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Tell me about your co-op/group rules.


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#1 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:33 PM

I am starting a maker space group for tweens/teens with a friend.  Due to my experiences in other groups, I feel we need a behavior contract, not just for the kids but for the parents.  So tell me your rules/ones you wish you had.  

 

Thanks


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#2 WoolySocks

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:36 PM

Are the parents required to stay on site?  I've set up a few groups with different contracts so they vary based on that.

 

ETA - is this an organized and taught class or a more casual maker space?


Edited by WoolySocks, 13 January 2018 - 07:37 PM.

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#3 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:38 PM

Are the parents required to stay on site?  I've set up a few groups with different contracts so they vary based on that.

 

We do require the parents to stay but they don't have to be in the room.   There is a large area they can read, use wifi, eat, etc.

 

We are teaching the kids how to use the supplies but they will be doing their own projects.  We have so many things from recording booth, green screens, robotics, sewing, etc.  

 

 


Edited by itsheresomewhere, 13 January 2018 - 07:40 PM.

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#4 Quill

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:54 PM

No one parent gets to delegate herself Moral Guardian of Modesty for all the young ladies in the group. Wasn’t a rule. Should have been.
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#5 Lori D.

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:08 PM

Some past threads that might be of help:

"Running a homeschool group"

"Homeschool enrichment classes" (experiences, advice)

"Co-op for high school?"

"What do you like/dislike most about your homeschool co-op?"

"Co-operatives -- previous posts by SWB?"

 

web article: "8 Questions to Ask When Starting a Homeschool Co-op" by Jeanne Faulconer

book: Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them, and Not Burn Out by Carol Topp


Edited by Lori D., 13 January 2018 - 08:14 PM.


#6 AimeeM

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:26 PM

Do you already have a lot of parents who are interested and committed to coming?

 

I ask because a co-op solely for teens, but required parents stay on site, would be a deal breaker for almost every single parent-of-a-teen I know. Most homeschool parents I know, who have teens, also have younger children. And most are looking for something their teen can do that they can drop off for, if it is for than an hour. 

 

I have no comments on the behavior contract, just wanted to throw out there that you may want to consider adding a safe free-play space for younger siblings if parents are required to stay on site and the class is a longer one.



#7 freesia

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:33 PM

What parental behavior are you concerned about?

#8 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:36 PM

Do you already have a lot of parents who are interested and committed to coming?

 

I ask because a co-op solely for teens, but required parents stay on site, would be a deal breaker for almost every single parent-of-a-teen I know. Most homeschool parents I know, who have teens, also have younger children. And most are looking for something their teen can do that they can drop off for, if it is for than an hour. 

 

I have no comments on the behavior contract, just wanted to throw out there that you may want to consider adding a safe free-play space for younger siblings if parents are required to stay on site and the class is a longer one.

We do have an area for younger kids.

 

 

So far, knowing that they are required to stay over 50 families are wanting to join.  Due to what we are working on and the place we are using rules, a parent must stay on site.  



#9 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:39 PM

What parental behavior are you concerned about?

 

 

Let's just say parents can be worse than toddlers sometimes.  Unfortunately, my friend and I have witnessed some really nasty parents who encouraged their kids to not behave.   



#10 freesia

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:44 PM

Let's just say parents can be worse than toddlers sometimes. Unfortunately, my friend and I have witnessed some really nasty parents who encouraged their kids to not behave.

Wow!

I guess you should have something that says that parents must support the leaders in enforcing safety rules and that if that doesn't happen the child will need to leave and miss that session with no refund.

#11 poppy

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:00 PM

Parents will want to leave or be hands off, but, I'd emphasize that parents are responsible and must stay on site.

 

In our case, we had a bunch  of tween boy drama, mostly the 11-12 year olds. Nothing serious.  It's just the age.    It's worst in situations where there is no facilitator / adult in charge.

 

Parent report: "So and so is a bully" 

Other parent replies: "He was just defending himself, that other kid has been saying horrible stuff to him "

We don't have any desire to moderate that debate, just ended up separating kids, but it required micromanaging who is in which room-- much more than we expected / hoped.

 

And lots of little skirmishes.  In a classroom setting, the teacher has tools to shut it down.  In a home setting, mom would handle or the other kid would ask to go home.  In a coop, you're the one to has to choose how to shut it down or send kids home.  We've never had to send a kid home yet,  thank goodness, but we happen to have a couple of experience child develop counselors around. Not every coop leader has that ability or should have to.

 



#12 Shellydon

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:03 PM

We don't have rules for parents and don't have any issues.  What kinds of issues are you concerned about?



#13 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:09 PM

Parents will want to leave or be hands off, but, I'd emphasize that parents are responsible and must stay on site.

In our case, we had a bunch of tween boy drama, mostly the 11-12 year olds. Nothing serious. It's just the age. It's worst in situations where there is no facilitator / adult in charge.

Parent report: "So and so is a bully"
Other parent replies: "He was just defending himself, that other kid has been saying horrible stuff to him "
We don't have any desire to moderate that debate, just ended up separating kids, but it required micromanaging who is in which room-- much more than we expected / hoped.

And lots of little skirmishes. In a classroom setting, the teacher has tools to shut it down. In a home setting, mom would handle or the other kid would ask to go home. In a coop, you're the one to has to choose how to shut it down or send kids home. We've never had to send a kid home yet, thank goodness, but we happen to have a couple of experience child develop counselors around. Not every coop leader has that ability or should have to.


We already told everyone that if any child or parent does not behave they will be told to leave and not to return until they can behave.

I attend something not too long ago and parents of little ones did not care if they were putting toys on their diapers, older kids taking food out of other peoples’ bags and other crap. I have no tolerance for it.

#14 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:13 PM

We don't have rules for parents and don't have any issues. What kinds of issues are you concerned about?


You are very lucky you haven’t encountered some of these parents.

Some examples-

A dad started a food fight with his kids at bowling. Couldn’t figure out why we were peeved.

Mom has a lovely child who is going through people’s bags.

Mom who refuses to clean up her mess instead says someone will come around and do it. No lady, that is us and clean up your own trash.

#15 Shellydon

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:20 PM

You are very lucky you haven’t encountered some of these parents.

Some examples-

A dad started a food fight with his kids at bowling. Couldn’t figure out why we were peeved.

Mom has a lovely child who is going through people’s bags.

Mom who refuses to clean up her mess instead says someone will come around and do it. No lady, that is us and clean up your own trash.

 

My group is 150 families and we've never had stuff like that from parents.  When kids are misbehaving,  any adult around will stop and correct the child.  If I had a parent that did not like that, I would ask her  point blank to control her child or leave.  I think if you set the tone from the beginning that stuff like that is not tolerated, and actively follow through with asking people exhibiting bad behavior to leave then you will have fewer issues.  Good luck.



#16 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:26 PM

My group is 150 families and we've never had stuff like that from parents. When kids are misbehaving, any adult around will stop and correct the child. If I had a parent that did not like that, I would ask her point blank to control her child or leave. I think if you set the tone from the beginning that stuff like that is not tolerated, and actively follow through with asking people exhibiting bad behavior to leave then you will have fewer issues. Good luck.


I think because I live in an area with a lot of called “free range” parenting is why we see more of it. I have run things before but with the expensive equipment I need to make sure my rules are very precise without wiggle room.

Edited by itsheresomewhere, 13 January 2018 - 09:26 PM.


#17 cera2

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:07 PM

I think I would make it very clear that decisions made by the adults in charge of the space (teachers, supervisors, whoever) are final.  Parents are ultimately responsible and must stay on site but whoever is in charge from the organization has the right to ask anyone to leave at anytime and that decision won't be negotiated.

 

I would also include something pertaining to reimbursement for intentional damage or excessive carelessness.  If there will be a lot of expensive equipment there needs to be some financial responsibility for preventable damage.


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#18 Ellie

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:39 AM

NM. :-)


Edited by Ellie, 14 January 2018 - 12:39 AM.


#19 Carrie12345

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:52 AM

I've got to be honest with you.  Most people don't read or care about rules/codes of conduct.  But some of ours are:

 

"We believe all students are entitled to a safe, supportive, fun learning and social environment with self-expression that doesn’t infringe on others’ rights.  Behaviors from students that endanger, threaten, or blatantly disrespect themselves, other students, teachers, or parents will not be tolerated.  

_____does not purport to usurp a parent’s role or expectations for their individual children.  We do, however, acknowledge that families and styles vary widely, necessitating a fair set of standards that promote safety and minimize conflict for the community as a whole.

Students are to refrain from:

  • Bullying (verbally, physically, or psychologically.)

  • Discrimination.

  • Purposeful mishandling of property/materials.

  • Frequent disruptions of class.

  • Inappropriate language intended to shock or hurt others.

  • Inflicting unwanted physical contact of any type. Malicious intent is not required for an action to be a violation of personal space.  One person’s “teasing”, “playfulness”, or “roughhousing” may be intolerable to someone else.

  • Disregard for others’ medical, physical, emotional, or educational needs/requirements.

  • Careless running through halls and similar reckless actions.

  • Skipping class or otherwise not being in an expected location without cause or permission.

  • Public displays of affection that exceed the norms of platonic relationships.

  • Mean spirited gossip or shaming."

 

These were all carefully worded based on past experiences with other groups.

 

For kids under 13, we do allow parents to assign (and document) another on-site adult to be responsible for their child(ren).

 

We don't have specific "adult rules" unless you count our mediation policy that, in theory, is supposed to prevent parents from bitching and moaning behind each other's backs.

 


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#20 poppy

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:48 AM

We already told everyone that if any child or parent does not behave they will be told to leave and not to return until they can behave.

I attend something not too long ago and parents of little ones did not care if they were putting toys on their diapers, older kids taking food out of other peoples’ bags and other crap. I have no tolerance for it.

 

Two boys get into an argument.  They are both told to leave?  They both come back the next day, aggravated the other one got him kicked out.....

 

I do think it may have to do with parenting style.  Our problem is the mix of expectations.  Some are strict, some let kids go wild (IMO),  most are in between.  

 

if you live in a culture where authoritarian parenting is the norm, it will be easier.