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February 16, 2011

SB 136 4000 homeschoolers at Feb 15, 2011 hearing!

The kids and I were one among the thousands of homeschoolers that were at yesterday's committee hearing regarding SB 136. I don't think Sen. Maloney had any idea that his bill would draw such a large crowd in opposition. Security estimates that there was 4,000 people there.

We were one of the few that were allowed into the Howlett Building to attend the homeschooling summit in Howlett Auditorium. Prior to entering into the auditorium there wasn't a crowd. So we had no idea what was brewing outside.The lady behind us, who took our picture, was separated from her husband. He had dropped her and some of the children off and went to find a place to park. By the time he parked and came back to the Howlett Building they would not let him in because it was full.


At the summit we listen to HSLDA lawyer Scott Woodruff. He basically gave us a summary of some of the things he was hoping to address to the committee at the hearing. Some of what Scott Woodruff had to say can been seen in this youtube video.


Prior to Mr. Woodruff testimony you are able to hear some of the testimony of a truant officer that spoke in favor of the bill. Listen to him carefully it's scary!

Everyone that was at the summit was not able to get into the hearing room. As a matter of fact, to avoid having to go through security again, they took us through the tunnel system from Howlett building to the capitol building. I had no idea what I would face once we got into the capitol building. The second floor where the hearing room was so full that we had to go up to the 3rd floor. It was on the 3rd floor that I was able to take this picture.


Local homeschoolers that were able to get into the hearing room said they got there at 8:30 and went straight to the hearing room. Not only that but once they got into the room they had to stay because if they left, even to go the bathroom, their seat was given to someone else. Even though I wasn't able to get to the room itself I was able to sign an attendance slip and let them know I was there and oppose SB 136.

During the hearing the group, in the hall, did break out into song and sung the national anthem and a few other songs, but shortly after that security came by and told everyone they had to be quiet or they would be kicked out. 

There was some confusion on why we were being told to be quiet, but it turns out that because of the crowd of people they decided to leave the hearing doors open to allow those outside the room to hear. Of course that meant only those right at the door could hear. Seeing we were so far away from the door we gathered our information during the hearing from facebook. There was no real way to know what was going on otherwise. At one point we did made our way down to the second floor and believe that we are seen in photo taken by STOP SB 136.

picture taken by STOP SB 136
After the hearing we were able to go into room 212 and that is when I took this picture.


Some news media outlets are reporting that SB 136 has been dismissed, but that simply is not the case. There was NO vote yesterday and Sen. Maloney has NOT withdrawal the bill. He just doesn't want it to go further right now because he wants to amend it.

HSLDA is asking anyone in Illinois that does not want this bill passed to contact their senator and ask them to tell Sen. Maloney to withdrawal -not amend- SB 136.

Some of the things I find disturbing, by sides the bill itself, is what other homeschoolers are saying certain people said to the crowd there. For example Sen. Lightford  said "I don't understand why anyone would want to spend all day with their kids"; The truant officer as he was leaving the hearing made a comment how all the kids there at the hearing were truant.

I don't know what is more upsetting the senators remarks or the truant officers. Really in my opinion they are pretty equal. In regard to the truant officer remarks don't kids that "go" to school take field trips to the capitol building? Yes we were there to lobby our cause. But I also took the time to show my kids around the capitol building, I explained to them how bills are passed. We went into the gallery of the Senate and House. The House was in session so we got to see law makers at work.

After that we had lunch and then went to the State Museum. We even stayed last night and this morning toured Lincoln's Home and Tomb before driving home. There was more to our trip then just being at the hearing. I don't know how that would be consider truant. My kids got to see first hand how government works and visit national historic sites.

I think my sister, whose in the army and currently station in Iraq, said it best when she posted on my facebook wall yesterday "wish I could be there.. I would want to show up in uniform and asked them why do i wear this uniform to fight for freedom if your just trying to take it away from parents!!"

February 10, 2011

SB 136 and Illinois Homeschoolers

I'm sure by now you have heard the buzz regarding SB 136. If not let me briefly fill you in!  Sen. Maloney wants to change IL state laws to require those that enroll their kids in non-public schools (ie. homeschools, private schools, parochial schools) to register with the state. Those that have read the bill and understand what it means are deeply concern and rightly so. This bill goes a vote to the committee on Feb 15th at 10:45 am in room 212 at the State Capitol.

If after reading the bill still not sure exactly what it means you can attended a FREE webinar that HSLDA is hosting tomorrow (Feb 11) at 9 pm. In the webinar you'll learn why this bill would threaten all private school and homeschooling families with unprecedented state regulation.

That's right even those that choose to send their children to private/parochial schools could be also be infected by this bill. You see the way the bill is written currently BOTH parents that homeschool and those that send their kids to private school, (example Catholic School) will have to register every year with the state. Sen. Maloney has already stated that he plans to amend the bill's wording so that it will only apply to homeschoolers. However as it is now that is NOT the case as of today.

February 4, 2011

Snow, Blizzards, and Bunk Bed.

Tuesday Night we had a huge snow storm in our area. We awoke Wednesday morning with nearly a foot (or more) of snow and snow drifts that caused mini snow walls. Hubby stayed home from work so the kids and I took a snow day. We told the kids if Daddy stay home there will be no school, but if Daddy goes to work then we'll have school. Hubby did up working FROM home, but the kids still got to have a snow day. For the most part it was just a relaxing day, but a few times hubby dear had to tell us to quiet down seeing he was trying to work (he was making business calls here at home). I'm glad that hubby was able to work from home Wednesday seeing it was awful to go out, but I'm also glad that he GOES to work normally. It was hard to stay quiet all day for him. I'm thankful that is something that doesn't need to be done everyday. 

That's the mini snow wall that we awoke to in our back yard Wednesday morning. That metal box thing down at the end is the AC unit. As you can see the snow and mini wall goes all the way up to the top of the ac unit. Our back door is just a one step up. The step as you can see was completely cover the the snow was even higher then the foot of the door.

Besides having no school work the kids and I made snow cream and Hubby and I put together the bunk bed. The replacement piece arrived Monday Night we were going to finish the bed this coming Saturday, but took advantage of hubby being home on Wednesday and finished putting the bunk bed together in between business calls. :)

After we finish putting the bed together WP and SS spent the rest of the day from about 2:00 pm till bedtime really in the beds. NOT because I made them, but because they enjoyed them that much! We even let WP sleep on the bottom bunk Wednesday Night. Now the bed is ready for my nephew. Currently he is at my mom's house. However come the end of THIS month he'll be here full time until the end of March, then he goes back to my Mom's house full time. My sister for THIS deployment set it up so that my nephew is on a 2 month rotation between both homes until she returns about 12 months from now. My nephew has been here since before Christmas. My sister was here too, but return to Ft. Hood early Jan. She had to report back to duty then; she left her son here seeing deployment was just around the corner. She actually left for Iraq Feb 1st....

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