Our community has needs as well. Here is what to expect on a practical level:
- We will have social events every other month during this school year. The purposes of these events are: (1) to build connection between families, (2) to foster relationships that will help us when we have conflict between members of our community, (3) to demonstrate the value of gifts that reside in members of our community — for example, if someone is a great violinist then let’s have a short recital so we can all appreciate the God-given gift and the hard work that has gone into developing the gift, and (4) to demonstrate the value of learning — for example, if we have been studying debate then let’s have a demonstration at a social event so that we can appreciate the accomplishment of these students who have been studying. Social events will have a learning component, but they will also be fun. We are a joyful community of learners, and it is wonderful to share that together.
- Parents are expected to participate in committees to support the community. Each parent is asked to help with one event per year and to sit on one academic committee per year (academic committees are these four: Elementary, Middle, High School committees, plus the New Student Experience committee).
- Families (and tutors) are asked to prioritize social events for our community. We know you are busy, but we need to stay connected so that we can make our community great. Please attend at least 75 percent of social events for our educational cooperative. (Tutors who are not parents should aim for at least 50 percent.) Parents who know each other… help children to get to know each other in a lasting and satisfying way. We encourage you to get together with other families for study days, sleepovers, dinners, family walks, picnics, and more.
- Gossip is strictly forbidden. All community members will remember and rehearse at all times these truths: (1) every person on earth is tenderly made by God, (2) every person on earth is sometimes annoying, (3) every person on earth has problems to overcome, and they are usually heavily related to that person’s strengths (which makes it very important that we speak gently), (4) every person on earth has a need to be honored and respected — in times of peace AND in times of conflict.
- If a child has a problem, we want to know EARLY, while it is a small problem. If you are discussing a problem to understand it better, be careful about with whom you are discussing it … and from whom you are hiding it. (As per gossip policy.) In our community, parents are given a tremendous amount of authority and power, and we ask that they avoid feeling that tutors have all the power and won’t listen. We are all just loving people who are doing our best to provide a great education for kids in our community. There are no experts around here! In the spirit of Matthew 18, parents are asked to discuss any problems with the person who has the power to address the problem (not a friend who can only add to the volume of the complaint). All problems are solvable … if we stay humble and respectful, guided by love. And … once again … it really helps if we know about the problem EARLY, before mean things have been said and done!
- Remember that a child with a problem often thinks the problem is not his or hers… but rather is someone else’s (blaming others is a human condition that started in the book of Genesis when there were only two people alive, and one blamed the other). Check with a responsible adult before assuming that the child is right that this is someone else’s problem. Present your child with ideas that he or she may decide to use. “Some kids in your situation might say/do …” Remember that getting along with others always has two sides — for example, the loud child needs to be quieter AND the sensitive child needs to be more tolerant of noise. The hyperactive child needs to become calmer AND the normal child needs to learn to deal with hyperactive children.
- Love is our strongest policy. God is love, and the goal of our lives is to become like Christ, who was the visible form of God on earth. It doesn’t mean everyone will speak well of us, but it means we will represent Christ to a world that desperately needs Him.