In my research for legal homeschooling advice I found a ministry that I think you'll like. Homeschool Legal Advantage.
I contacted them and asked if they'd be willing to do an online interview... here is our conversation.
I was pleased with what I saw as I perused your website. I had not heard of you before doing some research for writing my legal homeschooling requirements page for my own site. I LOVE the idea that you are a ministry. I hope and believe that you will be blessed and do well. Can you tell us a little bit about how your ministry works? What makes it different? How can you afford it?!
Homeschool Legal Advantage (HLA)
Yes, we are very different. Instead of charging a large yearly fee, we provide the first year absolutely free, and we'll do a Last Will and Testament for you free of charge as well. In subsequent years, we ask for a donation. But, we know times are hard and we would never turn anyone away because of inability to pay. Our approach and our spirit are different. We are blessed to have nearly 20,000 members!
Sharon asksYou are a branch of Christian Law Association which has been in operation since 1969. This is encouraging, it shows that you are a solid company and will be around a while longer. What gave you the motivation to specialize in homeschooling and our issues. Do you have homeschool families on staff?
HLAWhat encouraged us to start Homeschool Legal Advantage was seeing a NEED among homeschool families. We were already receiving thousands of calls each year from parents who couldn't receive help elsewhere. We realized that the need was so great that we dedicated an entire wing of the Christian Law Association just to serve homeschoolers. We have several homeschoolers on staff, among them our founder, Attorney David Gibbs who, along with his wife Carin, homeschools his family of four. I homeschooled for twelve years and wrote several books on homeschooling and parenting. That's a real strength of ours - we know what the homeschool lifestyle1 is like first hand!
As a long time homeschooler (14 yrs) I've become very comfortable in what we do. On other homeschool sites I've seen it recommended that homeschooling families should not do things that draw attention. For example one site stated that they do not let their children go out side to play during school hours. I've never felt the need to be so secretive. Do you agree with me that in most places legal homeschooling is accepted and we should just live our lives as we see fit? Or do I just happen to live in a friendly area and some people should be more concerned.
We are all walking witnesses for homeschooling. If you are homeschooling excellently and with integrity and in compliance with law, you should do so without fear. We don't try to scare parents by telling them to fear "the knock on the door," however, it is interesting to note that sometimes nosy neighbors can cause trouble. You don't have to be secretive, but be sensible. We also ask our members to keep an eye on their local municipalities. There are several considering daytime curfews as a way of dealing the public school truancy. Be informed and make sure your voice is heard.
I see what you may mean about the neighbors. I live very rural and neighbors are pretty friendly to what we do. And yes I agree we are all walking advertisements for homeschooling!
Legal homeschooling is lawful in all states, with varying degrees of regulation. However with the state the country is in.... I wonder. Are times a changing? I worry about the future legality of what we do. My older sons are in highschool and will be done with their schooling soon but I have a little 8 yo that I will be schooling for a while longer. Is his future secure in our homeschool?
We don't see any sweeping threat to homeschooling. If our freedoms are eroded, we believe it will be in terms of increased regulation at the state level, such as requiring more registration and accountability. To preserve freedom, we have to be vigilant and informed. Our legislators at every level need to be watched! Other than that, on a case by case basis, we believe the fundamental right to homeschool will be preserved, as it has been for almost one hundred years and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.
Is there anything else that you'd like to add? Anything more about Homeschool Legal Advantage that you'd like us to know about?
We'd like to encourage your readers to give us a try. Read our website, especially our FAQs. Call if you have questions.
You can join by going to our website, www.HomeschoolLegalAdvantage.com, click JOIN NOW and use the coupon code GIFT. We'd be honored to be of service to you!
Christine Field, Attorney at Law