People who choose to educate their children at home need to have a voice in the legislation affecting their rights and responsibilities. Home educators understand home education better than anyone and believe that they know what it takes to teach children at home.  However, the legislators who make the laws governing home education may not fully understand or appreciate the needs and concerns of parents that undertake this responsibility. Home educators need to educate the legislature about home study and what sets it apart from other forms of education.  This can only be done if they know how our legislature works inside and out.

Now home educators can learn how to monitor and influence legislation affecting home study in Vermont at a legislative training session on Saturday, October 14th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Vermont State House. This event is co-sponsored by the Vermont Association of Home Educators, Inc. (VAHE), Christian Home Educators of Vermont, Inc. (CHEV), and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a national association that provides legal services to home educators.  VAHE is a nonsectarian organization formed for the purpose of furthering the interests of those families and individuals who believe in the right to home educate.  CHEV is a similar organization supporting home educators from a Christian perspective.  In legislative matters the two organizations try to work together towards common goals.


The keynote speakers at the training will be HSLDA lawyers Scott Woodruff and Doug Domenech.  They will be speaking about the legislative process and current homeschool laws in Vermont.  Calvin Layton, chairman of MassHope’s legislative watch committee will also be sharing useful insights on how home educators can be involved.  Costs will be $10 per person, ($15 per couple) for members of VAHE or CHEV. There will be opportunity to join either of these organizations at the meeting. Non-member costs will be $15 per person, ($20 per couple).

This training will provide home educators with an understanding of the home study law and the legislative process; it will give them the tools to influence legislation affecting their lives.

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A Life Worth Living: Selected Letters of John Holt edited by Susannah Scheffer

A Sense Of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls by Susannah Scheffer

A Survivor’s Guide to Home Schooling by Luanne Shackleford and Susan White

Alternatives in Education by Mark and Helen Hegener

Apprenticeship Plus by Inga Cannon (Education Plus+, PO Box 1591, Sterling, VA 20167)

Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius by Thomas Armstrong

Bear’s Guide to College Degrees Non-Traditionally 

Better Than School by Nancy Wallace

But What If I Don’t Want to Go to College by Harlow B. Unger

Child’s Work: Taking Children’s Choices Seriously by Nancy Wallace

Christian Educator’s Curriculum Manual by Cathy Duffy

College Admissions: A Guide for Home Schoolers by Borg Hendrickson

College Degrees by Mail by John Bear

Deschooling our Lives by Matt Hern

Dumbing Down Our Kids by Charles J. Sykes 

Dumbing Us Down by John Gatto (public education) 

Educational Freedom for a Democratic Society edited by Ron Miller 

Everyone is Able: Exploding the Myth of Learning Disabilities edited by Susannah Scheffer

Family Matters by David Guterson

Freedom and Beyond by John Holt

Freedom Challenge: African American Homeschoolers edited by Grace Llewellyn

Going Home to School by Llewellen Davis 

Good Stuff: Learning Tools For All Ages by Rebecca Rupp

Hard Times in Paradise by David and Micki Colfax

Home Education and Constitutional Liberties by John Whitehead

Home Education: Rights and Reasons by John W. Whitehead & Alexis Irene Crow

Home School: Taking the First Step by Borg Hendrickson 

Home Schooling and the Law by Michael Farris (Christian) 

Home Schooling,The Right Choice by Christopher J. Klicka (Christian)

Home Schools: An Alternative by Cheryl Gorder

Home Spun Schools by Dr. Raymond Moore (Christian)

Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax

Homeschooling: A Parents Guide To Teaching Children by Samuel L. Blumenfeld

Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days by Nancy Lande 

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Honey for a Child’s Heart by
 Gladys Hunt (choosing reading material, Christian) 

How Children Fail by John Holt 

How Children Learn by John Holt 

How to Create Your Own Unit Studies by Valerie Bendt

I Learn Better By Teaching Myself by Agnes Leistico

In Their Own Way by Thomas Armstrong Ph.D.

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Learning All The Time by John Holt

Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk by David Elkind

Never Too Late by John Holt

Not With My Child You Don’t: A Citizen’s Guide to Eradicating OBE and Restoring Education by Robert Holland

Outcome Based Education: The State’s Assault on Our Children’s Values by Peg Luksig and Pamela Hoffecker

Outcome Based Education: Understanding the Truth About Education Reform by Ron Sunseri

Read for Your Life by Gladys Hunt (choosing reading material, Christian)

Reading, Writing, And the Hickory Stick by Irwin A. Hyman

Real Lives by Grace Llewellyn

School Choice by David Harmer

Schooling At Home edited by Anne Pederson and Peggy O’Mara

Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman

Strategies for Struggling Learners – A Guide for the Teaching Parent by Joe P. Sutton and Connie J. Sutton 

Taking Charge Through Homeschooling byLarry and Susan Kaseman

Teach Your Own by John Holt

The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self by Linda Dobson

The Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling by Pat Farenga

The Complete Home Learning Source Book by Rebecca Rupp

The Exhausted School by John Taylor Gatto 

The Home School Manual by Ted Wade 

The Home School Reader from Home Education Press

The Home School Source Book by Donn Reed

The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson 

The Myth of the ADD Child by Thomas Armstrong Ph.D.

The Relaxed Home School by Mary Hood 

The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn(Get the latest (1998) edition)

The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom by Mary Griffith

Why Johnny Can’t Read by John Holt

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Homeschooling in Vermont Where To Begin

Homeschooling in Vermont Where To Begin

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states of the USA. To start home educating in Vermont, call the Department of Education at 802-828 2756 and ask for the Home Study packet. Read the information carefully and don’t offer more information than necessary. Send in your forms and curriculum and wait for a response, which should come within 2-3 weeks.


One of the great things about home education is its flexibility. Each home educating family can create its own unique home education experience. Even within one family, you can vary methods depending on the child or education level. If you have trouble implementing your chosen method, talk to other home educators, read about other methods to see if they can work in your situation. You can mix and match until you find something that works. Here are some common methods/materials used by home educators.

Packaged curriculum: Buy a ready-made curriculum and follow it either exactly or loosely, or enroll in a distance learning program. Oak Meadow School (Waldorf inspired) is a Vermont based curriculum provider/distance learning program, that is recognized by the Department of Education. However, there are many others available as well. You can pick from a variety of curricula to fit your children’s learning style or homeschooling philosophy. (Calvert, A Beka, Clonlara, Christian Liberty Academy, Oak Meadow, etc.) Some programs are religious in nature, and others are not. How Teens React To Stress

Homeschooling in Vermont Where To Begin

Textbooks: Most use traditional approach to classroom education, with much repetition and review for slower students. You may choose to skip sections your child already understands.

Workbooks: Workbooks are part of most packaged curricula, but can be purchased separately as well. They can be useful or tedious, depending on the child and subject area. Educational software can also be used as more animated practice material.

Unschooling: The child’s interests and desire to learn direct the learning process. Parents facilitate learning by providing a rich environment and supplying the child with materials of interest and instruction when appropriate. A lot of learning will take place from real life experiences. Unschooling does not require a planned curriculum, but because of Vermont law, you will still have to create one to satisfy the Department of Education. In this approach it is useful to create the curriculum based on your child’s current interest and knowledge base, projecting what you expect your child will be into next. Using noncommittal language like “topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:” is also helpful and accepted by the Home Study Unit. To learn more about this approach read Teach Your OwnLearning All the Time, or any other book by John Holt. Also The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellynn is a great resource for unschooling teens.

Charlotte Mason approach: This approach emphasizes “living books,” or first-rate literature upon which to base education, the development of good habits in children early on, the implementation of narration, telling or writing back what one has heard or read, and the importance of unstructured play, time outdoors, and weekly nature walks.

Unit Studies: Unit studies relate all subject areas to one another. You can create your own based on your child’s interests, or purchase unit studies based on literature or centered around religion, etc. (Advanced Training Institute International, Weaver, The Classics) Unit studies can be especially useful when you are teaching multiple children of differing age/skill levels. Children can focus on the same unit while practicing their individual skill levels.

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