✨FREE—Journey Into the Heart of Christmas

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MiCHN Moment-We <3 You!- Feb '24
Politics, politics, politics. It seems like that has been all we have been talking about at MiCHN lately. Probably that is true, and rightly so, for we have not been under government scrutiny and threat of regulation since our legal separation from government harassment in 1993. With the change in the party controlling our legislature, Governor, Attorney General, and Supreme Court, our freedom to home-educate is indeed in jeopardy, at least the freedom as we have known it. But I digress…. On a positive note, the INCH conference will soon be upon us. This event was initially designed to encourage, reinvigorate, and inspire those homeschooling and those interested in homeschooling to press on in the hard work of discipling the next generation. INCH began as a conference when homeschooling was illegal in Michigan. If that occurs again, we will continue to encourage you and to keep pressing into Jesus as you press on in your pursuit of what is best for your children through home education. Our speaker lineup particularly encourages me, especially having Brant Hansen attend. All of us will enjoy his teaching and humility, but I believe the men will be particularly encouraged. I have read two of his books and plan to study one of them with some homeschool dads in our community this summer. We all need encouragement. We all need to remind ourselves of Whom we are serving and why we are home discipling. The INCH conference serves that purpose. Yes, we will continue to discuss the political situation in which we find ourselves in Michigan, but primarily, we will concern ourselves with thanking God for His gift of our children and His leading us into home discipleship even as we encourage one another in this most noble endeavor. I look forward to seeing you soon. Mike Winter President, MiCHN Early Bird Prices are HERE!! Register HERE   The new year has arrived. We pray this past holiday season was full of refreshment, relaxation, and seeking the Lord about His plans for you this next year. As our team reassembles in the office, it is becoming clear to us just how busy of a season we have lying ahead of us. The legislature returned to Lansing on Wednesday, January 10th. At this time, there is currently no bill in committee that would affect your homeschool requirements. We fully expect that to change rather quickly, as the legislature picks up speed.   As many of you are aware, on December 5, 2023, Representative Matt Koleszar posted on X, formerly Twitter, the following statement:   Representative Koleszar quickly found himself in a whirlwind of backlash as word began to circulate of his call for more homeschool regulations. On December 6, 2023, Representative Koleszar was quoted in THIS article by the Washington Post. “State Rep. Matt Koleszar, the Democratic chairman of the Michigan House Education Committee, said in an interview Wednesday that when its session begins next month the legislature is “likely to see a bill” that would “at a bare minimum” require the registration of home-schooled children in Michigan, and perhaps establish additional oversight measures.”   Later that same evening, Representative Koleszar went on CBS TV Detroit where he had a civil discussion on the topic. During that interview, the news anchor asked, “I imagine a lot of parents would say, ‘Surely, they will want to know more than just knowing where the children are.’ I mean, receiving a letter that says “This child is homeschooled”….surely there would have to be some kind of home visits, some interaction, right?” It is to this question Representative Koleszar simply answered, “It’s fair to say that, but I think right now the main thing we need to do….is find out where they are.”    Your MiCHN team is working as diligently as they can in order to make sure you are aware of everything transpiring in Lansing. We have held multiple round-table discussions across the state in order to facilitate dialog with all of you. As we wait to see what the legislature will do in the coming months, we are watching as many bills as possible, talking with every state lawmaker we can, and gathering together with other freedom-minded groups and forming a coalition to fight every battle required to keep the freedoms we hold so dear here in Michigan. While many lawmakers in Michigan seem to be bent on driving the populace away from this great state with their bureaucratic regulations, it surely seems illogical to strip away one of the last bastions of hope our state has to offer Americans-freedom in your home education journey.    Be sure to write and call your legislators asking them to please protect homeschool freedoms and please do not vote for any bill that would require home educators to register with the state. These are quite uncertain times. Right now, MICHN would advise you to make sure your account is up to date and accurate with Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Be sure to visit their website, and if you have not done so already, BECOME A MEMBER today. What's happening at MICHN    
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MiCHN Moment-WE Survived 2023! - Jan '24
Happy New Year! We survived 2023 without any changes to our homeschooling freedom. We remain vigilant to have the same result in 2024. While people think they are in control of our ways, it is God Who rules the day. Proverbs 16.9 reminds us of this truth. Nevertheless, we must pray, and we must work to ensure our legislators know our desire to remain free to lead our children in the way they should go as we determine, by God’s grace, what is best for them since we love them most and have the greatest interest in their spiritual, emotional, educational and physical development.   You can help us in this work by taking your children to see your local legislators when they have open meetings, usually at coffee shops, to share with them your love for your children and the freedom you cherish to educate them your way. We need people to make these visits in every district but, even more importantly, in those districts where the legislators are of the current majority in our state government. They have total control over our freedom, except God’s influence and His work through you with us to continue praying and working for the freedom to homeschool our children in our state without government intrusion or oversight.   I pray you will join us in this battle and that God will continue His favor upon us. Blessings and welcome to the New Year.   Mike Winter president, MiCHN THERE IS STILL TIME!!! From Friday evening to Saturday at noon, we will worship together and then hear the amazing Ginny Yurich! She will be encouraging us in our Homeschooling journey all while making us laugh a lot!! Register HERE Homeschoolers and Public School Sports   here has been a recent push from some members of the homeschooling community to pressure the state legislature to force equal access for homeschoolers to play sports in public schools. Some families feel they pay taxes and should get some return from the public schools (even if they don’t want their child to attend there full-time). I would encourage you to consider some of the reasons homeschooling parents may not actually want to push for their child to play on a public school team, and even more importantly, why involving the legislature is ill-advised. 1. When public school / homeschool partnerships were introduced in Michigan, allowing homeschoolers to have their co-op classes paid for by the local public school system, it ended up killing the majority of existing homeschool support groups and privately funded co-ops in our state. The huge network of homeschool groups that offered multiple levels of support and activities died because it’s hard to compete with “free.” It ended up giving us far less options and choices than before. I think we can safely assume the same thing will happen to our existing homeschool sports leagues here in MI if the public school becomes our go-to for sports as well as co-op classes. 2. In some states, in order to play public school sports, you need to register as a “part-time public school student,” which provides state funding for the local public school. Over time, this would increase the tax burden on citizens in the state as public school enrollment increases. (Perhaps this concern could be addressed in the legislative process by simply not allowing this when an equal access bill is drafted, but it would be a potential concern.) I do not want to increase the reach and power of the public school system by providing it with increased funding that cause our taxes to go even higher. 3. Is the social environment of the public school system something we really want our students to be involved in? Do you as a parent want your child hearing all the locker room talk and being in an environment where filthy and sexually charged language is rampant? While there is no guarantee this could never happen with a homeschool sports team, the likelihood is far less. For girls, they would need to be braced for the fact that they could be forced to play on teams with biological males. Such is the state of the public school system today. 4. The more your child is engaged in the activities of the public school, it becomes his social culture. His teammates become his friends. He is going to be far more eager to attend public school as a full-time student once he is on a team and his friends are pressuring him to go to the school. If you have decided that homeschooling is best for him, do you really want to invite a battle of him wanting to go in a different direction? 5. The public school wants to attract homeschoolers back to their system (because each student in Michigan represents $14,624 (in 2023) and they use bait like free co-op classes and sports to do so (as they often get at least partial funding for homeschooled student who participate in public school classes or activities). Should the government really be our go-to for all of our needs in life? Why can’t we create our own systems and programs without always looking to the government to be our savior and provider? If fact, we can! And we have! We have created an entirely privately-funded system of sports in Michigan and we can continue to expand it. Our privately-funded programs can remain unregulated by government control and political correctness. 6. We have seen in other states that allow equal access for sports scenarios where the entire homeschooling movement gets bad publicity because of homeschoolers being on sports teams. There is always that public school dad who thinks his kid is going to be the next NFL superstar, and his son was bumped off the team by some homeschooler “who thinks he is too good to go to public school.” The accusation is that homeschoolers are elitist, and they don’t want to be part of the normal social life of the public school, but they want to cherry-pick the perks and get benefits without really putting in the work and living the same lifestyle as everyone else. So, having homeschoolers on a public school team can sometimes sour people’s attitudes towards all homeschoolers because of the perceived injustices committed by a few. 7. In Michigan, we are currently in a legislative environment where politicians who support homeschooling are in the minority, so it can be unwise to introduce ANY homeschool legislation at this time because it waves a red flag about our presence to those would like to regulate us. In many situations, out of sight out of mind is best when the political situation is hostile to homeschooling. 8. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is “a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools that enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.” I have seen petitions floating around on social media asking for the legislature to regulate the MHSAA and force them to allow homeschoolers to play on public school teams. For the government to begin dictating policy to a non-profit is a bad precedent on many levels. We want private schools and homeschools to be able to play against each other’s teams without the government dictating policy about how that happens. As Deanna Ervin, a Michigan homeschool group leader of F.A.I.T.H. in Lapeer, said in a social media post: “(W)e began homeschool sports in our area 19 years ago because we wanted these opportunities for our homeschool children, without the inclusion of the other aspects of public-school indoctrination. Homeschool sports have a fantastic momentum, and the types of sports are continually growing. Scouting at homeschool tournaments has become very real and homeschool athletes are getting the recognition they deserve and even earning scholarships in some cases.” Summary I believe we should continue to support and expand the wonderful homeschooling sports programs in Michigan that are parent-led and parent-directed. This gives us the ultimate freedom to enjoy sports in an environment that encourages our values and does not increase the control and dominance of the government school system as the only option within our state. If homeschoolers can play public school sports, it is almost certain that homeschool teams will disappear as most homeschoolers flock back to the public school teams, which leaves us with less “school choice” than we started with! Do we really want an environment where our only choice is for our kids to play sports on a public school team? As it currently stands, we can begin our games with prayer, we can invite our own sponsors and choose our own schedule. We have freedom and flexibility as homeschoolers in our own leagues because we aren’t regulated by the state. It is for these reasons, as well as others, that we need to be very careful about assuming that equal access for homeschoolers into the public school system will be for the ultimate good and benefit of the broader homeschooling community.   Israel Wayne is a homeschooled graduate and homeschooling father of 11 who lives near Kalamazoo, MI. Israel is an author and conference speaker and director of www.FamilyRenewal.org. These are quite uncertain times. Right now, MICHN would advise you to make sure your account is up to date and accurate with Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Be sure to visit their website, and if you have not done so already, BECOME A MEMBER today. What's happening at MICHN