Q: What does the tagline under the logo mean?
Come Home. School Together.
A: The first part means to come home—remove Christian children from the public school indoctrination centers; they should not be discipled by teachers who undermine the family’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God. Students left in that system become like their teachers (Luke 6:40). Bring them home where they belong. The second part of the tagline speaks to community: to school together in co-op fashion with likeminded parents and children, at “Schoolhouses,” meeting primarily in churches.
Q: What is a “Schoolhouse” in the ST Communities program?
A: It’s essentially a homeschool co-op. “Schoolhouse” can be used interchangeably with “co-op” just as “ST Communities” can be used interchangeably with “SchoolhouseTeachers.com Communities.” The Schoolhouse meets twice-weekly in community with other homeschooling families, inside a local church. Families utilize (PK–12) curriculum from their existing membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Generally the church leadership takes on the Schoolhouse as its own ministry and church outreach, and the church board oversees it with the help of a Facilitator (a homeschool mom) who emerges from the church or outside the church. The two work in tandem to host and run the local Schoolhouse.
Q: Is this a school?
A: No, it is not. This is strictly a community of families using a ready-made curriculum they already possess (SchoolhouseTeachers.com) to teach their own and each others’ children within the safe setting of a church. It’s a co-op, but one overseen by the church leadership and a Facilitator who sets up the schedule and classes. The Facilitator assigns willing parents to teach those classes according to their own skill sets and levels of interest in various courses (there are over 400). Parents are homeschooling their children according to the state laws already in place: It is legal in all 50 states and in Canada and Australia (among many other countries) to homeschool one’s own children.
Q: How is a Schoolhouse set up at a church?
A: A Schoolhouse can be set up by the pastor or church board as a ministry or outreach of their church. An existing SchoolhouseTeachers.com member or a homeschooler from the local community can also approach a church, as a possible Facilitator, to create a Schoolhouse. The Facilitator would work with the church staff to set up the Schoolhouse for the church members and those invited from the community.
Q: Who are the teachers?
A: Parents in each Schoolhouse sign up to teach classes based on the 400+ curriculum courses available at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Classes are taught according to the Lesson Plans and Teachers’ Guides included in a membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
Q: How often do the families meet?
A: Generally families gather together twice weekly, and the Facilitator of each ST Community sets up his or her Schoolhouse according to the needs of the families who join it. Most often, Schoolhouses meet in churches. The Facilitator of the Schoolhouse makes arrangements with a local pastor or church board to allow use of the facility and to participate as desired.
Q: Must families come both days and stay the whole time?
A: No. Some of the families may only be in one or two classes for one day; others may be there all day long for one or both days, participating in multiple classes and activities. Individual families decide which classes they are interested in and may participate as much as they like. Schoolhouse Community days are encouraged to start with Assembly before dismissing the tutors and children to their first classes. During Assembly, important announcements are made by the Facilitator or Pastor(s), plus perhaps show-and-tell, singing, pledge to the Bible/Christian flag, and prayer prior to dispersing into classrooms.
Q: Is there a set of meetings before the school year begins so parents know which classes they can sign their kids up for?
A: Yes, the Schoolhouse Facilitator sets up those initial meetings with parents and the church board, and they are as follows: Informational meeting to the public, Emerging Tutors meeting, One-Day-Workshop for planning schedules, and finally an Orientation for the incoming Schoolhouse Community (including parents and kids) a few weeks before commencement of the new school year (normally in August).
Q: How do parents sign up their children for classes at a local Schoolhouse?
A: Each interested family would need to have a membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, which provides all the necessary curriculum and lesson plans for any homeschooled child, preschool through high school. The class instructors will rely on the provided curriculum, so it may be required to print and bind some of the course materials, or provide some additional supplementals, but the teacher(s) and Facilitator will go over those plans during orientation.
Q: Who do families pay for their initial membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com?
A: The only financial requirement to join a Church Schoolhouse is to have a current membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, uniting with thousands of other families in the U.S. and around the world who are also members. No per-child fees. No per-class fees. No enrollment fees. If a family does not have an existing membership to ST, they should contact their Christian State Homeschool Association or their Church Schoolhouse. By approaching the main website (SchoolhouseTeachers.com) they will be charged the retail $267.97 for an annual membership, but families looking to join a Schoolhouse are eligible for a discounted rate by using the coupon code available through their State Association or their Church Schoolhouse Director.
Q: It’s affordable to families, but are there any discounts?
A: The family is urged to purchase their membership through their Christian State Homeschool Association or their Church Schoolhouse for a significant discount off the regular retail price. There is no per-child fee, and access to all courses, videos, and supplemental material is unlimited. There is no cost or enrollment fee beyond having a family membership to ST to join the local Schoolhouse.
Q: What if a family in our congregation desires to join but cannot due to financial hardship?
A: Our desire is that no Christian child remain in government schools, so if there is a true hardship, family membership fees will discreetly be waived. A pastor or elder only needs to say it, and it’s done. (No proofs needed.) That family will attend 100% for free and take as many classes as they’d like, no questions asked.
Q: What if a family is looking for a local Schoolhouse but cannot find one?
A: First, they should start by asking their own pastor. Perhaps they would like to start one up themselves if a Schoolhouse does not yet exist in their home church and they know of other families who could benefit from it. If their church is unable to host one, the interested family should go to www.JoinSchoolhouse.com and fill out the form which may help us to identify an existing Schoolhouse, local to them.
Q: How does a would-be Director start a local Schoolhouse in their town or city?
A: If more information is needed, the Director should inquire by email here: [email protected], or they may fill out the form here: www.SchoolhouseDirectors.com. If they prefer, they may simply contact their local church and inquire about starting a Schoolhouse within it. The church leadership can then visit www.ChurchSchoolhouse.com to obtain more details and to sign up for an informational packet we will mail to them via USPS.
Q: What sort of duties is the Director responsible for and what is the Facilitator’s role?
A: The Schoolhouse Director needs to be able to communicate and work with both the church and interested families to create a Schoolhouse and help find a Facilitator if the church cannot. The Director teaches the Facilitator to work with the church and families to set the calendar of meeting days and the schedule of classes. Facilitators work with the church to create the Schoolhouse’s Code of Conduct, which is a set of guidelines that all members of the Schoolhouse are expected to follow, along with the consequences of not following those guidelines. The Facilitator would also be aware of conditions like emergency weather or fire drills, areas that are off limits, rules and regulations of the church, and what to do if a problem arises on site during the Schoolhouse day.
Q: Can my pastor or elder board open a Schoolhouse in our church if we have homeschool families who want one?
A: Yes. ST Communities (Schoolhouses) require facilities, usually a church, and oversight from the church board and a Schoolhouse Director, so that families who have SchoolhouseTeachers.com memberships can regularly gather (generally twice-weekly) to homeschool together in community.
The church’s leadership is encouraged to participate during Schoolhouse days to the extent they desire, but there is no expectation (added work) on the part of the church or its leadership. An example of such involvement would be: during Assembly before classes get started each week, the pastor or a church leader might pray over the Schoolhouse families and dismiss the teachers/students to their classes. Church leaders are also welcome to teach or assist in classes and/or be available to speak with parents outside of the classes in areas like the Teacher’s Lounge and during lunch/recess. The church should feel free to promote upcoming fellowship gatherings, Sunday School, evening services, Christmas programs, etc., as desired, to Schoolhouse families.
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