Step 3: Connect
Now that you intend to homeschool, you should make an effort to associate with other home educators. Associations are crucial to a healthy society. In contrast to state-controlled or private institutional schools, homeschool associations are primarily volunteeristic*; they are comprised of like-minded people who mutually choose to take part in the planning and executing of goals.
No two homeschools are alike; different people choose to homeschool for different reasons and practice homeschooling differently. Similarly, homeschool associations express a wide range of organization, attitude and practice. There are many and diverse groups devoted to assisting home educators. Groups typically have multiple aspects. Groups give different weight to each of these aspects in the formation of their identity.
Many groups are oriented toward directly serving homeschoolers of a particular area. That area might be defined as a town or region. For example, Home Instructors Need Team Support (HINTS) “serves the geographical area of south Charlotte” while Forsyth Home Educators (FHE) serves the homeschooling families of Forsyth county in the Piedmont Triad area. Many geographic localities have multiple associations, while some geographic localities do not have any.
These groups typically have their own stated purpose, calendar of activities, resources (such as libraries) and membership requirements.
To find local groups near you, go to NCHE regions page to find your Regional Liaison or to see a list of local groups.
Others associations are more curricular-oriented, and are devoted to supporting particular educational practices. Some examples would be co-ops focused on classical education and associations of those who follow the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. Most of these groups are locally-based.
North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) is a private, volunteer organization active at the state level, serving North Carolina homeschoolers.
NCHE’s threefold purpose is:
- to PROTECT the freedom of educating at home
- to PROVIDE encouragement & support to families who choose home education for their children
- to PROMOTE home education as an educational alternative
- Educational Excellence
- Parental Authority and Responsibility for Education
- Protection and Promotion of the Family
- Diligence in Moral and Ethical Instruction
- Responsible Citizenship
- Freedom of Choice Among Educational Alternatives
- Defense of Constitutional Rights
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) 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.
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.
NCHE members receive a discount on their HSLDA membership. Contact the NCHE office to get your group discount information.
Homeschool Legal Advantage (HLA)–an organizations focused on legal issues surrounding the practice of homeschooling.
National Home Education Network (NHEN) is a volunteer organization. All of the projects center around three specific objectives:
- Provide information to homeschoolers individually and through local/state groups
- Make it easier for homeschoolers to network together
- Promote public relations on a national level
In keeping with our mission statement, NHEN espouses no one particular political agenda or homeschooling philosophy. Instead, we know that homeschooling parents can read all of the material and determine for themselves what is best for their family.
* NOTE: The voluntary nature of free associations does not negate the practice of these associations to monetarily compensate members for their time.