom for their biological sex at all HOME events. Children being accompanied by a parent may use the restroom of the parent biological sex. HOME defines biological sex as, 'the chromosomes and genitalia you are born with'."
HOME expects parents to immediately address inappropriate attitudes/behaviors by their child(ren). This should be done in private, away from the rest of the group.
HOME has the right to terminate membership from the group for any reason deemed appropriate by the Board.
This Statement of Faith and Code of Conduct does not exhaust the extent of HOME’s beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind. The Board reserves the right to disallow or revise activities/logistics and clubs/organizations that violate principles or would not be in the best interest of the group as a whole on a case-by-case basis.
While it is not necessary to accept all these beliefs in order to be a member of HOME, we ask that you respect that this is the foundation of the group, and as such, all meetings, activities, and events will be conducted in a manner to reflect these beliefs (i.e., teaching, scripture reading, and prayer).
All those serving on the HOME Board must agree to, sign, and adhere to this Statement of Faith and Code of Conduct.
All those serving in HOME leadership positions, including but not limited to Representatives, Advisors, Administrators, Directors, and Teachers must agree to honor this Statement of Faith and Code of Conduct and act accordingly in their respective position.
HOME is a non-exclusive homeschool support group
There are many reasons why we homeschool and there are also many reasons why we want to do so from a Christian perspective. Homeschool groups can either be exclusive or they can be inclusive. HOME chooses to be inclusive based upon Scripture and our calling. The most formidable reasons for an “open” group are:
§ We are told by the “world” to be silent while the Scriptures tell us to share the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). The perceived “separation of church and state” argument has made many believers feel afraid to participate in the world while giving the unbeliever a vehicle to substantiate why we should stay out of the public domain.
§ Our calling is to be in the “world” but not a part of it (John 17:15-18).
§ We are to separate our lifestyles from the unbeliever, not separate our lives. We separate our character, not our company (I Peter 2:11-12).
§ The separation from the unbeliever will occur at the last day (Matthew 25).
§ We are the salt of the world (Matthew 5:13) and are to preserve the world against decay due to the works of the unredeemed.
§ We are to bring the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19).
§ Jesus Himself tells us that it is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick (Luke 5:31-32).
§ As the salt and light of the world, we are to be Christ’s ambassadors in an unbelieving world (Matthew 5:13-15).
HOME means “Home-educators Organized for Ministry and Encouragement”. HOME ministers to and encourages all who seek to homeschool, including believers and unbelievers (Galatians 6:10).
The above is based upon the article “Should Homeschool Organizations be Exclusively Christian?”
by Bernie Schock, President of the South Dakota Homeschool Association, published in the NCHE Homeschool Leaders Handbook. To read this article, see https://www.homeschool-life.com/882/file_retrieve/36947
HOME Membership Guidelines and Opportunities
Any homeschooler is welcome to join HOME upon completion of application, signed liability waiver, and payment of dues. New Member Candidates must attend a Meet & Greet by appointment with Membership Director and one current or former Board member.
Membership benefits include full access to the HOME website, service opportunities, participation in field trips and other events.
- By completing an application form, members agree to honor the HOME Membership Handbook and HOME bylaws, deferring to the decisions of the Board over any items of controversy.
Membership dues will be set by the Board each year and are non-refundable.
Members must take an active role in the group to the extent that family responsibilities allow. This will serve not only to encourage and support one another in our homeschooling endeavors, but also to ensure the vitality of the group in its effort to minister within the homeschool community.
In the case of a family homeschooling children from another family, the custodial family would need to be a member of HOME.
Members should not give fellow members’ names/addresses to anyone outside the group but rather pass the inquiry along as appropriate. (An exception would be someone seeking homeschool information or HOME membership, who could then be referred to the appropriate Coordinator or Administrator within HOME.)
Please check the calendar for possible conflicts before submitting an event. Please complete the submission form in its entirety. Missing information will delay approval. Once your submission has been reviewed and approved it will be posted to the website.
When posting to the forum please make sure that you post to the appropriate category. Keep comments kind and be mindful of all readers, including children who may have access to the forum. The leadership reserves the right to reject or remove inappropriate posts.
HOME support meetings and workshops will be scheduled throughout the year. See HOME’s website for dates and topics.
Candidates for the Board must meet criteria stated in the HOME bylaws and will be voted upon by the membership.
Candidates for leadership positions must meet the criteria stated in the HOME bylaws and Guidelines and Policies. Leaders must be approved by the Board. However, any member in good standing may facilitate field trips and events.
By virtue of the signed Waiver of Liability (see below), members accept full responsibility for the actions of their families at HOME events. It is expected that parents will give attentive oversight to their children (unless entrusted to another HOME member family) to ensure they are well behaved and respectful of property/others (see “Statement of Purpose” Item III). It is a good idea to remind our children of these expectations prior to every event.
HOME will make no policies regarding interpretation of homeschool laws for member families.
Members whose conduct in some way brings disrepute on the group or serves to cause division will be lovingly and biblically confronted by the Board/Leadership (Matthew 18). If restoration is unsuccessful, the offending member will be asked to leave the group (see again “Statement of Purpose” Item III).
HOME has the right to terminate membership from the group for not following the HOME Member Handbook.
HOME Leadership and Opportunities to Serve
HOME Leaders are appointed by and report to the HOME Board
HOME Membership Director-coordinates HOME’s membership process
New to HOME Representative-supports those families that are new to HOME and/or homeschooling
HOME Student Government Association (SGA) Advisor-advises and coordinates HOME SGA
HOME Yearbook Advisor-coordinates HOME Yearbook and staff
HOME Testing Coordinator-organizes end of year testing for HOME
HOME Event Coordinator-equips those that would like to organize HOME Events
HOME Field Trip Coordinator-coordinate HOME sponsored field trips
HOME Monthly Support Meeting Team-work on a team to coordinate HOME monthly support meetings
Mentor Mom-support moms that are new to homeschooling or just need a little extra encouragement on their homeschool journey
HOME Small Group Facilitator-coordinate a Bible study, Book Study, etc. for HOME members
HOME Member Care Coordinator-coordinate member care for those in need (birth of baby, family sickness, death, etc.)
HOME Guidelines and Policies
HOME will function according to the HOME bylaws, including any revisions the Board deems necessary with time, experience and growth. For current HOME bylaws please see HOME’s website (www.nchomegroup.org)
For current HOME Guidelines, Policies and Structure Overview please see HOME’s website (www.nchomegroup.org)
Membership will be notified when documents are updated.
RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY
NOTICE: BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, YOU GIVE UP IMPORTANT LEGAL RIGHTS. READ IT CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SIGN IT.
Home-educators Organized for Ministry and Encouragement (“HOME”) is a non-exclusive Christian homeschool support group organized to provide support to parents who educate their children at home. HOME offers a variety of opportunities for homeschool families to interact and exchange ideas. The members of HOME are volunteers who are willing to share their own experiences with other members in the hopes of inspiring other families to develop their gifts and talents to serve the homeschool community. As part of this process, HOME offers a number of opportunities for member-families to interact and participate in activities. All activities are voluntary and no member of HOME is required to participate in any activity.
The undersigned desires to become a member of HOME and to participate in its sanctioned activities. As a result, I do hereby freely, voluntarily and without duress execute this Release under the following terms:
- Waiver and Release. I, on behalf of myself and any child of mine who is under the age of 18, do hereby release and forever discharge and hold harmless HOME, its members, governing body, administration, agents, sponsors, volunteers or individuals/organizations permitting a HOME-sponsored activity to be conducted at its facility and each of their respective successors and assigns (the “Released Parties”), from any and all liability, claims and demands of whatever kind or nature, either in law or in equity, which arise or may hereafter arise from my participation in HOME-sponsored activities. I understand and acknowledge that this Release discharges Released Parties from any liability or claim that I may have against a Released Party with respect to any bodily injury, personal injury, illness, death or property damage that may result from my participation in a HOME-sponsored activity, whether caused by the negligence of a Released Party or otherwise.
- Voluntary Act. By signing this document, I certify that my participation in such activities, and my signature on this document, is completely voluntary, and that I am acting on my own free will. I fully understand that I do not have to participate in any HOME-sponsored activities, and I may cease to participate at any time.
- Miscellaneous. I expressly agree that this Release is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of North Carolina, and that this Release shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina. I agree that in the event that any clause or provision of this Release shall be held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity of such clause or provision shall not otherwise effect the remaining provisions of this Release which shall continue to be enforceable.