Homeschooling Advocacy Step by Step

By Celeste Land

Originally published as a five-part series in the VaHomeschoolers Newsletter, from November-December 2005 to July-August 2006.

Advocacy is for everyone. Any concerned parent can become an advocate for homeschooling freedoms. And so can you. This series of five articles will walk you through the steps you can take to become an effective advocate for homeschooling in your community.

Click on the title to read the full article.

Step 1: Know the Law

It may not sound quite as exciting or glamorous as marching in the streets, calling your congressman, or making speeches. But the single most important and most empowering thing any homeschooling parent can do is to become familiar with Virginia’s homeschooling laws. Read more…

Step 2: Know the Players in Your Community

Homeschooling laws and policies don’t come out of thin air. They are created by well-intentioned men and women who may not know much about homeschooling. Laws and policies can be created, eliminated, or improved if we work with these men and women to fix them. Effective advocates know who these men and women are, know where to find them, and know how they can help with homeschooling problems. Read more…

Step 3: Know Your Local Policies

Most homeschooling parents in Virginia do not know the official homeschooling policies for their local school district. The good news is that this information is fairly easy to obtain, if you know where to look. Read more…

Step 4: Know How to Write an Effective Letter or Email

There are many advantages to letter writing. It’s a time-honored, effective, inexpensive way to get your message across to lawmakers, policymakers, school officials, reporters, columnists, other parents, etc. Faxes and electronic communications can make printed communications exceptionally fast and easy, even for frazzled, overcommitted homeschooling parents. Perhaps this is why so many successful homeschooling activists say they got started by writing letters or emails. Read more…

Step 5: Know How to Write Effective Talking Points

It’s not enough to plan a meeting to talk about homeschooling with lawmakers, policymakers, bureaucrats, or the media. You have to have something to say when you get to the meeting. Successful homeschooling advocates get around this problem with a secret weapon: talking points. Read more…

For more information on Virginia homeschooling legal and political issues, please contact the VaHomeschoolers Director of Government Affairs.


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