The OLH Homeschool Support group assists parents in their role as the primary educators of their children.  We offer a weekly parent-run educational cooperative on Fridays during the school year, and host special events year round.

All events are open to all members of the parish, so feel free to visit and get involved, even if you don’t think of yourself as a “homeschooler.”  It’s important to build friendships with other Catholics in the parish, because Christians aren’t meant to “go it alone.” Please come and visit if you’re curious.

Non-English speaking families are welcome, and most programs have a Spanish-speaking volunteer available for assistance.

Homeschooling isn’t the only way to get a great Catholic education for your child.  St. Peter’s Catholic School is the parish school for Our Lady of the Hills.  Take a look!

Join us for Mass and picnic lunch!

Every Friday that the OLH Educational Cooperative is in session (see below for an abbreviated calendar), we meet for Benediction (noon), Mass (12:15), and a picnic lunch afterwards (12:45).  We would love to meet you, so please join us and get to know the families of your parish.

If you attend Mass with your grandchild or preschool children, please feel entirely welcome to introduce your children and we’ll encourage them to join in the games and playtime.  If you just want to chat, or ask questions about helping your children with their homework, the parents are friendly! All OLH homeschool ministry events are open to any member of the parish, regardless of where your child (grandchild, etc) attends school.

2016-2017 Registration is Now Open!

Please join us at the co-op!  Annual registrations are taken in the summer.  Late registrations are accepted through the school year on a space-available basis, with instructor approval.  To register:

  1. Check the Course Descriptions  – All classes meet from 10:00 – 11:30 on Friday mornings.
  2. Read the Homeschooling Support Group Policies and Procedures.
  3. Check the instructions for complying with diocesan requirements for church volunteers.
  4. Fill out the registration form.

Please join the OLHHomeschool Yahoo Group in order to stay current with group news and activities.  Visitors are welcome to join us anytime for Mass and brown bag lunch on Fridays.

Homeschool Support Group Q&A

May I participate in support group activities even if I don’t homeschool my child?

Yes.  The support group is a ministry of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church. All parishioners are welcome to participate, regardless of where their child (grandchild, etc.) attends school.  Many families participate in the preschool program while their older children are at school.

Your preschool looks great!  May I drop off my child?

No.  All support group programs require a parent or parent-designated guardian to stay on site with the child.  St. Peter’s Catholic School, the parish school for Our Lady of the Hills, offers an excellent full-service preschool program.

Do I have to sign a statement of faith in order to join?

This is a Catholic program, and instructors agree to ensure that all course material is consistent with the Catholic faith.  Non-Catholic friends and family members are welcome. The program directors are available to answer any questions concerning course materials and content.

Must I take the Virtus Training course in order to participate?

Yes.  This is a parent-run program, so we need all parents and volunteers to comply with diocesan child-safety practices.  If you have never taken the Virtus training course in the Diocese of Charleston, please go to Virtus.org and register for the next available course in your area.  Scan or photocopy your training certificate so we can keep it on file at the parish office.

How much do support group activities cost?

There is no set cost for participation in the OLH Educational Cooperative.  However, parents may be asked to donate supplies to be used during class or to purchase books.  Teachers will notify parents of these requirements prior to the beginning of classes.  Additionally, each family will be expected to contribute to a donation that is taken up for the church at the end of year.  Please notify the Friday Cooperative Director if this presents a financial hardship so that other arrangements can be made.

2016-2017 Calendar

8/5 – Co-op Registration Deadline (late registration accepted on a space-available basis)

Parent Meeting – TBA

9/9 – First Class of the New School Year

11/25 – No Class, Thanksgiving Break

12/23, 12/30 – No Class, Christmas Break

1/6/2017 – First Class for 2017

4/14 – No Class, Good Friday

4/21 – No Class, Easter Friday

5/26 – Last Class Session for the School Year

 

Other Activities TBA:

  • Parent Socials & Support Sessions
  • Parish Picnic
  • Christmas Caroling
  • Epiphany Party
  • Science Fair
  • “Look at the Book” Curriculum Fair
  • Getting Started Homeschooling Workshops

Details will be posted as plans are announced.

Dress Code

When participating in homeschool support group events, volunteers and participants will adhere to the following dress code:

  • Shoulders covered.
  • No exposed cleavage or midriff.
  • No tight clothing.
  • Skirts should be knee-length or longer.
  • Shorts should be fingertip-length or longer.
  • Participants will wear appropriate shoes at all times.  No bare feet.

Mass and church visits are part of the Friday homeschooling co-op schedule. Clothing need not be formal, but should be neat and clean.

Fashion accidents happen.  Difficulties with the dress code will be addressed discreetly and respectfully, with allowances made for the usual problems of growing children, getting dressed in the dark, accidentally grabbing younger siblings’ clothing, and so forth. Clothing scholarships are available for families with financial need.

Contact Info

E-mail List at Yahoo Groups: OLHHOMESCHOOL  If you plan to participate in support group activities, even only once or twice a year, please join the list. This is where all announcements and updates are communicated.  The list is open to any parishioner who would like to stay in touch.  We welcome participation from private tutors and others with news or information to share.  If you need specific assistance, please post a message to the list:

Bryan Stikeleather – Parish Liason

Colleen Wilcox – Friday Cooperative Director

Veronica Fernandez – Friday Cooperative Co-Director

Erika Schwarz  – Spanish Language Assistance

Natural Family Planning

NFP instruction is available by appointment on Friday mornings during class time, and parents of young children may use the homeschool nursery during their appointment.  Spanish language instruction coming soon.

Please contact Kelli Ball to make an appointment.  KelliHBall@gmail.com or 803.807.0158.

Links of Interest

These following are informal, lay-run sites not affiliated with the Diocese of Charleston:

South Carolina Catholic Homeschoolers Website

SC Catholic Homeschoolers Facebook Page (public)

SC Catholic Homeschoolers Facebook Group (private – request permission to join)

Please note: The Support Group is NOT a legal compliance association. If you are looking for a Catholic 3rd Option Legal Compliance Association in SC, visit Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  This is a lay-run association organized under SC law, and is not affiliated with the diocese.  You MUST join a 1st, 2nd or 3rd option group in order to legally homeschool in SC.