CHARACTER STANDARDS

4 REASONS WHY IT’S GOOD TO BE GOOD

 

Children that are a Joy

As parents, and especially as homeschool parents, we are the proxy for the world for our children. If we accept a certain undesirable behavior, we are telling our child that the world finds that behavior acceptable. Well-behaved children, on the other hand, are welcomed and offered opportunities that misbehaving children are not given. Naturally most people adore children, but when children are disobedient, disrespectful, and unlikable, others have to pretend to like that child. This is a terrible prospect for a child growing up with the world that is not sincere and genuine, but has to be false and forced with your children. A good motto to go by is:

 

DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN DO ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOU DISLIKE THEM.

In so doing, you make your children more likeable!

 

Be Unified

We want our IFHE family to succeed. Part of that is getting along with others. We want to create an enjoyable support group for parents and children. Misbehaving children strain relations and opportunities for the whole group. We will treat each other with respect and kindness. That said, in order to unify our group, we do expect for all who attend and participate in our group to abide by the following IFHE Code of Conduct and Statement on Family & Education.

 

Help to Open Doors

Homeschooling is a unique culture that has often been misunderstood and misjudged by others. When we are likable and respectful, it goes a long way to help all homeschoolers around us. For instance, in Oregon there was a wonderful outdoor pioneer museum that offered extras (like pony rides) to only the homeschoolers in the area because of their great reputation of being teachable and respectful and in return were afforded that special privilege! We have tried to set higher standards both morally and ethically.

 

Honor God with our Actions

As a Christian group, we recognize our responsibility in our striving to be true disciples of our Savior. As such, our lifestyle should reflect that we have dedicated our lives to God. Because we feel that our support group is a unique and distinctive social setting and culture, we believe that a Christian’ appearance and conduct is a demonstrative part of his or her testimony. Our conduct and appearance should reflect our Christian beliefs, and should at all times be pleasing to God. How an individual behaves and dresses also reflects the philosophy and standards of the group it represents. We wish to convey through our membership a message of obedience to God’s Word.

STATEMENT OF FAMILY & EDUCATION

 

When joining IFHE, members agree to signing this Statement of Family & Education.

  • We believe that the family is the basic governmental, social, and spiritual unit created by God. In it, the child gradually learns self-government, good citizenship, social relationships, while developing a strong relationship with God. The family also provides protection from over-extensive government and corruptible social involvements.

  • We embrace the ideologies of Intelligent Design or Creationism, the traditional family, Nationalism, educational independence, right for equal opportunities, and Right to Life.

  • We understand a traditional family to mean a man and a woman married in holy matrimony with one or more children, and we affirm the exceptions of a single parent, grandparent, and adopted children.

  • We believe the ultimate responsibility of the education of children belongs to parents

  • We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

  • We strive to adhere to the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and any other passages which elevate character and compassion written in Scripture and seek for guidance through prayer..

 

IFHE recognizes that personal conviction shall vary from family to family and as such would exhort members to follow God’s teachings. We also recognize that not all activities or events will be suitable for every member family and ask that all members prayerfully strive for a spirit of understanding, faith, unity, and harmony.

CODE OF CHARACTER

 

The Code of Character is set forth to help us achieve a welcoming environment where parents can feel comfortable bringing their families for good wholesome fun and support. When joining IFHE, members agree to signing this Code of Character..

  1. Appropriate Behavior - Discuss appropriate behavior with your children prior to an event, teaching children appropriate boundaries and behavior respective to each unique setting  (example:. Theatre Play, vs Speaker Presentation, vs Party, etc.). Be actively and respectfully engaged during events and genuinely thank the host family and other contributors at the end of the event. We want to be welcomed back and the coordinator to feel appreciated.

  2. Punctuality - Arrive on time for events. Events will not be delayed for late arrivals.

  3. Facility Respect- We will abide by all rules of the facilities we are visiting. Respect the facilities we are allowed to use and leave all events and meetings in  better condition than you found them. Please ask what you can do to help clean-up after an event is finished.

  4. Drop Off Policy - For the safety and protection of the children and the host family, IFHE activities are not “drop off” activities unless specifically stated by the host.

  5. Group Sharing Materials - Any music, magazines, books, websites, videos, articles, images  or other materials should be "PG or G". Anything else is not appropriate for group sharing. Please be sensitive that what one family has chosen as acceptable may not be acceptable by others and vice versa.

  6. Modesty Policy - All members, both adults and children, should consider others when they choose what to wear to group functions. It is better to be modest than to cause someone to be distracted or offended.  If you are ever unsure as to whether your clothing is appropriate or not, please choose something else.

  7. Differing Topics - Parents should discuss with their own children/teens what is and is not appropriate to discuss with others, being respectful of others beliefs are crucial. "When in doubt, throw it out", save certain topics for home with your own family.

  8. Appropriate Conversations - We should strive to build up and encourage one another in our conversations. In all that we do, we desire to develop and maintain a reputation that encourages attendance at our events as well as an environment where everyone feels respected and accepted. Adults should ALWAYS be aware that children may be near and listening. Topics that are appropriate for adults may not be appropriate when children are present. Some conversations are best left for Mom’s Night Out. Cyber-bullying and the sending of inappropriate materials is not appropriate and will not be allowed.

  9. Differing Philosophies - Since IFHE has no membership restrictions in regards to race, religion, or personal homeschool preferences, it should be understood that many members hold varying religious convictions and educational philosophies or approaches. We encourage discussion on these matters, and desire our members to share their beliefs and opinions. Because of this diversity, we require every member to show respect and understanding when others' convictions differ from their own personal views so the unified purpose for the support group may be maintained.

  10. Parent Control - Parents are responsible for and expected to be in control of their children at all times. This supervision is necessary to ensure safety and avoid accidents.  Parents should stay with their own children unless arrangements are made for another parent to supervise your children. If parents have designated another parent to supervise their children at an event, the activity coordinator should be informed of your designee. If your child is under the supervision of another adult at park day, and you, the parent at not physically present, IFHE will assume that the designated adult has your legal permission to act as that child’s authority in any and all circumstances that may occur and that adult has your full permission to make whatever decisions they deem appropriate and best for your child at all times, whether they be disciplinary or medical.

  11. Sickness - If your child(ren) are sick and you believe it might be contagious, please, keep your kiddos at home.

  12. Homeschool Representative - Remember that when you are out in public, you are not only representing yourself but also the IFHE and the homeschooling community in general. Please be on time, courteous, and respect the rules of the venues we visit. Treat others like you would like to be treated –with respect, kindness, and gratitude.

  13. Technology Policy - Parents, please model the behavior you wish to see from your children. Refrain from speaking over teachers, tour guides, and other hosts. Keep phones, tablets and other gadgetry out of classrooms unless specifically requested by a teacher or using phones for photos on field trips. When using phones for class use always keep ringers on silent or phones turned off until time for photos. Electronics may be taken by the teacher or parent helper if not put away when asked and will be returned to a parent at the end of activity.

  14. Drugs & Alcohol - All events, including Parent Activities, are tobacco, alcohol, and drug free.

  15. Background Checks - For the safety of our members, we reserve the right to do background checks on any member or potential member.

  16. No “Weapons”  - We are defining a “weapon” to be any object which is combined with an intent to do harm. It’s what’s in the heart that is more of our concern than what’s in the hand (a pillow could be a weapon if the intent is there.) Therefore, we ask everyone to be mindful and responsible with anything that might potentially be used as a weapon. Anyone found “wielding a weapon” (i.e. child is agitated and angry with an object in hand for the purpose of harming another) should be stopped and may be reported to the Board. Note; An adult responsibly carrying a weapon with a concealed weapon permit is allowed.    

  17. Bad Language - No language that is lewd, vulgar or includes cursing is acceptable. This includes parents and children/teens.

  18. Disrespect - No loud, disruptive, or disrespectful behavior will be permitted. If your child becomes unruly or distracting in any event, please remove your child from the group until control is regained. Host family or coordinator has the authority to suggest the removal of the child.

  19. Public Displays of Affection - There will not be any public displays of affection between anyone during an IFHE activity. Behavior between children should always be wholesome, pure, and above reproach.

  20. Friendly Hugs -  “Friend Hugs” are allowed and important for individuals to flourish, thrive, and connect. Nothing is wrong with friends hugging to say “hello”, “good-bye” or to comfort or congratulate.

  21. Sportsmanship - Show good sportsmanship. If someone in the group wins a game or does something well, we will be happy for that person.

  22. Before you speak, THINK... Is it…

    1. True

    2. Helpful

    3. Inspiring

    4. Necessary

    5. Kind

  23. Assess your actions. For anything not listed above ask yourself if yours or your child/teen(s) actions are:

    1. Honest

    2. Responsible

    3. Respectful

    4. Fair

    5. Compassionate

  24. Guests - Members’ guests are held to and need to abide by this code while at any IFHE function.  Please inform any of your guests of our Code of Conduct. Guests may need to sign a Open Activity Form in order to attend an event.

  25. Have  fun! This group is here for us to help and support one another. Most of our activities are of a social nature and we strive to have fun and enjoy this homeschooling journey together!

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

  1. Working Together - We encourage children to try to work out differences with each other, with parental guidance, before any issue is escalated. Our hope is that parents will help their children learn to be respectful to one another and resolve their differences in a positive and constructive manner. Parents should model this behavior.

  2. Avoiding Gossip - Families should diligently avoid engaging in gossip and should stop when hearing any such behavior. Backbiting, gossiping, envy, and jealousy are not acceptable behaviors.

  3. Being a Peacemaker - Please bring a spirit of peacemaking to our group. Try to overlook an offense, reconcile quickly, and negotiate to reach a satisfactory settlement on both sides.

  4. Parent Conflicts - Unfortunately, personality conflicts and misunderstandings can happen. Though rare, it is important that we agree on how to deal with these situations should they arise. The offended party must first seek to resolve conflict between the two parties privately and respectfully.

  5. Parent Mediation - If either party in unsatisfied or resolution cannot be met, they will be referred to mediation. This is a group of 3 volunteers who agree to be fair and impartial in helping to resolve conflicts within the group. Should we ever need to call upon this group for conflict resolution, the volunteers will be chosen at random, by having their names drawn from a hat. All members agree to abide by the decisions resulting from mediation. Anyone who is not willing to do so will be asked to no longer attend any group functions until he/she agrees.

  6. Board Arbitration - Should there be an issue or situation that cannot be resolved after attempted  mediation, or extreme or uncomfortable feelings between members, please bring it to the attention of the IFHE Board who will take it into prayerful consideration to find a peaceful, swift, and satisfactory resolution.

STEPS FOR RESOLUTION

Step 1 - It is expected that if there is a problem with a child’s behavior, that problem will first be brought to the attention of the child by the leader in charge. If the situation warrants, the problem will be addressed privately with the parent of the child before any other action is taken.

Step 2 -  If your child is misbehaving and you do not handle it (or do not see it) another parent may bring your child to you, explain the situation, and ask you to handle it. Please do not be offended.

Step 3 -  If the behavior is not resolved by the parent, a leader may have to ask the family to leave the event for the sake of others.

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

First Offense -  The child may not return to the class or event until things have been satisfactorily resolved.

Second Offense - The child will be on probation and may not attend activities for at least one (1) . Probation may exceed 1 month if it seems more appropriate for the situation or child.  

Third Offense - The IFHE Board will take action and the child may be expelled from the group for the remainder of the current year and conceivably the following year. There will be no refunds of any fees.

Any acts of harmful behavior such as vandalism, harm to others, dishonesty, abusive language, or any other behavior the Board sees as unacceptable, could result in expulsion without refund of fee and does not require any warnings or notices if the circumstances warrant offender could be reported to appropriate authorities. These disciplinary actions can also apply to families and adults in the group