Are You Homeschooling Legally?
Join the CampaignOf course, you are. Right? How could I ask such a question? After all, you researched the homeschool laws or court precedents in your state and made arrangements to comply with them before you started on this adventure. Praise the Lord that it is now possible for homeschooling to be perfectly legal in all parts of the United States!

But are we all operating legally? Is it enough to follow the homeschool laws, report student attendance, comply with testing or other requirements, or even use materials approved by the state? Are there other legal matters we need to consider?

Studies show that many of you may be guilty of breaking a law to which you have never even given any thought. Test yourself with these easy questions:

Do you download materials from websites that do not specifically offer the items for download?

Do you copy pages from a book or magazine without permission from the copyright holder?

Do you copy workbooks (or other consumables) for each child using the same curriculum rather than buying extras?

When you read a good story or article on a website, do you transfer it to yours or send it around to your e-mail list rather than linking to it?

Have you ever made copies of a cute cartoon or a good article to distribute to your support group without asking permission?

Do you copy worksheets or other material for your co-op or to share with your homeschooling friends from sources that don’t state such copying is permitted?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you are probably guilty of breaking copyright laws. You are not alone! Educators, including homeschoolers, as a group are among the most blatant violators of both the letter and the spirit of U. S. copyright laws, and I believe that most of them are unaware of it. It has been done for so long by so many people, that it has become the accepted way of doing things. After all, it is saving you money, and it isn’t hurting anyone. Or is it?

Actions such as those listed above within the education and homeschool communities have cost some conscientious homeschool publishers hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in potential sales. These are not huge corporations who won’t miss the money. Most are homeschool families who rely on sales of their products for their livelihoods. For a better explanation of this read

I hope this has not offended anyone. I am sure no one here is doing this on purpose. It is just a heads up for all to be aware of the situation. If you see yourself in this picture, ask God to show you how He would have you proceed. He is gracious to forgive and to help us find other ways to meet our needs.

Lynda Coats is a writer, speaker, and retired home educator.