A Homeschool Challenge We Still Must Face

A homeschool challenge we still must face
has been on Jim Mason's mind and heart. 

Jim is the president of Home School Legal Defense Association
and a keynote speaker for our 2024 Homeschool Iowa Conference.

Here are some of his thoughts.

As I have thought about the rise and growth of homeschooling in America over the last half century, it occurred to me that we have gone from fringe, to movement, to becoming an enduring institution in modern life. This, in fact, is the topic of my keynote address at the Homeschool Iowa Conference in June.

Much of our collective success
has been the result
of generations of homeschooled children taking up their roles
as successful, productive adults.

In the early days, homeschool graduates faced many challenges, like getting into college, trade schools, or the military. Thankfully, much has changed, and today’s homeschool graduates find getting on with adult life is easier than ever.

Some trades, like cosmetology, for example, remain a challenge that Home School Legal Defense Association is still working to correct.

The good news is that we just had a major breakthrough in New Jersey, where a homeschool graduate successfully finished the trade school, passed the licensing test, yet was denied a license because the cosmetology board refused to recognize the homeschool diploma. After we sued the board, it relented and approved the license. The homeschool graduate received her license the same week that I am writing this blog.

But homeschool graduates do still face discrimination,
and this is one of HSLDA’s top priorities to overcome.
What can you do if it happens to you?
You have some options.

A homeschool challenge we still must face requires us to be informed.
Be Informed About Homeschool Challenges We Still Must Face

Be Informed

The first thing you should know is that most states, including Iowa, empower parents who have legally homeschooled their children to issue diplomas and high school transcripts to their children.

These diplomas and transcripts are just as valid as any regular diploma and should be enough to fulfill whatever requirements are put forth

A homeschool challenge we still must face requires us to keep good records.
Keep Good Records to Avoid Homeschool Challenges

Keep Records

You should keep good records for several reasons.

First, because in many states, it is required by law, but, second, because it can help to clear up confusion when it arises.

HSLDA and Homeschool Iowa both have resources on why records are important. These records can be used to show that you were homeschooled in compliance with Iowa law, and sometimes this will be enough to clear up any issues.

Homeschool Iowa has an excellent article on what records you should keep.

A homeschool challenge we still must face requires us to be patient.
Be patient when dealing with homeschool challenges we still must face.

Be Patient

While some of these encounters may be the result of negative attitudes toward homeschooling, often it’s a simple case of a misunderstanding.

Some employers, trade schools, or universities may have never dealt with a homeschool graduate before, and most of the time, they just don’t know how to handle it.

A little patience and graciousness
can be helpful in resolving the situation.

A homeschool challenge we still must face requires us to reach out.
Reach out when you are dealing with homeschool challenge we still must face.

Reach Out

The best part of homeschool freedom is that it is a team sport.

HSLDA and Homeschool Iowa
exist to support and advocate for homeschoolers.

Homeschool Iowa has been dedicated to promoting and protecting homeschooling in Iowa since 1992. HSLDA has been working to advance and defend homeschool freedom for more than 40 years. We fight not only for the freedom to homeschool, but also for the freedom of homeschoolers.

We believe that homeschool graduates have every right and privilege that public school graduates enjoy. This is why we work to help our member families and their graduates as they set out to enter the professional world.

As much as we pride ourselves in our work,
it pales in comparison
to what you,
the individual homeschool graduate,
can achieve simply by being you.

The homeschool movement has proven over the years that the best advocates for homeschooling are homeschooled children, graduates, and professionals.

As more and more homeschool graduates enter the worlds of higher education, business, government, public service, or whatever they choose to do, more and more people see that homeschool graduates are bright, motivated, and self-reliant adults.

And that speaks volumes.

Jim Mason, Homeschool Iowa Conference Speaker

Jim Mason

Since joining HSLDA to lead the litigation team in 2001, Jim has represented homeschooling families in a wide range of challenging situations and has set precedents that have expanded freedom for the homeschool community.

Jim became the president of HSLDA in 2022 after serving as vice president of litigation and development for seven years. In addition to penning many of the most popular articles in HSLDA’s Home School Court Report magazine, Jim has written columns for National Review, Newsmax, the Sacramento Bee, and the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California). Jim also serves as the president of HSLDA Action and board chairman of ParentalRights.org and ParentalRightsFoundation.org.

Before coming to HSLDA, Jim represented numerous right-to-life groups in campaign finance cases and clerked for an appellate court judge in Oregon. He graduated with highest honors from Regent University School of Law in 1996. Jim is a veteran of the US Navy and served on active duty in Operation Desert Storm.

Jim and his wife, Debbie, live in Stephenson, Virginia. They have seven children and six grandchildren. The Masons homeschooled all of their children through high school. In his spare time, Jim is an avid bird watcher.

You can read more at hslda.org.


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