Yes, the link to our facebook page is on the top of this website. It is a private group that is only for our members.

1. Custom education – Homeschooling provides the ability to create an education that works for each individual child. This is perhaps the greatest reason to homeschool. No other school can provide an individual curriculum for your children.

2. Flexibility - Both with school-schedule and with family needs. Homeschooling allows you to start-stop and take family vacations when you want to rather than being dependent on a school schedule. Flexibility also allows your family to adjust to any other changes, like an ill grandparent or a short term medical procedure or a new baby.

3. Better then pre-school – Research has shown that children are very capable of learning in the years before Kindergarten. This is why the Department of Education encourages parents to put their children in pre-school rather than day-care so they don’t miss the years of learning when children are very eager to learn. The limitation of pre-school is that children at ages 3-4-5 still need the social and emotional care of their parents. This is why homeschooling is by far more successful than pre-school, because homeschool parents can take advantage of these early years when children are eager to learn by providing the environment of both educational tools and parental emotional support.

4. Save money - Ability to customize the amount of money you spend each year to get the curriculum that produces the most value for your children is priceless. Even the most expensive private schools cannot compare to the value of a custom curriculum for your children. The cost to homeschool a student is around $500-$1000 compared with the average cost of a public or private school student at $10,000-15,000.

5. Hands on experience – Field trips, co-ops and community sports have become a big part of homeschool education. Long gone are the days of homeschool children never leaving the house or interacting with other children. As noted in the book “The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling”, homeschool children have many advantages because their parents are involved in how they learn to interact with other children and which children they spend time with.

6. Academics – Nationwide studies have confirmed that homeschool children outperform all other schools. By far, homeschooling is the best educational school in the world. Many homeschool parents don’t even realize how far ahead their children are in areas like Science, Math, Reading and Writing until they start testing and see the comparison to national students.

7. Family values – Homeschooling allows parents to teach their children their religious and moral beliefs without being undermined. It is nearly impossible for parents to teach their children their values when they spend 30-40 hours learning them from someone else, as noted in a study a few years ago that discovered that children in public schools have a 90% chance of falling away from their parent’s religion. http://www.wnd.com/2009/06/102269/

8. Escape peer pressure – Children have a natural born tendency to be selfish and gain power over others. Any large group of children will exhibit these characters. At schools they call this bullying and teachers try to stop it without the ability to address the heart of the issue – that we are born sinners and in need of a moral standard. Homeschooling provides children an escape from this unguided social experiment and allows parents to answer the many questions that children have through the teenage years.

9. Best teachers – Sometime it’s hard to believe but Mom's and Dad's are better than certified teachers. Many studies have been done to determine the impact that ‘certified’ teachers have on student performance. According to a HSLDA report in 2009, "The study found that having a degree in education has no impact on student science test scores and, in mathematics, having a B.A. in education actually has a statistically negative impact on scores in math!" The report also pointed out; “I have talked with hundreds of school officials who cannot understand how a 'mere mother' with a high school diploma could possibly teach her own children.” The homeschool environment causes parents to become skilled in so many things like organizating, multiple ages and multiple subjects that they outperform ‘certified’ teacher trained with many years of college. The nationwide academic studies confirm this year after year.

10. Career planning - Most high schools don't help guide students into thinking about what industry they are going to work in. Homeschool parents are in the best position because they already know their child’s strengths and weaknesses from years of studying with them to guide students into a career that will be both fulfilling and worth the investment. The lack of parental involvement with career planning is one of the primary reason many students today end up with too much debt for higher education that does not give them a good career.

1. Find friends with the same goals
2. Receive email announcements about area events
3. Participate in area events/enrichment classes/field trips/sports/etc.
4. Learn new/better ways to educate
5. Receive teacher discounts with membership card

If you are considering homeschooling or would like more information about homeschooling, we offer a FREE Resource and Support Group especially designed for new homeschoolers. On even months we meet on Tuesdays and on odd months we meet on Thursdays . We are trying to give people more options to make the meeting.

We either meet at 7pm in the Barnes and Noble Cafe in St. Cloud or at the Library. We meet from July through April and take a break in May and June.

Visit the Event Calendar for more information on specific dates.

- Monthly informational meeting -Resource and Support Group
- Full access to 'Members Only' website section (post events, library, member directory, etc.)
- HEY Membership card which is useful to get a teacher discount while purchasing school materials (e.g. Office Depot, Barnes and Noble, FedEX Kinko's, Hancock Fabrics, Office Max {Office Max for Teachers}, Big Lots Teacher Day, Shopko Teacher Days, Michaels Appreciation Days, Book Warehouse, Jo-Ann Store, Crafts Direct, Borders Express and Fishing Pond to name a few)
- Printed HEY Members Directory
- Receive emails of events in the community
- As a teacher, you qualify for School Matinee discounts to GREAT Theatre shows and CSB & SJU
- Get to know and form co-ops with other homeschoolers
- Graduation Ceremony
- Get involved with Enrichment days
- HEY Fall Rally: to buy/sell curriculums, motivational speaker, energized for new year
- HEY Spring Book Sale
- Field Trip opportunities
- Legislative Alerts
- Baseball/T-ball, Basketball and Cloud Soccer Groups
- Meeting people
- HEY Theatre (insured by HEY)
- HEY Project Fair
- St. Cloud Homeschool Band
- HEY Spring Picnic
- Book It Program (for Kindergarten thru 6th grade)
- Make It Plates group rates
- School pictures at Group rates
- Support one another and get connected
- Access to testing options
- Classes offered by veteran homeschoolers (writing, sewing, guitar, etc)

-Homeschoolers also qualify for tax exempt status – Information and details are available on the MACHE web site: www.mache.org/LegLawSalesTaxExemptions.htm
The necessary forms are also available on the: State Department of Revenue website (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

HEY is a non-profit organization and all leadership positions are voluntary. This is a general idea of how the money is utilized. If you would like a detailed cash flow statement, please ask our Treasurer, Sue Smith.

- Room/Building Rentals for: Project Fair, HEY Picnic, HEY Theatre, HEY Fall Rally, How Great Thou Art, and Enrichment Day activities
- HEY Spring Picnic supplies
- HEY Fall Rally
- Website
- Office supplies: paper, membership cards, printed membership directories, postage, copies, printing, shipping/handling of bottle caps
- Advertising for HEY functions
- MACHE Leadership Conference

We have yearly membership dues that are due by July 31st of every calendar year.

There is a membership drive on July 1st of each year. At this time, current members can renew or new members may sign up for the next school year (August 1st is start date). All members will receive their Directory at the HEY Fall Rally. You can get a printed Membership ID card during the Membership Drive period only. To get a Printed, Laminated card, please send a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) to our Membership Coordinator.

We are a volunteer organization and all of our administration is done by home school families. Thank you for understanding that we are unable to pro-rate memberships dues during the year. Dues are the same if you sign up May 1st or the end of April of the following year. We know this can be inconvenient, but it helps to preserve our volunteer's time with their families.

If you want a printed membership card or directory and didn't get one during the Membership Drive, you can always view/print them from this website.

Members will have 30 days to notify the Membership Coordinator if they are not able to access the website or receive emails. If the problem cannot be resolved, the member may receive a full refund of their membership if their Membership card and directory are returned to the Membership Coordinator or President.

If you have any further questions, please contact our Membership Coordinator or HEY President (s).

Your membership yearly dues are $25.00. Please don’t forget to add the extra $6.00 if you have joined the Catholic Small Group.

Please make your check payable to ‘Home Educated Youth’ and mail it to: (address given in email confirming your membership)

This must be received by July 31st or within 30-days of joining or your access to the ‘Members’ section and access to the HEY emails will be suspended.

The HEY membership card will be available to print off of the HEY Website after August 1st for paid HEY members. A limited amount of HEY directories will be available to pick up at our Annual HEY Rally in August.
If you don't make it to the HEY Rally, you can print off a HEY Directory in August for paid members.
Members who signup during the school year or members who miss the Fall Rally can print the directories and membership cards from the website. You have 30 days to pay the Membership dues or your account will be deactivated.

In MN, you need to do yearly testing with your child from ages 7-17.

Here are some of your options for testing:
1) You can go through the school system and order with them. Contact your Non-Public Liasion person. Be aware that if you order your test through the school district or the University of MN Testing Center (612-626-1803), the school district will have access to your children's scores.

2) You can have a certified Peabody Individual Achievement testing (PIAT) administer it. This test is available year round. For those who are not familiar with the PIAT, it is a standardized nationally norm-referenced test that fulfills our annual testing requirement as homescholers. The PIAT is a great test for several reasons. It can be given in about an hour (although it is not a timed test) verbally and we go over your results immediately after the test. Please call Erin Donnay at 320-398-6370 for more information.

3) You can order tests through your Curriculum.

4) You can find other options in the MACHE handbook.

There are a lot of field trips available in Central Minnesota and the Greater Minnesota regions. There is a HUGE list of over 90 ideas on The 'Members Only' section. Please visit the 'Members Only' section for a complete list of field trip ideas.

Homeschool co-ops can be a wonderful answer to prayer, or they can be a temptation to more busyness. It all depends on how God is leading you each year for each child, how the co-ops are run and what they are used for, and what your family dynamics are at this season in your life. I believe it takes prayer and wisdom every day of every year on how involved your family can or should be in anything.

Co-ops are a cooperative adventure with several similar minded families. Start with a few families and see how it goes. The younger the children attending, the smaller the group numbers. The older kids, this is where the more importance the study should be.

· Know your kids
· Large groups need a lot more Structure
· Don’t be repetitive
· As a teacher, not what you know as a teacher.
· Be flexible; know when things are NOT going well.

Starting a new group with Parents:
· Make sure each family has similar levels of commitment (not always by a subject). Find out with who desires to do what. You can pick your relationships and guidelines with one another.
· Don’t make lousy, busy work! Do valuable stuff.
· Young aged children, do Show and Tell. Kids need to talk about their “stuff” and it’s a way to break the ice with new faces and potentially new friends. Schools do this often, especially after a holiday break.
· Find out if the kids and parents mesh together.
· Put all families on a trial period of time, say roughly for 3 months. See where you and they are. This is a good way to have healthy boundaries for both families and a way to break a co-op commitment if not working out.
· Ideas for young children do the board game, The Never Ending Story or other games with a group of students.
· Hopscotch works well with co-op groups.
· If doing fieldtrips, the person that had planned the field trip, then they have the right to discipline all of the students with them. Sometimes a parent isn’t with, then the teacher in charge of scheduling needs to know (and mom too) that the student must follow their guidelines while at a Field trip.
· Negotiate
· Everybody has to agree to accept all new families, UNANIMOUSLY!
· Do “Baggots”-each student makes up a bag of things. The bag is then brought to the co-op group and distributed to another kid. Each child goes home with some items and then returns with more items to give to other kids.

A fellow homeschooler shared an idea for Speech and Writing since this needs to be repeated, over and over. For the Writing aspect, you always need an audience so the co-op was a great option. We used Excellence in Writing; the Institute for Excellence in Writing teaches you how to become a beginning writer.
Another idea we did was “Freaky Fridays”; we would do a desert together.

Benefits to a co-op from homeschoolers view:
· She became self-reliant. It was nice having someone else vs. always mom.
· Needs to deal with things that she might not like (subjects)
· Learn about herself from others
· Enjoyed the stupid free play
· Most helpful was writing
· Learned how to work as a group.

HEY does not organize co-ops, but a lot of homeschoolers are involved in co-ops. Most co-ops are by invitation only or by asking other homeschoolers if you can join their co-op. Try to find similiar families with similiar interests or age of children to start your own by looking through the HEY Directory.

- Sports (HEY offers many sports like Baseball/T-ball in the spring, Basketball in the winter and Soccer in the summer) Some students also get involved with sports at local schools like the St. Cloud Christian School.
- Homeschool Band
- Theater
- UPLIFT Co-op
- YMCA programs - Homeschool Recreation (2-4:00pm on Thursdays during the school year)
- Phy Ed Co-op
- Volunteer for MOPS in the MOPPETS area for childcare
- GREAT Theatre productions (stage acting and ushers)
- Chess Club
- Spelling Bee
- Project Earth (at SJU)
- Science Rocks (at SCSU)
- YAYA (at St. Bens)
- College classes (Post-secondary-PSEO, or testing-credits-CLEP/DSDT)

HEY offers sports to its members only. Opportunities are Basketball in the Winter, and Homeschool Baseball/T-ball in the Spring. Emails are sent out to HEY Members with all of the details to when, where, what to bring, how long, etc... These are not drop-off events, parents are expected to help supervise and coach as needed. Cloud Soccer is also available to any area homeschooler in the Fall.

Traditionally, HEY has had a Fall Rally every year in August. It is like a kick off to the school year so to speak. Please attend the Fall Rally for encouragement and to pick up a HEY Members Directory to a limited amount that will be printed.

There will be a Used Curriculum sale available at the HEY Rally. Contact the HEY Presidents for more information.

There is not one Curriculum that is going to be the "perfect fit" for everyone. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can find a variety of Curriculums to fit your teaching and your child's learning style. Check out the MACHE yearly conference, Catholic Conference, or MHA yearly exhibits for ideas and vendors.

This is the most common question homeschoolers are asked. Here are a few books that cover this topic, which are listed in the 'Books' page of this website.

- "The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling"

- "But What About Socialization?"
- "The Socialization Trap"

Choose your school carefully

As a nation, the public school system is failing children in America, both academically and socially. But, not all schools are the same. Some public schools have pushed back on government programs that are harmful to children and continue to teach family values and Christian character trails like, love, truth, self-respect and the value of life.

Negative socialization

In the last 20 years, public schools across the nation are actually having a negative impact on socialization as more and more students are showing delinquent behavior. The student body of today’s youth is increasingly riddled with violence, drugs, promiscuity, emotional disorders, crime, contempt for authority, desperate behavior, illiteracy and peer dependency.

What about being the Light of the World?

Some Christian parents are concerned that homeschooling would not allow their children to fulfill the great commission of sharing the gospel with non-believers. They often site Matthew 5:14-16 about being the light of the world.

But this idea is flawed because bringing the gospel to the world is engaging in ‘spiritual warfare’, which children are not prepared for until they have been well trained and equipped. Even without attending a public school, foundational character traits like lying, cheating, stealing and selfishness are being questioned by neighbors, relatives, TV, Internet, etc. The idea of daily immersing a child into secular humanism that constantly disregard their belief in truth, love, God as our creator with a purpose and plan for all life, is irresponsible.

Public schools love Christian children because they are some of their best students. They recognize that students with a foundational belief system have a profound effect on stabilizing the schools.

Here are some excellent articles about this subject.

HOME-SCHOOLING: Socialization not a problem

Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools

1) Our email list is for HEY members only. You need to be a member first to receive emails.

2) Check the membership directory and make sure your information is correct. If there is a typo with your email address, then contact the Member Coordinator to make a correction.

3) If you are still having trouble, contact your email provider (AOL, Charter, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc..) ask for technical support, and ask them to help you change your spam filter settings to allow undisclosed emails through. Over the last few years, Spam has become a problem for all email providers. I have read that as much as 80% of email is Spam. Because of this, most email providers have added a Spam filter and most of them filter 'undisclosed emails' which are emails that are blind copied without a To: email address - because that is how most Spam is send out. This is also the way HEY announcements are emailed because it protects the members email addresses from being displayed to everyone.

Spam is growing into a business, and now some Internet Service Providers are charging to let emails through their Spam filters - as detailed in this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070606/ap_on_hi_te/techbit_e_mail_fee_2;_ylt=Ag74Df4ySu.WRlc4r4ugEXME1vAI

4) If you still don't receive HEY emails, turn off your spam filter or add 'homeeducatedyouth.com' to your spam filter "good" list. If you don't know how to do this, call your email provider and they should be able to help you.

5) Members will have 30 days to notify the Membership Coordinator if they are not able to access the website or receive emails. If the problem cannot be resolved, the member may receive a full refund of their membership if their Member id card and directory are returned to the Membership Coordinator or President.

6) If you have general problems with your computer or anti-virus software or spyware, contact a computer service.

The previous HEY website had a classified section, but it was rarely used. The HEY group is not large enough to support the many different curriculums. We do have a HEY Facebook group that you can ask to be a part of. Also, there is a St. Cloud Area Homeschool Curriculum Trading Post that you can request to be a part of. Or, there a lot of other websites that have a much larger group of homeschoolers looking to buy/sell curriculum. Feel free to visit:


HEY hosts a book sale for homeschoolers to be involved in. Sometimes, a Spring Book Sale (April-May) and the Fall Rally (August) is also a great place to buy/sell used books and curriculum.

Graduation is organized and conducted by the parents of the Graduating students. Before Graduation, the parents meet several times to decide and discuss how the proceedings are going to take place. It is up to these parents to decide and make these decisions. HEY does not manage or oversee the Graduation process.

The State of Minnesota does offer this benefit for Educators. The reason for the exemption is under Religious or educational organization.

If you fill out the papers and mail then, then you will receive an official Educator number with your school. It is your ES # and it arrives in the mail. You don't pay any MN sales tax on Homeschool supplies or textbooks when you use them for education and give the place of service a piece of paper stating this.

Just go to Mache's site for the forms:

Heppner's Legacy also has a link at:

It was suggested to bring several copies of this form to Homeschool conventions for additional savings.


Kim Jarkowski, a homeschool resource specialist, has a youtube video posted. It is Taxes- The MN Education Credit and Subtraction explained. Answers a lot of questions in less than 19 minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjYISqoe9tk

Also, check with your local Tax preparer, Accountant

On the M1 MN Individual income tax Form, Line 6 is where your put your homeschool expenses.

6) Other subtractions, such as net interest or mutual fund dividends from U.S. bonds ES
or K-12 education expenses (see instructions; enclose Schedule M1M)...

Only HEY Members have access to send out any Announcements via the email service. Step by step directions below:

1) Login into the 'Members Only' page on the www.homeeducatedyouth.com website with your email and password.
2) Click the Create Announcement button.
3) Give a date for the event. Enter your information into the description box. Make sure to agree to policy box by marking it.
4) Click save

Your announcement will be emailed to the entire HEY membership, but it may take a 5-10 minutes to show up in your in-box.

If you have any problems with sending an Announcement, please let the HEY Webmaster know right away.

It's difficult to give an exact number, but here is an estimate.

There are about ~9400 students in the 742 St. Cloud school district and about ~700 homeschool students that are part of HEY and another ~300 homeschool students that are not part of HEY.

An estimated calculation of the percent of homeschooled students in the area is 1000/9400 * 100 = 10.6 percent.

The national average is closer to 6-8 percent, so the St. Cloud area has a higher percent of homeschooled students. In part because of the strength of the HEY network.

Annual updates of our HEY Home Business Directory will happen right after the Fall Rally. Please let me know if you'd like to be included on our FREE Advertising page if you have a home business. Information will appear in the Members only section for all homeschool families to share their personal home business information.

Deadline to submit information will be September 15th of each year. This will be done 1x a year.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Have a relationship with a current HEY member that is willing to send out an Announcement. Members may send no more than four separate emails per year announcing their homeschool related event/business.
2. Purchase table space at our used curriculum sales. These take place at the Spring Book Sale and the Fall Rally (every August).
3. Purchase table space at the annual MACHE conference. More information can be found on their website: http://www.mache.org/Default.aspx
4. HEY Members that would like to advertise their business are welcome to have their information listed on the 'Home Businesses' page, which is updated one per year.

**It is important to note that under no circumstances may any member use or share the HEY Member Directory information for cold calling purposes. Any member in violation of this section may have their membership and/or website privileges revoked at the discretion of the Board.

If you want to be a HEY member or you want to become a HEY member but don't want to receive the HEY emails, then you can set up your email client (e.g. Outlook) to send all of the HEY emails right into your delete folder. Then none of HEY emails will show up in your inbox.

Consider our monthly Resource and Support meetings, which is one of the best places to begin talking with others that are also considering homeschooling.

The Alliance group (which MACHE is a part of) has developed a website for new homeschoolers at BeginningHomeschooling.com for those parents who are needing extra encouragement to know if they should begin homeschooling and, if they decide to do so, how to get started. This website has articles about homeschooling and links to the various Christian state home education organizations that they can contact for more in-depth help.

Check out http://beginninghomeschooling.com/

Jamie Austad

In our Catholic Homeschool Group we celebrate our Catholic faith through Mass, prayer and fellowship. We have First Friday devotions, Family Rosary opportunities, teen youth nights, Net Mass carpools, Kids Pro-Life Club, VBS, 2 Troops of St. George, Sisters of Schoenstatt girls youth, All Saint's Party, Epiphany Party and an Easter Party. We have a May crowning Mass, Lake days, a Catholic Women's Book Club and much more!

HEY uses an annual membership period so that it is easier to manage membership renewal. Yearly membership dues are due by July 31st of every calendar year. It would be additional work to manage pro-rated dues for new members joining in the middle of the school year.

All leadership positions are voluntary. At this time we do not have an easy way to manage pro-rates dues. But we are always looking for new ideas and volunteers.

Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO) is a state program that allows high-school students to take classes at state colleges, which is paid for by the state. But there are a few requirements before students can qualify for PSEO. Contact your local college to get the requirements for your student at that school.

Here is the St. Cloud Technical College website regarding PSEO. http://www.sctcc.edu/pseo

PSEO is usually only available for 11-12th grade students, there MN also has a new 10th grade program - but homeschoolers do not quality for it. Regarding the 10th grade program, Cheri Frame, our local expert in post-secondary college options said this;

PSEO for 10th is a program that is 2 years old … not available for non-public school students, which includes homeschool and private, or any student not currently enrolled in a school that receives state aid. This is because the program is revenue-neutral. In other words, it does not cost the state any more to educate a public school student at high school, or at community college.

However, should your student be publically enrolled, AND have passed the MCA reading test in 8th grade AND meet the college admission test requirements, then he/she can enroll in one college/career course the first semester of their 10th grade year. If they are successful, they can enroll in a 2nd course the second semester of their 10th grade year.

In 2012, new legislation (Minn. Stat. § 124D.09), was passed that allows eligible 10th-grade students to enroll initially in one Career and Technical Education (CTE) course through PSEO. If the student earns a “C” or higher grade in this first course, she/he is eligible to take additional CTE courses while in 10th grade. In order to be eligible, a 10th-grade student must have taken the 8th-grade MCA reading test in the 8th-grade, and have met the composite proficiency level of “meets or exceeds”.

If the student meets this standard, and if they meet specific CTE course eligibility requirements and pre-requisites set by the institution, they may be eligible to enroll in Career and Technical Education PSEO courses. This Grade 10 option is only open to Minnesota public school students. View the MNSCU policy and procedures for PSEO.

The reason we don't have community forms on the website is because most people already use our Facebook homeschool group. Also many homeschoolers use Yahoo groups for larger community discussions across the nation. You can join the HEY Facebook group by clicking on the Facebook icon on the top of the page.

Under the Members, click the Membership Card. You will have to enter your username and password. An individual Membership card for you will show up for you to print at your convenience.

All HEY members will SAVE $20 off the HSLDA membership yearly price when you enter our Discount Group code 210164 on the HSLDA membership form! If you are already a life-long member, please contact HSLDA too. All families are counted and help our group with incentives. They will add your name into the roster of active HEY families. We do get some perks and kickbacks if/when we enter in 10 families, 25 families, etc.. Thanks!

For more information about HSLDA's many benefits, visit http//www.hslda.org