CHL Is Here to Help You As You Finish this School Year!

It’s hard to believe that another academic year is already coming to a close! As you are completing your year-end projects and preparing to document this past homeschool year—we want you to know that we are here to help!

As you are winding up, should you have any questions pertaining to legality of your homeschooling—please know that you have a friend in the Center for Homeschool Liberty. At this time of the year we receive many questions about record keeping compliance, preparation for next year, and questions about state specific homeschooling requirements. Perhaps you’ve moved to a different state, and are curious about your new state's laws? Whatever questions you may have, please know that we are glad to help! Also, please be sure to make use of the state specific homeschool laws resource. To access this resource, visit NCLL.org by clicking here

Here's a snapshot of some of the help we were able to offer just this past week:

  • Resolved a truancy allegation for a mom in Kansas whose son had been sick. She withdrew him and the school then decided to pursue her for the missed sick days. We were able to successfully resolve this issue, and she is now happily homeschooling.
  • Advised the administrator of a Christian school how to biblically and lawfully deal with some student misconduct allegations.
  • Addressed and answered questions about the Common Core Standards movement for several homeschoolers and private schools.
  • Helped a homeschool co-op administrator deal with the legality of some record-keeping issues.
  • Helped another homeschool co-op draft its code of conduct and statement of faith to protect it from allegations of discrimination.

Perhaps the issues raised above reminded you of something that you need to take care of before this year closes? If we can be a help to you, please let us know, we are here to serve you. 

A Few Notes on Record-Keeping

There are many homeschooling styles and approaches, and parents are certainly at liberty to choose how to educate their children. But, it is extremely important to keep good records! Homeschooling records can either be computerized, or they can simply be kept by pen and paper.

What homeschool records should you keep?

First, it is important to understand what the law requires in your particular state. Some states require attendance records, portfolios, or testing records. Parents should carefully review what they are required to do by law. You can find summaries of all state laws at the 
Center for Homeschool Liberty.

Second, it is important to keep detailed records. Remember, the records you keep are the ONLY documentation of your child’s education. As your child approaches college age, you won’t have the convenience of just sending away for a transcript—you’ll have to prepare one. Be sure to keep enough sample work, curriculum lists, and reading lists so you will have the information that you will need to properly prepare this document.

Ask any attorney and they will tell you that it is best to err on the side of greater detail in your homeschool records. In the unlikely event that the government ever challenges your homeschooling—what kind of documentation will you be able to produce to show that you are educating your child? You can demonstrate the best “case” by producing excellent records.

Some parents do not like this idea because they want maximum flexibility and freedom in educating their children. It is important to remember that you are subject to both God’s and man’s laws. Even if you are in a state where you are not required to keep records, if you are ever questioned by legal authorities, you will be judged by what you are able to demonstrate in court. The quality of the evidence you present will depend on the excellence of your records.

Homeschool records should be kept at the time the teaching and learning takes place. In other words, they must be contemporaneous. Detailed, contemporaneous records will persuade a court that your homeschooling is effective and that your children are learning.

Have You Renewed Your CHL Membership?

Are you coming to the end of your free first-year membership? Have you received a notice from us that it is time to renew? As you consider your financial commitments, we would ask you to make a donation to CHL. All donations are tax-deductible and make it possible for CHL to defend and advance constitutional and homeschool liberties. If you'd like to learn more about CHL, please visit our website at www.NCLL.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. These are busy times in the fight for liberty—will you stand with us by donating to our work?

Prayer for the Supreme Court As It Decides the Marriage Cases

Will you join us in prayer for the United States Supreme Court as it is currently deciding the marriage cases? Even though the Court heard oral arguments for these cases back in March, now is a key time to pray for the Justices as they are deciding the cases and drafting the opinions. Now—more than ever—we need to pray that the nation's highest court will uphold the biblical definition of marriage in America. 

Click the video below to hear Attorney Gibbs frame the issue, and on Thursday of this week, we will send another email describing the two cases in detail. Thursday's email will provide a summary of the two cases, will describe the merits, and will describe the legal issues that are involved in both cases.

 


 

On behalf of those we have the privilege of serving, 

David Gibbs III
President and General Counsel

Admitted in Florida, North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, the District of Columbia, many federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court.

Making Sense of Religion in America's Public Schools

What religious liberty rights do public school students, teachers, and parents have on the campuses of America's public schools?

As a parent, do you know what religious liberty rights you and your children have?

As a pastor or youth pastor, do you know what rights you have to share Christ in public schools? 

In a new and easy to understand resource, Attorney David Gibbs III and Attorney Barbara Weller—both seasoned experts in the field of religious liberties litigation—will walk you through the legal maze of what students, teachers, parents, pastors, and youth pastors can and cannot do in the public school setting. 

This book will answer your questions regarding religious expression in public school. Some of the topics included are:

  • May students still pray in public school? 
  • May students bring their Bibles to school and read them?
  • May students distribute tracts in public school?
  • May students include religion in school assignments?
  • May students be excused from school for religious holidays or activities? 
  • May students be excused from participation in classroom activities that are religiously objectionable? 
  • Must a student participate in a religiously objectionable holiday? 
  • May students wear religious apparel in school, such as a T-shirt with a religious slogan? 
  • May students organize Bible clubs at school? 
  • May students mention religion in a graduation speech? 
  • May students be permitted to use religious material in a school talent show? 

Order your copy—or a copy for your pastor or your child's youth pastor—of Making Sense of Religion in America's Public Schools by clicking below: 

Paperback: Click here—available via Amazon.com

E-book formats (including iTunes, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play): Click here—available via Primedia eLaunch

 

 

Some Parents Cry "Foul"—Should Homeschoolers Be Allowed to Participate in Public School Sports?

Since homeschooling families pay taxes, why do some states prohibit homeschoolers from participating in public school sports? Currently, states are split on this issue. Just recently, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Indiana have changed their rules to allow homeschooler participation, while Virginia has declined to allow it. In reference to homeschooled athlete Tim Tebow, state legislation encouraging participation is often called a “Tebow Bill.” Tebow attended the University of Florida on a football scholarship and went on to win the Heisman Trophy while playing football for the Gators.

Within the realm of homeschooling, homeschool families are even split on this issue as well. On the one hand, some families would argue that that barring homeschoolers from play means that they would be denied scholarships that are available to other high school athletes. On the other hand, some families have not even considered allowing their children to enter the public school system for any reason because doing so would detract from the lessons that are being taught at home.

Whatever position you hold, as the parent, you should have the right to decide which course is best for your child.

At the Center for Homeschool Liberty, we receive calls from parents in non-inclusive states who wish to legally challenge this discrimination against their child. As this has been litigated over the past decade, homeschool parents have lost. State courts have held that the state retains the right to include or exclude homeschoolers from the public education sports programs. In other words, there is no “right” to play sports at the public school, so the state can outright forbid it, remain neutral, or highly regulate it. In states that include homeschoolers, some have mandated substantial requirements, such as minimum class registration or academically related participation eligibility requirements.

What can you do if you have a gifted athlete but reside in a non-inclusive state?

  1. Organize a movement of parents to petition your state legislature to sponsor a Tebow Bill.
  2. Find private or local leagues that invite the participation of all students.
  3. If your state laws are silent on the issue, it means that participation is at the discretion of your local school or school district. Make an appointment with the local athletic director and work with your child to present a compelling case to allow participation.

Homeschooling, and the regulation thereof, remains a state issue.


Have you Renewed Your CHL Membership?

Are you coming to the end of your free first-year membership? Have you received a notice from us that it is time to renew? As you consider your financial commitments, we would ask you to make a donation to CHL. All donations are tax-deductible and make it possible for CHL to defend and advance constitutional and homeschool liberties. If you'd like to learn more about CHL, please visit our website at www.NCLL.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. These are busy times in the fight for liberty—will you stand with us by donating to our work?