November Update

I have been remiss in keeping our Home Education Magazine readers and supporters updated, but there is good news to share on several fronts.

Regarding the lawsuit which has created problems for us for many months now: We are awaiting the plaintiff’s signatures on the settlement agreement arrived at on October 13th. There has been some back-and-forth about wording, but we have no reason to believe the statement won’t be signed sometime during next week or so, and thus bring a long-awaited end to the lawsuit.

The Sept-Oct issue should have arrived in subscribers’ mailboxes by now; if you’re a subscriber and have not received your issue please give it another couple of days, but then don’t hesitate to contact me personally at and let me know you haven’t received it. If you do write, please include your current mailing address so I can double-check our database, and include an email address or phone number, whichever you prefer, so we can contact you.

The November-December issue will, alas, be late, but we’re hoping to have it out before Thanksgiving. It will be a very special issue – you won’t want to miss this one!

Our digital edition is almost ready to release, and it’s beautiful! Just before I left Alaska (more on that later), I was surprised by one of my sons and his fiance, who presented me with a new iPad! The back is inscribed “We love you Mom!” and it brought tears to my eyes to know that these kids had done this for me, to make my work while traveling a little easier. It is a magical machine, and I take it everywhere with me! One of the most delightful things it does is download all my favorite reading material, and that has been a lifesaver! I can keep up with what I want and need to without lugging either a computer or issues of magazines and newspapers – it’s all right there in a little gadget I can hold in one hand, and the new digital HEM looks amazing on it!

About my travels: I’m back in Washington (state), where the HEM office was located for many years, with our oldest son, John, who’s helping me with chores, maintenance, and getting this place ready for the changes ahead. For those who haven’t followed our family over the years, or for those who haven’t kept track, a bit of backstory:

My parents built this home in north central Washington, and we bought it from them when they moved back to Alaska in the mid-1980’s. We raised our five kids here, all unschooled of course, and it was a delightful time filled with family and friends, horses, dogs, explorations, travels, and seemingly endless adventures. But like all good things, it did end. Our kids grew up, had kids of their own, and moved away. Our four sons moved to Alaska, our daughter moved to another part of this state. All are doing wonderfully, and we all remain close, even as the miles separate us.

But no one wants to live here any more. Alaska is our home now. My son John and I flew down from Alaska a week ago to move the last of the family’s things out of this place, and we’ve had help from my daughter and my sister, who both traveled here to help. It’s not a sad time, by any means, because so much love and so many good times happened here, and we know leaving here paves the way to building new memories, new adventures and new good times. We are grateful to have had this beautiful place to be, and we are equally grateful to be moving on with our lives.

We are also moving on with Home Education Magazine. The November-December issue will see some significant changes, but the heart and soul of the magazine are intact and as steady as ever. There have been some rough patches with this atrociously harassing lawsuit, to be sure, but that’s behind us now, and we see a bright future, and many more years of helping homeschooling families find joy and strength and peace in living and learning together.

To that end, I’d like to leave you with this excerpt from an editorial I wrote 21 years ago, which ran in our Nov-Dec, 1990 issue:

“Our great American public education system has raised a generation that is uncertain of itself, a generation in which those who have the heart to strike out confidently on their own are the exceptions to the rule: business entrepreneurs, home birthing families, breastfeeding mothers, owner homebuilders, and backyard gardeners. These people are not considered the mainstream of our society, rather they are those who’ve taken a different path, they’ve heard the beat of a different drummer, and they’ve answered the call. Of course they and their notions are gaining ground within the society-at-large. Plain old common sense always seems to win out in the end.

“But that sense of uncertainty, of ‘are we sure we’re doing the right thing,’ of wanting to ask the advice of the ‘experts,’ is a very pervasive thing. The conventional institutional wisdom plays on this uncertainty. They play it up. They point it out to those who have the audacity to try a few faltering steps on their own. It takes a strong conviction to go ahead on one’s own in our present society.

“The very success of homeschooling is putting it in greater danger with each passing year. Knowing that today’s parents have lost their self-confidence and have been instilled with a need for official approval, it will be easy for the institutions to ‘lend a helping hand’ with homeschooling. The freedom and flexibility that we now enjoy, that ability to meet our childrens’ needs that the schools so envy, is going to be a prime target for the educational establishment. In order to maintain our autonomy we must first recognize the danger, and then act together in developing effective networks and alliances, both within and outside of the homeschooling movement.

“In their new book, ‘Taking Charge Through Homeschooling,’ Larry and Susan Kaseman also refer to Dr. Pat Montgomery’s writing: ‘When Pat Montgomery says, ‘I encourage homeschoolers to realize how what they’re doing fits in the broad scheme of resurrecting the family as a pillar of society,’ she is framing an issue, empowering homeschoolers, attracting the attention of potential allies, and giving life, energy, and focus to the homeschooling movement.’

“Homeschooling parents are now being hailed as having a good idea. We must find ways to share this good idea without compromising the very freedom that makes it possible.”

Thanks for reading, and thank you for your continuing support of Home Education Magazine. Here’s to a bright future for HEM, and more importantly, for homeschooling!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Helen Hegener, publisher
Home Education Magazine

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