Visiting Your Legislator

The most effective lobbyists on any issue are often a legislator’s own constituents! Homeschool moms, dads and kids can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining our homeschool freedoms. Please make it a point to visit your legislator, and let him/her know how you feel! Here are some very important things to remember and do in the weeks ahead:

  • Remember that your most important job is to put a positive face on homeschooling.
     
  • Keep the vision before you. We cannot slack off. There are many who are radically opposed to homeschooling, and whole-heartedly in favor of public education. We must continue to be a shining light for homeschooling.
     
  • Keep the focus simple…maintaining homeschool freedoms.
     
  • Build and maintain a relationship with your legislator. Introduce yourself as a homeschooler from their district. Legislators love their constituents. The most effective way to lobby is one on one.
     
  • Attend legislative hearings regarding homeschool legislation. Be sure to let your legislator know that you are there.
     
  • If you have come to the state house as a family for a hearing, remember that this may be the only time that legislators see whole families present there. Take advantage of this to create a warm and positive feeling.
     
  • Legislators will speak with your children with ease. Teach them to answer questions: Why aren’t you in school today? What grade are you in? Do you like your teacher?
     
  • Dress nicely, be polite…you are there to honor, love and bless your legislator. Thank them, and show appreciation for their service to our state.
     
  • If you cannot attend a legislative hearing, send a post card from your area.
     
  • Remember that legislators are looking for help. They are looking for ways to make you happy without annoying their peers!
     
  • Legislators cannot read everything – give them sound bites…short bits information that they would feel comfortable sharing with their colleagues, school officials, etc. Use words that they understand. Possible sound bites might include: parent directed, home-based, family funded, time tested, proven successful, etc.
     
  • Bring a good report of homeschooling.
     
  • Bring gifts…cookies, valentines, and certificates of appreciation.
     
  • Bring invitations to the annual homeschooling convention, so that they can learn more about homeschooling and meet hundreds of homeschoolers. Be sure to make it clear that they would not be there to campaign.
     
  • Be sure to let them know that a national study has indicated that 94% oall homeschoolers vote.
     
  • Learn how to address the most commonly asked questions: Socialization, accountability, those who are truant, etc.
     
  • Follow up when you cannot answer the question. You do not need to know all the answers.
     
  • Encourage your teens to join TeenPact – Some legislators call TeenPact volunteers, the homeschoolers’ “secret weapon!”
     
  • Invite legislators to support group functions…science fairs, recitals, art exhibits, etc. Plan a dinner in their honor.
     
  • Remember that legislators are the least busy in January.
     
  • Prayer is of the utmost importance. You may want to teach your family to say this prayer:
    Lord, take me where you want me to go.
    Let me meet whom you want me to meet.
    Tell me what you want me to say,
    And Lord, keep me out of your way.
    (Fr. Michael Judge, the chaplain who ministered to firemen on September 11 kept this prayer in his wallet.)

We need to stay out of God’s way, and watch what he will do!