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#265114 08/26/06 11:54 AM
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Samten Offline OP
Gecko
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Gecko
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I read and enjoyed Meg's article about the HSLDA and I thought it could start a nice discussion here on the forum.
I've been busy and it took me a while so for a refersher here is Meg's article http://www.bellaonline.com/Articles/art17626.asp

I went to there site and in order for me to receive services through them since I will be fighting the schools to continue paying for my sons special services I have to meet a few guidelines. Keep in mind I have a 2 year-old and I�m Buddhist.

Member Qualifications

*Must be homeschooling or children not of compulsory school age

What, I�m supposed to sit my 2 year-old down and stuff letters and numbers down his throat? That is one reason why I do not want him to go to the PS program, 2 and 3 is way to young to have to do worksheets.

Membership Agreement

*To use a clearly organized program of education to instruct our children.

For a 2 year old???


Because of HSLDA�s active involvement in preserving traditional marriage, persons involved in same-sex marriage, civil unions, or polygamy are not eligible for membership.

I will never get married.

I will not support HSLDA in their fight to define marriage as only between a man and a women.

Without stating my beliefs either way I can say this, Gay marriage has NOTHING to do with homeschooling

To be honest HSLDA has no right to have any say in it.


On their �about us� page

4. Is HSLDA a Christian organization?

Yes; however, HSLDA�s mission is to protect the freedom of all homeschoolers. Although our officers and directors are Christians, HSLDA membership is not limited to religiously based homeschoolers. We respect parents' rights to make the appropriate choices for the upbringing of their children. We have no agenda to make all public and home-based classrooms religious or conservative. Our primary objective is to preserve the fundamental right of parents to choose home education, free of over-zealous government officials and intrusive laws. We do put on a national conference annually and invite the board members of state organizations with whom we have worked for many years. Most, if not all, of those organizations have Christian leaders, but many serve all homeschoolers regardless of religious affiliation, as we do.

Marriage is not in my beliefs but I would have to be married in order to qualify for membership.

It also means that if a gay couple wanted to HS their child(ren) they could not join HSLDA.

Despite that last line, if I don�t adhere to the beliefs of those Christian leaders then I do not qualify. My personal beliefs (not those that tie into Buddhism, but the ones I have formed through out my life from experience) Do not include having a two year old adhere to a curriculum.

15. Is HSLDA politically active?

HSLDA's mission is to protect and advance the liberty of parents to educate their children at home. Membership dues will never be used for any other purpose.

Except what they feel like using them for�

Again what the heck does the gay marriage issue have to do with homeschooling? What they are wanting is to have their beliefs made into laws and force those who do not believe as they do to follow there laws.

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#265115 08/26/06 01:29 PM
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Koala
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Unfortunately, I don't know of any other group that does what they do to help homeschooling families out with potential legal situations.

You might check with your local homeschool support group to see if they have someone they work with locally.

Its very likely a case that if you don't have any other option for legal assistance beyond these guys, you have to go with the flow.

Though you might also check legal aid in your area. Don't know if that helps.

The HSLDA has helped a lot of the families I work with--Christian and otherwise.

#265116 08/26/06 01:57 PM
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Samten Offline OP
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One thing I tried to say was that even if I wanted them to help me out in a legal situation they would not.

From there own website:

Quote:

Membership Agreement

*To use a clearly organized program of education to instruct our children.


They refuse to help those who do not have a set plan for each year when it comes to education at home. My son is two and I point blank refuse to even consider planning out a curriculm until he is much older if ever! Wait, have I mentioned we are more unschoolers? Because of that if my hsing my son comes into question they will do nothing for me even though the law in my state clearly says I do not need to do anything until he is 7. When he is of age I will record what he learns, but almost everything will be what he wants to learn- READING about whatever he is interested in. Alot of his interests currently are SCIENCE type things (bugs, dinosaurs, making ramps to race his cars.) If you knew the places we go and the thing we do you'd never even think twice about social studies <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

I think it is stupid to have worksheets and such for toddlers (I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this) and just because kids in the PS are spending 20+ hours a week in a classroom sitting at a desk doing worksheets doesn't mean it is the thing for every 3 year old. I flat out REFUSE to plan for a child so young. I also have no problem telling them that they are full of it for insisting I do.

Having a special needs child~ If we spend all the time until he is 18 and he only learns how to balance a check book, hold a job, and live independently (even with some outside help) then I would call that a success!

Last edited by Samten; 08/26/06 02:40 PM.
#265117 08/26/06 05:27 PM
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Parakeet
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Samten,
I am confused. Are you homeschooling your children? I don't know the whole story behind what you're saying. Are you receiving federal aid or local aid for your child?

You, as the parent, have absolute authority over your child's schooling, however, the laws governing policies where federal monies are spent to help your child are complex.

(example of federal law: any school which receives federal money for a lunch program must adhere to the law on what types of food can and cannot be sold in the cafeteria. No high carb., high fat, empty calorie, high sugar, etc., etc.)

So sometimes they may have a say if you're receiving federal aid.


"Allow your dreams to become your plans."

Kristen

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#265118 08/26/06 07:28 PM
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Samten Offline OP
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I need to know the laws in my area, so far no one seems to know much about them. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

I only have the one child, Bry. I have always planned on homeschooling any child(ren) I may or may not have. He is 2.5 now. He will Be 3 in December. He is recieving in home services through the state funded program called First Steps. First Steps is only for children birth through 3 years, it provides therapy for special needs children in the state of missery. I was refered to them through the local children's hospital when my son was 18 months old. The hospital could not see him for 6 months. First Steps got us in and started speech within a month. 6 months later they added in OT (since dropped) Early childhood teacher -whose title I could never get right- to help him in therapy (also dropped) and the school for children on the specturm.

I want to keep him at the school until he is 3 years 6 months. He has made so much progress that the team is doubtfull he will need much beyond that. However, he does not do change well and I feel it would be detrimental to his progress to transfer him to the PS (that I vowed no child of mine would ever set foot into) only to pull him out again after 6 months.

We will be dropped (like a rock) on his 3rd B-day. From there the PS takes over. All I am asking for is 6 months at the school he goes to two days a week for 3 hours/day. I'm not asking for them to send him there until he starts college. I just want 6 months.

Insurance is going to pay for his speech therapy and is already paying for his recently added feeding therapy. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

**Schooling**

I have no intention of doing anything formal untill he is older. I'm not big on the idea of having a planned out year educational goals either. I really don't know how he will learn when he is older and when he is able to control some of his sensory things I will introduce things slowly.

Right now, he can not even sit in a chair (he kneels or stands) first things first. It's taken me a while to convince him to kneel at meals. As he is he need to be active while learning, riding a bike or reading while on a treadmill my be how we will have to do things as he gets older. And thats fine. If we have to ride around the neighborhood so he can learn his multiplication tables then so be it, I need the exercise any way. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#265119 08/27/06 03:06 PM
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Chipmunk
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You DO NOT have to be part of the HSLDA should you find yourself in a legal bind.

The Pacific Justice Institute is a legal organization that represents homeschoolers FREE OF CHARGE in all sorts of cases, as long as they are legally homeschooling. No statement of faith, no membership dues, no cost, no strings.

No one NEEDS the HSLDA and as much as the hslda claims they have done FOR hsers, they have done far worse for hsers as well, not to mention thigns that have nothing to do with homeschooling but the christian agenda (not that all christians have an agenda, I dont believe that, but the hslda does)

for instanceL: What does a homeschool legal defense association have to do with the reproductive rights of women in third world countries? I don't think I can find an answer that makes sense, but the HSLDA says they have it and apparently the two are strongly connected.

Meg


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#265120 08/27/06 03:09 PM
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Chipmunk
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Samten - there is no reason to even think about getting legal representation regarding homeschooling until your child is of compulsory age. No govt authority can threaten to send your child to school at this age (with the possible exception of DCF). You aren't subject to home education laws so you don't need their "help".

Homeschooling is legal, and it's not even applicable to you until your child is of compulsory age.

meg


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#265121 08/27/06 03:12 PM
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Chipmunk
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Samten - unfortunately if you are using the free aid for your son you are subject to their regulations. It will be hard to make a break for it now that he is on their radar. Remember, schools get three to four times the govt funding for each "special needs" student than they do a "normal" student. We're talking as much as 30 or 40K a year. that's awful hard for the schools to give up. Schools fight for the money, not the students.

Unfortunately it can put a red flag up with social services too, out of genuine concern most of the time. But as long as you follow your laws you are in the right regardless of what they say or want.

Meg


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#265122 08/27/06 05:03 PM
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Samten Offline OP
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Sadly the free aid was all that was available. He had 6 months of early intervention before I could even get him into be evaulated at the childrens hospital.

In that 6 months he went from spending the days ramming his head against the wall unless he was stopped to well being at a point where he wasn't engaging in innapproprite behaviors. The team even said he may not have been as well off had he not had that intervention.

Sadly my choices were wait (at the time the length of wait was over 1/3 of his life) or try the state services. I opted not to wait. I am also a big early intervention supporter because of how much it did for Bry.

It's sad that I would have had to wait 6 months because I couldn't afford to pay out of pocket to fly across country to see someone not in my network. 6 months is way to long for babies and toddlers. I couldn't imagine having a severely handicapped child from birth only to be told that while he would need the therapy NOW he had to wait 6 months. It doesn't make sense

#265123 08/27/06 05:12 PM
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Koala
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I'm going to add the Pacific Justice Institute to my list of agencies working on homeschool issues. Where I am, we have a few private (highly feeing) attorneys that work theses issues, but no one who doesn't charge. Legal aid has taken on a couple of cases of discrimination. But the rest, folks have resorted to the HSLDA as a last resort.

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