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 2023!
The next Apple Pie Day was May 4, 2023. 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 legislators, fellowship with other families, and rally for homeschool freedom!
For Apple Pie Day Years: Visiting Your Legislators is as Easy as 1-2-3!
- Make an appointment with your legislators for your visit on Apple Pie Day. To respect their time and make the visit pleasant, schedule an appointment for your family or group to meet with both your State Senator and State Representative. Find their contact information and call or email to schedule a 10-15 minute appointment for May 4, 2023 between 9:30 and 11:30am, if possible. If they’re only available later in the day, it’s still worth making the visit! Give yourself 30 minutes to pick up the packet and get to your appointment in time. Packets are available as early as 9:00am. You’ll chat with your legislators (we’ll provide scripts) and deliver information packets and an invitation to join us at the Apple Pie Day tents for pie.
- Let us know whom you are visiting and what time your appointment is by emailing ApplePieDay@gmail.com. This will help us make sure every legislator receives a visit and a packet of homeschool information.
- Be prepared. We will be gathering outdoors at the Capitol Mall Park. Please be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and bring umbrellas, chairs, and a sack lunch for your family. Parking is limited, so arrive early or prepare to walk a few blocks.
Note: Due to construction we will not be taking tours of the Capitol (take a virtual tour here) or delivering pies to legislator offices. Rather than holding the rally on the Capitol steps, we’ll be meeting across the street at the Capitol Mall Park. There will be park restrooms and portable restrooms available. Access to sit in on sessions is TBD.
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 their contact information here.)
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.
Give Legislators the Homeschool Freedom Works Fact Sheet!
Want to make the most of your visit? Be sure to share the Homeschool Freedom Works fact sheet with your legislator! You can find it in the Homeschool Freedom Challenge Printable Pack.
Looking for more ways to advocate for homeschool freedom? Take the Oregon Homeschool Freedom Challenge! You’ll learn about 5 quick and easy steps that you can take to help OCEANetwork protect and expand homeschool freedoms in our state. The challenge includes daily short videos, action items, and the Homeschool Freedom Challenge printable pack! Click here to find out more.