MHA has hosted a flurry of activities over the past few months for homeschoolers in Minnesota — workshops, Information Stations, and, our newest offering, Coffee Chats. As a representative for MHA, one question I have heard more and more frequently from non-member participants is: why should I join MHA?
Hmm. Good question. Why should homeschoolers join their statewide homeschool organization? Especially when there is so much information out there for free? What follows are my personal thoughts on the subject.
Homeschool organizations serve a vital role in the homeschool world. Often, they are a clearinghouse for information, providing details on homeschool legalities in your state, legislative updates, and information on support groups, co-ops, and playgroups. These organizations usually have web sites filled with extensive information and volunteers who are equally knowledgeable in the how-to’s of homeschooling.
I started my homeschool journey in the state of Virginia. It took me a full year before I joined the VA Homeschoolers Association. Like MHA, they offered a free-to-join Yahoo group where any homeschooler could sign up and ask questions, get support, or just vent. Like MHA, their website was freely accessible, with links to legal information, downloadable forms, etc. Like MHA, they had a staff of volunteers who maintained e-lists and were always available to answer questions and advocate on a fellow homeschooler’s behalf, member or not. So, you might be asking, if all of this was free, what was the point in joining?
For me, it was because I felt like I was a part of a greater group. A movement. A cause. The whole “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” mentality. I wanted to donate my $25 a year to an organization that was important to me, to a movement I supported. Did it matter that the conference was held 100 miles from my house? Nope. Did it matter that the workshops they offered never meshed with my schedule? Not a bit.
What mattered was this: I supported homeschooling. They supported homeschooling.
I guess I could have spent that $25 on a pizza and a pitcher of soda. Or a few day’s worth of Starbuck’s Cafe Mochas. But I didn’t. And I never regretted it. And…I kept rejoining. Every year. And when I moved to Minnesota, one of the very first things I did was look into the homeschool organizations here — and sign up.
MHA offers support and information to homechoolers. Period. Member or not.
However, there are some wonderful perks to membership:
- FREE workshops and events throughout the year
- $10 admission to our annual conference
- Comprehensive Member Handbook
- MHA Support Group directory
- MHA membership card for discounts at local and national retailers
Perhaps the biggest perk of all? Supporting the homeschool movement in Minnesota and knowing that the membership dues collected serve one single purpose: helping and enriching the lives of local homeschoolers.
Read Full Post »