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Who I Am
My name is Mari Beth Buckroth and I began my homeschooling journey with my daughter “Punky” in 2009. I am an opinionated, expressive woman from the North living in the Deep South who isn't homeschooling for religious reasons. I am not the mom who can bake, make art, or in any other way domesticate my life. I say the thing that no one says but is probably thinking. By being my authentic self and homeschooling secularly the majority within the homeschooling community judged me as ‘inappropriate’. Finding myself deemed too inappropriate for traditional or religious homeschoolers, I began to seek out other avenues for support.
It was those circumstances that gave birth to my blog, The Inappropriate Homeschooler, and I began writing about my journey as a secular homeschooler and as a woman who insisted on being true to myself and refusing to have my voice silenced. After hearing story after story from others who are, themselves, in very similar positions in the homeschooling community I began to seriously wonder where is the voice for the non-believer, or 'different' spiritual believer? Where is the voice for the secularists in the homeschooling movement? Where is the representation, support, and advocacy for all persons who homeschool but do not fit the ‘traditional’ mold? It may be out there, here and there, but where is the national voice, where is the national alliance of secular homeschoolers?
The answer was that there is no voice for those who identify with secular homeschooling as I do. That is why I, along with other ‘inappropriate’ secular homeschoolers are working diligently to create The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers (N.A.S.H.) - an alliance of homeschoolers who are living their authentic lives on their secular homeschooling journey, or those who support secular homeschooling, who will raise awareness of secular homeschooling and find support and resources specifically for secular homeschoolers.
More of my story can be found on my blog: The Inappropriate Homeschooler or listen to me on the Savvy Homeschool Mom podcast.
Why this Matters
Secular homeschoolers are easily defined by their academic choices: homeschooling without regard to religion. But there is a personal aspect to being a secular homeschooler, too. I could not think how to define it until the time when a friend, who was lamenting over her struggles as a secular homeschooler in a predominately religious homeschooling community, said to me, "Why should I have to pretend to be something I'm not? Why should I have to walk on egg shells? Why should my children be ostracized for who they are? Why should I give in and thereby teach them that something is wrong with us? Why should they learn that unless they change who they are there is no acceptance?”
“Why should I have to pretend?"
That is what it feels like to be a secular homeschooler for a lot of people. A secular alliance would offer a safe haven where members no longer have to pretend or feel ostracized and where they would get genuine support for their academic choices while on their homeschooling journey.
What is N.A.S.H.?
The vision of The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers (N.A.S.H.) is to advance the recognition of secular education in the homeschooling community and to support academically secular homeschoolers. Through the activities and involvement of N.A.S.H. at the national, state, and local levels, secular homeschoolers will have a stronger, significantly influential voice in the world of homeschooling and will have real life support for their homeschooling journey. The mission of N.A.S.H. is to create an alliance that develops and uses its social and political presence to support secular homeschoolers, educate society, and to have a positive impact on homeschooling as it effects and reflects secular homeschooling. In order to fulfill its primary mission, N.A.S.H. will focus on bringing programs, resources, ad support to secular homeschoolers. a greater awareness to secular homeschooling, and the needs of secular homeschoolers by promoting secularism in home school education and raising public awareness of secular homeschooling.
Why We Need Your Support
The short-term, most time-sensitive goal of N.A.S.H. is to have a successful conference where secular homeschoolers gather to share their ideas and offer their input for what they want and need from a secular homeschooling alliance. The first open planning sessions for N.A.S.H. are the prime focus of the conference. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the discussion of the purpose and direction of N.A.S.H. After the planning sessions, the first Board of Directors meeting will be held on the final day of the conference. The Board of Directors will be selected N.A.S.H. will then begin the work required to incorporate, seek 501(c) status, develop membership benefits and outreach programs, and establish media and marketing strategies. The conference is also offering homeschooling workshops, children activities, and featuring secular exhibitors.
The Inappropriate Homeschooler is hosting the N.A.S.H. Inaugural conference and it is being held September 4-7, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Our long term goal is to use the input we receive from the Board of Directors meeting and any monies from this GoFundMe campaign to formally incorporate The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers as a 501(c) non-profit organization, retain the necessary legal and financial services required, and begin the work of N.A.S.H.
These goals require funding and we need your help!
More about N.A.S.H.
How Your Gift Will Be Used
Money gifted to this GoFundMe campaign will be invested in funding the 1st Inaugural N.A.S.H. conference and funding the establishment of N.A.S.H. as a 501(c), non-profit organization.
As a volunteer staffed start-up, we are constantly working to recruit vendors, exhibitors, and sponsors who believe in what we are doing; but we have gaps to fill. Your support will ensure the conference and meeting are a success and that N.A.S.H. has its beginning!
Any funds remaining after the cost of the conference will first go directly to the expenses incurred from creating and filing as a 501(c) non-profit organization. These costs include, but are not limited to, incorporation fees, legal counsel, accounting, and administrative costs. We need your help.
After the costs of the conference and non-profit start-up expenses are covered, monetary gifts received will be used to fund membership benefits and outreach programs.
The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers offers complete transparency regarding any monies used from this GoFundMe project.
For more about The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers, visit http://www.nationalallianceofsecularhomeschoolers.com/
The giving of money to this GoFundMe campaign constitutes a monetary gift to The Inappropriate Homeschooler, LLC. All gifts received will be used as expressed above: conference costs, non-profit start-up expenses, NASH membership benefits and outreach programs. You gift is not a tax-deductible donation. The Inappropriate Homeschooler, who is hosting the conference and raising funds for the start of N.A.S.H., is not a non-profit organization.
In the event that N.A.S.H. is unable to fulfill its mission to be a registered non-profit 501(c) with a working Board of Directors, all remaining monetary gifts will be gifted to a secular educational organization of the Board's choosing.
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