Does HSLDA Promote Exclusivity?

The Home School Legal Defense Association is inherently exclusive because the leaders are self-appointed, they don’t ask their members for opinions, and they have a broad agenda way beyond homeschooling.

Does HSLDA Promote Exclusivity?

There is a closed loop between The Teaching Home, the Home School Legal Defense Association, and certain state and local organizations. They offer limited information; you can be ignorant and not know it. You can be told certain things and not know better because you don’t see any other information or opinions.”

-Will Shaw
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers

“A small group of individuals, their organizations, and their associates, whose actions have resulted in dividing the homeschool community.”

-Mark and Helen Hegener
Home Education Magazine

Inherent Exclusivity

An organization that is truly representative of a broad spectrum of homeschoolers:

  • Has a governing body freely elected by the members
  • Requires no statement of faith for officers, employees, lobbyists, members, or as a condition of service
  • Has a board of directors with a diverse make up, not only one type of homeschooler
  • Holds elections that are open, free and democratic
  • Surveys members for their opinions
  • Takes action based on members’ opinions
  • Remains neutral on non-homeschooling issues

HSLDA Embodies None of These

Selective Links

HSLDA’s Web site links only to Selected State Associations. The organization has declined to link to many inclusive state associations, such as the The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers.

“That HSLDA doesn’t list VHEA (now The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers) tells more about HSLDA than if they did list us.”

-Will Shaw
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers

“I would love to have VHEA pull down their nasty web site.”

-Michael Farris,
Crosswalk chat night of Feb 29, 2000

“Dividing, Destroying”

The Ravage of Home Education Through Exclusion by Religion

Dr. Raymond Moore’s White Paper on HSLDA and exclusivity details how HSLDA’s Michael Farris has been involved in using religion to “divide and/or destroy productive state coalitions,” he refuses to “cooperate with more experienced national groups which are alert to state and national legislation and to work closely with legislators,” and makes a “unilateral attempt to be the national center” of homeschooling.

“Breaking Down Networks”

Homeschooling Freedoms at Risk

Editors Note: Homeschooling Freedoms at Risk is not light reading! This collection is highly critical of the actions of individuals, groups and organizations within the homeschool community. The original collection was put together to be read as a whole, and in fairness to all involved this electronic version should be no different.

“The problem is a small group of individuals, their organizations, and their associates, whose actions have resulted in dividing the homeschool community, breaking down networks of support and communication, and artificially imposing an exclusive hierarchical order. We are talking about the actions taken by [HSLDA founder] Michael Farris, Gregg Harris, Sue Welch, and Brian Ray, the group which has come to be referred to as the ‘four pillars of homeschooling.'”

Perceived Threat

Influences: Secular Humanism Perceived as a Threat

Sometime in the mid-’80s, things began to change. Increasing numbers of conservative Christian homeschooling leaders began to encourage Christian families to separate themselves from homeschoolers who did not share their faith.

These families tended to teach their children in traditional ways using standardized curricula and a structured approach to education, and they were increasingly critical of educational philosophies and approaches which were different from their own, like unschooling and the Moores’ “better-late-than-early” philosophy. Their usual objections had to do with the necessity for order and discipline in the home and their views about humanity’s sinful condition.

They feared that tailoring their educational approach to the desires or interests of the child might be “humanistic” and child-centered (and hence wrong), and they believed that a primary obligation of parents was to teach children to obey and submit to “godly authority”. Some of these Christian leaders and parents were also concerned about “biblical separation” and sheltering their children, meaning keeping their children from spending too much time with children who were not being raised as they were being raised.

This led to increasing calls for exclusivity within homeschooling support groups, which in growing numbers began to require that at least leaders, and sometimes members, sign statements of faith specific to conservative, evangelical Christianity.

Updated: January 20, 2007


Legal Mumbo Jumbo

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