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Who can join?
Big Country families who are currently home educating at least one student (between preschool and high school) in a bona-fide manner according to Texas law are welcome to join. Private home schooling is defined as home education that is primarily produced and directed by parents, in the home. There is no specific faith requirement or curriculum/education method requirement. We also have some member families who are homeschooling one child while others attend public/private school. We have single parent families, families with two working parents, families with a stay-home parent, families with dad as the primary educator, and families with children who are being raised/educated by grandparents. Families who also have public/private school kids are welcome to bring them along for non-age specific events (i.e. campout, skate & bowl, field day), however our age specific events/classes are for homeschooled kiddos only. Businesses, advertisers, and groups are not allowed to join Big Country Home Educators.
What does membership cost?
There are currently two options for BCHE membership. The membership year runs from June 1st through May 31st, regardless of when each family joins--we encourage you to join as early in the year as possible in order to gain the most benefit. Membership applies to your immediate family, only, who are currently living within your household.
- Standard Family Membership: $80/year - this membership option includes a FOUR-HOUR service requirement; some BCHE programs, such as Monday Co-Op, may have additional service requirements
- Non-Volunteer Family Membership: $200/year - this membership option opts families out of the membership service requirement, but families may still be responsible for service requirements attached to specific BCHE programs
Does BCHE provide curriculum?
No, BCHE is not a school. Participation in BCHE is meant to enrich/enhance your own constructed home education plan, not replace it. Some of our Monday Co-Op class options do offer curriculum that is specific to an individual class. BCHE is a great resource that provides enrichment opportunities to enhance your family's homeschooling experience, but there is not one single curriculum or curriculum publisher that we promote. We can, however, answer your curriculum questions. We have many veteran homeschool families (we've used it all!) who would be happy to help answer any questions you may have.
Who can attend member events?
BCHE membership applies to your immediate family members living in your household, only. Membership benefits, including attendance at member activities/events, does not apply to neighbors, visiting relatives, or children for whom you may be providing childcare. Families who also have public/private school kids are welcome to bring them along for non-age specific events (i.e. campout, skate & bowl, field day), however our age specific events/classes are for homeschooled kiddos only. There are times when grandparents are able to join in the fun, as long as there is not a maximum capacity and their attendance does not take spots away from member parents and kiddos. Always email any board member to find out if an activity is able to support grandparent attendance. Children for whom you are providing childcare must have their own family membership in order to attend BCHE events. Email email@example.com for more information.
Why can’t I see the calendar?
You must first become a member and be logged into your account to access the calendar. For security of our families and the protection of our members’ privacy, most of our events are viewed by/offered to current members, only, and therefore not accessible to the public at large.
Why can’t I register for events?
You must first become a member to register for member specific events. Those events open to the homeschool public such as Safety City and the Annual Homeschool Conference and Vendor Fair will have separate registration that is visible to the public.
How does BCHE protect member privacy?
BCHE will not share your personal names, addresses, phone numbers, email address, or other contact information. Publicly posting fellow members’ personal information on social media sites is strictly prohibited, as is posting pictures of other people’s children without consent. All BCHE hosted events will only be posted on our private calendar and private social media site. Members using fake name accounts are not allowed to join any BCHE private social media group (Facebook/MeWe).
What does BCHE expect of me?
All members should read the by-laws. As a member you will be required:
Does BCHE have a dress code/behavior policy?
Yes. We seek to create an atmosphere in which all we do, including the way we dress, honors God and others. We ask that all members and event attendees (both parents and students) alike dress modestly and conservatively, out of consideration for others. Parents AND students, please be aware of how you look before attending any BCHE event. Certain events may have additional dress code requirements.
Examples of inappropriate clothing would be:
Women/Girls: Strapless/halter/spaghetti straps; tight form-fitting clothing; low cut clothing that exposes cleavage; shorts, skirts, and dresses that are well above the knee; low rise pants, unless a long shirt covers any exposed skin; any clothing that exposes the mid-riff; any clothing that features alcohol, drugs, or profanity; clothing that allows exposure of underclothing, including sheer fabric that exposes underclothing or areas traditionally covered by underclothing.
Men/Boys: Tight/form-fitting clothing; clothing that exposes the mid-riff; baggy pants that expose underclothing; shirts that expose the chest; any clothing that features alcohol, drugs, or profanity.
Why must I register for events/activities?
In order to properly plan events, it is often necessary to know who will be attending in order to have enough room, supplies, food, chaperones, etc. It is very difficult to prepare without numbers and can lead to wasted time and resources. Many of our field trip hosts require numbers in advance and we frequently have a maximum capacity.
Why do I need to notify you if we need to cancel?
Many events have limited space. We often have a waiting list and need to open your spots to others who would like to attend. It is also a courtesy that helps us use resources wisely and allows us to give accurate attendance numbers to field trip hosts.
What is required to participate in the BCHE Graduation Ceremony?
Participation in BCHE’s high school graduation ceremony is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, memorable experience for all involved. It is a day to truly celebrate the student, the family, and their individual homeschool experiences and accomplishments There is a deadline and a separate fee that covers the majority of the cost to participate. For more specific information about this year’s upcoming graduation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are the Board members?
BCHE board members are homeschool families who have been active members of BCHE for at least two years and have committed to volunteering for a term of two years to make things happen in our home school community. They do the business of running BCHE in addition to their regular family responsibilities, work, and homeschooling their kiddos.
I am a member--why is there an additional fee for some events?
Free events and activities are our favorite kind to offer! Unfortunately, there is no way that $80 (or even $200!) per member family can cover the cost of everything we offer our members. There are events for specific age groups, classes for those interested, and large group events that cost thousands of dollars to produce--additional fees may be required for these so that we can keep membership costs low for those families who don't have children who fit the age requirements for such events.
Where does my money go?
The BCHE board follows an annual budget that seeks to use membership funds and donations wisely in providing key opportunities and events for members as well as covering the logistical expenses of running a non-profit organization such as website fees, insurance, facility rentals, etc. Membership fees only account for a small portion of our operating budget.
Board member families and other volunteers work very hard to make your membership money stretch as far as possible! As a registered 501(c)(3) organization, we are able to get non-profit and tax-free rates from other businesses and organizations, and are also able to negotiate group rates. We negotiate trades and do our best to build and maintain relationships within the community that encourage businesses to think of us when they are planning, advertising, and pricing their educational/sports/arts opportunities. BCHE also receives donations from both individuals and organizations.
I don't want to join BCHE--why can't I attend events as a non-member?
BCHE member families all throw their membership fees into the pot, so to speak, to help provide resources for the events and activities organized for our member community. It's only fair that the majority of activities are reserved for those who are willing to support the group as a whole. In addition, BCHE members are covered by organization insurance while in attendance at events, and maintaining the member-only attendance policy helps ensure the privacy and safety aspects that are so very important to many of our members.
Who signs faith statements?
Only BCHE families who serve on the board will be asked to sign the Statement of Faith. All teachers, coaches, BCHE representatives/leaders, and staff agree to not teach or promote anything that is counter to the Statement of Faith, or to BCHE's Christian foundational beliefs.
What is a statement of faith?
The Statement of Faith is our core beliefs on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It is the foundation on which our decisions, actions, and by-laws are made.
Do I have to agree with the Statement of Faith?
No. But, by becoming a member, you agree to participate with the understanding that BCHE operates based on the beliefs and principles included in the Statement of Faith. All events, activities, and policies will be operated under the Statement of Faith.
Do you pray at events?
Yes. Many BCHE events include prayer.
How can I advertise my business with BCHE?
In general, we are happy to advertise free opportunities offered by local businesses. Soon there will be advertising opportunities available on the website, in our member newsletters, on our social media pages, at our annual conference, and through benefits (discounts, classes, etc) offered to our membership. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Still have a question? We're happy to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org