We have a family that came to the homeschool group midway through the year last year. There are 7 children. The problems started when we spoke to mom about the annual dues and she said she couldn't pay them in full - could we take a payment plan? We don't even do that with our regular members who have been there for years unless there are extenuating circumstances and we didn't know this lady from Adam so we told her "No, we're sorry but we need the dues in full." We DID have her pay only half of the dues since she came in halfway through the year but it ended up being like pulling teeth to get money out of her. I understand that she has money problems but if that's the case, a homeschool group is not a requirement or a necessity of life and maybe she just needs to not join the group. The other issue we found out quickly was that she was a perpetually late person. She never showed up less than 30 minutes late and was usually more like 45 minute late every week which was SO disruptive to each of the groups (she has children in all of the age groups so this affects all of the classes). Because we only have 2.5 hours together, we usually get started right away so that we can get the two full "classes" and gym fit in there. So now her children show up in a class 45 minutes into the class and one of the teachers now needs to take those children individually and get them started on the project at another table because the other kids are quite a ways ahead of them. They usually have to stay with them the entire time period because it will take them that long to maybe get close to catching up - if they ever do. So we spoke to her about being late and she always has a good excuse but we told her that others make the decision that if they're going to be that late, they will not come because it's just not fair to everyone involved. We explained it all to her and asked her that if she can't be there at 1pm, to please do what she needs to do with her family and just not come. Well, that didn't seem to work because she still was forever late. The last time we saw her, we addressed everything again because she had been coming to the group for 2 months and still had not paid the dues for this year and I had reminded her of the full cost and told her we need all that up front - that we don't do "payments". We also laid down the law that she cannot show up late like that anymore and that if she can't be there on time, it's best not to come then. So the next week she shows up 50 minutes late and with only half of the dues. UGH!!! (Understand that this is a lady who we've been finding out from the pastors is trying to play the system and get help from multiple churches while she and her husband refuse to work for what really amounts to frivolous reasons). So we once again laid down the law and explained to her this is it. If she shows up late again, we're going to ask her to not return at all. We also needed the remainder of the dues the next time she shows up - no excuses. We tried to be kind but also very firm because we feel we were being taken advantage of. I think she was shocked that someone stood up to her because she looked like a deer in the headlights. ARG!! She did not show up to the last 3 meetings we had and to tell you the truth, we were relieved. So, I just got an e-mail from one of the other leaders who is on vacation this week. Another member offered to pay the remainder of the dues for her so that she can come back because she can't afford the dues. SIGH - I would accept that offer if this woman were cooperative in getting to the group on time but I'm really not wanting to take it because of this issue!! Additionally, I know that the same issue will come up next year and will someone step in to help out then as well? I don't know. I was just going over my e-mail to the member who offered to pay with my older daughter to see if i worded it well and my two little ones who are in the homeschool group said "Those kids are mean. They are very fresh to the teachers and they say mean things to the other kids behind the teacher's backs. We don't like those kids." My kids like everyone. I was shocked. Ugh - it's just so much easier if these kids don't come back and I just refund the money to the mom and be done with it but then again, I don't want to just use my human nature to make the decision. Am I being mean? Should I show more grace to this lady? I don't know what to do. PLEASE - what would you think about this situation??