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.

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