California Legislation Affects Us Too

I’ve been mildly obsessed with the legislation that has come since the Turpin story broke in January. It’s so similar to what happened here in South Carolina in 2013–when this blog was born. Except this time, the foundation example was actually registered as homeschoolers in their state.

I think it's an important representation of solidarity. I think it's important moral support from homeschoolers everywhere. Because what's happening in California legislation affects us too!

I’ve been following along on the legislation updates from California Homeschool Network. I’ve been sharing and posting updates here in South Carolina. Because I think it’s important.

I think it’s an important representation of solidarity. I think it’s important moral support from homeschoolers everywhere. Because what’s happening in California legislation affects us too!

Boots on the Ground

I know we’re busy. I know we’re uncomfortable talking about child abuse. But, it happens–even in homeschooling sometimes. We’re not immune to it.

As much as we dislike it, the conversation often returns to homeschool laws and oversight. Public perception and policy makers suggest that homeschooling should be regulated more closely as a means to catch abuse or neglect.  While there is no evidence to suggest that increased regulation would accomplish this purpose. See the data here.

Right now California is on the hot seat. But, their outcome affects us all. Like a ripple effect, a few other states have been considering similar concerns. I anticipate more could come up next year. In other states, perhaps even ours again.

It’s our rights and freedoms they’re talking about. It targets homeschooling as the issue–and it’s not. As fellow homeschoolers, we can’t get complacent about that.

The problem isn’t isolated to California. We can’t sit back as armchair spectators. It means we’re going to have to get involved. The rally cry of California homeschoolers is ours too, “Put your boots on the ground…and rise up!”

Rise Up

Our homeschooling freedoms come with the responsibility to protect those freedoms. Together.

I came into homeschooling after homeschool rights were well established. I presumed someone else would keep watch. I didn’t know the legislators…and didn’t know what was going on in legislation.

Times have changed.

It’s got to be each of us. Homeschooling is decentralized by nature. There’s not one group or delegate that represents us all.

California homeschoolers have set an excellent example of how to come together. It’s an awesome thing to see homeschoolers come together to defend our rights.

This record-breaking crowd showed up to the committee hearing at California’s State house. Over 2,000 people! Each person (including children) were given the chance to say their name and where they are from–and state their support or opposition to the bill.

We’re a diverse group with varied perspectives and voices. That is our greatest strength.
We need each other. Let’s find others on social media who will stand together and help keep each other informed.

There’s still a chance to sign the petition on Facebook and show our continued solidarity. You can include a positive statement about why homeschooling works for you or why you chose to homeschool.

Speak Up

There is a time and a place to speak. We have to know the process of legislation. We have key opportunities in the legislative process and key contact points.

Sometimes it is beneficial to call your legislator. Sometimes it’s beneficial to email the committee members. Sometimes it’s time to show up for committee hearings.

Get to know your legislators and the legislators on the education and finance committees. Committee members might not be your representative. Find them on social media and sign up for their newsletters. In this election year, you can find them at campaign events or schedule a meeting to go visit.

Learn the process of  legislation so you know when and who to contact. Our state legislation puts this handy little tracking chart on the bills, so you can see where they are. You can see which side of the State House it’s being considered. Which committee is considering it. Then you can keep watch for a hearing date.

California has a similar process, with some variations. I found this explanation of the California legislation process, which would also make a good unit study to include your kids. Learn also what to say when you call–and how you say it.

We’ve made a huge showing for what homeschoolers can do when we put our minds to it. We’ve made a great presentation of who we are.

Keep It Up

But, here’s the most important part. The hardest part, I think. We have to get involved in solving the problem. We need to keep focused on WHY the legislation comes up.

We’re good at reacting in crisis. But, there is still a current of thought that correlates homeschooling as a place where abusers can hide. What are we going to do about that?

It’s easy to get busy again or think that it’s up to someone else. It’s not enough to just wait for the next crisis. While homeschoolers are not at any greater risk for abuse to occur, we’re also not immune to it.

We have to get proactive. I see 2 important way that we can be more proactive:

  • Promote homeschool excellence. We have more work to do to show what homeschooling actually looks like. So when friends and neighbors who see an isolated family who “homeschools”, they can recognize the difference.
  • Promote abuse awareness. We have more work to recognize families in crisis in our own circles…and how to prevent abuse from escalating. We can build protective factors into our communities–voluntarily.

It’s one thing to stand up for our own rights. But, it’s another thing to stand up for someone else’s.

Let’s stand WITH measures to help families in crisis and help protect children. It’s important to show solidarity and moral support for all children. Let’s keep working to solve the problem!

More about Who is the Authority Anyway?

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!


  1. […] related/Child Abuse and Neglect: Since the Turpin Case in California last year, there has been discussion and debate about the homeschool laws and how to detect abuse within the […]

  2. […] why we want to be involved in legislation. In the wake of the Turpin case, California tried to pass measures to have homeschools subjected to “fire inspections” in order to gain access to the home […]

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