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_________________________ IHEN Journal __________________________
>                                           #1.01 december 2001

                     Published monthly by the

    Subscribe by e-mail >

     Editor: Wendy Schlie >
  Production/Design: Peach Grove Press/eMedia >

>   "IHEN Journal" 2001, IHEN and respective authors as noted.
>All Rights Reserved. Non commercial distribution rights allowed.
>          See guidelines at the end of the newsletter.

__________ CONTENTS _____________________________________________
>                        premier issue! hi there!

> [1] Letter from the Editor
          welcome to the premiere issue of the "IHEN Journal!"

> [2] Indiana's E-list Digest
          a monthly sampler of the riches available on IHEN's
             statewide networking e-list: "IndianaHomeschoolers"

> [3] 1-2-3 Contacts
          IHEN is looking for a few good parents to be county
             contacts list of counties currently covered

> [4] Why IHEN?
          an interview with IHEN founder, jane casey

> [a] Contacts
          who's who; staff and volunteers
          e-mail addresses
          e-mail list addresses
          subscription instructions

> [b] Copyrights/Distribution
          forward the newsletter? no problem. just read this.

__________ LETTER FROM THE EDITOR _______________________________
>[1]                                   by wendy schlie, editor

Welcome to the premiere issue of the IHEN Journal!

"What is IHEN?" you ask.

IHEN stands for Indiana Home Educators Network, a new statewide
homeschooling organization. We are here to help people with
questions about homeschooling, support groups, laws, activities
and other homeschooling information. Our goal is to educate
those who are interested in homeschooling their own children or
those who wish to understand homeschooling better. We also hope
to be able to connect these people with experienced
homeschoolers in their county.

An important part of any new organization is volunteers. We are
seeking people from all over the state of Indiana who would be
able to devote some of their time to helping us make IHEN a
success. We need County Contacts -- one or more persons in each
county willing to answer questions, by e-mail, about
homeschooling laws, events, and groups in the county. We have a
few volunteers already, but still need lots of people. We need
people who would write articles about homeschooling for this

Every month, I will try to introduce a few members of the
"IHEN-Org" list so you can get to know us.

> Jane Casey
   The woman who started it all. She is the mother of four kids
and the wife of an engineering manager. She also runs a business
from home. She and her husband were both successful academically,
having graduated near the top of their high school classes and
having earned their college degrees with honors. She LOVED
school as a child and never dreamed of homeschooling until her
second child was in kindergarten and their oldest was in third
grade. She began to see that their son wasn't going to fit the
mold and was going to be called "slow" because he wasn't ready
to read. She didn't want that to happen and thought she would
homeschool him for a year or two until he was "caught up." Her
daughter asked that they homeschool her, too. They decided to
try it for a year. They are now in her sixth year and are
wonderfully happy with where homeschooling has taken them,
although their lives look nothing like they anticipated seven
years ago.

> Benjamin B. Bennett
   Full-Time Dad, Husband, Homeschooler and darn good parent of
three. In his spare time, he is a freelance writer and web
spinner. An admitted autodidact and e-mail junkie, Ben moderates
several e-mail discussion lists on alternatives to government
schooling, including the "IndianaHomeschoolers" Networking and
Discussion List and "AltEdDiscourse" - A Forum on Alternative
Education Issues. He is the founder of The Alternative
Educators' Network > and can be reached
by e-mail at: >

> Debbie Harbeson
   Mom of Melissa, 18, and Keith, 16. Her family began
homeschooling in 1991. Debbie is a co-moderator of the
"IndianaHomeschoolers" e-mail list.

> Tracey Rollison
   Married to Doug Rollison and mother to Alec (5) and Arabella
(2.5). They are Eclectic Christian unschoolers/relaxed
homeschoolers, child-led but in a structured environment. She
believes in value of being inclusive. Tracey has BA honors,
Psychology and Communications Studies from Taylor University and
just short of MA from IU-B in Comparative
Literature--Renaissance. She has worked managing an art gallery
and a gourmet shop; has been pricing analyst in government
freight tariffs, and designed computer systems for small
businesses. Through all this she was searching for a way to stay
home with her future children. She is now an independent
educational consultant with Usborne Books at Home, promoting
literacy through lectures and workshops, while staying at home
with her children. Doug is the publications designer at one of
the largest publications in the country. He is also active in
home schooling and in the Usborne business.

> Wendy Schlie
   That's me! Besides being the "Journal's" Editor, I'm also
married and a stay-at-home-mom of two boys, ages 6 years and 4.5
months. I started homeschooling this year and love many things
about it, like the flexibility it allows us. I'm the list owner
of two Yahoo Groups, "ValpoHomeEd" and "HomeschoolingIndigos"
and belong to several more.

Also in this issue, Jane Casey tells us why she founded IHEN and
what she hopes IHEN can accomplish for homeschoolers in Indiana;
Ben explains what County Contacts are and how you can become one
in your county; and Debbie gives us a summary of the discussions
on the "IndianaHomeschoolers" list.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I wish everyone
Happy Holidays and a joyous New Year.


__________ INDIANA'S E-LIST DIGEST ______________________________
>[2]                                    by debbie harbeson

Here is a "taste" of what's been going on with the
"IndianaHomeschoolers" list in October: (Numbers refer to
message number in the archives at YahooGroups. You must be a
list member to access the archives and files. Subscription
information is below.)

> Local group and support resources:
5463   Hancock County 4-H group
5476   Notice about Jackson County Christian Homeschoolers
5599   Homeschool P.E. program

> State Resources:
5545   Angel Mounds >
5636   Physics Open House

> Online Resources:
5548   Website for harmonicas and recorders and other music
       items >
5613   Spanish on the Web
5616   Little House on Prairie Ideas
5618   Mazes and connect the dots
5616   Spelling tool on web
5650   Algebra Resource
5654   Website about history of pumpkins and other information
       about pumpkins
5659   Photos of Aurora Borealis Website
5660   Resources for apple users
5661   Online Grade Calculator

> Interesting Discussion Threads on:
*   What some Indiana Homeschoolers have been doing this year.
    The thread moved onto a discussion about fashions and girls
    growing up too soon.
*   Using schools for sports and using community resources as an
*   Music tape to learn state capitals.
*   Camping programs for homeschooling families.
*   Waldenbooks and other places for homeschool discounts.
*   Christmas gifts that don't involve toys.
*   Indiana laws, record keeping and portfolios.
*   Ongoing off topic discussion about Islam faith due to recent

We believe that the "IndianaHomeschoolers" Networking and
Discussion list is probably one of the better statewide e-mail
discussion lists going! And what makes it the best, first source
for statewide homeschooling information and discussion? Our
subscribers. Parents who homeschool are proving every day that
Hoosiers are some of the nicest, most helpful people around. If
you aren't subscribed to IHEN's "IndianaHomeschoolers" e-list,
then why not? It can't hurt, and you might even get the heads up
on a really great pie recipe from one of our famous "Off Topic"
discussions!! ;-) 

Are you sold? Then send an e-mail to > and you'll be
getting e-mail posts faster than you can say, [knock, knock]
"Whoo's 'ere?"

__________ 1-2-3 CONTACTS _______________________________________
>[3]                           by benjamin b. bennett

I have been co-managing one of the larger topical networking
e-mail discussion lists in Indiana for around three years now;
"Indiana Homeschoolers" at >

That may not sound like long so some, but three years is really
twenty-one in Internet years. If I had read, in real books, the
number of e-mail words I've read in the past five years, I'd
have to find myself another public library!

"Sorry kids. Dad's finished reading this library. We'll just
have to move to another town with a bigger one."

"Uh... wait... never mind. Put the boxes down. There's more mail
coming in from the "IndianaHomeschoolers" List.  It is a
question. THE question."

Here we go again! The Question!


Some day, I expect a very eager reporter to ask me "The Big
Question" when I'm interviewed for being some famous list
manager or library reader or something:

REPORTER: "So, Ben... what is the most often asked question you
received in all your years of e-mail list managing and library

BEN: "Well, Reporter, no one seemed to care that our family was
moving from town to town, reading libraries, exhausting
resources and moving on. But I DID receive a common question on
the "IndianaHomeschoolers" list.

"It was this, 'Where can I find someone near me to talk to about
homeschooling? Is there a support group near me?' Yup. Got that
question all the time."

REPORTER: "Fascinating! So... what did you do about it? I
mean... how did you answer their questions?"

BEN: "Are you kidding? I don't know everyone in the state! When
IHEN got rolling, I told them they ought to get some
homeschoolers (at least one) in every county who will answer
those questions. Thus the idea of County Contacts was born."

REPORTER: "IHEN COUNTY CONTACTS! What a concept. How do you
spell that...?"


The interview degrades after that, but you get the point.

If there was at least one homeschooling parent in every Indiana
county, willing to correspond via e-mail with another parent who
was maybe thinking about homeschooling, what do you think that
would do for the image of homeschooling in Indiana?

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to finally answer those tough
questions for people who are just starting to homeschool?

We were there once. Right?

We were just like all the other parents; deciding to homeschool
our young ones, or deciding enough was enough and finally
getting up the nerve to take our children out of public school.
How long was it before you finally found someone close you could
talk to about homeschooling? How long was it before someone
finally gave you a reasonably straight answer to the "Is it
legal?" question or some really good web sites or book
resources? How long did it take for someone to honestly say,
"You know, our support group probably isn't going to meet your
needs, but I DO know of a couple others that will... here's
their contact info."

Too long. It's always too long.

Several parents from across the state are beginning to start a
new organization that will make it their mission to help parents
get over the fear of educating their own children. We don't care
how a parent does it. We just know that parents are certainly
better educators than governments. And who better on which to
rely for those straight answers and reliable resources, than
some experienced homeschooling Hoosiers?

IHEN is looking for a few helpful volunteers who are willing to
lend their name, e-mail address and most importantly, their
experience to a resource directory of IHEN County Contacts.

We hope to have at least one person in every county in the
state. This directory will be available in the files section of
the "IndianaHomeschoolers" list, so that subscribers can find it.

No affiliation with any particular support group, organization,
religion or homeschooling philosophy is necessary. We just want
to know that when someone asks "The Question" we can quickly
say, "No problem! Just write to Ben in Delaware County. He's the
closest to you. And if he can't help you, he probably knows
someone who can."

What questions might an IHEN County Contact expect to get? The
same ones we all get, over and over every day: "Where are the
support groups?" "How do I start homeschooling?" "You know that
public school in Ex-Town? They say I can't homeschool my kids.
Is that true?" "Is it legal to homeschool in Indiana?"

And you know what? If you are afraid you might not be smart
enough to answer those questions, don't worry! You have access
to one of the largest statewide networking e-mail lists in
Indiana! Just come to the "IndianaHomeschoolers" list!

Let's face it -- 99% of the County Contact job, you already do
in real life! When someone asks about homeschooling at your
local library, do the librarians always point to you and say,
"Talk to her. She homeschools."?

Yeah... quit blushing. What's the big deal? And you never know,
you just might start building up your support group members,
meeting new friends, discovering new and interesting things that
other families are doing....

Enough selling. Here's the punch line:

The Indiana Home Educators' Network (IHEN) needs volunteers who
have a positive attitude about homeschooling and are interested
in helping new homeschoolers and curious parents get over their
fears and into the fun part. We need people who know what's
going on in their county -- activities, events, support groups
(all of them) and all that other stuff. You know who you are.

The IHEN County Contacts don't need to give out any information
about themselves other than their e-mail address, name and
county. You won't be answering a phone, but if someone from your
county wants to correspond, we'll know it's okay to send them
you. And best of all, we know they'll get their questions
answered and maybe even find that support group they've been
looking for. Because you don't want them to be in the same shoes
YOU were when YOU started.

If you are interested in becoming a County Contact for IHEN,
please e-mail the IHEN organizational list > or better yet, join the "IHEN-Org" list
and start getting involved.

The worst that could happen is you'll make a few new friends.

Well... I take that back. The worst thing that might happen is
you'll have to answer the "socialization" question for the
millionth time! You can write up a form letter for that one. We
won't tell. ;-)


To volunteer as an IHEN County Contact, send your NAME, COUNTY,
and E-MAIL ADDRESS to > or to our
County Contact Tracker; Marla James at >

See the "CONTACTS" section of the "Journal" for more important

_____ COUNTY CONTACTS TO DATE __________

We have volunteer IHEN County Contacts in the following

Boone | Delaware | Hamilton | Lake | Madison
Marion | Owen | Porter | Starke | Steuben

If your county isn't listed, and you think you can answer a few
questions a month by e-mail, why not e-mail Marla and the
address above and let her know you'd like to try being an IHEN
County Contact!

__________ WHY IHEN? ____________________________________________
>[4]                      by wendy schlie

I recently asked Jane Casey, IHEN's founder, why she started
IHEN and the "IndianaHomeschoolers" list. This is her reply.

"When we began homeschooling we lived in the Chicago suburbs and
I was fortunate to have found the homeschooling area on AOL
before we began, so I found out about the wide variety in the
homeschooling community very quickly and plugged into three
different groups in Illinois: one for unschoolers (which we are,
more or less), one that was exclusively Christian, and one that
was open to any homeschoolers.

"During those years I became more and more involved in the
online homeschooling community working as a volunteer in the AOL
forum as a chat host and as a board monitor when Home Education
Magazine launched their message boards. I became friends with
many homeschoolers of different kinds across the country and
found myself caught up in the conversations about -- and
eventually the formation of -- a new national homeschooling
organization, what came to be NHEN. [>]

"During the time that the discussions that led to NHEN were
going on, we had moved back home to Indiana. We joined the
IAHE-affiliated group in Columbus. I began to see that there
were individual groups in the state that were welcoming to other
kinds of homeschoolers, but that there wasn't anything
centralized. It was easy for homeschoolers who were Christians
of a particular kind who wanted to be part of groups of
like-minded people to find contacts, but it could be very
difficult for others.

"When I started the "IndianaHomeschoolers" list and began
talking about a state organization, I envisioned a place for all
homeschoolers, of any stripe. I knew from my experience in many
different forums that maintaining a respectful atmosphere that
was equally comfortable for pagans & fundamentalist Christians,
unschoolers & strict A Beka devotees could be very difficult,
but I wanted to try. I also wanted an organization that would
give information equally about different kinds of groups around
the state to those who were interested in a particular kind of


Jane can be found, working with the other IHEN volunteers on the
"IHEN-Org" organizational e-mail list >


__________ CONTACTS _____________________________________________
>[a]                     who's who; what's where at IHEN

All volunteers working to bring IHEN to Hoosier homeschoolers
can be reached all at once by sending an e-mail to the IHEN
Organizational e-list address >

_____ IHEN Journal STAFF __________

EDITOR: Wendy Schlie >
PRODUCTION: Peach Grove Press/eMedia >


   Ben Bennett >
   Debbie Harbeson >

_____ IHEN VOLUNTEERS __________

   Marla James >

   Benjamin Bennett
   Debbie Harbeson

_____ IHEN E-MAIL LISTS __________

The Indiana Home Educators' Network invites you to subscribe to
our statewide, open e-mail list for networking with
homeschoolers across Indiana. E-mail lists are neither
restricted to IHEN members nor to homeschooling parents only.
The "IndianaHomeschoolers" list is open to anyone with an
interest in the topic. We hope that by running our statewide
networking list in this fashion, we will be able to communicate
to anyone interested in homeschooling, the diversity and unique
family affirming qualities the home learning lifestyle provides. 

Because of this philosophy, the topics and discussions on the
"IndianaHomeschoolers" list are general in nature. Any secondary
e-mail lists we promote in the future will likely be more focused
on specific needs. We will try to promote those Indiana lists in
the future. If you moderate an Indiana homeschooling e-list,
write to the Editor (Wendy) with your request for inclusion in
our next issue. >

You can join by going to the web site, or sending a blank e-mail
to the address given below:

IndianaHomeschoolers: IHEN's Statewide Networking List

IHEN-Org: IHEN's Organizational working e-list

IHEN-News: Subscribe to the "IHEN Journal"


To keep up with the latest news and information about the IHEN,
all you need to do is subscribe to our free newsletter, the
"IHEN Journal." Simply send an e-mail to the following address > and become part of this
network of homeschoolers helping homeschoolers!!

If you would like to be unsubscribed from the "IHEN Journal."
please e-mail >

__________ COPYRIGHTS/DISTRIBUTION ______________________________
>[b]                                    forward, yes; steal, no

Copyright (c)2001, Indiana Home Educators' Network (IHEN), ALL
RIGHTS RESERVED. All materials not marked as copyrighted by the
author/creator is copyrighted by IHEN. No *portion* or *part* of
this publication may be used for commercial purposes without
permission in writing from IHEN and/or the creator/author. Send
permission requests by e-mail to >

"IHEN Journal" is a free monthly newsletter published by the
Indiana Home Educators' Network (IHEN). Subscribers are welcome
to reprint and/or distribute "IHEN Journal" for nonprofit use as
long as the newsletter is distributed in its entirety, including
copyright notices and subscription instructions. Thank you for
supporting home education in Indiana.


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