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Should I join the Home School Legal Defense Association?

Another question asked recently on the AHEA Facebook Page. I share the below comments because AHEA strongly recommends becoming a HSLDA member.

Question: Should I join the Home School Legal Defense Association?

Answers:

*There are different thoughts about HSLDA. AHEA strongly recommends signing up with HSLDA and I personally recommend it. Yes, HSing is legal in Alberta, but some Home Schoolers have difficult family or neighbors. Certain school boards can be an issue, too. You have to be signed up with them BEFORE an issue happens, too.Try it for the preschool year and call them when you have questions....*Also the money we pay, helps HSLDA defend Home Schoolers in other provinces. I know families that support that, too. *AND there are discounts if you are with certain HS boards - check before you notify with a board. *AND you can make payments over a couple months if you want....

*In addition to free resources for Preschool students there are 2 other certain benefits that I know of. Membership includes an insurance benefit for you & your student, so if you plan or attend a HS event (you'd have to check policy for specifics) you have personal liability coverage. Also, we know of "well meaning" individuals here in AB even (in one particular case it was with parents of children with broad spectrum autism, where the local school principal (because they pulled their child from public school in gr eight) a nurse at dr office, & social worker filed complaints of parents failing to provide proper care & education. The parents had to go to family court to prove to social services that they were properly parenting, socializing & caring for their children. Because they were HSLDA members they didn't incur extra legal fees for this. I'm sure this is an extreme case, and it may rarely happen here, the trend for government is to errode parental rights, and I understand even bothersome neighbours can cause problems that HSLDA can help with. For us, its a small price to pay for peace of mind.

*I joined to be on the safe side. The government is increasingly becoming more involved in our children's lives and less concerned about the family life. The concept of "it takes a village to raise a child" has become so overdone! Families are losing rights to raise their children in the way they want and even teaching our children our religious beliefs has become a serious issue. Central and Eastern Canada has more issues with homeschooling, and although Alberta is the best place to be to homeschool, it could change quickly. I am happy with them and plan to continue my membership!

*I am the Government Liaison for AHEA and I can tell you that without the assistance of HSLDA, my duties would be very difficult to fulfill. On countless occasions, HSLDA has provided advice and assistance on legal wording and suggestions. With a mandate of prevention, HSLDA works closely with provincial organizations to help reduce the possibility of difficulties for home education families. HSLDA provides expertise, with knowledge of home education in all provinces and territories in Canada as well as the USA, an annual leadership convention that trains home education leaders across Canada, and assistance to individuals across the country. In addition, they provide international awareness in the home education arena.

*HSLDA is at the for front...battling to have and keep homeschooling in Alberta where it is at. We don't have a clue most of the time what the government is even talking about. As we stay home with our children and homeschool them, HSLDA is at the battle front! Thank you HSLDA!!

*I choose to be a member, not because I think anything will happen, but because I like that they will have my back if something does!

What Do You Wish Someone Would Have Told You When You First Started Home Schooling?

Well, the AHEA Facebook Page continues on strong. I'm going to share questions asked and the best responses on the blog.

Question: What do you wish someone had told you before you first started home schooling?

Answers:

*Relax! And don't buy anything right away but maybe a membership to museums or swimming etc :)

*Find and commit to a homeschool support group! :) You will need a group of like-minded Mom's for support and to bounce ideas off of. Plus, as an added bonus of your new found friendships formed there, your homeschooled children will get to meet other homeschooled kids. :)

*Oh,and take a couple months or more to de-school and get used to being all together again (especially if your pulling from the school environment). And know there is no need to hurry to meet this/that goal or expectation. Savour the slow times :)

*If you start with a heavy "schooly" type schedule, more than likely your kids and you will not like it, and even more likely your kids will end up in school. Help them to read, focus on spiritual matters, keep them balanced on video games and enjoy the time.

*You have 12 yrs for them to learn, pace it out, don't snuffle out that love of learning because that's the pace of a certain curric.

*I wish I had been told that there is no such thing as a perfect homeschool. I was caught in the trap of comparing someone else's highlight reel with my reality when I compared to blogs etc homeschoolers posted. My kids were never going to be the image I had in my mind of of cheerful children at my feet eager to be drinking in the knowledge I was going to bestow upon them that day. And that is OKAY.
Also that is okay to be schooly, or waldorf, or playbased, or project based, or unschooling or whatever. In the beginning it felt like everyone felt their own method was best and if you didn't do it their way you were doing it wrong. It wasn't until I had my homeschool feet solidly under me, about 1/2 way through my 2nd year that I had the faith in myself that my method did not have to be their method and vice versa.

*I wish that someone had told me that homeschooling is NOT school at home. It took us 5 years to figure out that homeschooling is so much more and that the "school" part is not the most important aspect of our homeschooling.

*I wish I could have foreseen just how much stuff we would have, and create systems to keep on top of it all. Sometimes I drown in paper, Lego and markers...Lol. (Although I just go w it...all too soon they will be grown)

*I wish someone had told me that figuring out how my child learns and instilling a love of learning to is much more important than focusing on content. Took me a couple of years to figure out that content can be taught is so many interesting ways if I just figure out how to present the material to my child in a way that works for her and makes it interesting and fun to learn.

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What would you have said to this question?

Come Sit By Me or Five in a Row - Parent reviews

*A young Home School Mom asked the below question on Facebook:
Any reviews on 'Come Sit by Me' and 'Five in a Row'/ 'Before Five in a Row'? By the end of the year I will have ages 5, 3, 18months, and newborn. It seems like something a busy mom could handle but I would love to hear others experiences with some of these.
A few of the answers were:
*I did both the Come Sit By Me books - just loved them - so easy to sit & read a story...then do a quick activity. Activities cover all areas of curriculum for little kids...add in some baking - maybe some counting and you are good to go! I just finished up with the 2nd book last month - looking to sell it.
I did the books 3 times with my 3 girls...highly reccomended!
*We did Come Sit by Me, It's Canadian, Loved it! especially the Section across Canada, (Sugar Bush, Prairie Dust), then we got my dad to tell stories of the Prairie - the drought and the dust storms.
*I *personally* think Five in a Row has better *classic* books, but Come Sit By Me books are easier to get (and are Canadian, too). I am keeping all our Five in a Row books forever (grandchildren). smile

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