THE BEGINNING: IHEN's
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
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 group.
BY THE WAY
first appeared in the Premier
Issue of the IHEN Journal, December, 2001
Organizational list is a working list where homeschoolers interested in
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