Friday, April 27, 2012

Support Your State Organization

by Mbuyi and Mong-Tham Khuzadi
I wanted to take a moment to talk with you about some activities in the homeschooling world that may affect your long-term ability to homeschool.

Homeschooling Growing

U.S. Map
As you know, homeschooling is a growing phenomenon throughout the United States. Parents everywhere are turning to the option they have to home educate and disciple their children in safety, love, and with the values they believe in. This is good for us as a community and each of the children individually.
What you may not know is that this right was something that was paid for at a high price for families that homeschooled in America in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Some families were torn apart, other parents were jailed, and still others were harassed, maligned and vilified. But they persevered and the fruit is the freedom we enjoy in safety today.

State Groups Protect Your Rights

Over those years, in every state I have reviewed, support groups formed whose objective was to protect the right to homeschool. These groups lobby at the state houses, perform on-the-ground support, and provide legal support for challenges within the state. Traditionally, they have been supported by other national groups that also will get involved when they can (such as Home School Legal Defense Association).
Around the country, there are state organizations to support you and your right to teach your children at home. These groups do a whole lot to monitor the political winds, lobby, and work with other organizations to protect your liberty to homeschool. They do this, in part, by providing events that help homeschoolers to learn about the process, provide support in the journey, and connect us with materials and their vendors that we can use to home educate our children. 

What Convention to Support?

Recently, some for-profit groups have begun putting on regional conventions of their own. They have good speakers and may be putting on good conventions. But the bigger picture is that outside groups come in, have a convention, and leave. As a result, many of those who would otherwise attend the local convention may opt instead to go to the outside-coordinated convention. Because of that, the local convention will be significantly impacted and revenue losses can cause them to significantly curtail their operations accordingly.
The issue is this: If these state organizations do not have attendance at the conventions, you may not have the advocate at the state level that you need to when a legal case or legislation that infringes on the right to privately homeschool our children arises. The intervention of local state organizations, HSLDA, and others resolve many of these cases and our right to homeschool was preserved. Without state organizations, there are fewer or no direct advocates for our rights. 
If you are only going to one convention this year let me suggest that you go to the one sponsored by your local state organization. They fought for your right to homeschool in the first place and are still operating and protecting you now. It's more than a convention. It's an advocacy group and a personal advocate. That's what we've done in the past and what we intend to do going forward. Would you please join us in supporting your state advocacy group?
Copyright 2012. Mbuyi and Mong-Tham Khuzadi. Oringinally published in Exploring Homeschooling Newsletter. Used by permission.

No comments: