Any parent or teacher who wants to run classes or workshops at the DLC may do so! We encourage anyone who needs a space for kid-centered or parent-centered classes to consider our facility.
We encourage both short-term and long-term activities. We host special activities that happen once, short-term classes that meet a few times, and long-term classes that meet weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly.
What can you do? Please share any of your skills or interests. You do not need a degree or professional experience to run a class at the DLC. All you need is passion for your subject and the can-do attitude of a lifelong learner. If you're not sure whether an activity would be right for the DLC, contact our volunteer coordinator.
We welcome activities for any age range from preschool through high school and workshops to help homeschooling parents. Currently, the DLC's membership is concentrated in the 6-12 years old range, but we encourage classes for any age.
It is free for volunteer teachers to host any activity that is free and open to any homeschooler at the DLC. We only ask that you follow our sign-in procedures so we know how many attendees there were, and that you request a $2-5 donation per family to support the space (this is also collected as a registration fee through Coursestorm, our online registration system.) Certain activities may be offered for free with a materials fee.
If you would like to offer a class as a paid guest teacher, then we will collect a registration fee from your students and the students will pay you directly in advance or at the first class of your session.
Your event will be advertised in our weekly e-mail newsletter and on our website. Some DLC events are featured in Growing Up in Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz Parent, but we do not guarantee this for all events. Any advertising you do will help get the word out.
Rooms available include:
We ask that you leave a room in the condition you found it after your class or activity.
Start out by picking a time that works well for you and a friend or two who are interested in participating. Homeschooling families in the area are part of many different activities and programs with many different schedules and there is no "perfect" time that will meet everyone's needs. If you want to try to maximize your success in attracting families to your event, consider these factors:
Process for scheduling your event:
If you would like to take other programs' schedules into account, here are some helpful links:
If your class appeals to elementary school children and you want to try to work around the various homeschool programs' schedules, check:
Please note that you are only required to schedule around DLC and church events. We offer the links to local homeschool programs as reference only.
Writing your Description:
Describe your activity and state your expectations for the structure and focus of the class. See our other activity descriptions on the main page of our website for ideas. Give your activity a rating:
DLC Activity Ratings
Mellow- this activity is calm and tends to be focused and/or structured, good for sensitive kids
Tangy- this activity is a mix of calm and high energy periods, good for kids who can focus for short periods of time but also like to get up and move around
Spicy- this activity is high energy with a lot going on, good for kids who like to be busy and active
Guidelines for Dealing with Challenges in Volunteer Led Activities:
All DLC activities are free and open to the public, however, the board knows that sometimes there isn’t a good fit between an activity and a child who is participating in the activity. As the leader, please consider how you would wish to be treated if the situation were reversed. Families homeschool for many reasons and sometimes struggle with issues of acceptance and belonging. We want to be sensitive and supportive to those families as well as to the needs of the volunteers that make our organization possible. This blog post has many good ideas for modifying activities to fit a child's needs.
We suggest the following interventions in the following order:
1. State your expectations up front where both children and their parents can hear them. For instance, “In this class, you’ll need to be able to sit quietly for about ten minutes during the discussion and take turns talking. You will have time to play with your friends later.” Many of us volunteer to lead activities that directly benefit our child(ren) so you may wish to set guidelines in your activity description that meet your family’s needs in your description for the newsletter and website. For instance, “This club is for 12-15 year olds who are self motivated to participate and can sustain concentration for about an hour.”
2. Talk to the child about the challenge you see and your expectations. “Jeff, when you shout out like that, no one else gets a turn to talk. Please wait for your turn. You can step outside for a few minutes if you need a break.”
3. Talk to the parent about the challenge you see and ask for support. “Jessie tickles and whispers to her friends during the discussion and the children around her are distracted. I have talked to her and she doesn’t seem to be able to stop. Do you have ideas about how she can participate meaningfully without distracting others?” It may be helpful to ask if the parent can participate with the child for a while.
4. If the child continues to be challenged, then suggest to the parent that the activity may not be a good fit for the child. Suggest other activities that might be a better fit, if possible. “Although I know Jenny can handle the reading, the rest of the group is several years older than her and the discussion and activities are difficult for her. The ____ class might be a better match.” If a child truly doesn’t have the necessary skills to participate in an activity and the above strategies have been tried, then the DLC Board supports volunteers in asking a family not to return to an activity. For the sake of our community, we ask that this be a last resort.
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