This week I received my renewal notice for HSLDA. I truly hope we never have to call on them for assistance. However, aside from the legal assistance they offer, I have found that they have been a great source of information on state homeschooling laws as well as resources, encouragement, and as a watchdog in Washington D.C. and our state for laws that may affect homeschools and their future.
Every now and again I will come across someone who thinks that these type of homeschool legal organizations that are willing to help defend our rights, are no longer needed. We have our rights and are good to go. Why bother? I say they're wrong. A single law could change our rights and make our job of educating our children at home much more burdensome, if we continue to have that right at all.
In the last couple of years I have had the privilege of meeting a handful of women who homeschooled "in the early days." These brave women either broke the law or were at the front lines fighting for rights and freedoms that we now enjoy. They were discipling and educating their children at home before there were a multitude of curriculum and online resources to choose from. They were the pioneers. A common theme of my conversations with these women was that they were all adamant about homeschooling families being a member of or supporting legal organizations that defend our rights and keeping informed and vigilant about protecting those rights.
HSLDA is one popular organization that provides those services. NHELD and Homeschool Legal Advantage are two others to consider. Regarless of which organization you chose, I do strongly encourage homeschoolers to become a member of such an organization and become informed on our rights. Please note that even without membership, these websites have a great deal of information of value.
Also, our family tries each year to become a member of the state homeschool organization. These organizations do services such as field trips, organize conventions and graduations, and often will have someone dedicated to watch for laws being considered in the state that affect homeschooling and also act as a liason for the homeschool community when laws come up that prove to be of concern for us.
Please take joining a homeschool legal organization into consideration. The rights that we have to homeschool are worth protecting.