World Book Course of Study – not common core

It has come to the attention of NHN that World Book has changed their recommended course of study to be aligned with Common Core standards. It is the opinion of the NHN board that common core is an inferior standard to the classic course of study. Thus, we have decided to archive the classic World Book course of study here for your reference.

K-12 (one file)
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade

Federal funds for “school choice” – Thanks, but no thanks.

Okay Nevada Homeschool Parents… big FYI here.

  Meme courtesy of Bastiat Institute

Updates on FEDERAL “school choice” initiatives:

6/26/2017 – Homeschoolers Don’t Need Federal Help – American Spectator
6/19/2017 – Indiana Christian school at center of LGBT voucher debate – The Indy Star
6/5/2017 – Will Public Schools Survive if Blaine Amendments Don’t? – The Heartland Institute
5/23/2017 – HSLDA and DeVos talk Homeschool Freedom – report on their meeting.
5/18/2017 – Homeschool Advocates to Betsy DeVos: We Want to be Left Alone by the Federal Government
4/11/2017 – HR 610 Languishes in Committee, Will Estrada, Esq.; HSLDA Federal Relations
3/14/2017 – For the Love of Choice, Don’t Federalize It , Neal McCluskey; CATO Institute
3/2/2017 – Just Say No to “Fake” ESAs,  Jim Mason, Esq.;  HSLDA VP of Litigation and Development
2/14/2017 – 4 Ways HR 610 Will Threaten Your Rights, Will Estrada, Esq.; HSLDA Federal Relations

01/27/2017 -We knew the day would come when “government funded school choice” advocates would push their agenda to the national level to “give” us taxpayer money but in return the threat of state control of our homeschools would increase dramatically if the Feds get involved in giving “grants” to the states to fund private schools and homeschools.

Click here or read below HSLDA’s response to House Resolution 610 just introduced in the U.S. Congress.


January 27, 2017

Dear Friend,
It has been said that there is no such thing as a free lunch. As homeschooling families know too well, government money will eventually lead to government control.
That’s why HSLDA is opposing a bill introduced by our friends in Congress, Rep. Steve King (IA) and Rep. Andy Harris (MD). Though well-intentioned, H.R. 610 is ultimately ill-advised. It calls for sending all federal education dollars to the states in the forms of federal grants so that the states can then give the money as vouchers to public, private, and homeschool students.
(Note: While Rep. Trent Franks (AZ) is also listed as a cosponsor of H.R. 610, we talked with him and his staff last night and they agree with our concerns about homeschooling families being included in H.R. 610. As a result, there is no need to contact his office, and we are deeply grateful to him for his commitment to protecting homeschool freedom from “help” by the federal government. Here is the statement Franks gave to us: “I understand the concerns of the homeschool community. My support for the bill only extends to vouchers for public school and private school students. If this bill moves forward, I would request that any language that would impose vouchers upon homeschools is taken out.”)
If the bill only applied to public schools and traditional brick-and-mortar private schools, HSLDA would take no official position on it. There is no question that many millions of children are stuck in public schools that fail to meet their needs, and school choice would be an incredible benefit to them.
But HSLDA has repeatedly told our friends on Capitol Hill that our members and many other homeschooling families know that government dollars will eventually result in government regulation. Although we are grateful for our friends on Capitol Hill, and although we know that representatives King and Harris are well-intentioned, they need to hear loud and clear from the homeschool community. Even though the vouchers created by H.R. 610 would be voluntary, we believe that this would be a slippery slope toward more federal involvement and control in homeschooling.
If you do not want federal government “help,” if you just want to be left alone, this is the time to speak up.
Dangers of H.R. 610 (click here to read a PDF version of the bill with page numbers cited below).
1. Elimination of language protecting homeschool freedom in U.S. Code: Page 2, paragraph (a) repeals in its entirety the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was most recently reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act. While HSLDA applauds this repeal language, as we believe that the federal government has no constitutional authority to make education decisions which should be left to state and local authorities, this full repeal would also eliminateHSLDA’s language fully protecting homeschool freedom from all federal control.
2. Creation of a “federal right to homeschool:” Page 3, Sec. 104 requires states to make certain assurances in order to receive their portion of federal education dollars. One of the requirements (paragraph (2)(A) on page 3) is that states “make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect … to home-school their child.” While this sounds good, HSLDA has fought — successfully — for decades to make sure that there is no “federal right to homeschool” because what could be created by a favorable Congress could be regulated by a future, hostile Congress. It is far better (and far more constitutionally sound) for education decisions — and homeschool freedom — to be protected at the state level. We ask our friends at the federal level to simply leave homeschooling families alone. The Constitution protects the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in its seminal cases of Meyer, Pierce, and Yoder. Federal legislation to “protect” homeschooling is unnecessary.
3. States would need to track homeschooling students:Numerous provisions in H.R. 610 require states to count the number of eligible students in their state. Page 4 says “The State shall distribute funds . . . based on the number of eligible children in the public schools . . . and . . . the number of eligible children . . . whose parents elect to send their child to a private school or to home-school their child.” Page 5 requires “on an annual basis” that school districts count the number of eligible students who attend public schools, and “whose parents elect—to send their child to a private school or to home-school their child.” There is only one way that states and school districts can do this: by requiring homeschooling families to register with them, and be tracked by the school district. This will be especially problematic in states that do not require homeschooling families to file a notice of intent with the local school district. H.R. 610 will require homeschooling families in all 50 states to register with the local school district. This would be just the first cost of “free government money.”
4. The government would now get to decide how much parents should spend on homeschooling: Paragraph (B) on page 6 requires that the federal education vouchers to parents who choose a homeschool “shall not exceed the cost of home-schooling the child.” Who will now decide how much it costs to homeschool a child? The government. Page 8 further requires that the federal education vouchers “be distributed in a manner so as to ensure that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.” This is not defined, meaning that government officials and public schools will decide what qualifies as an appropriate educational expense. HSLDA has heard over the course of 33 years from numerous parents who have elected to teach their children at home through a government-funded virtual or correspondence school. In their experience, they found their curriculum options shrunk as each choice had to pass a government litmus test.
Call Congress Now

At this point, it is only necessary to contact these sponsors of this bill, Representatives King and Harris.

If one of these is your U.S. representative, please call or email him, and politely ask him to take homeschooling families out of the bill, including homeschooling families who are defined by their state’s education law as private school students.
Please remember that these congressmen are friends of homeschooling, and that this bill is well-intentioned, but ultimately dangerous. We encourage you to identify yourself as a homeschooling parent.  Your message can be as simple as:
“As a homeschooling parent, I oppose H.R. 610. I do not want to receive federal vouchers. Government money will ultimately lead to government control and regulation, which will stifle the success of homeschooling. I am grateful for your past support of homeschool freedom, and urge that you protect the future of homeschooling by rewriting H.R. 610 to ensure that homeschools, and homeschools defined by state laws as private schools, do not receive federal money.”
You can reach these congressmen by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. If one of these members of Congress represents you, you can find his direct phone numbers and email addresses here.
If you live outside of these districts, we encourage you to take to social media to politely but firmly remind these congressmen that homeschooling families do not want federal vouchers. You can also send each congressman a letter via the United States Postal Service.
HSLDA opposes H.R. 610 for reasons of prudence and principle.
Once homeschools become publicly funded by the federal government, more scrutiny and more control are likely to follow. After all, homeschooling families will be spending government money, and the Congress has a keen interest in guarding the public fisc.
On principle, homeschooling has succeeded as a movement in part by being different. Unlike typical constituencies asking for our piece of the public-money pie, we have simply asked the federal government to leave us alone. This has fostered one of the most dynamic social movements of our lifetime.
The spirit of self-government at the heart of private homeschooling has led to a vibrant social network of small groups and statewide groups who depend on each other—not on the government. The homeschool movement has been a better idea because we built it ourselves.
Routinely taking federal tax dollars will enervate the movement, lead to more squabbles between families and the state, and will result in more scrutiny, oversight, and control.
Thank you for standing with us for liberty as together, we fight to keep homeschooling free.
            Will Estrada is director of HSLDA's Federal Relations.                      Mike Smith is president of HSLDA.

2017 Nevada Legislative Session has come and gone.

And thankfully homeschool freedom and a parent’s right to decide whether their child is ready for school at age 5 or wait until 6 or even 7, as allowed in law, remains intact. Homeschool parents will still submit the NOI to Homeschool to the superintendent of schools in the district where they child lives when he/she turns 7 years old (or within 10 days of withdrawing a child from a public school prior to age 7).

In addition, private, self-funded homeschooling was again protected from being included in the failed attempt to fund the NV-ESA program originally passed in 2015 but the funding mechanism for the program was found unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2016.

It is also important to note that in 2015 the Republicans controlled both the Senate and the Assembly as well as the Governorship.  However, due to the 2016 election results, in 2017 the Democrats controlled both the Senate and Assembly though not the Governorship.

  • AB 186 was introduced by Assemblywoman Diaz (D) early in the session.  Prior to the bill’s introduction, NHN Officers Kelley Radow, Matt Alder, and Barbara Dragon met with Assemblywoman Diaz to determine her reasoning behind seeking a revision to the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 and explain to her why doing so would limit the freedom of parents to make decisions to meet the needs of their child, AB 186.Compulsory Attend Age Change.NHN ltr.Diaz.2.27.2017. When the bill was introduced in the Assembly Education Committee on March 22nd, Nevada families showed up to voice their STRONG opposition to both the age change as well as question the bill requiring prekindergartens in every public school in the state, an unfunded mandate, AB 186.NHN ltr.Assm.Ed .03.21.17.
  • On April 14th the bill was amended by the Assembly Education committee to lower the compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6 instead of 5 and created a program to fund existing “prekindergarten programs” in public schools, private schools, and private daycare.   The amended bill was given a “Do Pass” by Assembly Education and re-referred to the Assembly Ways and Means.  NHN continued to oppose the amended version, AB186.1st Reprint.NHN Position 4.26.17.  
  • Several media sources reported on the opposition to the bill which we believe helped stall the bill; see VICTORY: AB 186 Dies on the NHN website.  Thankfully, the bill was never given a hearing by Assembly Ways and Means and the bill died in committee at the end of the 2017 session.

As always, NHN worked with HSLDA to oppose this bill.  This session we issued joint statements and “Calls to Action” via email alerts and other social media outlets… Nevada homeschool parents and friends responded in great numbers.  Nevada parents made known their displeasure with this flagrant display of power against parental rights.  As Mike Smith, HSLDA President said in his wrap-up letter,This happened only because of your actions of writing letters, emails, making visits to the legislature, and your phone calls. Over 370 of you voiced your opposition to AB 186 on the Nevada Legislature opinion page. This is monumental.”

Click here for more information on events surrounding the defeat of AB 186.

  • SB 506 was a bill introduced by Governor Brian Sandoval to “fix” the funding problem with SB 302, the ESA bill that was passed in 2015 on a straight party-line vote (all R’s for, all D’s against) but the “funding mechanism” of the bill was found to be unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court in September, 2016.
  • Another bill this year, SB 359 (Hammond) that was very similar to the Governor’s bill never received a hearing and “died” in the Senate Education committee.  
  • Meanwhile SB 506 was not given a hearing in Senate Education (even though there were significant program changes to the bill in addition to the funding fix) and instead was re-referred directly to Senate Finance (remember this year, the Democrats controlled both houses).  That committee did not schedule a hearing for the bill until 7 days before the end of the session.  Further, the Democrat Leadership scheduled a joint meeting of both Senate Finance and Assembly Ways & Means at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day for 6:00 pm that evening… a true “surprise” to all involved.
  • I just happened to see an email from the Assembly Ways & Means Committee at 4:30 pm that day announcing the hearing and rushed up to the Legislature to listen.  Homeschooling, as we had worked to assure in 2015, was explicitly not included in the 2017 funding bill.  However, a surprise Conceptual Amendment to Sb506 proposed during the hearing by the Democrats included the word “homeschooling.”  
  • After 2 hours of debate by committee members, another 1 and a half hours testimony from the public “for” and “against” funding the ESA, I testified on behalf of NHN as “neutral” on the bill explaining that homeschoolers did not want money from the government that came with “strings” attached and that the term “homeschooling” should not be referenced since technically a parent using ESA funds to provide a “home based” education was not legally “homeschooling” but instead would be accountable to the state under the ESA program.  Simply stated, based on the Homeschool Freedom Bill passed unanimously in both the NV Senate and Assembly in 2007… homeschoolers prefer their right to educate their children free government controls.
  • According to press reports detailed here, SB 506 was doomed to failure.  The Democratic controlled Legislature did not reach agreement on funding the bill.  However, a one-time “donation” was made to the Governor’s other “school choice” program, Opportunity Scholarships for low-income children to attend Nevada private schools.  The constitutional portion of the ESA program remains in statute though no funding will go to anyone for at least two years when the legislature next convenes… stay tuned.

Click here for ongoing updates and information on events surrounding the NV-ESA and here for info on Federal involvement in the “government funded school choice” movement.

NHN Officer Emerita (active)