Visiting your legislators can be an incredibly effective way to help promote and protect homeschool freedoms. It is a wonderful way to connect legislators with the “face” of real homeschooling, while helping to educate them on how homeschool freedom works.
If you have never done this before it can be intimidating, but with a few tips and a plan, it should be lots of fun for you and your children. It’s definitely a great field trip opportunity for your family or a group of homeschool families!
The Next Apple Pie Day is in 2021!
The most recent Apple Pie Day was May 2, 2019. This event is hosted by OCEANetwork every other year and is an easy, fun, and educational way to visit your legislators! Come together with homeschool families from across Oregon to connect with each other and help educate legislators and the general public on how wonderfully homeschool freedom works.
The next Apple Pie Day is in 2021. During Apple Pie Day, you will get a chance to help deliver apple pies to the legislators (they love it!) and talk with them about homeschool freedom.
For Apple Pie Day Years: Visiting Your Legislators is as Easy as 1-2-3!
- Call your State Senator and State Representative now to make your appointments to visit them on Apple Pie Day. (Find their contact information here. Use the box in the upper right-hand corner.)
- Email the Apple Pie Day committee to let us know the name of the legislator you’re visiting, the appointment time, and whether you are bringing a pie.
- On Apple Pie Day, check in at the Home Educators’ Hospitality Room (room 350 on the third floor) at least an hour before your appointment. You’ll drop off your pie and receive a packet of homeschool information for your legislator. (if you can and bring it with you! If you are coming from a long distance and are not able to bring a pie, we have volunteers who will make extras.)
Tips for Visiting Your Legislators
Visiting your legislators doesn’t have to be difficult or awkward. You can visit them any year, not just during Apple Pie Day! Here are some tips that will help:
1. Make an appointment to meet with your legislators by calling their offices. (Find your legislators and their contact information on the Oregon State Legislature site.)
2. Ask for a short appointment – 10 to 15 minutes – to visit and share a little about what’s important to your family.
3. Arrive on time at the legislator’s office.
4. Introduce yourselves. Thank your legislator for seeing you. Tell your legislator you appreciate being able to homeschool in Oregon. Here are some additional talking points you may want to use:
- Homeschooling is the fastest growing method of education in the United States.
- Homeschooling is one-on-one tutoring that helps students thrive.
- Homeschooling tailors the education of the student to the specific interests and learning styles of the child and family.
- Homeschoolers score, on the average, 20-30% higher than public school students.
5. Give him or her a few examples of why you like homeschooling, how your children have benefited, or some cool things your children have been able to do because they are home educating.
6. They’ll probably want to ask your children questions like “What is your favorite subject?” “What grade are you in?” (If your children are many homeschoolers, they really don’t know what grade they are in – 4th in spelling, 6th in math, and everyone from the baby on up is studying ancient Egypt.) Spend some time rehearsing with your students before you arrive so they are comfortable with the conversation.
7. Bring your camera. Get a picture taken of your family with your legislator. Tell him or her that you will use the picture to remind you to pray for them – and do it!
8. Leave on time. You’ll be surprised how quickly 10 minutes goes. Thank him or her for seeing you.
9. Send your legislators thank you letters. Those written by the children will receive special attention. Include a copy of the picture, if you took one.
10. You are building a relationship with the person representing you and letting your legislators know that “Home Education Freedom Works!” If you have occasion to write your legislators in the future, you can remind them of your visit, thank them again for taking time to see you and tell them your position on a piece of legislation.
11. Always be polite – whether your legislator agrees with you or not. “A soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1) or as grandma used to say, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
Your visit to your legislators can be an exciting event for your family and very memorable for your children and it will go a long way toward protecting your freedom to homeschool.