First I want to preface this post by saying 1) this will be a shameless plug for the HSLDA, and 2) I am not an affiliate of theirs and have nothing to gain financially if you sign up with them.
Why do we need a homeschool legal association?
The legality of homeschooling has been an issue since about the mid 1800’s when Massachusetts passed the first compulsory attendance law. Since then there has been many a battle over parent’s rights and education. In the 1980’s homeschooling had started to become a lot more popular, and along with that there was a lot more opposition. Families were being prosecuted and not many of them were winning. In 1983, a couple of homeschooling dads who were also lawyers decided to step up and help these families. And the HSDLA was born.
Since the formation of the HSLDA, homeschooling has been declared legal in all 50 states. But that doesn’t mean the fight is over. There is still a lot of opposition as well as a lot of social workers and educators who are uneducated in the current laws and regulations.
So what does HSLDA do exactly?
For over 30 years the HSLDA has been defending families in court, as well as being proactive and helping to fight bad laws before they are made. They lobby on behalf of homeschooling in both state and federal legislatures.
What kind of legal help will I receive if I’m a member?
As a member you will be able to call for any kind of legal advice related to homeschooling. If you need clarification on the laws in your state or are facing some sort of conflict with school officials, they will answer your questions and advise you.
They will also communicate directly with people you may be having a conflict with, such as a school administrator who has a misunderstanding of the law.
And finally, if you end up having to go to court the HSLDA will be there to represent you every step of the way.
What if you never need legal help?
There are two parts to this answer. First, I have been a member for about 6 years. I’ve spent 4 of those years in Texas where the current homeschool laws are amazing and I highly doubt that I will ever need legal representation because of homeschooling. But even if I could see the future and know for sure that I never would, I would still be a member. That’s because I know that there are families out there every day that are facing one of the scariest situations imaginable, the possibility of having their children taken away from them, and I am more than happy to support the organization that is defending them.
Part two of this answer is that the HSDLA actually has a whole section devoted to consulting for members. And this consulting goes way beyond legal and into pretty much any kind of homeschooling issue you may be facing: preschool, elementary, high school, struggling learners, you name it, they can help. Or at the very least help you find the person that can. And all of that is just a phone call away if you are a member.
All of this costs a measly $10/month. And here’s a tip: if you sign up during a homeschool convention you’ll get a discount.
Special Offer for parents of preschoolers:
Did you know that if your oldest child hasn’t turned 5 yet then you can get your membership for free? Yep it’s true. You won’t even be asked to give them so much as a credit card number. Your membership is free and you get all the benefits. There’s really no reason not to join. Click here to go to the free preschoolers membership page.
So there you have it, my shameless plug for the Home School Legal Defense Association. Check out their website if you want to learn more. And let me know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment below.