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Homeschool freedom

“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost

We are losing an entire generation of our youth. We see it in the news, in our culture, in the schools, and—sadly—far too many parents see it in their own homes. Our young people struggle like never before with identity, anxiety, and depression. The lack of moral truth is tragically on display in bullying, falling test scores, drug use, violence, and suicide.

Not long ago, Jessica, a frightened mom who was under threat of truancy charges if her child didn’t return to school, called our office. Her anxious and depressed child—the victim of bullying—had tried to kill himself.

As our counselor searched for a way to help Jessica, she naturally asked, “What grade is your child in?” The mom replied, “Second grade.”

Second grade!

It seems unfathomable and horrifying that a young child would bear such weight. For
parents like Jessica and her child, homeschool freedom has become an island of hope in
our increasingly broken world.

And, worse, this is NOT the only struggling child. Of the tens of thousands of calls our office receives each year, many are from distraught, anxious parents, trying
desperately to find help for their child.

What’s more, parents who cry out for help find themselves increasingly at odds
with an agenda-driven, amoral educational system that focuses less on education, character-building, and career preparation in favor of cultural indoctrination and sensitivity training.

Often, parents are told they are the problem–not the system.

“One of the first things a family tries to teach its children is the difference
between good and evil, right and wrong. One of the first things our schools do is
destroy that distinction.”

“Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family
by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home
and parents.”

“What’s gotten in the way of education in the United States is a theory of social
engineering that says there is ONE RIGHT WAY to proceed with growing up.”

– John Taylor Gatto

For the first 40 years, the homeschool movement has held a fairly defensive position, quietly challenging the notion that our education system is the “right” place for children–and HEAV was no exception. Homeschooling as a movement has largely kept its own counsel, supported parents who chose to separate from the public school system…and avoided conflict with those who didn’t.

IT’S TIME TO BE BOLD
I recently heard a South Side Chicago pastor say the homeschool movement needs to
come off the “back side of the mountain and go into Egypt for God’s children.” We need
your help to begin HEAV’s next 40 years speaking out boldly to tell parents they
can rescue their children NOW
from an educational system that is failing.

Actually, it is not failing. 

It is doing exactly what it was intended to do.

Read John Taylor Gatto’s Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory
Schooling
. An award-winning schoolteacher, he said our children are taught to be

  • emotionally and intellectually dependent
  • indifferent
  • age-segregated
  • dependent on outside evaluation and affirmation for their self-worth<
  • constantly ranked and supervised with no privacy or solitude.

Indeed, he speculated that the entire construct of the national curriculum was “designed exactly as if someone had set out to prevent children from learning how to think and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior.”

This is the antithesis of all we work and stand for at HEAV.

You—and families like yours—have helped lay a strong foundation for homeschooling. Now, concerned parents are waking up to the dangers of the public education system, but they need to recognize homeschooling as a viable option—something they can do.

The good news is that 74% of Gen Z parents are more likely to homeschool, according to a recent study by Age of Learning.

You can help reach these families across Virginia with the resources they need to begin successfully homeschooling.

When parents are equipped to homeschool, they are empowered to instill their faith and values and give their children an individualized, age-integrated education where they can learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way.

Because of support from families like yours, HEAV has been here for 40 years serving the many desperate parents who have felt trapped in the school system. Because of the generosity of donors like you, tens of thousands of families have been empowered to embrace home education and change the lives and trajectories of their families.

This last year, HEAV put more effort than ever into reaching these concerned parents through radio interviews, building up new and existing support groups through leader training, writing an eight-series course for leaders, better connecting with military families, reaching out to the Hispanic community, starting a high school mentoring program for parents on the cusp of launching the next generation, and more.

There is so much more to do. Many concerned parents need to gain the confidence
necessary to begin their homeschool journey. So, we must be bold.

  • We must be bold in empowering parents to assert their God-given right to direct the education and upbringing of their own children.
  • We must be bold in giving parents a vision for freedom and a new means of
    education and family life that strengthens spiritual values.
  • We must be bold in fulfilling our mission to equip and encourage homeschool parents and to promote and protect homeschool freedoms.

According to the Virginia Department of Education, homeschooling in Virginia has grown a whopping 35.5% since COVID-19—but that growth has not come without its

challenges for HEAV. Here are but a few:

  • Tremendous workloads on a few to train counselors and moderators weekly on
    the homeschool statute and monitor all 132 school board meetings
  • Increased overreach of many school districts–146 incidents just this year—
    without additional help
  • Greater need to meet with officials; research, write, and draft legislation; work
    with military liaison officers; and more
  • Lack of funds to hire a replacement outreach director last spring slowed or halted
    initiatives that take dedicated focus and leadership
  • Ongoing strain on the limited office staff because of high call volumes and
    families visiting the office for help and resources.

We’re grateful we still have our homeschool freedom today, but we must be bold to ensure our children and grandchildren retain those rights. If we fail to stand strong, the next generation will be swept away, and our children’s families will lose their freedom to homeschool or even make basic parental decisions for their children.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction… It must be
fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. – Ronald Reagan

Be Bold for Homeschool Freedom

You play a vital role in this fight for our children’s hearts and minds. With your
help, we can expand the government affairs and outreach teams in the coming year by

  • Bringing on an additional government affairs team member to meet the growing challenges of school division overreach; work with legislators to protect homeschool freedoms; research and write, and act on issues such as ESAs.
  • Hiring an outreach director to equip and empower parents in educationally underserved communities, train more leaders to buttress local support, encourage pastors to tangibly support homeschool families, expand our Hispanic outreach, and more.
  • Bringing on a full-time communications director to make us as effective, relevant, and targeted as we can be.

Will you help us shape the future by equipping and empowering parents to take the
reins in their children’s education? There is hope!

Here’s a breakdown of this year’s fundraising goals!

Homeschool Freedom Strategy

Please help shape the future by making a generous contribution of $100, $275, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, or any amount you are able.

HEAV has seen God work through the thriving homeschool movement to
transform the hearts and lives of parents and children.

Thanks to you, we hear their stories every day.

“HEAV’s advice, inspiration, experience, expertise, and love for homeschooling families have been life-changing throughout our journey. Without you, our family would have missed this tremendous blessing. Graduating our youngest in 2021 did not end our homeschooling journey, as I continue to share with new families just starting out.” – Kim, Lifetime member since 2003

Your year-end support will make a difference in helping to raise $149,800 so that together we can take a firm stand for homeschool freedom and be bold in reaching and empowering parents to direct the education of their children.
May the Lord greatly bless you and your family.

In His love,
Anne Miller
President | Executive Director
Home Educators Association of Virginia

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:12 NIV