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Review: Homeschooling with HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association)

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015

“Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) 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 84,000+ member families, promote homeschool-friendly legislation at the state and federal levels, and offer information and resources to encourage and support all homeschoolers.” Taken From: About HSLDA Translation:  HSLDA is a longstanding (established in 1983) Christian legal organization for homeschoolers. They help decipher state laws for all of us non-lawyers out there and will provide members with legal assistance and legal representation if necessary.     Homeschooling laws were the very first thing I researched when I first considered homeschooling our daughter back in 2011 (after all, I wasn’t going to homeschool my child if it was illegal!).  What I discovered was that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states.  However, homeschooling is regulated at a state level, so homeschooling policies and laws differ from state to state.  Some states have more regulations than others and it is up to the homeschooling parents to comply.  Of course, you only need to know the laws governing the state you currently live in (if you move, make sure you research your new state’s homeschooling laws, what is expected of you very well might change). Once I knew that homeschooling was legal, I went to HSLDA’s (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) website and researched my own state laws, New York.  The compulsory attendance law in New York State requires children between the ages of 6 and 16 to attend some type of school, either public or elsewhere.  Since my daughter was four, it was unnecessary for me to fill out homeschooling paperwork (letter of intent etc.) or worry about state standards and regulations. A year later, when we finally did decide to homeschool kindergarten (my daughter was five), we joined HSLDA (even though we did not technically need HSLDA).  It was an easy decision to make and one that I’ve never regretted. My husband and I like to think of HSLDA as our homeschooling insurance policy; I wouldn’t drive a car without car insurance, and I wouldn’t homeschool without HSLDA. Being a homeschooler is difficult enough without having to worry about legal issues.  We have since contacted HSLDA with a variety of questions including attendance and compulsory age questions, and questions regarding our out of state move.  I like knowing that whatever occurs, legal experts at HSLDA are just a phone call away.  The peace of mind that this gives me, from being a member of HSLDA, is priceless. Last year we finally purchased a lifetime membership (after two years of purchasing yearly memberships).  We figured that even if we decided to send our children to public or private school someday, HSLDA was still an organization that we wanted to support, in the long run. Although there are many benefits to being a member of HSLDA (these are listed below), there is also a wealth of free homeschooling and legal information on their website.   Free Resources from HSLDA The following resources are free for all homeschoolers: HSLDA’s website, which includes: news, legal information, research, teacher discount list,  teaching ideas, homeschooling information and more. Events Page, which lists upcoming homeschooling conferences and more. (This is a partial list, but still very helpful.) Special sections of the website devoted to homeschooling students pre-kindergarten...

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