Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Support Homeschooling

WriteWingNut, a homeschooler and co-blogger at Blogger News Network, writes about "Homeschooling and Socialization." There's much to be said in favor of homeschooling as an antidote to public education. But teachers' unions and their allies (notably the Democrat Party) have a lot of political clout, which they wield almost ceaselessly in an effort to undermine homeschooling.

Just take a look at the website of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), for a taste of the legal hurdles that homeschoolers face or are threatened with. Here's what HSLDA is and does:
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.

HSLDA advocates on the legal front by fully representing member families at every stage of proceedings. Each year, thousands of member families receive legal consultation by letter and phone, hundreds more are represented through negotiations with local officials, and dozens are represented in court proceedings. HSLDA also takes the offensive, filing actions to protect members against government intrusion and to establish legal precedent. On occasion, HSLDA will handle precedent-setting cases for nonmembers, as well.

HSLDA advocates on Capitol Hill by tracking federal legislation that affects homeschooling and parental rights. HSLDA works to defeat or amend harmful bills, but also works proactively, introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.

HSLDA advocates in state legislatures, at the invitation of state homeschool organizations, by assisting individual states in drafting language to improve their homeschool legal environment and to fight harmful legislation.

HSLDA advocates in the media by presenting articulate and knowledgeable spokesmen to the press on the subject of homeschooling. HSLDA staff members are regularly called upon for radio, television, and print interviews, and their writings are frequently published in newspapers and magazines across the country. HSLDA’s own bimonthly magazine, The Home School Court Report, provides news and commentary on a host of current issues affecting homeschoolers. And its two-minute daily radio broadcast, Home School Heartbeat, can be heard on nearly 500 radio stations.

HSLDA advocates for the movement by commissioning and presenting quality research on the progress of homeschooling. Whether it’s in print, from the podium, or on the air, HSLDA provides insightful vision and leadership for the cause of homeschooling.
You can support HSLDA's worthy efforts by shopping online through its Clicks for Homeschooling page:

Did you know that you can support homeschooling just by using the links on this page or special QuickLinks set from this page to get to your favorite online retailers? That's right, the online retailers on this page will give a portion of your online purchase amount back to HSLDA for the work of the Home School Foundation. So next time you want to shop online, please come to this page first or use one of our QuickLinks to get to the online retailer. It's easy and you will be helping the Home School Foundation support homeschooling through its Special Needs Children’s Fund, Widows Curriculum Scholarship Fund, and its other funds.

The list of participating retailers includes many familiar names (e.g., Amazon.com, Circuit City, Home Depot, Toysrus.com, and Wal-Mart.com). From now on, I'm going first to the Clicks for Homeschooling page before I shop online.

(Thanks to my daughter-in-law for the tip about HSLDA.)