As you may know OCEANetwork has been working to protect and expand homeschool freedoms in Oregon for more than 35 years. Why do we do it, you might ask?
- We believe that parents have the right and the responsibility to teach and train their children as they see fit.
- We believe that parents are the most qualified to educate their children well.
- We believe that independent homeschooling is the best educational model for families academically, socially, and spiritually.
- We believe that your children do not belong to the state. The Lord has entrusted them to you and will equip you for the task.
Home education and family discipleship are vitally important. We simply cannot take our homeschool freedoms for granted! In many ways, homeschooling is now more vulnerable than ever. Every year, anti-homeschooling forces threaten those freedoms, and that’s why OCEANetwork works year-round to monitor those issues and sound the alert for homeschoolers to take action when needed.
An essential factor in the success of efforts to protect homeschool freedoms is for families like yours to connect with legislators. Praying for them, building relationships with them, telling them what homeschoolers care about, and reaching out to them when OCEANetwork issues an alert… these are important ways YOU and your family can protect YOUR homeschool freedom, and they are easy to do!
That’s why we’ve created the 5-Day Homeschool Freedom Challenge! Have you ever wondered how your family or your homeschool group can really help the cause of homeschool freedom? If so, this challenge is for you!
Table of Contents
- Take the Homeschool Freedom Challenge!
- Day1: Download the Free Printable Pack & Get Ready
- Day 2: Pray for Your Legislators
- Day 3: Write a Simple & Positive Letter
- Day 4: Make a Plan to Visit the Oregon Capitol
- Day 5: Find More Ways to Advocate for Homeschool Freedom in Oregon!
Take the Homeschool Freedom Challenge!
While you can do this challenge any time of the year (and we recommend doing it multiple times), we are launching this effort by inviting homeschoolers from across Oregon to join OCEANetwork for the challenge from March 6th – 10th!
Each day of the challenge includes a short video with transcript, quick and easy action items, and ideas for more ways you can help us in the fight for homeschool freedom.
- Sign up to get email updates from OCEANetwork, including challenge info.
- Short videos and easy action items will be published each morning for 5 days starting March 6th and shared via email, Facebook, and YouTube.
- Video replays will be posted on this page so you can do the challenge anytime!
So start spreading the word and be sure to sign up for emails from us so you don’t miss anything!
Thank you for joining us in the effort to protect and expand homeschool freedom in Oregon!
~ The OCEANetwork Team
Get your family or homeschool group involved in helping to protect and expand homeschool freedoms in Oregon!
For 5 days, we’ll do EASY tasks that make a huge impact for homeschoolers in our state. Find out more and spread the word! Then be sure to sign up for emails so you don’t miss anything from OCEANetwork.
Day1: Download the Free Printable Pack & Get Ready
Day 2: Pray for Your Legislators
Prayer is the single most important thing you can do for homeschool freedom in Oregon. And you can do it with your kids from the comfort of your own home!
First, find out who your legislators are with HSLDA’s Legislator Lookup tool. After you input your address, scroll down in the results and find your State Senator and State Representative. On your printed copy of the Homeschool Freedom Challenge printable pack, add their names and contact information.
Post the Pray for Your Legislators page on your refrigerator or some other location that will make it easy to see and remember. Each day for a week, follow the prompts and pray for your legislators and homeschooling freedoms in Oregon!
– Pray for wellness, protection, their families, and their walk with God.
– For a growing positive relationship with the homeschool community.
– For a collective change of heart toward parental rights and homeschool freedom.
– That they would be led by the wisdom of God as they make laws and policies on behalf of Oregonians.
– That all their efforts, regardless of intent, would be used for the Lord’s plans, to bring about His good purposes, and ultimately bring Him glory.
– Anything else the Lord presses on your heart.
1. Find out who your legislators are and write down their information.
2. Spend a few minutes each day praying as a family!
Day 3: Write a Simple & Positive Letter
Aside from prayer, the most important thing you can do for homeschool freedom is to actively connect with your legislators. Building relationships with your legislators is an incredibly effective way to help promote and protect homeschool freedoms here in Oregon.
Most legislators don’t really understand homeschooling or what it is that homeschool families really want. When we build relationships with legislators, we are helping to put a “face” on the homeschooling movement that is more personal and effective. Even what might seem like the smallest effort and connection to us can make a huge impact on how legislators perceive homeschoolers and how they respond to our requests when it matters most.
A great way to start this connection is by sending a simple letter to your legislators. This won’t take long and can be a great activity to do with your kids! Younger children can write a simple note and draw a picture to send in the letter. Older children and adults can write a simple note. Including some information about homeschooling can also help in the effort to educate legislators about how homeschool freedom works!
To make this easy, we’ve provided a sample letter, children’s letter template, and homeschooling info page in the Homeschool Freedom Challenge printable pack.
For both your State Senator and your State Representative, follow these steps:
Step 1: Create a simple hand-written letter. You can use the sample letter we’ve provided in the printable pack as a starting point.
Step 2: Have younger children use their page from the printable pack to create an illustration. It can be a drawing of their cat, your family, some homeschool activities, or whatever they want! Help them write in an encouraging note as well.
Step 3: Print the Homeschool Freedom Works sheet (page 5 of the Homeschool Freedom Challenge printable pack) to include with your letter. This sheet has important facts and information about what matters to homeschoolers as far as legislation and homeschool freedom.
(Optional) Step 4: Include a photo of your family. Bundle all these into an envelope and mail it to your legislator! This is a small, easy task has a bigger impact on legislators than you would think.
Note: It is extremely helpful for us to know which legislators have been contacted by homeschool families. Take a quick moment to let us know which legislators you contacted. Consider sending similar letters to your legislators at least once a year. They’ll appreciate it, and the connection you made with them will pay off when homeschoolers reach out to them with concerns about bills or initiatives that may threaten homeschool freedoms.
1. Have your children help you write/illustrate a letter for both legislators.
2. Send the letter, along with the Homeschool Freedom Works sheet, to your legislators! 3. Let us know which legislators received letters from you by filling out this form.
Day 4: Make a Plan to Visit the Oregon Capitol
Although visiting the Capitol with your family is a more involved effort, it’s worth taking a few minutes to see if this is something you can plan for in the future. Not only will it be educational and fun for your family, but there are opportunities to make an impact for homeschool freedom as well.
Consider which of these options you may want to try and talk about it with your family.
1. Attend Apple Pie Day
Every other year, there is a long legislative session at the Capitol that usually begins in late January or early February. On those long legislative session years, OCEANetwork hosts an Apple Pie Day at the Capitol, where homeschool families from across the state can come together to rally for homeschool freedom and connect with legislators by delivering information packets and apple pies. Legislators have really enjoyed these times and the valuable connection and conversations. Go to oceanetwork.org/applepieday to learn more about the next Apple Pie Day planned! Also be sure to sign up for OCEANetwork emails, as we often host Capitol events on shorter legislative session years as well.
2. Go on a Capitol Day Field Trip.
You don’t have to wait for Apple Pie Day to visit the Capitol. Make a plan to visit the Capitol as a family or along with other families. Now, at the time of this recording, the Capitol building is under construction and will be for a couple of years, so you’ll want to check the Oregon Capitol website for any construction or parking related information you’ll need. However, on a nice day, there’s still lots to see around the Capitol even if you can’t visit all the locations inside.
3. Take a Virtual Field Trip
Can’t make it for an in-person visit? Use our Oregon Capitol Field Trip printable pack and have a virtual field trip! You’ll find activities, fun facts, links to virtual tours, and more. This would be a great supplement to an Apple Pie Day or in-person field trip as well! Teaching our children about the Oregon State Capitol and the important work done there is a great way for them to learn not only about how government operates, but also how we can get involved as citizens to help protect and expand our homeschool freedoms.
1. Learn about Apple Pie Day.
2. Choose an option above and get it on your calendar!
Day 5: Find More Ways to Advocate for Homeschool Freedom in Oregon!
We want to thank you for taking a little to do the Homeschool Freedom Challenge with us! Praying for your legislators, connecting with them in-person and through friendly letters, and visiting the Capitol are all wonderful ways to help protect and expand homeschool freedom. And you can do it anytime of the year.
Now make it count! Be sure to open every alert or advisory that OCEANetwork sends out via email and social media. We monitor the legislature all year round and will send out alerts to homeschool families when there’s a bill or initiative that can threaten homeschool freedoms. When we do, please SHARE that with other homeschoolers and RESPOND to any call to action we issue! Those may include sending paper letters, making phone calls, or sending emails to your legislators.
YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Your efforts during this challenge and your willingness to respond to alerts are what make the biggest impact on legislators, thus helping protect homeschool freedoms in our state for future generations.
Looking for More Ways to Advocate for Homeschool Freedom?
There are many other activities you can consider that will further help homeschool freedom and parental rights efforts. We’ve provided a big list of fantastic ideas for you.
- Send friendly and encouraging letters to your legislators once or twice a year.
- Attend and share about Apple Pie Day.
- Share and act on any OCEANetwork advisory and alert emails.
- Have your children ages 12 and up become honorary pages in the legislature.
- Volunteer at the Capitol in other ways.
- Sign up for emails from your legislators to hear their thoughts on what is happening in Salem. Go to the Oregon Legislature’s page. Click on either Senate or House and click on your legislator’s name. Sign up for emails in the “e-Subscribe” section (at the top right on desktop and the bottom of the page on mobile.)
- Volunteer at OCEANetwork to help protect OR homeschool freedoms.
- Share the following posts on social media or via email with your local homeschool groups:
- Share this article with your pastor and suggest he connect with OCEANetwork to learn how churches can support homeschoolers in their congregations.
- Learn civics and engage in civics activities, such as using the Oregon Civics Unit Study available to Members or connecting with the Constitution IQ Project.
- Invite OCEANetwork to be a guest speaker or share information about homeschool freedom at your local support group event.
- Donate to OCEANetwork and help us continue our year-round work to protect and expand homeschool freedoms in Oregon.
- Become a Supporting Member with OCEANetwork. You’ll get great perks such as a homeschool ID card, discounts, and freebies, all while helping to protect and expand homeschool freedoms in Oregon!
1. Share about homeschool freedom with others.
2. Choose one or more of the options we provided to pursue as a family! Thank you again for joining OCEANetwork for the Homeschool Freedom Challenge! Please feel free to contact us anytime about homeschooling in Oregon.