By Kerry Mullenix
“HSLDA, are you aware of what’s going on? Have you heard about this proposed change in regulation? Are you able to help? Is this a threat to homeschooling? What can we do?”
These questions are often asked of us in varying times of crisis situations, be it local, provincial or otherwise. Sometimes in the midst of crisis situations, when we are feeling threatened, we feel we need to be doing something, right away, in that exact moment but should we?
How does HSLDA respond during a particular crisis?
As a homeschooling community we want to be expressing ourselves well (as a community), not just jumping out full force. How do we do that? By harnessing the energy of a community when there’s a crisis. We need to hear from people, our members, and work with their creative ideas as to how best to respond. However, we also want to be very wise. Often patience is the key to success. Sometimes certain dates need to pass before a particular strategy makes the most sense. Doing things prematurely could have worse consequences than what were expected.
Definitely having communication with a multitude of leaders, and proactively building relationships before the fire, is an asset. The reason why HSLDA staff works diligently on a continuous basis to work to develop relationships with government authorities, provincial homeschool groups as well as our individual members is so that we are already a trusted voice at the table when crises arise. Monitoring the status of things helps us to foresee, to some extent, when a crisis might emerge as we get to know the climate of the province. If a crisis emerges, HSLDA is already aware of who the stakeholders are and we can rejuvenate those relationships.
All of us here at HSLDA know the need for us to communicate with our members is crucial, not just during crisis situations but ongoing. We do our very best to communicate through various means – emails, blogs, vlogs, social media and individual phone calls – so that we are able to assure people of what the implications of the crisis are and what possible responses are, as well as consequences to those responses.
As a national organization, HSLDA has the unique position of working with all jurisdictions. That is something unique that HSLDA brings to the table. We want to represent homeschooling very broadly speaking, representing the diversity within homeschooling but with a unified approach.
Whether homeschoolers find themselves in a crisis situation or the regular day to day, as a homeschooling community, working together, our greatest impact is to express ourselves well.