If you’re in any homeschooling groups, you’ve probably heard (or read) about HSLDA membership.
But, what is it?
And, do you really need it?
Let me ask you a few questions:
Do you keep ridiculously organized attendance records for your homeschooled child?
Or, do you document their days as if your very life depends on it?
And, do you have every single spelling test they have ever taken in a box in the closet under the stairs?
Have you laminated the teacher card your homeschool umbrella issued? (Is it tucked next to your drivers license?)
Do you even know what a homeschool umbrella is?
Are you panicking right now because you didn’t know you were supposed to organize spelling tests in chronological order?
Do you lose sleep at night because you are convinced the homeschool police is going to come knocking on your door demanding to see proof that you are a serious homeschool parent?
Or, maybe you are utterly paranoid that your homeschool freedoms will be taken away?
Maybe you are just winging it and don’t have the time, energy, or interest to figure it all out?
But, what if you are faced with legal situations when homeschooling? (Have you considered that?)
The truth is there are laws to be considered when homeschooling.
I heard that.
No groaning allowed.
(Did you just roll your eyes?)
I’m right there with ya.
Legislation, legal procedures, and regulations are soo boooring.
And, maybe a little intimidating and confusing (to be honest).
It’s important to understand how we are potentially jeopardizing our snuggly read-alouds and go-at-their-pace learning if we haven’t protected ourselves legally.
Homeschooling can affect our children, and their future, in negative ways if preventative measures aren’t taken.
You see, homeschooling hasn’t always been a legal option for many.
Once upon a time, a homeschool family may have suffered severe consequences for being so “radical.”
HSLDA was created to help those homeschooling families.
And, they are still helping homeschoolers today.
ALSO CHECK OUT: HISTORY OF HOMESCHOOLING
How about we look at HSLDA together? I promise to make it as quick and painless as possible.
What is HSLDA?
What words come to mind when hearing, “Home School Legal Defense Association”?
- Not for me?
- [Enter some other term]
Actually, Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA for short) is the formal title of a cool organization that should be called:
Lemme break it down for ya from the HSLDA website:
“Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children and to protect family freedoms. We provide homeschooling-related legal advice and representation to our over 80,000 member families, promote homeschool-friendly legislation at the state and federal levels, and offer information and resources to encourage and support all homeschoolers.”
So, what does that even mean?
Don’t let your eyes glaze over just yet.
Luckily, I speak Fancy Shmancy Legal Lingo and have been able to translate this description for you today.
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit group that fights for homeschool families, their rights, and their freedom to choose homeschooling as a legit means of education.
The HSLDA offers legal advice to residents in every single state in the US–no question is too big or too small for them.
And, they have so many stinkin’ resources to support and encourage you it’ll make your head spin.
Should You Become an HSLDA Member?
About HSLDA [VIDEO]
Here are the main reasons I am thrilled to be a member of HSLDA.
(And for the record, HSLDA has not waived my membership fee so I can endorse their company and say nice things about them. I endorse the organization and pay a membership fee because they are awesome.)
1. HSLDA lawyers are also homeschooling parents, so they get what you’re going through.
Mike Farris and Mike Smith, who are both attorneys and homeschool dads, founded this amazing organization in 1983.
These dudes know what’s up.
J. Michael Smith, Esq. is the current HSLDA President and says his favorite part of the job is going to homeschool conferences and meeting homeschooling moms.
And, he considers us to be America’s greatest heroes!
If you ever get the opportunity to meet him at a conference, please hug his neck for me.
2. The website is incredibly informative and user-friendly.
I was geeking out browsing their site.
Every homeschool mama should take a twenty-minute break from searching curriculum (More curriculum, really?) to check out this site.
You will learn things you didn’t know you needed to know.
- Wanna know laws specific to the state you live in? It’s there!
- Wanna know how to withdraw a child from the public school system? It’s there!
- Wanna know if you can homeschool your special needs child? It’s there!
Oh, for goodness sake! Just follow this link.
3. You are in good hands if you ever find yourself in homeschool legal trouble.
Once a family pays the yearly membership fee, there are no further charges of any kind for defending us in court.
HSLDA pays all attorney fees, expert witness costs, travel expenses, and all other court costs.
The website says this, “The vast majority of contacts member families face are successfully resolved through our early intervention without any court action. Many times, HSLDA attorneys call or write letters on behalf of members contacted by local officials. For those who wind up in court, HSLDA provides full representation at every stage of legal proceedings.”
4. Membership fees are affordable for everything you get!
Yearly membership dues for a family are $130.00.
Also, discounts and a payment plan are available as well.
We receive homeschooling-related legal advice from the HSLDA staff of attorneys and representation for a full year!
And, these experts help us understand state specific laws and will go to bat for us if/when our homeschool is challenged.
(This representation is only offered if there’s a legal problem with our local school systems. An attorney is unable to defend us against a mother-in-law, best friend, or next-door neighbor who disagrees with our choice to homeschool. That’s just something we gotta deal with on our own. Ugh. Sorry.)
Hopefully, by now, a few words that come to mind when hearing, “Homeschool Legal Defense Association” are:
- Freedom Fighters
HSLDA understands homeschooling in ways I do not.
They know the history of the struggle.
They know the nitty gritty.
And, it is a relief to have them in our homeschooling corner!
We don’t have to lose sleep at night playing the what-if game. There’s no worry if we are meeting mandatory requirements or not. We don’t have to wing it and hope for the best.
We have laws on our side. There are attorneys willing to give us the information we need to be successful homeschoolers.
And, who knows?
We may not need to keep every spelling test the kiddos have ever taken. All that extra space could be used for storing more curriculum.
Want to read more from an unqualified homeschool mom? Check out Angelene’s honest blog at www.unqualifiedmom.com and you are sure to be encouraged.