If you are thinking about starting a homeschool co-op, you will need help setting up the organization of it. Make sure you check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series before diving into setting up your Bylaws, a Statement of Faith and Handbook.
After you have your team in place the next step is going to be figuring out what your group is going to be about and the types of people that you want to attract to it. This is best accomplished through writing out your bylaws and statement of faith.
What are Bylaws?
Bylaws are the rules that a group sets as they form their organization. Bylaws will define things like the organization’s purpose, official name, officers’ titles and responsibilities, requirements for membership, how the officers will be assigned, how meetings will be conducted, and how often these meetings will be held. Bylaws will dictate the way the group functions in addition to what the roles and responsibilities of the officers will be. They help lay out an organization map, so everyone will know what the purpose and the daily operations are.
Bylaws that are well written will help alleviate problems down the road when members disagree about procedures or difficult situations that arise. This is why it’s important that your group starts here. If you haven’t already decided who is in charge and what their duties will be, then start that discussion and make sure it is written in your bylaws.
Need help Writing Your Bylaws? Grab this Printable Here
Your Bylaws should include these or some variation of them.
- Generally explain who you are
- Name of your Organization
- Purpose of your Organization
- Board Members and Operation (What positions are there on the board?)
- Confession of Faith (if this applies)
- Membership (Qualifications, How to become a member, Dues, Requirements, conflict resolution, cessation of membership)
- Organizational Structure (Who are the board members, how are they nominated, what do you do when a seat is vacant?)
- Meetings (How often does the board meet? Are meetings open to members?, Who attends?)
- Policies and Procedures (How is your group ran? Specific rules for it)
- Dissolution (In the event the group dissolves how will property, monies and other assets be handled?)
- Job descriptions for each board member
Do you need a Statement of Faith?
If your group will be faith based then you will need to have a Statement of Faith so that those who are interested in joining your group know and understand your beliefs.
This is our Statement of Faith for our Group:
Confession of Faith
We affirm these tenets of Christian theology:
1. The Bible is the only verbally inspired and infallible authoritative Word of God, inerrant in the original copy. (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20-21)
2. God is three persons in one – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is co-equal and co-eternal. (I John 5:7)
3. Jesus Christ is fully God and man (John 1:1,14) who was:
- Born of a virgin. (Matthew 1:18)
- Led a sinless life. (Hebrews 4:15)
- Died vicariously on the cross as a substitute for sinful men. (Hebrews 9:15)
- Rose bodily from the grave. ( Matthew 28:1-7, Acts 2:24)
- Now reigns with the Father. (Acts 2:33; Hebrews 10:12)
- Will return visibly and personally to the earth both in salvation and judgment. (Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28)
4. We are all born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:12) that brings with it a penalty of death (Romans 6:23). Salvation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior. (Acts 4:12, Ephesians 2:8-10)
Your Group Handbook
The Handbook is different from your bylaws in that it speaks specifically on the day to day operations of your group. In the handbook you are going to want to lay out all the rules and procedures for your specific situation.
Be specific about: ‘
-The days and times you meet
-Dress code and code of conduct
-Parent and Student expectations
-Any other general information you want to include.
Would you like to see an example of our handbook? Shoot me an email and I’ll send you a link!
If you are in the middle of setting up your co-op, make sure you subscribe to my homeschool leader newsletter so that I can continue to send you helpful hints and encouragement along the way! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!
Part 3: Bylaws, Statement of Faith, Handbooks
Part 6: Registration and other Necessary Paperwork
Part 7: Wrap up with Q &A