Jump to content

Menu

Parents wanting quality classes, but not wanting to pay for teachers


Shellydon
 Share

Recommended Posts

My pet peeve is the folks that pull the "We can't afford that. We need it to be free" thing. Yeah, and that means *I* pay more, which I'm not willing to do! We had that with swim team--so-and-so can't afford entry fees, travel, etc. The one woman shut up about scholarships when I explained that HER kids' fees now went up $100 so little David could swim. Well, someone has to pay for it!

 

You want free Scouting? That means the OTHER boys have to pay for your boy. Had to have that discussion with the social services lady the other day. You have a kid who wants to join the troop? It will be $100 plus uniforms just to start. Camp will be $400, and when he wants a high adventure camp in a few years, you're looking at $1200. Yeah, the boy can work a lot of that off, but it requires huge amounts of parental time, and it's pretty obvious these parents aren't planning on that.

 

I don't know where these folks think the barrel of free money is stored.

Boy am I glad our scout troop doesn't think that way. Ours has a policy that no one will be left out because of finances. The scouters approach businesses and have done some fundraising on their own (besides what the youth do) to make this possible. Without that my 4 kids wouldn't be able to participate (even though I have been a scouter for 25 years and my Dh has for 30). My kids go to every event they can but also work hard at fundraising and service. During our fundraising for summer camp we have sold extra to help the group and one year sold some for a scout who hadn't sold theirs. We just picked my son up from a 6 hour service providing first aid at a cub event. But yes, I am sure some would say we just want stuff for free and if we can't afford it then too bad so sad.

 

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Boy am I glad our scout troop doesn't think that way. Ours has a policy that no one will be left out because of finances. The scouters approach businesses and have done some fundraising on their own (besides what the youth do) to make this possible. Without that my 4 kids wouldn't be able to participate (even though I have been a scouter for 25 years and my Dh has for 30). My kids go to every event they can but also work hard at fundraising and service. During our fundraising for summer camp we have sold extra to help the group and one year sold some for a scout who hadn't sold theirs. We just picked my son up from a 6 hour service providing first aid at a cub event. But yes, I am sure some would say we just want stuff for free and if we can't afford it then too bad so sad.

 

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

 

I read Margaret's post to say scouts in her troop could work off fees through various fundraisers, BUT being able to do that requires parents investment of time. If parents aren't going to be involved then the scout will not be able to participate as much and not earn his share of fees. 

 

It sounds like you, as a parent are involved. It sounds like you've involved yourself enough to help out another scout. That's great. What would happen if you had a troop with multiple scouts who couldn't participate in fundraising. How would the troop function. How many of those boys would make it to camp? My dh was a scout whose parents wouldn't help and who wouldn't pay for camp. Dh never progressed through ranks because he never went to camp. He did enjoy a lot of weekend camping trips with friends in the troop, but he does not have an overall good feeling about scouts, probably because of his inability to progress. 

 

My summer league swim team with a bit of a dumping ground for scholarship swimmers for the league. We had no say in whether we wanted these swimmers added to our team. We had more than twice the number of scholarship swimmers than other teams. In addition to assigning the kids to our team the league required us to buy team swim suits, team t shirts, team swim caps, and goggles. Most paying families don't buy t shirts and swim caps and they certainly don't years. Team swim suits are expensive. Some paying kids do without and wear a basic competition type suit in a color close to the team suit. So, this was a hard ship financially. We had to use our team fundraiser to support the scholarship swimmers, other teams didn't have to do this. Finally, the scholarship swimmers had parents who wouldn't do any "required" volunteer jobs. You can't run a meet without at least half of your parents working the meets. 

 

I'm all for helping kids out a bit, but the program needs to be realistic about how much help it can provide. If a kid can get donated uniforms and truly have the ability to work through enough fundraisers to get to summer camp, then maybe scouts is a good program for the kid. But programs are hurt when they are asked to significantly "carry" participants without getting any input of time from the child or parent. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back to the OP. People wanting a "quality" class without paying for it are ridiculous. I've seen it occassionally. 

 

It's also wrong to claim you can't afford it, when in reality the answer is that you are unwilling to allocate money you do have from another part of your budget. Yes, some people can't afford it, but many people say they can't afford it when they are just refusing to give it priority. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, people want things to be free.

 

My understanding of a "co-op" is that parents all pitch in and teach or help in other ways.  When I was looking into joining a co-op once, I was told that for the upcoming semester, I would be assigned to teach biology.  Uh, what?   I was not qualified to teach biology to someone else's kids.  (Whether I was qualified to teach it to my own kids is another matter.)  We didn't join.  :-) 

 

And, teachers should be honored to work for free?   Oh my.   That's ridiculous.

 

:iagree: Our co-op has paid teachers.  The parents serve as the board, the leadership team, rent the space, monitor the halls, etc.  Some parents with expertise teach.  I think it's nuts to expect a degreed individual with the chops to teach an academic class to do it for free.

 

Our co-op's classes typically run 10-15 per student per 75 minute class (with a possible supply fee depending on how resource heavy the class is).  And that is pretty similar to community ed pricing here, so it's good pricing.  I do stuff there for my kids that either they are very excited about or something I just don't want to do at home (like lab science).  Or something better done in a group setting (discussion, group based).  And believe me if you start buying high school text books and lab kits the price of these classes start to look pretty darn good.

 

I teach co-op classes at times.  I do find that some families and kids take it more seriously than others.  I target everything to be open ended.  I assign homework that can be done quickly or more in depth.  I shrug it off when teens come without homework and march on in the class.   Every class I've taught I've had kids that soar and come out of it with tons and other kids that basically show up and do nothing else.  And that's fine with me.  Sometimes a kid is learning about time management, classroom expectations, interest level in the topic, I guess I'm not ready for dual enrollment, etc or something else at the same time.  A well taught class is not brought down by slacker kids.  LOL.   

Edited by WoolySocks
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I know what you mean about priority. Like the family that bought laptops for all three kids for Christmas PLUS new nintendo DS's, but then didn't want to contribute to the cost of 4H projects at $10.00 per child.

 

I don't care that they got those things for their kids. but don't brag about it, and then try to make me fell bad for asking for your project dues, and further suggest that maybe we as the unpaid 4H leaders would yet again suck it up and pay for these kids' science supplies.

 

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope....getting tired of it. Not having it anymore. 

 

We are going to a zero fundraising situation. We do not actively engage in fundraisers of any kind anymore. Every family had to figure out how to pony up $450.00 per kid for the robotic competition, the rest being covered by educational grants this year. Unable to pay? Don't participate OR hold the fundraisers yourself. Organize them. Figure it out. Earn the money. We have spent years and years and years fundraising for everyone else's kid while parents don't lift a finger to help. We have kind of reached the end of our patience for it.

 

I think to some degree, some of this wanting things for free issue is that maybe some parents want to have their kids involved in far more activities than they could possibly manage, and just hope everyone else will come up with the funds to make it happen. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, that's the problem--someone else DOES come up with the money! And when they don't, they cry foul!

 

I hauled a boy down to NYLT one day. Mom didn't offer any money for gas (6 hours of driving), nor say thank you when we got back. The kid blew so much money on ice cream that he dumped half of it out the window. Why couldn't the parents go (it was adult training too)? Because they were too busy buying a new car that day... Troop offered the kid a full scholarship to camp (I fought on it as I don't think any scholarship should be a full-ride. I think the boy should have to work half of it off). Kid took the scholarship and then knocked off early at pop sales the next rodeo. I pointed out that we weren't to bull riding yet and there was a lot of time still to work, "Oh, I'll just ask for a scholarship again!" And walked off. And I told him one would not be forthcoming. 

 

Faith, that's what we're coming down to. Your kid needs the fundraising? You'd better hustle it. Doesn't matter to me as I'm not paying for camp fees any more. 

Yup. And many of our 4H leaders are now parents whose own children have graduated out. They aren't keeping clubs, projects, camps, international trips, whatever going because it benefits their own children. During those years, they put in a LOT of money for other people's kids all out of their own wallets. (Due to funding issues, dh and I contribute $1200.00 per year ABOVE what we pay for our own children just to keep all of these neat science programs going.) How many years to these parents think we are going to do this? I think they think forever. They literally don't go there in their heads. It is amazing. Most of them know that we do this, and yet won't lift a finger at fundraising time. 

 

Our last child graduates next year, and like many 4H leaders that have gone before us, our policy will be, pay or don't participate. Need money? Go rake leaves, bale hay, sell your minibike, sell the dog, we don't care. We aren't going to find the money' we aren't going to slave for it for you any longer. If the club falls apart because parents won't do the work, that will be very sad, very disappointing after all the blood, sweat, and tears we've invested this last decade. But that is okay. Life goes on. We've got a lot of things we can do to help worthy kids further their educational opportunities, and since I need to go back into the work force, and would also like to finish my master's degree, it certainly won't be the end of the universe.

 

I do think that except for the rare family, it is a matter of over scheduling, over spending, over, over...lack of priorities. My parents were low income for most of middle and high school years and yet managed to pay my piano teacher, my books, my solo and ensemble fees, my performance gowns, piano tuning, upgrade to a baby grand when it was clear I needed to move on from the old upright or face issues with technique in the future, .....and when I got a scholarship to Interlochen, they didn't ask the committee for gas money to get me there. But I also did not play sports, and do scouts, and do..... there was a focus, a single focus because that is all they could afford to do well. It turned out very well for me. Same for my brother. Same for my sister. It really didn't hurt us. My mother was the queen of finding free things for us. Art shows at the library, dress rehearsals for musicals because that was free vs. tickets to the main event, DNR ranger programs at the State Parks, all kinds of good things.

 

Not really certain what goes on in other parents' heads.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I detested being part of a homeschool group. Worst decision ever. I kept thinking it would get better.

 

Dh and I both provided our expertise at no charge and people were carppy and demanding about it.

 

The least grateful people I've ever known were in that group.

 

Everything must be perfect and free/cheap and if a family is deemed "large" they must never volunteer or pay a dime. Large family worship was prevelent in this group.

 

Ick.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the Scouts--we don't have the businesses that we can hit up. Would be nice if we did, but they get hit up for everything--wrestling camps and cheerleaders and...

 

A Scout can earn ALL this camp money, even for high adventure (ds went through $1200 one year), but it means that yeah, the parents have to put in the work. It's tough the first year as camp fees are due a week after they cross over. Can't be helped. Our chartering organization pays half of the first year of camp but only for the new boys and only if they go in CO. Their money, their choice

 

We went from 98% of the troop with involved parents to one-third single mom families in 2 years, most of whom wouldn't put in the time. It just about did us in. We barely made it to close-by camp, and we didn't do an HA at all for several years. We simply can't carry those who will not put in the work. Our council has instigated council dues, double what national dues are. That's 2 weekends the boys give up camping in order to pay council salaries. We're blessed with close national parks and national forests, but there's still food and gas money. I did ask a Scout parent for a scholarship (and found one for the boy's brother to NYLT) for a boy, but then had to hunt the kid down for a thank you note to the donor and then, yep, the kids dropped out the next year. Mom couldn't be bothered to get her boys where they needed to be, nor could she bothered to help. With a small troop (12-16 boys) 2 freeloaders really hurts.

 

Same way with swim team. The city provides free swim lessons, but then they decided that the private swim team should provide that too. Um, nope. Private group, very expensive travel (every meet is at least 2 hours away), suits, food, etc. all add up. If I CHOOSE to help a kid out with entry fees, that should be my choice. But I fought tooth and nail to not just tack on extra fees. I had 3 kids on the team--it was expensive. We would have had to skip a meet if I was forced to pay for another kid. Private organization, not funded by tax dollars.

 

Scoutingmom--you were THERE, helping out. That's the difference. ALL of my time with Scouts is for other kids--I don't have a kid in the organization any more! We realize that folks have to fund raise for their boy to go to Philmont. Our current fundraising chair had two boys in, and man, she was good. Sorry to see her retire as her younger one just aged out. She is living hand to mouth, but she coordinated all the fundraising--that's how she made it work. It's the folks that can't show up, can't bring the 12 burritos for the Christmas sale, can't sort wreaths and haul pop, but then want "free" camp. It's NOT free! Someone worked hard to make it happen!

 

Scoutingmom, thank you for your service to your troop.

 

And that's what the "$50 is too high" people often do. If you want a quality program, someone has to pay for it.

Well I guess the difference for me is that scouting was always supposed to be available for youth of all backgrounds. Our group has helped families that the parents did little to nothing. As long as the youth was doing what they could then they got support. Not generally to the summer camp (optional but you can fundraise your own costs so they are expected to do that to go) because the youth of those families often need scouting the most. Yes, it is horrible if you get taken advantage of. And yes, it is work. We have a couple of social housing complexes in our area. We get it.

 

Our group gave us help before they knew what type of parents we are. Our scouting service was elsewhere.

 

Anyway I just feel like we would never get an opportunity with the groups with people that just say 'sell something'...

 

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Wait, are we complianing about poor families who need assistance for their kids to participate? or about families with funds who just don't want to spend it?

 

 

Poor families are often working long hours at min wage families too. No money, and no parental free time. I would hope the children could still participate in something like scouting.

 

Families that are just too cheap to shell out, is another thing.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this a common problem everywhere?  Parents that want expert teachers,but do not want to pay for it.   For our co-op, I have parents that want Physics, Calculus, Biology with labs etc, but complain about the price tag that comes with hiring teachers for these classes.  For reference, a biology teacher here would charge $50 per month per child for a biology class that includes labs, all homework graded and tests.   Locally, tutoring for high school subjects is $50-$70 per hour.  I had a parent tell me that classes should be free because the teachers should be honored to work with such  bright students.  Suggestions?  Commiseration?

 

Nice.  I suppose feeling honored puts food on the table.  I hope you told that parent that the local public school's science classes might be a better fit for their very bright student, since any mandatory fees at the school would likely be less than tuition for your very reasonably-priced co-op. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice.  I suppose feeling honored puts food on the table.  I hope you told that parent that the local public school's science classes might be a better fit for their very bright student, since any mandatory fees at the school would likely be less than tuition for your very reasonably-priced co-op. 

We are talking about families who say they can't pay - and frankly I would not know specifics as a 4H leader because I do not delve into tax returns and what not, not my job or business - who expect fundraising to cover the costs of their child's participation, but refuse to help with fundraisers, and whine to the leaders if the fundraisers which they did not attend or help with do not bring in enough dollars to cover their child's expenses.

 

That is what we are talking about.

 

I currently have this nightmare in my 4H Club. And yes, in one case, it is absolutely a family who FLAUNTS their stuff and their money, but when it comes time to pay, then claims they can't afford it, demands scholarships, and refuses to work the fundraisers.

 

So we have stopped all fundraising. Parents have to pay, period. Now if they want to get together and have a garage sale or whatever in order to get some money to pay the fees, by all means, do it. My husband and I, already volunteering a mind boggling amount of hours to run the STEM club plus the competitive rocketry team which requires a full week of his paid vacation and often costs us personally over a $1000.00 a year to even offer the activity, no longer will arrange, plan, or execute fundraisers. The parents that need them must do the work or not participate. That is not unreasonable on our part. We are being run into the ground and taken advantage of at every turn by people who feel they are owed something on a silver platter. I love the kids. Love them. Not a fan of a lot of the parents who attitudes really stink, and who don't lift a finger to do anything.

 

We tried making participation in fundraisers mandatory in order to spread out the workload, but over time people just refused to show up but then when the project or activity came up, had their hands out demanding scholarships. So we gave up. Pay or don't participate. Find the money however you need to...beg grandparents, have a garage sale, collect pop cans, ....whatever works. We don't have any part of that end of it anymore other than for the rocket team, we wrote the grants this year that brought in the bulk of the money for the project because Student Launch Initiative cost $4000 - $6000 and that is too much to come with in a rural area by running bake sales or pop can drives. Grant writing we will continue to do. Not any of the other things.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is that participation in Scouts, 4-H, swim teams and co-op classes are not necessities. Parents and children are not owed these things, they are extras, bonuses. It seems the list of things we think we have to have(for ourselves and our children) continues to grow. Sometimes you can't afford everything you want for you kid, really, most of us can't. There is always something more and better. Better to just focus on what we can give, the most important things(past the necessities) don't cost money anyway.

 

Edited by soror
  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is that participation in Scouts, 4-H, swim teams and co-op classes are not necessities. Parents and children are not owed these things, they are extras, bonuses. It seems the list of things we think we have to have(for ourselves and our children) continues to grow. Sometimes you can't afford everything you want for you kid, really, most of us can't. There is always something more and better. Better to just focus on what we can give, the most important things(past the necessities) don't cost money anyway.

 

YES!  Right now, we have the money to afford all sorts of extra activities but I don't have the volunteer time most groups require of me.  For example, a speech club that would be good for ds#3 requires bi-monthly weekends at hotels for competitions among other time requirements.  Yes, I have a great excuse with my special needs son, but I don't want to put the extra responsibility  on other parents.  My kids don't need all these extras to grow up into successful adults.  We have found other opportunities that will work well enough.  If it was important enough, we would figure it out.  

 

Our small town had a scholarship fund for low income parents to afford the activities.  All scholarships went through a central hub.  People had to provide proof of income and the central hub would help pay for the activity - youth choir, swim team...The individual activities didn't have to figure out how to give scholarships.  The scholarship fund was paid for by donations.  

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Our small town had a scholarship fund for low income parents to afford the activities.  All scholarships went through a central hub.  People had to provide proof of income and the central hub would help pay for the activity - youth choir, swim team...The individual activities didn't have to figure out how to give scholarships.  The scholarship fund was paid for by donations.  

That is a really great way to do it. It is a gargantuan amount of work to put fundraising off on the volunteer leaders of these groups.

 

Between our regular 4H club and the rocket team, we put in collectively 700+ hours a year. Yes you read that right. Dh and I will each have 300 or so in for rocket team, and actually that doesn't count the week we will spend traveling to and from Huntsville and supervising them during that week - a 24/7 job - plus a 100 between us for the club meetings and running the county science fair. And parents still felt that we should also do the fundraisers while they did pretty much NOTHING.

 

I'd love it if there was a central county hub where people could go apply for grant money/scholarships to cover activities and leave us out of it. That would be awesome!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds about right. We had an awesome philosophy teacher and he treated our group very well and really worked with me when I couldn't afford his rate increase. He was worth what he was charging but it was out of my price range. Because I had history with him and always paid every week we worked together.

He told us some of the other groups he worked with parents would "forget their checkbook" every week or wouldn't show up for scheduled class and expect not to pay. He ended up changing his model to paid in full in advance of a set of scheduled classes because parents didn't want to pay, felt he was charging too much after agreeing to his rate, or felt he should work for free because homeschoolers are awesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will say this about the not needing extracurricular activities. That is a bit of a misnomer in terms of homeschooling or college bound students. While ps and privately schooled kids will have band, choir, theater, sports, debate team, science olympiad, whatever provided through tax or tuition money at their school, homeschooled kids do not have this unless they happen to live in a state where the courts ruled the public school must provide it to homeschooling students.

 

Not having extra curriculars does put the student at a huge disadvantage at college application time. College admissions has become a rather competitive racket, and with far more students seeking to attend than there are seats for in four year institutions, there is ranking criteria used to weed out the "less thans", and one of those is having extra curricular activities that show the child is self motivated to pursue something outside of core academics. Now, unless one is applying to super selective schools, it does not mean one has to show themselves to the champion of the world in any particular activity, but not having them or not having one that seems to stand out a wee bit as something the student really enjoyed or tried for more than a year, etc. can be a real problem even at non-selective schools if the student needs merit money. 

 

I know not a single kid who received merit money in recent years that didn't have a sport played for four years of high school, or a decent degree of competency on an instrument or in voice demonstrated by participation in a performance group, or an art portfolio, or Scout achievement, or 4H achievement, or leadership experience in some group which means paying to participate in that group, or....

 

And for many homeschooled students, a letter of recommendation from the leader of that activity or someone within that organization is the outside verification necessary to get their application considered.

 

So it is not entirely accurate to say that extracurricular activities are not necessary. It depends on what the student is going to do post high school.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will say this about the not needing extracurricular activities. That is a bit of a misnomer in terms of homeschooling or college bound students. While ps and privately schooled kids will have band, choir, theater, sports, debate team, science olympiad, whatever provided through tax or tuition money at their school, homeschooled kids do not have this unless they happen to live in a state where the courts ruled the public school must provide it to homeschooling students.

 

 

 

Then it does boil down to choices.  If the parents has the priority on extracurriculars and can't afford them, then maybe homeschooling isn't the best option for them.   If homeschooling is the priority, then they have to be aware that there may be restrictions since money and time are most likely not unlimited.  Everything has a cost of some sort, one just has to figure out where the priorities are.  

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect some of the problem is the Dave Ramsey type of advice that people latch onto and then misapply. I understand that the middle class is squeezed tight, but this whole shebang of fake frugality - trying to have a million dollar lifestyle for a single grand - is turning a lot of people into scrooges. Haggle everything, talk down the price, ask for discounts, etc. etc. Maybe that's an idea to take to your cable company, but to your kid's EC's? to your church? No. Just no. These people will quote the "don't work, don't eat" verse over and over, but apparently never heard "a workman is worthy of his hire." And then they run back to their little blogs and brag about how they saved an extra $500 that month.

 

IME, the real tightwads are the rich. Not the poor. Trying to have a door-to-door fundraiser? Skip the UMC neighborhood and go to the road with smaller houses. I've given up trying to figure it out, but it is what it is.

 

 

As for parents not being involved - that's a class culture thing. It's something that the book Unequal Childhoods really does a good job in explaining, and it really fits in my own experience of the lower/working class. I remember when I was in gymnastics as a kid in a community rec program in an UMC town (an EC I had to fight a long time for, and ended up largely paying for myself) I was amazed to see other moms staying in the gym and getting involved. Amazed as in bewildered. I couldn't count on my mom to pick me up on time. I certainly couldn't count on her staying for a meet. Helping out? What?

 

In the minds of the working class, if you sign a child up for something, that is the end of your involvement. The end. The people who run the program are "the professionals" and you do not ever, ever, EVER interfere with the professionals. It does not matter at all if "the professionals" are just other parents just like them. Nope. They are the professionals, and you are in a subservient position to them. Being subservient doesn't mean that they are open to being ordered around, it means that they will find being asked to take an equal position deeply confusing, and even offensive (humans are weird). How would you react if your auto mechanic asked you to please go get the oil pan, and the thinga-majig for the transmission, oh and get some brake pads that fit, too? You'd say, "no thanks, I'll just go wait in the waiting room and wait till you're done." You'd wonder what the mechanic was playing at as you waited, and that you'd take your car somewhere else next time, wouldn't you? That's the feeling.

 

At the same time, they don't see signing their child up for an EC to be an exercise in personal development and mental growth for their child, like many MC parents do. They see it as a personal choice and an act of agency. So if the child says "meh, I don't want to go this week" or "ugh, this stuff for the club is too hard" there's no internal parental desire to push the child through their resistance. The agency of the child is the main concern, "personal growth" or "responsibility" probably isn't even issues under consideration in this case.

 

At the same time, many lower class families find the expectations of middle class EC deeply confusing and embarrassing.  I remember when I was taking extra dance lessons at a studio and was largely paying the fee myself, I thought it odd that half the class was forming a group routine, but whatever. A few weeks later we got mail from the studio outlining the costume cost and fees for the spring recital. My mother was pissed, and offended. I could pay the class fee, but the extra amount was really expensive. My mom went in and told the director I couldn't do it (she must've been really mad, because otherwise she wouldn't have got involved, maybe I had asked her to pay the fee?) and the director explained that they had a "scholarship" that I could use for the recital. It was all very humiliating and confusing. But I didn't know that taking dance classes could mean a bunch of extra performance fees. And my mother certainly didn't know either. I am a very stubborn person, so I stuck through the class for a few more weeks, I had to go oos for a wedding the weekend of the recital anyways, it turned out. But once the term was over I never went back to that studio. I didn't know what new weird things they might think of next!

 

Fundraising seems normal to lots of MC families, I know. But for the lower class it's anxiety inducing. Selling fancy cheeses they can't the pronounce the name of? Ridiculously expensive fancy wrapping paper? This is the stuff these people mock, not sell to their friends. And running a concession stand is annoying. It's not a fun diversion, it is actual work. If they don't have a job a McDonald's they're proud of that fact, and if they do work at McDonald's they don't want to do it more in their free time, and yet they're supposed to volunteer and be excited to show pampered teens how to sell hot dogs? Logically, they should just take a deep breath and get it done. But people are emotional and irrational. They'll run away, and not even fully understand why. And then there's the parents who are poor for a reason, usually untreated LD's or emotional problems, and giving them a cash box or asking them to run a booth is just asking to set them up for failure, and in these cases its people who have failed over and over and over in their life, and they're supposed to fail yet again just so their kid can throw a ball around? No thanks.

 

 

If you want to bring lower class kids into your activity, you can't expect the parents to ante up. If that's your expectation, you're going to leave a lot of kids out in the cold. But if you're worried about people freeloading, you'll have to explain every detail of every cost and every man-hours of work in advance, and in extreme detail. Don't leave anything off because "oh, everyone knows that." They don't!

 

And don't set it up so that people who don't pay full fee have to "work off" the gap. That may make sense from a middle class perspective, but to the poor it smacks of workhouses and is humiliating. They won't do it. They'll get out of it any way they can. Make a flat lower fee and tell people (immediately, upfront, explicitly) that the cost of participation is that fee+hours of work. For EVERYONE. Then, in small print, say that people can pay a certain amount per hour in lieu of the work hours if they really have to. Single moms who work 70 hours a week and are just looking for cheap, good mentors for her kids, can make the cost/hours analysis right then and there.

 

As for fee-paying people paying extra so that money goes for the kid who doesn't pay a fee - I've honestly never heard of that model of scholarships. IME the board would have a fund that people could donate to over the regular fee (if they wished) and whatever money was in that fund was how many scholarships they could offer. Sometimes only one person would be donating to the fund, that's fine. If they believed in the activity that much and had money they wanted to put towards it, more power to them.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

SarahW, I don't buy that explanation. I really don't. I see this issue across class lines, job lines, diversity of childhoods. People don't want to WORK for their activities period. They wanted it handed to them on a silver platter, and they think it is okay to harass the people doing the work for free to provide it to their kid for free.

 

It is wrong, period. The end.

 

And we've tried the ridiculously low flat fee plus hours of work thing for everyone.HA HA. No one shows up to do the work but the already overworked leaders. And they aren't going to pay to exempt out. They want it free and without effort on their part. 4H is $10.00 a year for membership per child, maximum $30.00 per family,and they can get the fee waived if low income and willing to go show a tax return to the program director. The science projects are $5.00 each, and nine times out of a hundred, no one sends money with their kids, but raise holy hell if someone suggest their child can't do the project because mom and dad refuse to send the money month in, month out. The costs are advertised up front. Seriously, they shouldn't sign up. Really. If it is too big of a bother to collect 100 pop cans to pay for two science activities or walk the neighbor's dog because you don't have the cash on hand, why sign up?

 

If you haven't been the one that has done this for a decade and dealt with every kind of family situation available, you don't understand it. This has nothing to do with humiliation, nothing to do with class lifestyle and expectations, nothing to do with us bad middle class folks oppressing the lower class. Not one thing to do with that. Some people think that other people should do all the work, all the effort, and provide all the money for their child because they are special snowflakes. They shouldn't have to make an effort. BTDT got the t-shirt so many times it staggers.

 

I've got one family who for the love of producing proof of county residency, and filling out a simple form could have gotten the scholarship money to be on the rocket team, but wouldn't get off their duffs to do even that. How is that the middle class's fault? 

 

Don't understand how the process works? Go ask. Sorry, but I don't feel compassion for people who demand and get nasty when they want something without putting in any effort at all, and treat volunteers like total crap for being worn out and not shelling out even more ungodly hours to provide it or as one family put it, 'I want my kid to go on that trip. You drive a nice car and have a nice house. Why don't you write a check for his fees?"

 

I have YEARS of experience with this kind of thing.

 

And asking parents to do a pop can collection, or a bake sale, or run a car wash is NOT humiliating, and it most certainly isn't oppressive or smacking of "workhouses". I take major offense at that as the person who has worked my ever loving a@@ off to help low income kids do amazing things in 4H. My kids didn't need the financial assistance, but who was it that showed up to do all the work? Me, and two other moms who could afford to pay cash, and our kids. No one else. it is always like that. And in another thread, I spoke about how I was actually physically threatened by another mother who got mad because she DID NOTHING to help earn the cost of a trip, nor turned the paperwork in on time, and then had to be physically restrained by other parents because she was going to punch me in the nose for saying her child couldn't go!

 

So it is not my job any longer to make this affordable for everyone else. They can babysit, walk dogs, stack hay, shuck corn, mow lawns, shovel snow, whatever they need to personally do to earn the money. There will be no more fundraisers by dh and I for the club. The end. Parents will simply have to care enough to do it themselves or drop out.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice.  I suppose feeling honored puts food on the table.  I hope you told that parent that the local public school's science classes might be a better fit for their very bright student, since any mandatory fees at the school would likely be less than tuition for your very reasonably-priced co-op. 

 

I did actually.  I told them I thought that public school might be a better fit. :)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup. And many of our 4H leaders are now parents whose own children have graduated out. They aren't keeping clubs, projects, camps, international trips, whatever going because it benefits their own children. During those years, they put in a LOT of money for other people's kids all out of their own wallets. (Due to funding issues, dh and I contribute $1200.00 per year ABOVE what we pay for our own children just to keep all of these neat science programs going.) How many years to these parents think we are going to do this? I think they think forever. They literally don't go there in their heads. It is amazing. Most of them know that we do this, and yet won't lift a finger at fundraising time.

 

Our last child graduates next year, and like many 4H leaders that have gone before us, our policy will be, pay or don't participate. Need money? Go rake leaves, bale hay, sell your minibike, sell the dog, we don't care. We aren't going to find the money' we aren't going to slave for it for you any longer. If the club falls apart because parents won't do the work, that will be very sad, very disappointing after all the blood, sweat, and tears we've invested this last decade. But that is okay. Life goes on. We've got a lot of things we can do to help worthy kids further their educational opportunities, and since I need to go back into the work force, and would also like to finish my master's degree, it certainly won't be the end of the universe.

 

I do think that except for the rare family, it is a matter of over scheduling, over spending, over, over...lack of priorities. My parents were low income for most of middle and high school years and yet managed to pay my piano teacher, my books, my solo and ensemble fees, my performance gowns, piano tuning, upgrade to a baby grand when it was clear I needed to move on from the old upright or face issues with technique in the future, .....and when I got a scholarship to Interlochen, they didn't ask the committee for gas money to get me there. But I also did not play sports, and do scouts, and do..... there was a focus, a single focus because that is all they could afford to do well. It turned out very well for me. Same for my brother. Same for my sister. It really didn't hurt us. My mother was the queen of finding free things for us. Art shows at the library, dress rehearsals for musicals because that was free vs. tickets to the main event, DNR ranger programs at the State Parks, all kinds of good things.

 

Not really certain what goes on in other parents' heads.

According to other posts, your rocket team won $15,000 in scholarships last year...and you had 2 kids of your own on the team. Even split among members, that is a pretty nice scholarship. So, in a way, you got some of your money back bc your kids ( and you )will pay less for college.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think people have a hard time making the transition from homeschooling little kids to homeschooling big kids. They are attracted by the fact that you can homeschool elementary kids fairly well on the cheap -- secondhand curriculum, library books, free online resources, etc. They don't realize that in the upper grades, there is NO SUCH THING as almost-free quality education. And they kick against the goads in obnoxious ways. If people can't afford to shell out money for their high schoolers' education, those kids should be in public school. JMHO.

 

$50 a month for a lab science is a steal.

Edited by Janie Grace
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

IME, the real tightwads are the rich. Not the poor. Trying to have a door-to-door fundraiser? Skip the UMC neighborhood and go to the road with smaller houses. I've given up trying to figure it out, but it is what it is.

 

 

 

 

It's because we perceive allowing your kid to go door-to-door as bothering the neighbors. Since UMC neighborhoods tend to have people who keep to themselves and do not do much more than a friendly wave if you see someone outside, we don't have any personal relationship to tend by buying each other's fundraising stuff. We all prefer to just buy enough of the stuff to meet the minimum and ask grandparents and aunts and uncles if we need to actually have the kid sell to someone else for a requirement. This is why buying out of fundraisers is so popular, we don't really want the wrapping paper, popcorn or cookies (well, okay, we WANT the cookies but we know we shouldn't). For some reason selling outside stores is perfectly acceptable and viewed as good job skills practice. I think it's because it's a public space and it's easy for people to just say no and keep going. We're not really bothering them.

 

We aren't psyched to fund scholarships or pay extra so that low income kids can participate either. What if one of them is better than our kid and takes the starting spot or solo? College admissions are competitive enough and our kids aren't first generation college students so they don't get that extra bump. I realize this isn't a charitable attitude but when top schools' admissions are lotteries, we're not going to go out of our way to sell more tickets. We're going to hoard them to give our own kids the very best chance possible.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's because we perceive allowing your kid to go door-to-door as bothering the neighbors. Since UMC neighborhoods tend to have people who keep to themselves and do not do much more than a friendly wave if you see someone outside, we don't have any personal relationship to tend by buying each other's fundraising stuff. We all prefer to just buy enough of the stuff to meet the minimum and ask grandparents and aunts and uncles if we need to actually have the kid sell to someone else for a requirement. This is why buying out of fundraisers is so popular, we don't really want the wrapping paper, popcorn or cookies (well, okay, we WANT the cookies but we know we shouldn't). For some reason selling outside stores is perfectly acceptable and viewed as good job skills practice. I think it's because it's a public space and it's easy for people to just say no and keep going. We're not really bothering them.

 

We aren't psyched to fund scholarships or pay extra so that low income kids can participate either. What if one of them is better than our kid and takes the starting spot or solo? College admissions are competitive enough and our kids aren't first generation college students so they don't get that extra bump. I realize this isn't a charitable attitude but when top schools' admissions are lotteries, we're not going to go out of our way to sell more tickets. We're going to hoard them to give our own kids the very best chance possible.

This!

 

Really. I don't want to purchase overpriced, not particularly tasty popcorn, crappy wrapping paper, etc.

 

And yes, as someone who pays a lot of taxes into the system, and has two boys in college who receive not a single dime of financial assistance with EFC's almost 1/3rd of our take home pay, despite it "looking" like we are flowing in a river of money, a huge portion of it goes to pay their college expenses beyond their scholarships. We need the scholarships more than ever.

 

I am not rich. I can't afford to fund everyone else's kids' stuff.

 

As it is, since my brother had a stroke and his medical bills are huge because his insurance is crappy, we are funding our niece's participation fees so she doesn't have to drop off her robotics' team because after signing up, being the team captain, and doing a huge amount of work on the project, they couldn't come up with the second semester fees. Seriously, I just am not going to do purchase bad chocolate from the AYSO soccer people. Not happening. 

 

That is the attitude of the UMC neighborhoods. And frankly, our MC and UMC friends give a lot of money to charitable causes, and do donate annually to a lot of things like Scouts and 4H. It is behind the scenes, but they are doing it. It isn't that they don't care about other people's kids. In fact, they care very much. But that is not a bottomless well of money. If you already give $100.00 to the 4H fund, and a $100.00 to the Scout fund, and $100.00 to the high school band, the peddling of over priced stuff you don't want gets really hard to take.

 

In reality what should happen is the selling should stop. That's the thing that really bothers people the most. Just go door to door doing a change collection or asking for pop cans. People have change laying around. They have pop cans around. They will donate that to a good cause. No issues. It is easy, and it is also pleasant not to have to deal with a jar full of change or haul pop cans to Walmart. And again, seriously, my van needs to be washed and I don't want to do it, and don't have time, but I do have a trip coming up and would like it to be clean. My boys are knee deep in other stuff and aren't going to be able to make it happen. Would some band or choir student from the local PS please stop by begging for money so I can send them with the quarters to the car wash to get it done? it is a six mile drive, and only takes 15 minutes to do. I'll pay for the wash and give you $15.00 bucks to bring it back clean for me. I am literally that unmotivated to go wash my van!!!  :lol:

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

SarahW, I don't buy that explanation. I really don't. I see this issue across class lines, job lines, diversity of childhoods. People don't want to WORK for their activities period. They wanted it handed to them on a silver platter, and they think it is okay to harass the people doing the work for free to provide it to their kid for free.

 

It is wrong, period. The end.

...

 

 

So it is not my job any longer to make this affordable for everyone else. They can babysit, walk dogs, stack hay, shuck corn, mow lawns, shovel snow, whatever they need to personally do to earn the money. There will be no more fundraisers by dh and I for the club. The end. Parents will simply have to care enough to do it themselves or drop out.

 

I was talking about two different classes in my post. Those who have plenty of money but are being encouraged to be total scrooges with it. And those who don't have money and don't understand concept of "having to work" to have their kid do something they signed up for. I'm not saying either it right, but understanding where these people are coming from will probably help solve these sorts of issues.

 

And I'm confused by you saying "parent" in your last sentence. So, to you, rocket club is something that parent's do on behalf of or along with their kid? I understand how that can actually be the case, I do! But seriously, for so many people I know, that would make no sense. Zero. They think something like this involves no more from them than dropping their kid off (maybe). Just like school! Exactly like school, actually. It's a really different mindset. You can get mad about how inconvenient and hard it makes your life, sure. But being mad at someone else over something their culture does isn't going to change the culture. Maybe, maybe that person might change for you, if they personally want it that bad. But there's still going to be friction.

 

If you want that level of parental involvement (and yes, even filling out a personal form for a scholarship is a high level of parental involvement to some people, no matter how crazy that may sound to you) and you want kids who come from homes whose culture does not value parental involvement to join, then for your own sanity communicate that the parents are also signing up before enrollment. Seriously, I try to be middle-class in a lot of ways, but for me personally, if I see an activity that says it is designed for parent-child team involvement, I'm going to bring a totally different mindset to it than if it is presented like some sort of drop off activity at the library.

 

And while lower-class parents may not like "having to work" IME (and this is IME) it is the lower-class parents who you can count on to pay. They may ask you if they can post-date the check. They will quietly not show up if there's an event that costs extra. They may even refuse an offer of financial assistance. But they will usually pay the posted dues. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see the "we don't want to pay you" so much in the co-op where I attend.  I am teaching a high school level lab class at this co-op and I have a degree in the field in which I teach and a minor in a closely related field.  I offered a very high-quality class with real labs this year and am getting noise about it "being too much work at too high a level"; a few people are grateful for the option of a solid science class, but many aren't.  I made clear in my class description that this was a serious class with heavy reading and lab work.  I am starting to come to the conclusion that home schoolers in high school really aren't looking for rigorous, just enough to skate by.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually Faith, as a percentage of income, the affluent give the least money to charity in any form.  The average low income household gives away more than 3% of their annual income, nearly 3 times as much as people in the top income quintile do.  

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to other posts, your rocket team won $15,000 in scholarships last year...and you had 2 kids of your own on the team. Even split among members, that is a pretty nice scholarship. So, in a way, you got some of your money back bc your kids ( and you )will pay less for college.

Wow, Faith's rocket team won $15,000 in scholarships? That's amazing! :hurray:

 

Congratulations to you and your team, Faith -- that's quite an accomplishment and you should be so proud of your own two kids and the others on the team!

 

I'm sure all of the kids will appreciate that scholarship money -- how many kids are on the team?

 

Again, congratulations!!! :party:

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was talking about two different classes in my post. Those who have plenty of money but are being encouraged to be total scrooges with it. And those who don't have money and don't understand concept of "having to work" to have their kid do something they signed up for. I'm not saying either it right, but understanding where these people are coming from will probably help solve these sorts of issues.

 

And I'm confused by you saying "parent" in your last sentence. So, to you, rocket club is something that parent's do on behalf of or along with their kid? I understand how that can actually be the case, I do! But seriously, for so many people I know, that would make no sense. Zero. They think something like this involves no more from them than dropping their kid off (maybe). Just like school! Exactly like school, actually. It's a really different mindset. You can get mad about how inconvenient and hard it makes your life, sure. But being mad at someone else over something their culture does isn't going to change the culture. Maybe, maybe that person might change for you, if they personally want it that bad. But there's still going to be friction.

 

If you want that level of parental involvement (and yes, even filling out a personal form for a scholarship is a high level of parental involvement to some people, no matter how crazy that may sound to you) and you want kids who come from homes whose culture does not value parental involvement to join, then for your own sanity communicate that the parents are also signing up before enrollment. Seriously, I try to be middle-class in a lot of ways, but for me personally, if I see an activity that says it is designed for parent-child team involvement, I'm going to bring a totally different mindset to it than if it is presented like some sort of drop off activity at the library.

 

And while lower-class parents may not like "having to work" IME (and this is IME) it is the lower-class parents who you can count on to pay. They may ask you if they can post-date the check. They will quietly not show up if there's an event that costs extra. They may even refuse an offer of financial assistance. But they will usually pay the posted dues. 

The parents have to come up with the money. That is the "do" part of the rocket team. The parent don't do anything else but transportation to and from meetings. No one has asked them to teach an engineering course! Never. Doesn't happen. They aren't asked to do anything else, but in the past, to work the fundraisers - you know because I so enjoy cooking spaghetti for 200 people by myself while the team is doing their presentation - and they won't do it, but expect their kid benefits from the money raised.

 

As for responsibilities and depth of it, that is all outlined every.single.year. for the STEM club and the parents. Emails go out. Facebook of the handout goes online. Handouts are mailed. Parents are supposed to attend the informational meeting, and that is BEFORE they decide to participate that year. The ones that need scholarships are always the ones that don't attend. Always.

 

How many volunteer leadership jobs have you held, and for how many years? I can tell you that my experience is diametrically different from yours. Maybe your region does not have special snowflake syndrome in record numbers like mine, but seriously, a lot of low income people in this neck of the woods expect to not pay for ANYTHING, to have it all done for free, to not participate in anything that they actually agreed to at the beginning. I went year after year with parents signing forms agreeing to the rules, and then all year long openly breaking them and being nasty about it. It wasn't my MC or UMC families doing that. It was the families whose kids were on scholarship every.single.time. Unfortunately, for the honest families who need the help and ARE responsible, it ruins it for them. But I'm not finding money for everyone else's activities any more, except the grant writing which does not require back breaking labor of me to produce since these are usually simple grant programs no government research grant type things.

 

My husband works long hours too. I don't see how anyone else has a right to think he should work even longer ones in order to make fundraisers for them that they themselves refuse to attend or help with.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually Faith, as a percentage of income, the affluent give the least money to charity in any form.  The average low income household gives away more than 3% of their annual income, nearly 3 times as much as people in the top income quintile do.  

That might be. I don't live in an affluent neighborhood. When I spoke, I said specifically I was talking about my neighbors and the culture here. 

 

I am just very, very tired of being taken advantage of and made to feel like total crap for the ridiculous amount of work I do because I can't or won't also run every fundraiser for everyone else and won't just "write a check" for everyone else.

 

Very, very tired of it. Tired of being asked to give piano lessons for free. Tired of it. My time is actually worth something, and I readily volunteer a HUGE chunk of it to 4H. But I guess that isn't enough for some people. They expect that we also go bankrupt providing it for free to everyone who doesn't want to pay $10.00 to join, or won't rake leaves for $5.00 to pay for the science project which is already being underwritten personally out of our own pocket at $5.00 per head, and often another $5.00 per head from 4H Council, all of which the parents know. 

 

Thankfully it is only a subset of parents. Most of our parents are really great about it. That is why we persevere. If it was everyone, we'd be sooooooo done with this.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IME, the real tightwads are the rich. Not the poor. Trying to have a door-to-door fundraiser? Skip the UMC neighborhood and go to the road with smaller houses. I've given up trying to figure it out, but it is what it is.

Do you live in the neighborhoods with those "tightwads?" Because if you don't, why would they buy your kid's fundraising popcorn, wrapping paper, or mixed nuts? I'm sure you realize that nobody actually wants any of that stuff, but I can almost guarantee you that those "tightwads" have already bought more than their share of it from the kids who actually live in their neighborhood.

 

I buy stuff all the time from the kids in my neighborhood. I don't do it because I want the stuff. I do it to be a nice neighbor. But when strangers come around with their kids to sell the exact same junk, I say no. It's not because I'm a horrible tightwad; it's because I don't know these kids and I do know that the kids from my own neighborhood will be selling the same things. There is a limit to how many of these fundraising products I want to purchase, so why wouldn't I buy it from the kids I already know?

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think people have a hard time making the transition from homeschooling little kids to homeschooling big kids. They are attracted by the fact that you can homeschool elementary kids fairly well on the cheap -- secondhand curriculum, library books, free online resources, etc. They don't realize that in the upper grades, there is NO SUCH THING as almost-free quality education. And they kick against the goads in obnoxious ways. If people can't afford to shell out money for their high schoolers' education, those kids should be in public school. JMHO.

 

$50 a month for a lab science is a steal.

 

Unfortunately, schools in low income areas aren't the best, so I don't see why students need to settle for them. I am low income, and I homeschool mostly due to the fact that our public school sucks. I'd love to just send her to the public school for financial reasons (she'd get breakfast, lunch & I wouldn't have to pay any of the fees either), but I would also have a very unhappy, very bored teenager on my hands. Boredom, teenagers, and bad schools are not a good combination IME.

 

My high schooler misses out on some opportunities due to cost, and I realize that. It's definitely the number one item on my annual pro/con list of homeschooling. However, I am also blessed in having a parent (grandparent) willing to fund some educational opportunities. We make use of those opportunities, make due with some low cost items, figure out how to do high quality classes at home for minimal $, barter, and somehow piece together a curriculum.

 

I realize this topic is more a vent about those people who are obnoxious about not being able to afford something, but I wanted to give you a look at the other side. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That might be. I don't live in an affluent neighborhood. When I spoke, I said specifically I was talking about my neighbors and the culture here.

 

I am just very, very tired of being taken advantage of and made to feel like total crap for the ridiculous amount of work I do because I can't or won't also run every fundraiser for everyone else and won't just "write a check" for everyone else.

 

Very, very tired of it. Tired of being asked to give piano lessons for free. Tired of it. My time is actually worth something, and I readily volunteer a HUGE chunk of it to 4H. But I guess that isn't enough for some people. They expect that we also go bankrupt providing it for free to everyone who doesn't want to pay $10.00 to join, or won't rake leaves for $5.00 to pay for the science project which is already being underwritten personally out of our own pocket at $5.00 per head, and often another $5.00 per head from 4H Council, all of which the parents know.

 

Thankfully it is only a subset of parents. Most of our parents are really great about it. That is why we persevere. If it was everyone, we'd be sooooooo done with this.

You just said about everything that made me quit volunteering. I got tired of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you live in the neighborhoods with those "tightwads?" Because if you don't, why would they buy your kid's fundraising popcorn, wrapping paper, or mixed nuts? I'm sure you realize that nobody actually wants any of that stuff, but I can almost guarantee you that those "tightwads" have already bought more than their share of it from the kids who actually live in their neighborhood.

 

I buy stuff all the time from the kids in my neighborhood. I don't do it because I want the stuff. I do it to be a nice neighbor. But when strangers come around with their kids to sell the exact same junk, I say no. It's not because I'm a horrible tightwad; it's because I don't know these kids and I do know that the kids from my own neighborhood will be selling the same things. There is a limit to how many of these fundraising products I want to purchase, so why wouldn't I buy it from the kids I already know?

 

 

In the s/o I give more details of my experience.

 

But suffice to say, I didn't live in any of the neighborhoods. The big houses always bought less. Most couldn't scrounge up 4 quarters. Oh well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You just said about everything that made me quit volunteering. I got tired of it.

We started doing strictly buyouts once the scouting organizations got rid of individual scout accounts. I don't mind working for the good of the group, but I needed to be sure my efforts went to funding my own kids first. Individual accounts helped make it clear who was actively fundraising. Once everything started going straight into the general fund, we went to just doing the troop buyout and then doing individual "fundraising," or, mowing grass, washing windows, helping neighbors with chores they were willing to compensate for, that sort of thing. Any selling would be a kid selling a personal wii game or something like that to put the proceeds in the bank.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the s/o I give more details of my experience.

 

But suffice to say, I didn't live in any of the neighborhoods. The big houses always bought less. Most couldn't scrounge up 4 quarters. Oh well.

You're judging those people pretty harshly, considering that you don't even know them personally.

 

My question remains the same -- if you don't live in the neighborhoods and the people don't know you, why would they buy anything from you?

 

You seem to have an issue with the people who live in the larger homes, but I don't understand why you think they should feel obligated to buy fundraising products they probably neither need nor want, from people they don't know.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for parents not being involved - that's a class culture thing. It's something that the book Unequal Childhoods really does a good job in explaining, and it really fits in my own experience of the lower/working class. I remember when I was in gymnastics as a kid in a community rec program in an UMC town (an EC I had to fight a long time for, and ended up largely paying for myself) I was amazed to see other moms staying in the gym and getting involved. Amazed as in bewildered. I couldn't count on my mom to pick me up on time. I certainly couldn't count on her staying for a meet. Helping out? What?

 

 

Sarah - is the book you mentioned the one by Annette Lareau?  I'd like to read it if I can find it. :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can commiserate.  We have lovely co-op and we teach for like $4/week/child and we have some families who won't pay.  They put their kids in and then don't pay the bill.  Families that can pay but don't.  The director will have to ask and ask and ask and then finally give up.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can commiserate. We have lovely co-op and we teach for like $4/week/child and we have some families who won't pay. They put their kids in and then don't pay the bill. Families that can pay but don't. The director will have to ask and ask and ask and then finally give up.

One of my kids in an activity that cost $8 a month (2 meeting a month). Several parents have complained about the cost yet they can afford to pay it but won't. I

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The parents have to come up with the money. That is the "do" part of the rocket team. The parent don't do anything else but transportation to and from meetings. No one has asked them to teach an engineering course! Never. Doesn't happen. They aren't asked to do anything else, but in the past, to work the fundraisers - you know because I so enjoy cooking spaghetti for 200 people by myself while the team is doing their presentation - and they won't do it, but expect their kid benefits from the money raised.

 

As for responsibilities and depth of it, that is all outlined every.single.year. for the STEM club and the parents. Emails go out. Facebook of the handout goes online. Handouts are mailed. Parents are supposed to attend the informational meeting, and that is BEFORE they decide to participate that year. The ones that need scholarships are always the ones that don't attend. Always.

 

How many volunteer leadership jobs have you held, and for how many years? I can tell you that my experience is diametrically different from yours. Maybe your region does not have special snowflake syndrome in record numbers like mine, but seriously, a lot of low income people in this neck of the woods expect to not pay for ANYTHING, to have it all done for free, to not participate in anything that they actually agreed to at the beginning. I went year after year with parents signing forms agreeing to the rules, and then all year long openly breaking them and being nasty about it. It wasn't my MC or UMC families doing that. It was the families whose kids were on scholarship every.single.time. Unfortunately, for the honest families who need the help and ARE responsible, it ruins it for them. But I'm not finding money for everyone else's activities any more, except the grant writing which does not require back breaking labor of me to produce since these are usually simple grant programs no government research grant type things.

 

My husband works long hours too. I don't see how anyone else has a right to think he should work even longer ones in order to make fundraisers for them that they themselves refuse to attend or help with.

 

 

I don't think our experiences are dramatically different. I'm talking about paying dues and refusing financial assistance, and you're still talking about fundraisers and scholarships.

 

Obviously, whatever you have going on (which I can't know the full details of since I'm not there irl) is not working. Okay. That's very frustrating. But have you tried to figure out why it isn't working? Did you ask why parents don't show up at the meeting to get scholarships? Why they don't seem to understand the commitment they signed up? Why they don't seem to understand the financials?

 

You may think you are communicating clearly, but it seems that something is getting lost. It happens. Perfectly obvious things get misunderstood. People are weird. I've seen too many church board meetings, people are so very incredibly weird. But people are also rather predictable, if you understand where they're coming from. That's what I'm trying to tell you, what may be perfectly obvious and reasonable to you may not be at all anything of the sort to someone from a different background.

 

But I will reiterate that IME the people who are most likely to want to get everything dead cheap is the MC or UMC. I said before that I understand that the MC is being squeezed tight. Do you think you're the only one who feels backed into huge unexpected expenses? I'm sure plenty of your neighbors feel the same. And they probably had a habit of overspending their credit cards and listening to their realtor telling them to overbuy their house to boot. Crunch time, and they can't change their fixed expenses, so they get told to cut everywhere else, right down to their coffee. But they don't want to deny their kids anything (because once you start having to tell your kids "no" you've really crossed over to the terrible status of being poor) so they try to finagle their way out of paying a cent. They may look rich (because of the fixed costs they're under) but in reality they're poor, and in denial. And because they're in denial they don't talk about it, and don't realize that every one else is in a bind too, and their desire to be given a certain lifestyle is at odds with the reality that everyone else is also trying to keep afloat.

 

And then there's some rich people, who honestly try to pinch people off of others so they can afford to take a fancy cruise every year. Seen that too. Ever been privy to church financials? Those are really interesting. Maybe even more interesting than seeing a person's tax return.

 

I've totally been financially taken advantage of by the above two groups. So I understand how ugly it is for people to expect you to serve them and live off air.

 

I'm also saying that most common models of running and funding EC's, any EC, across the board, do not work for certain segments of the population. You can try anyways and get frustrated, just accept that you are going to have to exclude those people, or change so that you can include them. Any of those options are hard. But I think understanding the issue behind your frustration would be more productive than being mad and upset.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I will reiterate that IME the people who are most likely to want to get everything dead cheap is the MC or UMC. I said before that I understand that the MC is being squeezed tight. Do you think you're the only one who feels backed into huge unexpected expenses? I'm sure plenty of your neighbors feel the same. And they probably had a habit of overspending their credit cards and listening to their realtor telling them to overbuy their house to boot. Crunch time, and they can't change their fixed expenses, so they get told to cut everywhere else, right down to their coffee. But they don't want to deny their kids anything (because once you start having to tell your kids "no" you've really crossed over to the terrible status of being poor) so they try to finagle their way out of paying a cent. They may look rich (because of the fixed costs they're under) but in reality they're poor, and in denial. And because they're in denial they don't talk about it, and don't realize that every one else is in a bind too, and their desire to be given a certain lifestyle is at odds with the reality that everyone else is also trying to keep afloat.

 

And then there's some rich people, who honestly try to pinch people off of others so they can afford to take a fancy cruise every year. Seen that too. Ever been privy to church financials? Those are really interesting. Maybe even more interesting than seeing a person's tax return.

 

I've totally been financially taken advantage of by the above two groups. So I understand how ugly it is for people to expect you to serve them and live off air.

Wow. You seem to have a real dislike of middle class, upper middle class, and "rich" people.

 

Your generalizations are unkind and often inaccurate.

 

You say you've been financially taken advantage of by "the above two groups," but that's not the case. You may have been taken advantage of by individuals who happened to be middle class or upper middle class, and I'm sorry to hear that happened to you, but let's not blame entire populations of people for the actions of a few bad apples.

 

And what's up with the idea that people who live in large homes and have nice lifestyles must be somehow secretly drowning in debt? Sure, that happens to some people who don't manage their money wisely, but I think you seriously overestimate the number of people who are in that situation.

 

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm picking on you, but I don't understand why you judge a whole group of people so harshly. :confused:

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But suffice to say, I didn't live in any of the neighborhoods. The big houses always bought less. Most couldn't scrounge up 4 quarters. Oh well.

 

You don't know whether they might have already written a check to the organization directly.

 

I never buy junk that is peddled at the door. Never ever, on principle. If I want to give money to a cause, I don't need the company who produced the stuff to get a cut. I write a check directly to the public school, the local choral arts society, the community theatre etc. 

If that makes me a tightwad in the eyes of the  people who go door to door, so be it.

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "big houses" likely also get hit up for donations and fundraisers more often than others.

That may very well be true. It's also interesting to me that anyone would feel entitled to a donation from a complete stranger.

 

Sarah mentioned in the s/o thread that upper middle class people were "stingy" when she was a kid and going door-to-door selling candy bars to raise money so she could go to space camp. (I went and read her post when she mentioned it to me in her earlier post.)

 

I guess my question would be -- why should people feel obligated to hand money to a kid they don't know just because the kid says she wants to go to space camp? Why would they even believe that the kid was really going to use the money for space camp and not to buy a new XBox? It's some kid they've never seen in their lives showing up at their door and asking them for money.

 

I don't think Sarah sees the other side of this. She's judging people as being cheap and stingy, when they may actually be very generous people in other circumstances. I don't think anyone should judge people based solely upon whether or not they choose to buy some fundraising candy.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DS's cub scout troop had a handful of members who couldn't/didn't want to pay fees in addition to the yearly scout dues.  We had a fundraising option (the popcorn sales) that would have reduced those additional fees to $0, but they didn't want that, either.  So basically, they wanted their child in for free and someone else to pick up the cost or for someone else to pluck the dollars off the tree that was located somewhere.  I am sympathetic to those who can't afford activities, but then the parents need to pony up the time to fundraise instead of asking everyone to pay more so they can get a free ride.

Boy am I glad our scout troop doesn't think that way. Ours has a policy that no one will be left out because of finances. The scouters approach businesses and have done some fundraising on their own (besides what the youth do) to make this possible. Without that my 4 kids wouldn't be able to participate (even though I have been a scouter for 25 years and my Dh has for 30). My kids go to every event they can but also work hard at fundraising and service. During our fundraising for summer camp we have sold extra to help the group and one year sold some for a scout who hadn't sold theirs. We just picked my son up from a 6 hour service providing first aid at a cub event. But yes, I am sure some would say we just want stuff for free and if we can't afford it then too bad so sad.

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're judging those people pretty harshly, considering that you don't even know them personally.

 

My question remains the same -- if you don't live in the neighborhoods and the people don't know you, why would they buy anything from you?

 

You seem to have an issue with the people who live in the larger homes, but I don't understand why you think they should feel obligated to buy fundraising products they probably neither need nor want, from people they don't know.

My experience in both affluent and more working class areas is that *nobody* buys stuff people are peddling door to door and few people come around peddling stuff door to door. So few people are home before dinner time that it would usually be a fairly futile endeavor. I would never in 5 million years send my sons door to door anywhere unless it is Halloween night or it's just leaving a flyer. We do our popcorn sales on the website and standing outside of grocery stores. I live in a pretty affluent suburb though not in a big house. Still, ain't no Girl Scouts knocking on the doors of my friends and neighbors with large houses either.

 

My issues with door to door sales are many and I just wouldn't do it in this day and age where I live. None of the legit orgs seem to do it...rarely we get someone who is obviously reselling drug store candy for their "church" or some non-profit I've never heard of but it's my understanding that these sorts aren't usually actually from any charity or church. I've never, in the last 15 years, had a Girl Scout or a Cub Scout or a 4H or a local Little League association person come.

 

The only other unknown to me people who knock on my door are religious or political canvassers. Which I don't mind so much provided that when turned away once the same group doesn't come back. Once I was at my sister in law's house and some religious canvassers just walked into the house before I could stop them. They said they were "friends" of my SILs. It was awkward for me to get them to leave and I'm not usually someone who shies away from confrontation.

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...