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November / December 2003

Colleges and homeschoolers

Paul Owen's story

The big picture
2003 art contest

The judges and their thoughts on the artwork

Winners of the three categories
Farris meets with President
A gift for the next generation
Homeschooling grows up

Along the way

Abounding in the work of the Lord

Resource information
From the heart
Across the states
Active cases
In the trenches
Freedom watch
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About campus
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HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




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Special education hassles

Homeschooling is growing nationwide, but well over 95% of all school-age children still attend traditional schools. This means that homeschoolers keep running into difficulties when they deal with bureaucratic institutions. One Tucson family was able to persuade a large medical provider to treat homeschoolers fairly, despite initial difficulties. Their victory is one small step forward for all home educators.

The Bisson* family requested occupational therapy for their special-needs child from a federally regulated health and medical program. When the health care providers discovered that the family was homeschooling, they wrote, "Our physician reviewers have denied the request because of lack of documentation and/or cooperation. We have requested an Individualized Education Plan (IEP); however, to date we have not received a response to this request from your provider." The Bissons were not able to provide a "response," of course, because their child was taught at home.

Home School Legal Defense Association Attorney Scott Somerville contacted the health care agency to help them understand homeschooling. Despite a maze of federal regulations, state laws, and internal procedures, the health care agency agreed to reverse their previous decision. In addition to helping the Bisson family, the agency's response represents a significant step forward for handicapped homeschoolers in similar situations across the country.

— Scott W. Somerville

* Name changed to protect family's privacy.