When establishing a leadership model for CHIME, we realized that organizing and running a homeschool group was too big of a job for one homeschooling mom or family. Therefore, through group consensus, CHIME developed the idea of a “Service Team.”
Leadership roles are clearly defined and broken down into “mother sized” jobs. Members of the Service Team are asked to serve for one year or two years. Those serving two years act to provide for a smooth transition from year to year. Service Team members may choose to serve an additional year if the majority of CHIME members re-elect them at the annual meeting.
The Service Team meets twice per year, once in August to discuss any issues for the coming academic school year and again in June to prepare for the annual planning meeting. Many times throughout the year the Service Team also “meet” through email to inform and include each other about various minor issues effecting the day to day operations of our homeschooling group. Other meetings take place if needed.
This model has been extremely effective in preventing leadership burnout and safeguarding the disintegration of the group in the change or absence of leadership.
Many people contribute to the smooth running of CHIME.
The 5 member Service Team has two main functions:
- To discuss and act upon on any issues which concern the group as a whole, and
- To serve as a direct channel and arbiter for the resolution of all issues or conflicts within the group. This method of direct and open communication, through the appropriate channels, strengthens the community, fosters growth, and protects the group from splintering.
Support Group Coordinator:
Plans the monthly support meeting. Is usually present. Decides format (with input from the community) and time and location of all monthly meetings. Submits article to newsletter each month summarizing the minutes of the most recent support group meeting and announcing the date, time and topic of the next meeting.
Spiritual Events Coordinator:
We are first and foremost a Catholic support group called together to support Catholic families in the vocational call to homeschool their children. Although we have many and varied activities, we are not simply another activity based homeschooling group. The Spiritual Events Coordinator pulls together a team to plan and run activities of a spiritual nature.
Handles membership/informational inquiries via phone or e-mail from people interested in joining CHIME. Sends out an Introductory CHIME packet to inquiring homeschoolers and a Final Welcome packet to new members. Calls to welcome new members. Submits article to newsletter welcoming new families. It is beneficial if this person is a seasoned homeschooler.
Publishes monthly newsletter, sometimes working with a team of people to share the workload. Sends out reminder of upcoming newsletter submission and annual renewal deadlines. Maintains member list and acts as dues collector, handling new and renewing membership. Assembles & distributes membership list consisting of all members’ addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail, and children’s names & ages, sending out in hard copy twice a year.
Academic Events Coordinator:
Pulls together a team to run academic events. Issues reminders to team to begin planning traditional academic events such as Science Fair, Spelling bee, etc. Because the co-op draws a large number of families together and helps to build a great sense of community among CHIME members, this person must be involved in the co-op or be the co-op coordinator.
Other roles not on the Service Team:
- HSLDA Coordinator: contact for HSLDA and any related issues
- Insurance Coordinator: obtains insurance and pays the bill from general funds
- Phone/Email Chain Captain: Although the newsletter is the primary method of communication, sometimes information needs to be disseminated to the entire group quickly. Examples of such are changes to CHIME events which occur after the newsletter deadline of the 25th of the month, changes in member telephone numbers, email addresses, or home addresses, announcements of new babies, deaths or critical prayer requests. This person manages the distribution of such info.
- Co-op Coordinator: Heads up the 3 person team running the co-op.
- Dues collector: Handles new & renewing membership.
The above Service Team Model is largely responsible for the efficient operational effectiveness of CHIME, however, essential to the success of any Catholic homeschooling organization is the involvement of a Spiritual Director.
A holy, orthodox Catholic priest, who will provide monthly Masses, the sacraments, his private prayers and sacrifices, and spiritual direction to the group and/or individual families, is of incalculable value to the spiritual health and existence of any homeschooling community.