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View Full Version : For those questioning whether to get HSLDA or not..



GothicGyrl
02-16-2011, 05:29 PM
I'm posting this link for you to peruse and hopefully help you make your decision.

http://hsislegal.com/

I will never, not in anyone's lifetime, ever subscribe to HSLDA. EVER. They have agendas that are very conservative and stick their noses where they do not belong.

Oh and the reason why I posted this is because I read a thread the other night where someone stated that they are glad they have them even though their state isn't homeschooling negative and they probably will never need them.

The truth is, I could never do that. Not for a group that is so anti-anything not conservative Christian. And they want you to believe you need them. You DO NOT. Not even in the most anti-homeschooling state like California or Pennsylvania. You do not need them at all. All you need is to be armed with knowledge of your state law, follow that law to the letter and if you get that knock on the door, tell them to bring a warrant.

I'm serious--I truly believe HSLDA has convoluted cases on their site. I don't think they help homeschoolers near as much as they claim--choosing to stick their noses in legislation it doesn't belong in.

Anyway, flame away. I won't change my mind just as much as you probably won't yours. But that website is for research only. :)

toni

Ana
02-16-2011, 07:41 PM
I agree with you 100%. I had a membership while living in Arkansas, when I actually needed some legal advice, they were willing to help until they found out we are an atheist family. They are a Christian group of lawyers and ultra conservative. I have nothing against Christians, on the contrary, my father was a Baptist minister! I just thing you can hire an attorney or speak to the ACLU for advice on how to handle something when needed. They will never get any more money out of me either.

We were at a HS convention once in LR AR, I was looking over some materials from them when somehow the subject of immigration and Latino's came up. The man finally laughed and said "Our country would be a better place if we put them ALL on a bus and send them back to Mexico, legal or not." I was shocked! My first thought was "YOU are an attorney?" Does he not know what a legal liability that statement alone is? Then my Mexican husband walked up oblivious to what had just been said and asked "You ready to go home honey?" I swear the man turned 3 shades of white, then red! I smiled sweetly and said "screw you." and walked away. I was furious that my money had ever gone to this organization.

dbmamaz
02-16-2011, 07:59 PM
then my mexican husband walked up oblivious to what had just been said and asked "you ready to go home honey?" i swear the man turned 3 shades of white, then red! I smiled sweetly and said "screw you." and walked away.

roflmao - awesome!

floridamom
02-17-2011, 01:32 AM
You won't get any flames from me. I'm with you 100%.

1. I could never, in good conscience, support their agenda (which has very little to do with homeschooling).
2. Their practice of fear mongering is what gets many people to think they need HSLDA.

mommykicksbutt
02-17-2011, 12:00 PM
roflmao - awesome!

ditto!!!!!

bcnlvr
07-31-2011, 10:08 AM
NHELD (http://www.nheld.com/) is a better resource, IMO, than H$LDA, if you need legal advice. I don't have the time or the wind to go into my disdain for H$LDA at this early hour (not enough coffee on board) :)

bcn

Amanadoo
07-31-2011, 11:42 AM
I bookmarked that article, but haven't read it yet, so I apologize if this is something it touched on...But in one of the yahoo groups I'm in an extremely helpful woman gave a brief history of HSLDA and the sundry reasons people choose to join or not. It completely changed my (previously gung-ho for them) ideas about HSLDA. And she didn't even mention religion. More about how it's the Wal Mart of homeschool legal issues, squeezing out the local guys who are entrenched in regional law and the public's homeschooling attitudes, that seek to actually help individuals and families, not just build class action lawsuits. This woman's run down really struck me to the core, because it kind of forced m to integrate my ideas about homeschooling into my general life philosophy, if you understand what I mean. I couldn't keep it in a box...it had to be absorbed into who I am and what I stand or.

ANYway, another non-HSLDA member here.

dbmamaz
07-31-2011, 12:56 PM
http://www.uuhomeschool.org/pub-040217-01.php3 this is the only article I know of off hand

dottieanna29
07-31-2011, 01:03 PM
Aside from the political agenda they support, which is completely repugnant to me, they work to pass legislation that actually more closely defines what is homeschooling, so the protection is limited for anyone who doesn't fit their definition. They will not support unschoolers, virtual schoolers or charter schoolers (which strictly speaking - isn't that everyone in California?).

If you follow your states laws, you should have no need for their services. Most states have a homeschooling organization who can help you find a lawyer if you have a problem. But most people I've seen who support HSLDA and have used their services - It was for nothing more than the school district/BOE asking for more information than was allowed under the law and HSLDA didn't do anything more than send a letter pointing out what the law was. Something your home state organization will usually help with if you don't feel able to do it yourself.

They will not help with custody cases, which is probably the biggest problem homeschoolers run into.

ksb427
07-31-2011, 02:55 PM
http://www.uuhomeschool.org/pub-040217-01.php3 this is the only article I know of off hand

Thank you so much for posting this! We're UU.

Also, we haven't joined HSLDA and aren't planning to.

jessica14
07-31-2011, 04:59 PM
I do not know too much about this group other than to stay clear! I actually glanced over an article in the March-April issue of Home Education Magazine regarding them as wrong on wanting tax credits for homeschooling families. Apparently, they are looked at as mainstream by legislators who don't really have their finger on the pulse of who homeschoolers really are. The authors sighted them as not understanding that tax credits could indicated that the government could them propose more regulations over homeschoolers. It also indicated that their track record in big cases was underwhealming.

rumbledolly
07-31-2011, 08:33 PM
Oddly enough when I had to call the Dept of Ed here in May because of a question I had about assessment tests, the gentlemen I spoke with said in a round about way to stay away from this group and any group like it. He of course couldn't come right out and say that too me but he hinted pretty strongly about being wary. I thought it was pretty funny he was the man who is in charge of making sure I'm compliant insinuating this group is not looking out for the best interest of all homeschoolers.

For one time I think I'll listen to the "man"!

laundrycrisis
07-31-2011, 08:48 PM
You can get a feeling for their political activities by looking at the legislation watch topics for each state and the federal area.
http://www.hslda.org/legislation/state/default.asp

They also have a PAC:
http://www.hsldapac.org/dnn/

And they founded "Generation Joshua":
http://www.generationjoshua.org/dnn/About/WhatWeStandFor/tabid/495/Default.aspx

skrink
07-31-2011, 08:55 PM
I actually joined up and have lived to regret it. I was feeling insecure about managing with our special needs kiddo, and possibly going through the county to locate services. The home visits freaked me out a bit, and I wanted some protection in case we had some zealous county employee insisting we put our dd in school. So, I became a member. Despite the promise that they don't/won't sell our info, we were suddenly on mailing lists for all sorts of far right wing causes. I've learned more about the HSLDA since we signed on (that'll teach me to do my homework up front!), and am appalled that I let myself fall prey to their fear mongering. I'm also very unhappy to think that any of our family's hard earned money went to support them and their agenda.

Accidental Homeschooler
07-31-2011, 09:39 PM
I found their site when I first started researching hsing. When I checked what they had for our state it had listed the recent court decision allowing same sex marriage as an issue. So, if they stuck strictly to hs laws I could see possibly joining but absolutely not for some larger conservative agenda. I also read through recent actions they had taken in Iowa and as someone already pointed out, they were all just letters. I decided I could easily find a lawyer to write a letter if I needed to.

KristinK
07-31-2011, 11:08 PM
hmmm. I'm glad for this thread. I joined a few months ago, after a bunch of discussions around here about court cases and stuff. fear-mongering as you'd call it I guess!! have not enjoyed any of the publications I rec'd, but thought it was just something I "had" to join...rethinking this now and doing more reading. I also didn't do my homework up front...

dbmamaz
07-31-2011, 11:42 PM
I see it says you are 'sporadicaly, eclectically' homeschooling - and i've also heard HSLDA wont support anyone who isnt following a traditional curriculum.

Rebookie
08-01-2011, 05:15 PM
This is really scary! Thank goodness NC (where I live) is so homeschool friendly!

KristinK
08-01-2011, 10:35 PM
I see it says you are 'sporadicaly, eclectically' homeschooling - and i've also heard HSLDA wont support anyone who isnt following a traditional curriculum.

they don't come out and say that in any of the literature...I just scanned through the site again (hslda.ca) and can't see anywhere that they outline what kind of schooling you need to provide...

dbmamaz
08-02-2011, 11:36 AM
Well, here is one discussion post where someone says that you have to sign a statement saying you have to teach your child the standard subjects, so it excludes hard core unschoolers. http://75.126.75.182/forums/1/thread.aspx?id=70179

someitguy
08-02-2011, 01:53 PM
They no longer require official curriculum. They require that you keep academic records in order to defend in the case of a court case. Pretty much says that, no specific requirements other than they are comprehensive enough to demonstrate a true education. All they asked was names, b-days and when they start school. That and you follow your State Law.

I know personally some in the CPS. Most are fine a few are well I can't say more than that. I know a lawyer will be listened to before me.

KristinK
08-02-2011, 02:42 PM
Well, here is one discussion post where someone says that you have to sign a statement saying you have to teach your child the standard subjects, so it excludes hard core unschoolers. http://75.126.75.182/forums/1/thread.aspx?id=70179

no, this isn't true...perhaps it was in the past? nothing I signed or filled-out had anything to do with following any set curric or course outline.

dbmamaz
08-02-2011, 03:55 PM
thanks. didnt know that had changed.

mom2ponygirl
08-07-2011, 06:27 PM
David Albert, who wrote the homeschooling book, 'And the Skylark Sings with Me" among others, wrote about HSLDA. He had pretty solid evidence about how their 'help' in creating legislation in many states actually created more restrictive environments for homeschoolers.

They fear monger in order to extract money for their other agendas. Not something I would participate in. I'm beginning our 8th year of homeschooling. 8 years of memberships would be $800. That would go a long way toward paying for a lawyer if I ever needed one.

mamaraby
08-07-2011, 10:27 PM
We have a really active, state-wide inclusive homeschooling advocacy group that was there from the very beginning by actively working to craft our state's homeschooling legislation. I've always been grateful for their work as we have a really broad law. HSLDA is very much the outsider and is actively involved in trying to muck stuff up with their brand of "help." I would say that at least once a year there is an article in our state group's newsletter explaining why HSLDA was wrong in a particular issue and a plea to the members who are also members of HSLDA to please kindly ask them to knock it off!

That issue aside and for the same reason we won't participate in Boy Scouts, I will not support a group who actively discriminates and encourages the discrimination of others.

Martha
08-08-2011, 12:49 AM
I didn't read all the posts, but as a roman catholic, I'm fairly conservative by most standards.
I can't stand HSLDA either.
To me, they are the AARP of home schooling.
Even if I were to agree with their political views, that isn't why I would join a suposed home school rights group.
Far far too much of their political practices and legal wrangling have nothing to do with hsing.
Some of it I even think hurts the hsing movement.

Ninshuber
08-08-2011, 10:50 AM
I want to thank folks for posting their comments on HSDLA. I had been looking at these folks out of the corner of my eye, even signed up for their e-mail, and had been feeling VERY uncomfortable with them (my husband as well). I could sense them pushing an agenda far from the basic home-school needs, and advertising left and right for all sorts of programs they offered, but I wasn't sure if my hunch was right. Besides, although my husband is Anglican Christian, and I'm just an all around eclectic history/archaeology nut, we're science nerds and inclusive kinds of folks; diversity is the spice of life, and our son has a genetic heritage from every continent save Australia.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! Now, I shall go sign off of their mail-list with joy.

audleedoo
03-20-2012, 05:24 PM
Oh. My. Gosh.
This is the first thread I'm reading here and I'm about to faint. I feel like I have found HOME! lol. I'd been following the HSLDA fb page and I had honestly thought I'd fallen into homeschooler hell :P

Numericmama
03-20-2012, 10:24 PM
We didn't join either. I think it always looked right wing to me. I think I also looked up the action stuff on my states page at the time and was unenthused.

jess
03-22-2012, 01:14 AM
Aside from the political agenda they support, which is completely repugnant to me, they work to pass legislation that actually more closely defines what is homeschooling, so the protection is limited for anyone who doesn't fit their definition. They will not support unschoolers, virtual schoolers or charter schoolers (which strictly speaking - isn't that everyone in California?).

No. There are three methods of homeschooling in CA. One is a charter school (or other nontraditional public school - we used an independent study program through our school district for a few years). One is to register as a private school, which is a relatively painless process and the option most hardcore unschoolers use because it involves the least oversight. Or you can have a certified teacher teach.

Also, California is not a hard place to homeschool. Not sure why it is commonly presented as such. The private school option gives pretty much free reign. There are many states with much more stringent requirements.

mratts
03-22-2012, 10:50 AM
Lol - before I found this site, I was trying to get more involved in different HS things online, and several of the said I couldn't join without HSLDA membership. I didn't want to join because of the cost. Well, I looked into it more. I put in my contact info. Got to the part where I submit it and there's this little note about how they won't support gay families homeschooling and that they are actively lobbying for "traditional marriage". I started cussing out my computer. I was so ticked off that I'd been suckered even that far. I got a few emails from HSLDA about my unfinished application, and I finally replied with a very nasty explanation of why I would never be joining their organization. I have since then found even more reasons to dislike them. Mississippi is one of the most lenient states in the union for HS laws, but it's also an extremely conservative state overall, so it's not a surprise that so many HSers I've met around here have heralded HSLDA as the "must belong" group.

raesrose
03-22-2012, 11:31 AM
When I first decided to homeschool 6 months ago, I knew NOTHING about it and it was easy to get me to drink the Kool-Aid. Now I get endless emails from them about their bizarre programs and all. It was obvious I had made a mistake. One I won't be making twice. I think it is despicable that they scare you into joining. I guess its not the end of the world that I was tricked into it, but it does make me mad.

SusanC
03-22-2012, 02:05 PM
The local homeschool group is a Christian organization and on occasion they have an "ad" from HSLDA. Now, I don't know first hand if it is directly from HSLDA (which I suspect) or written locally.
It is written to look like an article in the newsletter and it says something along the lines of, "Since homeschoolers in our area have had legal problems, you should join HSLDA now to help them advocate." Or help them help you, something like that. Anyway, those types of faux articles always irk me. I've asked around and never found anyone who has even heard of anyone in our local (whatever that means) area having any kind of trouble. That finally convinced me that even if we were to run into some kind of trouble, these would not be the people I would look to for help.

zcat
03-22-2012, 07:36 PM
I am also not a member of HSLDA and have not suffered because of it.
I do not agree with their agenda and think they take a lot of money from people unnecessarily.

JinxieFox
03-29-2012, 11:54 AM
So, a kajillion HSDLA-related things have been thrown my way today. OK, well only two - one via the little homeschool group I organized here and one on Facebook.

The one on the group: I simply said that I stay far, far away from the HSDLA, and if there's another way to support the family they are currently assisting to sue a hospital in Pennsylvania, *other* than via HSDLA, that I'd be glad to share the information.

The one on Facebook: Some case in Alabama that was ultimately appealed up to the Supreme Court, whose response was that they wouldn't get involved in the case. The title of the article was "War on U.S. homeschoolers escalates". Yeesh.

So I responded to the friend who posted it (actually a gay friend from back home) that the HSDLA is a fear-mongering, anti-gay, extremist conservative group, whose agenda goes way beyond supporting homeschoolers.

Although I've known for 10 years now to avoid the HSDLA like the plague, it was nice to be able to come back here, search for this particular thread, and know that I'm not alone in that feeling.

mamaraby
03-29-2012, 12:53 PM
There was a poll over at the WTM forums recently about HSLDA and I was moderately impressed to see that more people voted in the poll to say that they weren't members of HSLDA than to say that they were. Maybe they're even seeing a drop off in the number of members in their target demographic?

farrarwilliams
03-29-2012, 01:24 PM
I don't think WTM'ers are really their target demographic. There's a wide range of views over there, but many (if not most) of them think for themselves. HSLDA wants only the sheeple Christians and I think they really capitalize on the paranoia and lack of education piece among some homeschoolers. They've always claimed to speak for all of us and I don't think they've ever had enough people to call it a mandate. I would guess though, that because homeschooling is on the rise, that their membership is as well. I think a lot of people just join as a matter of course, without really thinking or questioning it. We almost did at the beginning.

What I wish was that there was another source of cheap group insurance for homeschoolers (it's insanely cheap through HSLDA). As far as I know, there isn't. Anyone?

mamaraby
03-29-2012, 02:15 PM
I don't know....WTM has its fair share of conservative Christians so I would expect they'd appreciate HSLDA's ideological bent.

About the only one I'm aware of is the Homeschool Legal Advantage, but it's part of the Christian Law Association and advertise them as "Serving Christians." We're not Christians so that rules us out. Also, HLA may very well be just as bad as HSLDA. I don't know one way or another.

farrarwilliams
03-29-2012, 03:28 PM
Yeah, but there's a lot of hostility toward classical homeschooling in some segments of Christian homeschooling. After all, one of the goals of classical homeschooling is to be able to think critically and they read things like Plato and Greek myths. How non-Christian. But it's definitely a part of their demographics anyway. HSLDA is the sort of organization that thinks they're being big tent by including classical homeschoolers and people who think BJU is too liberal. Yeah, right.

laq997
03-30-2012, 04:38 PM
Then my Mexican husband walked up oblivious to what had just been said and asked "You ready to go home honey?" I swear the man turned 3 shades of white, then red! I smiled sweetly and said "screw you." and walked away. I was furious that my money had ever gone to this organization.

LOVE IT!
i just wish those of us in NJ had a way to 'be certified' as homeschoolers.. this is a 100% hands off, stay out of our schools, if we close our eyes your not there.. state.

Sobeknofret
03-30-2012, 05:45 PM
I don't think WTM'ers are really their target demographic. There's a wide range of views over there, but many (if not most) of them think for themselves. HSLDA wants only the sheeple Christians and I think they really capitalize on the paranoia and lack of education piece among some homeschoolers.

Check out Vision Forum, a Texas-based ministry/mail-order book and toy business. They're big in the Christian homeschool market, and they're hand in hand with HSLDA. I want to vomit everytime I think of them, and they're intimately connected with HSLDA in my mind so we won't be joining.

knitsteel
03-30-2012, 08:27 PM
I'm glad I found this thread. I'm new to homeschooling and was wondering if we should join HSLDA even though I knew I didn't share the same philosophies. Now I know better.