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Any alternatives to HSLDA?


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#1 FrogMom5

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:13 AM

Are there any alternatives to HSLDA? Do any of you just skip it?

Denise

#2 Dawn in OH

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:19 AM

I am not a member of anything like HSLDA. We live in a homeschool friendly area and do everything in accordance with the state laws.

#3 54879525

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:33 AM

Even though I live in a highly regulated state I truly do not feel the need to join such an organization. There is nothing they could do for me that I couldn't do for myself if a problem arose. I know my state's regs, I follow them, and I know who to call if my district decided to disregard the regs.

#4 Mrs Mungo

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:42 AM

This is our tenth year of homeschooling, I've never been a member of any organization like HSLDA. There have been times my state(s) has(have) asked for things that are not in the law, I just ignore it when they do and send what is required with a letter explaining that I am sending them X in accordance with the requirement in the law. They've never even called me.

#5 radiobrain

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:44 AM

I believe that there are a few other alternatives to HSLDA, but if you know your state's rules and regs, and have them handy (like in an emergency folder, in case some truancy officer ends up at your door), I think they are not necessary.

I would rather spend $$ like that on a museum membership or something that is really needed.

#6 FrogMom5

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:16 AM

Thank you for your responses. I've been a member for 8 years and have begun to think I don't really need them. I too would like to spend the money on other things, especially now that $$ is so tight. And yes, I do know and follow all of my state regs. to a T.
Denise

#7 Mother Superior

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:30 AM

I recommend Homeschool Legal Advantage. www.homeschoollegaladvantage.com

They are a ministry, not an advocacy group like HSLDA. If you need legal help, they'll give it, at no charge. They take donations, but you can join for free-- just use the coupon code GIFT.

In addition to being a homeschooling mom, I am also an attorney, and earlier this year I became an affiliate of HLA. I donate my time to help other homeschooling families. David Gibbs, the attorney who tried to save Terri Schiavo's life, runs HLA, and I know that one of their full-time employees is attorney Christine Field, a well known homeschooling mom and author of books for homeschooling families.

I'd recommend you check them out, especially if you live in an area where homeschooling families are harassed.
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#8 FrogMom5

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:33 AM

I will definately check them out! Also, thank-you for using your time and talents to help defend other homeschoolers. That is very gracious of you.

Denise

#9 jujsky

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:57 AM

I've never been a member, and we live in a moderately-regulated state that has pushed strongly in recent years to become a heavily-regulated state. Every year I send in my letter of intent and receive a confirmation letter back for my records. I immediately put that in my HS binder in case a truant officer ever contacts us. Our district has never contacted us, other than the confirmation letter, and a letter to remind us to submit our test scores or portfolio evaluations by July 1st.

I can't be a member of HSLDA. I think they stray too much into non-homeschool issues that I cannot support.

#10 Where's Toto?

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 10:25 AM

I can't be a member of HSLDA. I think they stray too much into non-homeschool issues that I cannot support.


This.

#11 dsmith

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:02 AM

I'm a member of HLA, not because I'm in a highly regulated state, but because I'm in an unregulated state. It seems the only people who know the homeschool laws around here are actual homeschoolers, and when told we don't have to report anything, non-homeschoolers are shocked and indignant in my experience.

#12 Mother Superior

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:03 AM

I can't be a member of HSLDA. I think they stray too much into non-homeschool issues that I cannot support.


:iagree: I was a member once upon a time. No more.

I live in an area where homeschoolers are regularly harassed contrary to law. That's one of the reasons why HLA was appealing to me.

#13 stripe

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:06 AM

Are there secular alternatives? As a Christian ministry, HLA sounds like a group for Christian homeschoolers.

#14 Mother Superior

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:08 AM

I will definately check them out! Also, thank-you for using your time and talents to help defend other homeschoolers. That is very gracious of you.

Denise


Thanks. I live in Illinois, which has been homeschooling friendly, but Regional Superintendents like to play fast and loose with the law. I just couldn't sit around and do nothing, so I contacted HLA to see if they needed anyone in my area (Southern Illinois, near Carbondale). They did and here I am. I have met David Gibbs and Christine Field and they are both wonderful people who seek only to serve others, not to promote their own agendas.

#15 G5052

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:08 AM

Increasingly we are apolitical out of conviction, so I'm thinking that supporting an organization that uses our $$$ for lobbying is something that we probably won't support in the future. We don't always agree with the issues they choose to pursue either. I don't know what the ratio is right now, but I remember reading at one point that HSLDA uses a fair amount of the fees for lobbying.

Right now we're on the payment plan, so we'll probably let that run out and then either go without or join HLA.

#16 Mother Superior

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:09 AM

Are there secular alternatives? As a Christian ministry, HLA sounds like a group for Christian homeschoolers.


HLA is a Christian ministry. I don't know if there are secular alternatives. What I do know is that, as a Catholic, I am often shunned by other "Christian" groups, but not by HLA.
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#17 Mother Superior

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:24 AM

Increasingly we are apolitical out of conviction, so I'm thinking that supporting an organization that uses our $$$ for lobbying is something that we probably won't support in the future. We don't always agree with the issues they choose to pursue either. I don't know what the ratio is right now, but I remember reading at one point that HSLDA uses a fair amount of the fees for lobbying.

Right now we're on the payment plan, so we'll probably let that run out and then either go without or join HLA.


Here in Illinois, we formed a Homeschool Political Action Committee to fight negative homeschool laws. HSLDA should be working themselves out of a job, but instead they proposed restrictive laws in New Hampshire that NH homeschoolers are now fighting.

Homeschooling is about freedom, not about Christianity, and HSLDA is an advocate for a very patriarchal form of "Christianity." If you don't believe me, listen to the August 15 and 21 podcasts you can find here, or buy the CD's from the homeschool "leadership summit" that HSLDA put on (cant' find the link to that right now, but I can get it). This concerns me greatly. I think we need homeschooling advocacy by non-partisan and non-sectarian groups like the Illinois Homeschool PAC. Hopefully other states will follow what we are trying to do here in Illinois.
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#18 G5052

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 03:05 PM

Homeschooling is about freedom, not about Christianity, and HSLDA is an advocate for a very patriarchal form of "Christianity." If you don't believe me, listen to the August 15 and 21 podcasts you can find here, or buy the CD's from the homeschool "leadership summit" that HSLDA put on (cant' find the link to that right now, but I can get it). This concerns me greatly. I think we need homeschooling advocacy by non-partisan and non-sectarian groups like the Illinois Homeschool PAC. Hopefully other states will follow what we are trying to do here in Illinois.


Yet another reason. DH told me while we were dating that he wanted a "Priscilla and Aquilla" marriage, both accountable to God with different roles and priorities at different times of life.

And we ceased belonging years ago to the larger state organization that is alligned with HSLDA because of our concerns about its role as a parachurch organization and the type of speakers it was choosing. There is another group in our state that is more focused on common issues, but I haven't really investigated it.

#19 Lady Florida

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 05:00 PM

Are there secular alternatives? As a Christian ministry, HLA sounds like a group for Christian homeschoolers.


I think NHELD is secular.

I've never felt the need to belong to an organization. If I did, it would not be HSLDA. They have their noses in too many issues that have nothing to do with homeschooling, and that go against my principles.

#20 justasque

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 05:18 PM

Even though I live in a highly regulated state I truly do not feel the need to join such an organization. There is nothing they could do for me that I couldn't do for myself if a problem arose. I know my state's regs, I follow them, and I know who to call if my district decided to disregard the regs.


:iagree:

Though I understand that not everyone is comfortable standing up for themselves in this way, so I'm not bashing anyone who is more comfortable joining HSLDA.

I would rather spend $$ like that on a museum membership or something that is really needed.


:iagree: $100 per year to have them (maybe) write the occasional letter to a school district? A bit steep for me.

I also don't like that, as I understand it, HSLDA excludes families who have a child in public school or in a public cyber-charter school. I believe that everyone has to choose the educational setting that is right for their particular child at that point in time, and there are many variables to consider (special ed issues being one; there are many more). I know many families who have "one in, one out" based on the individual needs of their children.

#21 Holly

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 06:04 PM

I'm not a member of any such groups. I heard our state has their own group and I may join in the future. It's much cheaper and they know more about our states laws.

#22 NanceXToo

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 06:15 PM

I live in Pennsylvania. It's a fairly strict/regulated state as far as homeschool laws go. But, I follow the law, do what I need to do, and I do not feel the need to belong to any organization like HSLDA.

I've only been homeschooling for two years but I've been doing/feeling just fine, not belonging to that type of organization.

#23 JWAllen

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:19 PM

This.



What does this comment mean and to whom was it directed?

#24 Maverick_Mom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:30 AM

I recommend Homeschool Legal Advantage. www.homeschoollegaladvantage.com

They are a ministry, not an advocacy group like HSLDA. If you need legal help, they'll give it, at no charge. They take donations, but you can join for free-- just use the coupon code GIFT.

In addition to being a homeschooling mom, I am also an attorney, and earlier this year I became an affiliate of HLA. I donate my time to help other homeschooling families. David Gibbs, the attorney who tried to save Terri Schiavo's life, runs HLA, and I know that one of their full-time employees is attorney Christine Field, a well known homeschooling mom and author of books for homeschooling families.

I'd recommend you check them out, especially if you live in an area where homeschooling families are harassed.


Another vote for HLA. I joined a few years ago after reading David Gibbs' book Fighting For Dear Life (not about homeschooling, but an excellent indicator of his character and expertise). I also felt that HSLDA (of which I was a member for several years) was in great need of some competition. Then when Christine Field joined HLA's staff, that was just icing on the cake. :001_smile: Being a member gives me peace of mind. I've been able to deal with issues myself so far, but you never know.

#25 Jenny in Florida

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:50 AM

Are there any alternatives to HSLDA? Do any of you just skip it?

Denise


We've been homeschooling for about 14 years and never been a member of the HSLDA or any similar organization. I can't imagine why it would be necessary.

#26 stripe

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:45 AM

What does this comment mean and to whom was it directed?

I think it means that the person agrees with the contents of the post she quoted.

Warning : this thread is a year old.

#27 Momof3littles

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:03 AM

I live in a highly regulated state. I am not reporting yet, but will for the first time next year. My district was formerly known as being pretty easy to work with, but a new person is handling HS ports and so forth, and they are now making requests that go beyond the law.

DH and I decided that the vast majority of things are issues that we should be able to handle by citing the law and writing a letter on our own. If that does not work, I would rather pay an attorney to draft a letter than pay HSLDA or a similar group. The odds are I won't need to get an attorney involved, but if I did get one involved, I expect it would only be maybe once or twice through our entire HSing years, barring some major unforeseen circumstance. For that reason, I think overall it will be less expensive to address things on my own, citing the law, or if absolutely necessary, hiring legal representation on my own.

I've also considered whether other families in our district would consider splitting attorney fees in the event we actually had to go that route. I know one mom in my SD who had an attorney draft a letter to the district last year, because they were asking for multiple things beyond the scope of the law. The attorney said the SD was absolutely clueless when she started rattling off points in the law to them. In any case, if they are asking for things that go beyond the law and we can't handle it on our own, splitting the cost of an attorney drafting a letter wouldn't be all that cost prohibitive. And I'm optimistic that there's a good chance we can successfully advocate for ourselves.

I've thought about the alternatives to HSLDA but I think most things we could resolve on our own, and if not, we'll pay an attorney in the rare event we need to push back more firmly. I can't imagine having to do that all that often, once a SD becomes aware that you know the law, kwim?


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