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Thread: HSLDA

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    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!

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    Default HSLDA

    Do any of you have experience with the Home School Legal Defense Association? Would you recommend having a membership to someone who was going to homeschool? How have they helped your family? Is there any reason not to join?

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    I am a member. I can't really think of the negatives. It costs money (around 125 a yr if I remember correctly) and it is heavily Christian. (I believe)
    Do I think everyone needs it. It all depends on your level of comfort. I like the idea of someone showing up at my door and me saying...Let me call my lawyers. I like the idea of someone stepping up to the plate for me in a stressful situation.
    I also run an activity group so that covers me too.
    It is a very personal decision. They haven't helped me but it is more of an insurance. If you don't get into a car accident than you don't use the insurance right? Same goes for HSLDA.
    It all just depends on comfort levels in different situations.

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    Thanks luckymama.

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    I wouldn't join because of the money and I really don't see a personal need. My mom has been homeschooling since I was 6 or 7 (she still is HS younger siblings) and I am 30 and she has never had a need where she would have used that service.

    Looking at their site I do see they help preserve our rights to HS, and I think it's great, but just personally I'd rather spend the money elsewhere.

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    I haven't even checked out their site yet, but I'm going to after DS is in bed. Just wanted to see what others thought as it was recommended to me today.

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    I'm not a member and I wouldn't recommend them to any homeschooler either.
    They are 'heavily christian' and it affects how/who they represent. Unschoolers for example would not fall under their protection. People may be fine with that..especially if they're not an unschooler, however they want members following an approved curriculum..not necessarily the government's idea of approved curriculum--their idea of approved. They also believe in standardized testing. That's not exactly representing all homeschoolers. I'm not confident that if you were an eclectic homeschooler for example how they would view that. Same for their insurance. I don't trust that they'd honour coverage should you need it. (if I recall correctly, they didn't increase their fees yet they added this insurance coverage..that just doesn't jive to me) Does your activity have to fall under their idea of an approved homeschooling activity? What if it's not religious based?
    In the states they lobby the government for things I believe exceed their mandate..fighting against gay marriage for example. Even if that fit with one's beliefs..what does that have to do with homeschooling and why are people's funds used to cover that? Yes it's the states but the american president of hslda co-founded the canadian branch. At times the Canadian hslda has tried to distance themselves from the US hslda but they are still closely aligned philosophically.
    Last edited by Wethree; 01-26-2011 at 07:42 PM.
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    I wanted to quickly say that in my post I said being heavily Christian could be a negative. It isn't for us because we are.

    We unschool and I had a problem with that. I filled out the forms and there were no problems. I didn't read anything about approved curriculum or them not representing unschoolers.

    Besides, if someone comes knocking I probably wouldn't use that term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckymama View Post
    I wanted to quickly say that in my post I said being heavily Christian could be a negative. It isn't for us because we are.

    We unschool and I had a problem with that. I filled out the forms and there were no problems. I didn't read anything about approved curriculum or them not representing unschoolers.

    Besides, if someone comes knocking I probably wouldn't use that term.

    If you're an unschooler, you wouldn't be following the list of what you agreed to therefore you would not receive coverage from them. Even many homeschoolers wouldn't be following this.

    From their application form:
    By typing your name as a digital signature on this application, we agree:
    1. To exercise diligence in teaching your children in a responsible way.
    2. To use an organized curriculum and a clearly recognizable program of education to instruct our children.
    3. To keep records of each child's educational progress
    4. To notify the Association promptly of any threatened or actual legal papers received related to our homeschool.
    5. To cooperate fully in the defence of any legal action (threatened or otherwise) which may be brought against our homeschool and provide any and all information and assistance to the office of the Association.
    6. That all the information presented on this form, to the best of our knowledge, is true and accurate.


    Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.

    Hobbes: Isn't your zipper suppose to be in the front of your pants?

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    That's interesting that they expect you to use an organized curriculum. I know people who are members that don't follow a curriculum, nor do they keep records of their kid's progress. I guess it's not enforced that much maybe.

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    It may not be enforced at the beginning, but it would be grounds not to represent them should the need arise. If a child is enrolled in a school (even for independent study) they will not provide legal services to them. Just because they approve that application form doesn't mean you are guaranteed any legal services.

    The services that do provide are fairly narrow.(and remember, homeschooling is legal in Ontario). They don't intervene in a custody/separation case where 1 parent wants to hs and the other parent is against it. (I mention it only because I've heard hslda recommended to people when they were going through these issues.)
    Last edited by Wethree; 01-27-2011 at 04:06 PM.
    Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.

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    [editing; post clean-up]

    If I wanted to join/support an organization to represent me and advocate for homeschoolers' rights, I'd much rather join the OFTP (Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents). From what I can tell, they're more in line with my own interests and beliefs about home education (freedom of choice, etc.).
    Last edited by Ceili; 02-15-2011 at 07:34 PM.
    formerly Kathy

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    Thanks for the info!

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    Hmmm...I am going to have a chat with them at the homeschooling conference this April before I sign up another yr!
    I didn't even read that and I did read all of the info...or so I thought.

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    If I were a Christian School-at-home type, I'd join in a heartbeat. But I am not

    The irony is, the lawyer who runs the London Chapter - his mother was the person who introduced me to unschooling like, 14 yrs ago. He is her oldest child.

    I found him very helpful even though I wasnt a member (he didnt know till after my connection with his mom) when I contacted him a few years ago about a problem with the school my daughter had started to go to. I also have a friend who was a member (who was Catholic and who used curriculum) and for whom the local HSLDA made a few phone calls and got the school off her back.

    So, no, I dont think its the answer for everyone - certainly not me! - but I do think they can be very helpful for some families and for $125 per family each year, including group insurance for homeschooling events, its a pretty good deal. I think its worth mentioning when people want to know what resources are available in the community, even if its not one I would use myself.
    Last edited by Ana; 01-29-2011 at 08:38 AM.

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    See..I'm not clear on their group insurance. As I said, that seemed to get added on without their fees increasing..how does that work? What exactly are you covered for? What if a christian school at home mom runs an activity and an unschooler gets hurt or someone who doesn't keep records of their kids? What if everyone is a Christian School at home family..does the activity have to meet certain requirements? What requirements do people have to meet? What are their loopholes? Do they have more loopholes than a regular insurance company who offers group insurance? I don't know the answers..but given other things on their site that seem to me to be full of loopholes I would be digging deep for answers.

    I think that any organization that claims to represent homeschoolers..should in fact represent all homeschoolers. Kathy mentioned OFTP-from what I've seen they do a stellar job in that dept.

    I think everyone's right to homeschool should be protected. Religion shouldn't factor into it. Religion may factor into why someone chooses to hs; it may factor into how they choose to homeschool..but those are personal decisions. The right to be able to make those decisions is what is worth defending. I think hslda is misleading. I dont' want them to be seen by the public or any government body as representing homeschoolers. If the government decides to change the laws..do you really want hslda representing homeschoolers interests?? I sure don't.
    Last edited by Wethree; 01-29-2011 at 09:44 AM.
    Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.

    Hobbes: Isn't your zipper suppose to be in the front of your pants?

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