Why Support of CHEA
Supporting Local Convention Organizer CHEA
I wanted to take a moment to talk with you about some activities in the homeschooling world that may affect your long-term ability to homeschool in California.
As you know, homeschooling is a growing phenomenon in California and throughout the United States. Parents everywhere are turning to the option they have to home educate and disciple their children in safety, love, and with the values they believe in. This is good for us as a community and each of the children individually.
What you may not know is that this right was something that was paid for at a high price for families that homeschooled in America in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Some families were torn apart, other parents were jailed, and still others were harassed, maligned and vilified. But they persevered and the fruit is the freedom we enjoy in safety today.
Over those years, in every state I have reviewed, support groups formed whose objective was to protect the right to homeschool. These groups lobby at the state houses, perform on-the-ground support, and provide legal support for challenges within the state. Traditionally, they have been supported by other national groups that also will get involved when they can (such as Home School Legal Defense Association).
In California, our group is called CHEA (Christian Home Educators Association), located nearby in Southern California. This group does a whole lot to monitor the political winds, lobby, and work with other organizations to protect your liberty to homeschool. They do this, in part, by providing events that help homeschoolers to learn about the process, provide support in the journey, and connect us with materials and their vendors that we can use to home educate our children. For CHEA, the largest of these events are the annual conventions they put on in both Northern and Southern California.
Recently, some group from out of state have announced that they will be putting on a convention of their own. They have good speakers and may be putting on a good convention. But the bigger picture is that outside groups come in, have a convention, and leave. As a result, many of those who would otherwise attend the CHEA convention may opt instead to go to the outside-coordinated convention. Because of that the CHEA convention will be significantly impacted and revenue losses can cause them to significantly curtail their operations accordingly.
The issue is this: If CHEA does not have attendance at its conventions, you may not have the advocate at the state level that you need to if a case like the one a few years ago (that temporarily resulted in homeschooling being declared illegal) arises. In that case, because of the intervention of CHEA, HSLDA, and others, in that case, the issues were resolved and our right to homeschool was preserved. If CHEA is not around, there are fewer or no direct advocates for our rights.
If you are only going to one convention this year, let me suggest that you go to the CHEA convention (or your one sponsored by your local state organization). They fought for your right to homeschool in the first place and are still operating and protecting you now. It's more than a convention. It's an advocacy group and a personal advocate. That's what we've done in the past and what we intend to do going forward. Would you please join us in supporting CHEA, your local advocacy group?
In His love,
©Copyright 2012, Exploring Homeschooling. Reprinted with permission of the author. www.exploringhomeschooling.com.