Now that homeschooling has become a mainstream educational choice, the sheer numbers of home educators in each state has led to the creation of statewide organizations designed to provide resources, information, and even legal counsel for them. Illinois is fortunate enough to have not just one statewide homeschooling association but two: Illinois Christian Home Educators and Illinois H.O.U.S.E. Find out the mission of each of those organizations and why you might want to make use of the services of an Illinois homeschool association.
Illinois Christian Home Educators (ICHE)
According to the ICHE website, the mission of the Illinois Christian Home Educators is “to call, encourage, and assist Christian families to trust our trustworthy God through practicing a home-based, family-funded, multi-generational, life-long discipleship that builds Christian character, pursues excellence in academics, nurtures an ever-deepening faith, and impacts our world for Jesus Christ.”
ICHE offers Christian homeschooling families in Illinois a beginner’s packet for getting started, a network of faith-based support groups, and sponsorship of homeschool-related events. The largest event on their calendar is an Illinois homeschool convention held each June.
The Illinois Home Oriented Unique Schooling Experience (H.O.U.S.E.) was founded in 1981. According to the Illinois H.O.U.S.E. website, the mission of their homeschool organization is to be a non-sectarian (not religious based), inclusive, statewide network of support groups for people involved in homeschooling. The organization is also focused on providing members with reliable and timely information regarding updates to homeschool laws in the state. Their website includes tips for new homeschoolers, the pros and cons of registering with the state as a homeschool, information on homeschooling a child with special needs, details on part-time school attendance, and much more.
Benefits of a Homeschool Association
Usually, statewide homeschool associations are formed to fulfill a specific need or needs. Each one generally has a dedicated worldview and agenda that they want to accomplish. With that in mind, it may be that you can get what you need from one of the Illinois options, or you may want to make use of the resources of both. In general, a homeschool association offers the following benefits to homeschool families in a state:
- sharing information for new homeschoolers on how to get started and how to follow all state guidelines concerning home education
- providing networking opportunities between homeschoolers across the state
- answering questions that new (and seasoned) homeschoolers have
- offering updated news and information related to homeschooling in the state, particularly in regards to changes to the state’s homeschool code of law
- initiating events for homeschoolers such as conferences, curriculum sales/swaps, and helpful workshops
- listing resources such as local/regional support groups, curriculum providers, special needs materials, and other helpful information
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Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Illinois
Have other questions about homeschooling in Illinois? You may find the following pages helpful.