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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don't be scared, homie

This goes out to you my fellow homeschoolers.  If you are homeschooling, you have probably realized that you are in for the fight of your life.  It is you against the world. Your friends will argue with you or turn on you.  Your parents will very likely disapprove.  You may even have a sibling call children services and report you for bad parenting.  You are truly in for a fight against their misconceptions and prejudices, but don't let the fear make you run.  Stand up tall and prepare to fight.

This video is for you.

But how do you fight?

You can join the Home School Legal Defense Association.  I know I did.  Paying this organization $100 or so dollars a year, just in case I had to fight someone in court, gave me a bit of a sense of security... until I realized what I was funding.   Why I won't be HSLDA's Pansy  I feel like HSLDA is
more of a special interest group seeking to control government legislation than protecting the rights of homeschoolers.  Instead of spending the resources homeschoolers give to protect homeschoolers in court the organization is instead supporting the greater Republican fight under the assumption that the Republican party supports homeschooling, so let's keep democrats out of office.  I realize this is not such a bad thing for many people, but I prefer to support individual politicians, not a party (any party) as a whole.

Then there are other organizations that will help you fight.  One such program, is attempting to gain momentum... and here is an interesting blog post and comments that you may want to read.  The problem here is that the company initially (and it did not take much for them to back-peddle) offered homeschool certification to nervous parents.  Whether you seek to prove your worthiness to homeschool, or whether you want a piece of paper to help you say "in your face" to the detractors, seeking homeschool certification is a slippery slope for homeschooling as a whole.  Can you imagine a day when in order to homeschool, the parent has to take a class (that they'd probably have to pay for) and to pass a test.  Homeschool stats show that the parents educational background does not dictate the outcome of the product.

I encourage people to fight by joining forces with other homeschoolers; to get together with other homeschoolers, to match strengths and weaknesses, to build a community where you can get everything you all need for your children.  I can imaging 5 families getting together to teach their collective children.  One or two of the 10-ish parents speak a foreign language.  One parent is a math wiz, another a computer expert, another a geography buff, another a grammar guru.  Can you picture this?  This would be nirvana where homeschooling is concerned.

While such a group in reality, is hard to come by (but can be done), you can still join homeschool co-ops and hybrid programs where you can find these gems within the local community that can give your child what you cannot, and to help you provide an individualized education for your child.

I was in this same position as many of you about 11 years ago when my two college kids were homeschooling.  I felt alone.  I felt isolated. I felt fearful. But I also felt emboldened because I knew kids who were graduating from homeschool ready and equipped for the world,  I also knew kids who were graduating from public school, many of whom were not necessarily equipped to move forward.  I looked around me and saw TRACK RECORDS that I could internalize and intellectualize that I was doing what was good and right.  And guess what?! I never needed legal defense; not even when my neighbor called the truant officer on me.  The most I ever got was a few hurt feelings when a relative said something mean about me for homeschooling.... and I got over it, and while they still don't agree with homeschooling, they can't deny that my kids are not exceptional... whether they think we are the exception or not.

So don't be scared homie.... relax, and homeschool.  Follow the rules and regulation of your particular state, and keep any required documentation and you will be fine.

Have a great day.

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