The Niche Homeschool Enrichment Group
The Niche is a community of like-minded homeschool families dedicated to providing our children a classical education with a Charlotte Mason flare.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Vision:
Our vision is to create an educational environment that supports homeschool families by offering classes that helps to drive and enrich their existing curriculums.
• The Niche will offer an atmosphere that encourages a love of learning and fosters an enthusiasm for knowledge.
• The Niche will develop and encourage a strong sense of character and
community with a focus on helping children develop habits they will carry into adulthood.
• The Niche will offer a wide range of academic subjects carefully designed around a rich variety of resources that will bring their quest for knowledge to life.
In an effort to achieve our goals, we will use a variety of academic resources and standardized curriculums to help guide our studies. The techniques used to engage the students will follow a classical liberal arts philosophy, infused with Charlotte Mason’s guiding principles.
Our class blocks will be offered two days per week. Families can select a single day enrollment, or they can choose to attend both days. Each day will consist of 2 separate academic courses as well as morning meetings, character lessons, and a FREE period for lunch and recess. The class blocks are outlined below with specific details about activities and curriculum that will be used to guide the class studies. Parents will receive a syllabus at the beginning of the year outlining the coursework that will be done in class as well as the suggested studies to be done at home.
In addition to the class block options, The Niche will offer small group Reading Intensive sessions 30 minutes prior to class on both days. These Reading Intensives will be designed specifically around individual needs and will not be in outlined below. Families will have the opportunity to select these Reading Intensives when they register their students in The Niche program.
The Niche Group is dedicated to the success of all students, and has created a behavior program grounded in kindness, respect, and responsibility. With those key values in mind, we have developed the FAB 5 which are general rules designed to equip our students with the skills to excel in a community environment.
THE NICHE FAB 5
Within The Community:
Parents, conductors and students will all be working to encourage and exhibit these life skills to one another on a weekly basis within our classroom setting. As situations arise we will all be forced to handle conflict and address issues that transpire. Please focus on the following guidelines to help when things do happen within our group to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved.
• Gather the facts — beware of the kiddo tales.
• Give the benefit of the doubt — assume the best in others intentions.
• Seek wise counsel — avoid gossip
• Address — the situation in love with the necessary people involved (leadership).
• Trust & Forgive — know that issues handled in love will allow everyone to move past them and trust each other in the future.
Within The Classroom:
Conductors have been trained in the Love and Logic method of behavior and classroom management. The premise of this program builds a mutually beneficial relationship between authority figures and children in an empathetic way by setting limits, creating accountability, and earning mutual respect. These techniques will be used within the individual classrooms as well as throughout our community setting. For cases in which more serious offenses or continued disruption to others occur, the following procedures will be enforced on an as-needed basis.
1. Verbal warning from member of leadership.
2. Student will be instructed to take a 5-10 minute timeout from activities depending on the age of the student.
3. The Niche Coordinator will have a verbal conference with the student, parent and conductor to reinforce expectations.
4. The Niche Coordinator will notify parents and fill out a disciplinary report to file with students enrollment paperwork and the family will be required to have another conference to discuss situation.
5. Upon receiving a total of two written disciplinary reports, a student may be subject to a full day suspension from class. There will be no refunds given in the case of suspensions.
6. Students who receive three written disciplinary reports will dismissed from The Niche program regardless of how many days are left on their original enrollment.
Depending on the severity of an infraction, any and all steps in the consequences procedure may be eliminated or combined. Serious offenses regarding safety and bullying may result in immediate dismissal from the program.
Parents are encouraged to participate in the school day and support their students. That being said, we also ask parents to encourage independence with their students and urge them to engage in the Conductor/student relationship. Our conductors are the authority within the classroom and are trained to only seek parental support for behavior issues after exhausting other techniques and options. A wiggle or a giggle doesn’t require a parental intervention and is often more of a hindrance in classroom management than a help.
To Bring or Not to Bring…
The Niche is designed to provide an educational setting for the kids, and so we do ask parents and children to limit outside distractions from the classrooms. Below is a list of some suggested items we would like to keep at home as well as the items you will want to bring with you for classroom days!
• Students are required to bring their own lunches and snacks for each day along with a refillable water bottle for drinks. We do ask parents NOT to send soda with their kiddos.
• Pencil Pouch with pencils (pencils will be provided but if your student requires a special pencil grip or larger pencil, etc. please send it with them)
• Notebooks (students will be given notebooks to bring back and forth to class that hold memory work or special assignments. Keep track of those weekly and be sure they come to class to get new assignments)
• Assignments (there may or may not be additional assignments for the students in class… read your weekly emails to ensure you kiddo is prepared)
• Presentation supplies (students will be assigned presentation topics which may include props as determined by the student)
NOT TO BRING…
When in doubt… leave it home, and ask for a special show and tell!
• Toys (including stuffed animals)
• Fancy pens or pencils
• Anything that may appear to be weapon, such as swords, Nerf toys, etc.
Medication & Illness Policy:
Medication will not be given to students during the course of our day by any community member other than a parent or guardian. This rule applies to all medication including prescription and over the counter, so please make arrangements accordingly. If your child does show signs of illness or complains of not feeling well, we will contact you and/or the emergency contacts listed on your registration packet so that you may come and pick up your child from class.
Emergency medications such as EPI Pens or inhalers are allowed and will be used on an emergency basis as instructed by the parental consent form signed in the registration paperwork.
In an effort to keep our community healthy, we do ask that you please be courteous of other families and keep your child home from the scheduled activities should they show signs of potential illness. Children exhibiting symptoms of illness should be kept home until they are symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to class.
Symptoms to monitor include but are not limited to:
* Fever 100 degrees or higher
* Unexplained rash
* Any other signs of a possible contagious illness
If your child requires medical treatment for any type of contagious illness such as strep throat, pink eye, bronchitis, etc., we ask you to keep them home until they have been under their prescribed regiment of care for 24 hours. Some illnesses will require a longer treatment program, and we ask you to adhere to your physician’s advice. The Niche community reserves the right to request a doctor’s release to determine a student’s ability to participate in the daily programs.
The Niche asks parents to be mindful of their children’s clothing choices within the academic setting. There will be a variety of activities done throughout the day, so we advise children to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Weather permitting, we will be having activities inside and outside, so we ask children to come prepared with jackets or sweatshirts to ensure they stay warm. In addition, we do ask parents and children to be considerate of others when selecting their garments to ensure no “inappropriate” language or pictures are depicted. We also ask for modesty to be a consideration when choosing dresses, skirts, shorts, and tops.
We are so thankful to the team at Lakeshore Church PCA for the use of this fabulous facility. In order to ensure our continued favor, we ask all families to keep in mind that our weekly goal is to leave the premises better than when we arrived. Simple tasks like picking up trash outside and cleaning up after ourselves will show this congregation our level of appreciation. In addition, we are responsible for making sure the space is ready for use any given Sunday when the church meets. We have created a sign-up form for you to register for this task. Each week a family will be in charge making sure things are in order prior to our departure. Conductors are responsible for their classrooms and will not be on the family rotation list. In addition, the first Sunday of every month the Lakeshore Church congregation hosts a potluck in this building, and it is our task to ensure tables are set up and the building is ready for their arrival.
Communication is the key to any healthy environment. In order to keep communication open please feel free to call, text, Marco-Polo, or email those in leadership positions with any questions you and your family may have. As mentioned previously, we do ask families to respect one another, avoid gossip, and seek wise counsel from those actually involved. In the event a situation arises, we are committed to securing a swift and agreeable solution.
Kim Mikesell: Niche Coordinator and classroom Conductor
Beth Berryhill: Niche Conductor
Adriana Fitz: Niche Conductor
Address: Lakeshore Church PCA
8083 Hope Dr
Denver, NC 28037