Tuesday, July 15, 2014


If no news is good news, I suppose we could skip this months update! We have had some good successes to warrant a summer break! Be that as it may, we will remain at the edge of our seats until House Bill 1013 reaches the finish line and we're not quite there yet.

There are many who still do not know the level of disparity some of us are experiencing from our school districts under our current archaic and burdensome law. The gamut of emotions I heard from a number of friends while they submitted their portfolio attest to this. May we ask you to continue to share the video of our efforts to make homeschooling better in Pennsylvania? Share it with everybody you know who may not understand where our State stands towards parent-led, home-based, privately-funded education.

We also need to significantly grow the support to petition the Governor insisting that the General Assembly put the bill on his desk before October 15. Families who don't think they can handle the burden of our current homeschool laws are watching our progress to help them make a decision about moving to Pennsylvania, or whether to pull their children from the brick and mortar school. They're signing the petition. Your freedom loving friends and loved ones can sign the petition too.

PA map promoting HB1013 

HB1013 is now in the Senate Education Committee (Senate Ed Com). We thought the General Assembly went into recess but later learned that the Senate continued to meet. So last Tuesday, July 8, four moms and I decided to go and make a touchstone effort before summer break and before Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and other opponents lobby against HB1013. In keeping with our practice of showing our appreciation, we brought home baked goodies: pies and cookies for all 11 members of the Senate Ed Com. Laying some important groundwork, we gave them each a copy of CHAP's informational folder which includes Dr. Brian Ray's newest pamphlet on homeschooling success. We did the same at the Governor's office. They all mentioned that they have been getting calls and emails and we just need to keep contacting and educating them, after all "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." They need to hear us louder than our opponents. We know that granting freedom is always good legislation!

Our current work is to get the Senate Ed Com to do 3 things:
  1. Tell them to CONCUR HB1013 (a Senate version will prolong the process)
  2. Ask the Senate for NO AMENDMENTS (an amendment will send the bill back to the House)
  3. Urge them to put it on the agenda AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
As soon as we have the Senate's session calendar, we will schedule another Home Education Lobby Program (CHAP HELP Day) at the Capitol, probably in September. The two big ones we've had recently have been great learning opportunities. 

In the meantime, your legislators are at their district offices this summer. Pay them a visit. It is good for them to meet real homeschoolers and see that we are normal families dedicated and invested in our children's future with neither government dependence nor interference.

So... just keep squeaking... just keep squeaking! :-)

Thursday, July 3, 2014


by Fara Wiles
Armstrong County

Pennsylvania is generally known across this nation as the State where our country found its voice. Our founders gathered here to discuss and debate ideas in order to defend individual liberties. The unity of the colonies would determine the future of this fledgling country.
Two centuries later, Pennsylvania is home to another discussion and debate having to do with our individual liberties. Though the path was cleared by homeschoolers that came before us, we find ourselves struggling to streamline the laws that are currently “on the books”.
Homeschool parents across this State are passionately concerned about the most recent homeschool legislation that has come up in House of Representatives; House Bill 1013. Oddly, I have observed that instead of homeschoolers either being wholly in support of the bill, or wholly in opposition, the homeschool community is divided.
Unfortunately, it seems the concerns about this law and its amendment aren't based on the facts but on individual perception of what HB1013 has the potential to do. The explanation of this bill can be found in posts on this blog and on the CHAP website. Feel free to search the site and ask any questions you may have concerning HB1013.
Your historical part
Those who blazed the trail for homeschooling freedom in the beginning, made their mark in history. We are again standing before a potentially historic step in homeschool liberty. We have the opportunity to make progressive steps into the future if only we learn how to communicate the facts about the current homeschool law, potential homeschool law (i.e., HB1013), and how both of these things affect our lives.
However, the only way we will accomplish positive steps forward is to work together respectfully. One way to ease the concerns people have regarding the homeschool law is to know it yourself so you can explain it with confidence to others. Show your own maturity and sensibilities by having long-suffering patience with everyone who questions you and why you hold the stance you do.
While sharing what you know with your fellow homeschool parents and families, share what you know with confidence and diplomacy with our State legislature and Governor's office. When you call, email, or write to those in office, remember that not everyone knows everything about the law. Nobody can know everything; so be patient. The homeschool laws are what we have to deal with year in and year out. It's our job as the Supervisor to our children's home education to know this law and what it means to our daily lives as homeschoolers.
Whatever opposition you may face, always, always listen with a diplomatic and compassionate ear. Do not be defensive, but be clear. Prepare yourself with facts. Facts which can be found on the CHAP website and blog. Visit the CHAP facebook page and ask questions.
In order to make progress in Pennsylvania and bring us to a point where we're once again known as the State of liberty instead of the state of redundant regulation, contact our State legislators and our Governor and bring their attention to this very important issue. Let both the legislature and the Governor's office know what this bill is about, and what amendment was tacked on and let them know how you feel about these changes. Be informed and inform!
Your knowledge, confidence, passion and diplomacy will get HB 1013 through the legislature and onto the Governor. Without your help, this bill may stall. We may not get a similar chance at such a bill that is simply intending to streamline the process for homeschoolers, superintendents, and even the Department of Education.