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momof1gr8girl
01-11-2011, 05:05 PM
I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this and perhaps someone has already posted about it but I am hoping for some input.

We have been members of an online charter school for 5 years. I have always had to supplement the material or fly through it because my daughter isn't very challenged by it. When we started it was pretty much like paid homeschool curriculum because the only hoops we had to jump through for the state was the state testing. As the years have passed they have put more and more "state hoops" to jump through and are basically now teaching to the state tests. (They've also started a parent forum that is so religiously based it infuriates me.)

I'm done after this year and am going to venture out on my own. My question is do you think it is good/important/necessary to join the Home School Legal Defense Fund? I really cannot imagine the need arising where I would feel like I wish I had them in my corner; but, I'd hate to actually find myself in a situation where I wish I did. They seem very Christian oriented, but I do think their main objective is defending the rights of homeschoolers.

I'm very interested in your thoughts.

dbmamaz
01-11-2011, 05:16 PM
I'm sure there are at least 2 other posts around here dealing with them - most people of a liberal secular bend are vehemently opposed to them. They have a sister organization which lobbies for conservative causes. they are a very, very christain organization. They generally wont protect anyone who isnt using a boxed curriculum or needs help due to divorce. Generally you just need to know and conform to your state's home schooling laws. find a secular or inclusive state group to help you with any particulars about your state. As long as you are abiding by the law, there is nothing to be afraid of. HSLDA sells fear.

Hampchick
01-11-2011, 05:43 PM
I would guess if the parenting forum is infuriating you then you would not like being a member of HSLDA :) I wonder if there are any state organizations; even a yahoo group for your state that would have experienced folks willing to help other through the twists and turns. That's what's helped me the most just to understand the legalities in my state.

dottieanna29
01-11-2011, 06:37 PM
I'm going to agree with the others. I don't like a lot of what HSLDA does and stands for. I've read other places that in some cases they actually make things worse (by bringing up legislation that actually more strictly defines what homeschoolers can do, making a big deal of issues that no one is actually having a problem with). They aren't just Christian, they are extreme Conservative, Fundamentalist Christian.

I live in an extremely easy to homeschool state but I think that as long as you know and understand your regulations you will be fine. Most of the problems/court cases are due to custody issues or come up due to other neglect/abuse issues. HSLDA wouldn't help you with either of these.

farrarwilliams
01-11-2011, 06:57 PM
Agreed with everyone else. Unless you support some of the other causes they work for on the side (like working against gay marriage, for example) then I wouldn't join them. When we were first starting out, our jurisdiction was changing their homeschool laws and, along with lots of parents, I met with a group that included the HSLDA lawyer for here. At first, I felt like they were okay, that is was just strange bedfellows. The lawyer specifically said, for example, that they would have no problem defending unschoolers and that they would have no problem defending gay parents. But now, I totally see that's not true at all and the lawyer was basically lying.

MamaB2C
01-11-2011, 07:17 PM
If you read and understand the laws of your state, there really is no need to have what amounts to legal insurance for only one specific type of legal issue, IMO. HSLDA has some good info on their websites, but they have way too much of a Conservative agenda to join for my comfort.

Also, as has been said, they are persnickety regarding how they define homeschooler and won't take on divorce cases (the vast majority of homeschool legal problems relate to divorce).

There are other groups that will help with legal issues for homeschoolers.

momof1gr8girl
01-11-2011, 09:45 PM
Oh my gosh that group is NOT for me! You saved me $100 & the aggravation when I figured out what they were really all about. They make it sound like "the man" is out to get all of us and we need protection. Thanks for all your input!

MamaB2C
01-12-2011, 11:28 AM
Fearmongering is their main source of income.

Yarngoddess
02-01-2011, 08:41 PM
Honestly I do not agree with HSLDA....having said that I am a member, lol. Let me explain. I'm very Low Income- and there were some very nasty things being said by our case workers at the TANF office (welfare) about the kids being homeschooled and that the "director" wasn't allowing homeschooled kids to receive benefits- which breaks the law. They were saying that if we continued (we being all people on welfare) to homeschool then each worker would call CPS for an investigation and cancel our benefits untill it was resolved. Bleh. I was also getting SERIOUS flack from our "family" members. I contacted them and they have given us a scholarship membership. I get a year service because I cannot pay for them- and sure enough they had to call the Welfare office and talk to the head worker and explain the law for our area....and they also were and are there for us in our current CPS investigation regarding Educational neglect. I would have had a hard time with out them, because I have medical issues, and don't have the energy to investigate/fight all these things. SO- IMO they have their place, however I don't agree with them on almost all the things they stand for.

FWIW- if you did find yourself in a situation where you NEEDED them, they will almost always help you if you call in an emergency kind of situation (during office hours). Hope that helps you make a decision, but they are UBER Christian...just be warned lol.

dbmamaz
02-01-2011, 10:05 PM
Well, Yarn, I'm glad they're able to help you - that does sound like a rough spot

ejhmommy
02-09-2011, 03:09 PM
I see you are in ohio, here is a good group with some good info for ohio hs'ers. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/C-A-T-C-H

You have to ask to join, just to keep out spammers. :D

Shoe
02-11-2011, 07:33 PM
I'm a member of HSLDA. While I disagree with some of their political views, the legislative atmosphere in NH has been very anti-homeschooling up until recently, so I've appreciated the benefits that they offer. I recognize that many here would not agree. Is it necessary? Probably not, if you have a good lawyer in the event of any kind of legal conflict in your state. I like the feeling of comfort, and the advocacy that they provide, in general.

higgledypiggledy
02-12-2011, 02:42 AM
Yarn Goddess, I am irritated and mad on your behalf that people somehow think that because youa re lower income you shouldn't be allowed to offer your kids the best education possible. I'm only guessing that since you are low income, you probably live in an area where the schools struggle with poverty issues. While I can't stand HSLDA's position on a variety of stuff and find their overt religiosity offensive I am glad they had your back.

Ana
02-16-2011, 07:58 PM
we were members until we needed them and they found out we are atheist. They apparently are not to thrilled with Latinos either.

missourimom
02-17-2011, 09:58 AM
You know, when we first started I looked around for an alternative to HSLDA simply due to cost & that they are extremely fundamental in their beliefs. It irritates the crap out of me when so many assume you are only homeschooling to "put Christ back into your child's education" or however they phrase it. The other group I found is HSLA & they are very Christian as well. Figures since we're the minority.

That said, I do get the HSLDA email alerts and did join FHE (Families for Home Education - also very Christian) simply for the information regarding my state. Missouri is very laid back but there always seems to be things brewing lately. Between the Core Curriculum garbage & now the stuff in IL (funny how states tend to look next door & think, "hey, what a good idea!") I am following what HSLDA are doing/saying because it could have an impact on my household. I do give props for how they handled the hearing in IL this week. They had this truancy officer who was all for the registration looking like a fool. The truancy officer actually said he would visit all the registered homeschoolers homes to 'offer his help' but could never explain what type of help or why they would want/need it.

Sorry...tangent!!

I never signed up for HSLDA & didn't renew FHE when my year was up. I'm extremely freaky about my records because they are my line of defense if anything would ever happen.
Funny as it may sound on a secular board...you just have to have a little faith that things will be okay because you followed the laws to the letter & kept accurate records that show without a shadow of a doubt that you are doing what is required.

kcanders
02-17-2011, 10:11 AM
I do give props for how they handled the hearing in IL this week. They had this truancy officer who was all for the registration looking like a fool. The truancy officer actually said he would visit all the registered homeschoolers homes to 'offer his help' but could never explain what type of help or why they would want/need it.



He did look like a fool didn't he. When he was talking I kept thinking he was going to say that homeschoolers needed to register so that when he got a complaint he could look on his list of homeschoolers to know if they were really homeschoolers or kids from public school just saying they were homeschoolers while truant. But he just saying they needed to register so he could visit them and offer his help. Is that a truant officers job? To offer assistance to homeschoolers?? I guess I was confused all these years. :)

GothicGyrl
02-17-2011, 12:09 PM
And this is why I would never support HSLDA in a million years--the fear mongering. Far too many believe they "need" them and that's what allows them to stay around. The truth is this: while the NEA can't stand us, we are constitutionally guaranteed a right to homeschool. No matter how much gets thrown at us, we are legally allowed to do so. And yet, so many believe our right will be taken away.

No, we'll be more regulated than we are now and that's about it. And the truth about that is, that regulation won't happen for a VERY long time--far too many of us exist for it to happen any sooner. And as long as the public schools keep failing, people will continue to homeschool. Fact is, public schools have 100+ years of failure, we've got nothing but 30 some odd years of success. Numbers wise, it would seem the PS is doing a better job, quality wise, we rise far above them.

And hence, have nothing to fear. Cancel your memberships and save yourself some money ladies. If you truly need a lawyer on your side, find a family attorney who is versed in homeschooling laws for your state. Keep their number on speed dial and print out the 4th amendment and your state's laws regarding homeschooling. That is ALL that is needed.