Community Outreach
Want to help homeschooling integrate into the community at large? Are you a homeschool group leader who talks with the media or provides information to new and curious homeschoolers? Here are tips to help you present homeschooling to the public and the media.
Community Outreach: Talking About Homeschooling
The Homeschooling Image: Public Relations Basics
This free e-book download contains Mary Griffith's work addressing issues concerning the image of homeschoolers as presented by individual homeschoolers and homeschool organizations. It is written for support group leaders and activists in the homeschooling movement who want solid information on dealing with the public. Topics include: Getting Started, Looking Professional, Announcing Yourself, Being Interviewed (with tips for talking with the media, print interviews, broadcast interviews, and talk radio), Putting Your Message Out, and Events & Community. This book was originally published in 1996.
Homeschooling Advocacy: Know the Players in Your Community
Homeschooling laws and policies don’t come out of thin air. They are created by well-intentioned men and women who may not know much about homeschooling. Laws and policies can be created, eliminated, or improved if we work with these men and women to fix them. Effective advocates know who these men and women are, know where to find them, and know how they can help with homeschooling problems.
Homeschooling Advocacy: Know How to Write an Effective Letter or Email
Positive action can be taken by homeschoolers by writing a letter or email to explain your concerns and providing accurate information about homeschooling. Letters or emails are especially appropriate in response to a form letter, a survey, an email, or a newspaper article or editorial. Letters and emails are also an effective way to express your views to lawmakers or policymakers on a particular homeschooling issue.
An Open Letter to My Non-Homeschooling Friends
It can be difficult for friends to understand the changes and challenges a homeschooling family faces. This mom shares her reasons for homeschooling and why her relationship with them is different now.
How the Media Gets It Wrong About Homeschooling
Homeschoolers have gotten their share of bad coverage in the media and in popular culture in the last few years. The publicity on homeschooling runs from atrocious mischaracterization to humorously stereotypical.
Be an Advocate for Homeschooling in Virginia
Just as educational philosophies and approaches can vary significantly among homeschooling families, so, too can our degree of comfort with and interest in taking the role of a “homeschool advocate.” While some homeschooling parents feel driven to right wrongs in the world or to push for change for the better, others prefer to avoid conflict if at all possible, and many of us fall somewhere in between, willing to take on important issues that hit close to home, if only we knew how to go about it effectively. Nearly all of us, however, want to be able to effectively respond if we feel our homeschooling freedoms are being abridged or threatened in some way. VaHomeschoolers has prepared some resources to help you advocate for yourself and the homeschooling community. Even if you never find yourself in an advocacy situation, this information can help to empower you to be a more confident homeschooler.
Homeschooling Advocacy: Know the Law
It may not sound quite as exciting or glamorous as marching in the streets, calling your congressman, or making speeches. But the single most important and most empowering thing any homeschooling parent can do is to become familiar with Virginia’s homeschooling laws.
Homeschooling in the Media
A more complex understanding of homeschooling is emerging in the mainstream media these days. No longer is homeschooling either all good or all bad. Simultaneously, there is a growing appreciation that most homeschoolers do a fine job raising and teaching their children, but that there are a few parents homeschooling children in order to hide abuse.
What is a Media Kit and How Do I Make One?
A media kit is a document you provide to potential advertisers and other parties you are interested in working with information about your value as a partner. It is meant to reflect your reach as a blogger. A media kit can be as simple as an ad page with basic blog and social media numbers or as complex as a full-blown demographic study of your readers printed and bound. Whatever kind of media kit you choose to create, remember to be clear and concise.
Homeschooling Advocacy: Know How to Write Effective Talking Points
It’s not enough to plan a meeting to talk about homeschooling with lawmakers, policymakers, bureaucrats, or the media. You have to have something to say when you get to the meeting. Successful homeschooling advocates get around this problem with a secret weapon: talking points.
Can Your Children Explain Why They Homeschool?
Every child is asked a thousand questions in his growing-up years. If that child happens to be homeschooled the tally rises to a million fairly quickly! You know how it is--you can't go through the check-out line in the grocery store without you and your children being riddled with questions. Homeschooled children are questioned by friends, by relatives, by people at church, by strangers, and occasionally by a TV reporter or a legislator. And sometimes well-meaning friends and relatives can't wait to get your children alone so they can find out what they really think and feel. You will be doing your children and yourself a great service if you teach them how to handle questions in a graceful, confident, knowledgeable way.
7 Tips to Help Explain Your Homeschool Decision with Confidence
Many homeschoolers are confronted with negativity. Heated debates on public education, religion and politics can be incited. Facing arguments on socialization, teacher qualifications and homework are not uncommon. There will always be naysayers. You simply cannot please everyone all the time, especially when you make important family decisions. It is best to convey your decision with confidence and let the act of homeschooling tell the rest of the tale.
Targeting a Message: Homeschoolers and Social Media
Homeschoolers are actually not the easiest marketing targets in general. You might think that we are such a specific subset of the population that we basically have a marketing bullseye on our foreheads, but the truth is that people homeschool their children for such a wide variety of reasons that figuring out where we are coming from can be a full-time job in itself. The one thing homeschoolers DO have in common is their belief that by homeschooling, they are providing a customized education for their child.
Homeschooling Advocacy: Know Your Local Policies
Locate the homeschooling policies and regulations for your local school district. Read the policies carefully to learn about how your school district handles homeschooling issues. Make copies of the policies and keep them in a safe place for future reference. Share what you’ve learned withyour family and friends.
The Case for Homeschooling
The public schools are beyond repair. If it is not practical to replace the current system, then at least let those alone who wish to homeschool. Hassle them not. Instead, encourage them and help them. Parents who homeschool their children have three basic complaints against public schools: the lack of academic rigor, the number of maladjusted graduates, and the anti-religious atmosphere. Homeschool advocates claim that homeschooling overcomes these problems. They argue that no matter whether the educational philosophy one holds is that schooling prepares for life or schooling is life, the homeschooled do better. Proponents also claim that private schools are nearly always similar to public schools, so the fundamental criticisms of public schools apply to private schools also, although to a lesser degree.
How To Use Social Media As A Learning Tool For Homeschoolers
Matching, out-of-date sweatsuits. The ability to recite lines from the Iliad in response to your peers’ discussion of a television show. Parroting your parents’ values. If you’ve paid attention to mainstream depictions of homeschooled children, these images are likely familiar. Homeschooled kids get a bad rap and are too frequently associated with social awkwardness due to a perceived lack of socialization with their peer group. However, with the dawn of social media, more homeschooled students—both those who are being schooled by more “traditional” methods and those who are students are virtual cyber charter schools—are able to better connect with their peers and other members of the homeschooling community.
Government Affairs Team
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (VaHomeschoolers) has lobbied on behalf of Virginia’s diverse homeschooling community for over a decade.
Featured Resources

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