Archive for the ‘Homeschooling in the News’ Category


Un-schooling’: Kids decide what they want to learn – 10/14


TODAY Show on NBC aired this segment on Unschooling




Homeschool students savor flexibility and focus – 9/30


An article from Iowa’s Ames Tribune





Pasco sees increase in homeschooled students 9/25


St. Petersburg Times





Parents who ‘unschool’ put their children in the teacher’s chair – 8/31



A ten year old newsie from a good family, carrying a heavy load of newspapers quite a distance. Washington DC - early 1900's

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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.



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Bart Hazlett, a local homeschool dad, and two of his four children were killed in a head-on collision last Friday.  The Hazlett’s are actively involved in the homeschool community and are co-owners of Maverick’s restaurant in Roseville.

The memorial service for the Hazlett family is scheduled for Friday, June 24 at 11 am at Minneapolis Unitarian Church.  The church is located at 900 Mount Curve Avenue in Minneapolis.

For people who wish to help with meals, a sign-up list has been created.  Meals and restaurant gift certificates are welcome.

For those able to make financial contributions to the family, these can be mailed to:

Hazlett Family Memorial Fund
Park Midway Bank
2300 Como Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55108

MHA extends its deepest condolences to the Hazlett family.

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This weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting an Information Station at the Masjid Ar-Rahman Community Center in Bloomington.  I’ll admit, I didn’t know what to expect as I drove to the event.  As President of MHA for the past two years, I have hosted my fair share of homeschool workshops.  Never had I led an Information Station with so many people registered, nor had I led one geared to a specific audience.


As soon as I arrived, I was greeted warmly by the coordinator of the event.  I began to set up and more people arrived, both men and women eager to learn more about homeschooling.  Most were members of the Community Center but there were some families in attendance who were not, who had heard about the event through MHA’s blog or web site.  Other board members started to arrive, an eclectic group of Christian, Jewish and agnostic women.


And then we started.  For more than two hours, we discussed Minnesota homeschool laws, spoke about our personal experiences with home educating, and answered questions from the forty people in attendance.  At one point during the afternoon, I looked out into that sea of faces.  What I saw was a group of parents listening attentively.  Not Muslims.  Not Christians.  Not Middle Easterners.  Not Caucasians.  Just parents.  Because, despite their religious and ethnic differences, they all had at least one thing in common: they cared about their childrens’ education and they wanted to provide the best they could when it came to helping their children learn.


I have never been prouder to be a volunteer with MHA than I did at that moment.  Knowing that I was part of something that not only helped demystify homeschooling but also helped bridge cultural and religious differences was an amazing thing.

As I drove home, I couldn’t help but think: If homeschoolers from all backgrounds can come together and share experiences and ask questions in a tolerant and supportive environment, maybe — just maybe —  the rest of the world can, too.

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A recent article in The Old Schoolhouse , a Christian-based homeschool magazine, reports impressive homeschool numbers in the United States, claiming the number of students joining the modern homeschool movement has increased 74% since 1999.  The piece provides statistics that show homeschooling as a positive educational method, citing homeschool students as having higher K-12 test scores and higher college graduation rates than the traditionally-schooled child.  According to the article, homeschoolers are also more active members of their community, with 71% of homeschool grads participating in on-going volunteer activities as compared to 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages.

A press release summary can be found here.

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Homeschooling in the News
Homeschool families describe their diverse methods and motives – Southern California Public Radio

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