November 1, 2019
Who is Kris Stoddard? We asked her some questions to get to know her better and find out where her vision for HAHA will take us.
Tell us about your family. I have been married to my husband Bruce for 29 years. In the early 2000's we began adopting kids from the foster care system. Within 3 years we had taken in six children, comprising three pairs of biological siblings. We use to say that God brought them to our ark 2 by 2. They ranged in age from 14 months to 10 years of age at the time and are currently now ages 17 to 27. The two oldest kids are on their own. The next three kids graduated from high school last June and are currently in a “gap year” to work and decide what direction they want to take in life. The youngest one is a junior in high school. She attends two educational co-ops where she takes all of her classes now.
How did you get into homeschooling? Our kids were in the public school system for several years. Because our kids came from hard places, they had special needs and encountered great struggles. We worked within the system until we could see that if they were going to reach any kind of potential, we had to make a change. As a teacher by profession, I was quite unaware of the world of homeschooling! Cyberschooling became our "jumping off" point, which then quickly led to the world of traditional homeschooling. This is where we settled in and it turned out to be a true means of rescue for our kids. By keeping them home, we were able to better meet their emotional needs, which meant we could then finally get about the business of actually learning something.
How long have you homeschooled? We have homeschooled for 12 years now. It has been a wonderfully challenging experience. I've probably learned much more than my kids have.
What role has HAHA played in your schooling? After pulling all 6 kids out of public school in the summer of 2007, we began to discover the homeschool community. It was awesome - like discovering a whole new world that I didn't know existed! I quickly joined HAHA and began to connect with other homeschooling families. I found HAHA's resources, activities, field trips, and parent meetings invaluable as a beginning homeschooler. It was a radically paradigm-shifting season for me, having come from bricks and mortar education. I loved every minute of it and felt like I had found my "community family".
How did you become HAHA President? In early May of this year, I learned that Jamey McClintock, the former president of HAHA, was resigning. I had been on the Board of Directors for 2- 3 years prior to that, so although I had stepped down and was out of touch with the current state of affairs, I still knew the board members. Eventually, the Board reached out and asked me to consider coming back in order to see HAHA through this transition in leadership. In addition to Jamey, 3 of the remaining 4 Board members were also resigning. When I finally sat down with the Board members, they asked me if I would chair the board. By the time this question was asked, I had already thought and prayed a lot about the direction I believed HAHA needed to move in and felt a definite conviction to help. I knew it was going to be a monumental task, but I really felt that I had been prepared for this challenge and grew excited about the opportunity.
What is your vision for HAHA? We definitely want to continue doing what HAHA has always done - provide educational enrichment through field trips and various activities, support through offering resources, and opportunities to connect with other homeschooling families. At the same time, I feel a growing conviction that the home school community at large must unify in order to fight for our right to maintain the freedom we enjoy to educate our own kids as we see fit. This means we need to come together and not be fragmented or in opposition to one another. We must begin looking at the bigger picture and not be ignorant or naive about the signs of the times. Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." I believe this to be true, so we will do something. In the coming months, we will begin to educate and mobilize our members to speak up and fight the rising tide of opposition. We are currently working on networking and partnering with multiple organizations to achieve this goal.
Additionally, I would like to see HAHA bring the homeschool community together by providing opportunities to raise the level of home educational excellence. I am an educator through and through. It’s one of my passions and I think that raising the bar in the home school community will only serve to strengthen our cause by showing the broader community that home education works, not just telling them. We have some future plans that I am very excited about and that I think will excite all of you, too. I envision sending our students out to the broader community as self-motivated learners, effective communicators, intelligent thinkers, and focused workers.
Last but not least, it is on my heart that so many homeschooling moms and dads have gifts and abilities that could be used to serve the community, thereby realizing their value in that community. We will seek to provide opportunities for our members to put their gifts and abilities to good use in order to strengthen and build up the home school community.
August 28, 2019
August 28, 2019
Dear HAHA Members,
I don’t know about you, but I had a fabulous time at Homeschoolibration! Thanks to about 250 of you for making it a great day. What a privilege it was to meet all of you. I loved watching moms enjoying time chatting with each other and seeing the happy, painted faces of children running around everywhere! Thank you to those who helped to make it a great day - our face painters, Colleen Harlan and her team, and our Italian ice scoopers too! Thanks especially to our HAHA leaders, Aimee, Jessica, and Theresa, who helped to make this event happen.
We gained some new members as a result of HOMESCHOOLIBRATION! Yay! As members of HAHA, I want to encourage you to familiarize yourselves with HAHA’s updated mission. Simply go to the website and before signing in, click on “About Us”. There you will see an updated vision, mission & some goals we will be working toward. We are very excited about the future of HAHA and all that we can accomplish together. We will need volunteers to do it all, so if you’d like to get involved, be sure you have filled out the volunteer section of your profile.
NOTE - 2018-19 Members - If you have not renewed your membership by Aug. 31 you will be “parked”. Sounds like a banishment! This means you will no longer have access to the benefits of membership...until you renew it again! So jump on that and git ‘er done!
Last but not least, know that I am praying that God blesses each of you and your families as you continue into another year of home educating your children. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to raising great kids.
Here for you,
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE UPDATES AND NEEDS!
Applications for membership are now being approved much more quickly.
Even though we typically take a break from HAHA sponsored field trips in the summer months, our field trip team kept the calendar filled with opportunities and activities for you and your kids all summer long!
There will soon be an updated listing of evaluators with details. It would be a great help to us for you to notfiy your evaluator to go on our website and complete the form under "I am...", "An evaluator". Please do not complete it for them!
There will soon be an updated, more complete listing of co-ops, hybrid schools, and other educational options for you to explore to best meet the needs of your kids. If you know of a co-op, hybrid school, or other alternative schools out there, ask an authorized leader to go on our website and complete the form under “I am…”, "A Co-op or Group Representative".
We will begin working soon on building a resource for those families dealing with struggling learners and special needs. (Need someone to help with this. Contact Theresa Fowler if interested.)
We are looking for a coordinator to begin a club program. It will be very easy to coordinate! Just like Park Days - a parent comes up with a club idea, a time, and a place to hold the club (their home, a park, etc.) Then it will be offered to our HAHA families. Clubs could include chess, lego, bugs, book, American Girl, fitness, special needs,cooking, ANYTHING! Parents can offer a club that their own children want and just invite others to join! (Email me if you are interested in coordinating this endeavor.)
As your representatives, Jessica and I will be attending a political event in September called “The Parents Know Best Rally” at the state capitol complex. We will begin making contacts and getting up to speed with what is going on in the political world regarding our rights as homeschooling parents. We’ll keep you posted.
July 13, 2019
Hello again HAHA Family,
I am writing to keep you apprised of our progress here at “HAHA headquarters”! We’ve been hard at work structuring leadership in order to effectively carry out our mission, which I hope you’ve had a chance to read. We now have almost all board positions filled and are waiting on the last one to respond.
Beyond that, we have also added a volunteer section to your profile questions which you should have filled out if you have visited the website recently and signed in. That information will greatly help us recruit help for different programs and activities in the future. I am well aware that there are so many of you who have gifts and abilities that would be an asset to our organization. We just have to find you, so go sign in to the member side of the website soon where you will automatically be prompted to fill out the volunteer section of your profile.
Another new development we are excited about is a brand new logo for HAHA. We are currently in the process of deciding the final design. You will begin seeing the new logo on our website and correspondence very soon!
Lastly, the HAHA leaders and I want to invite you to a special park day in August. Please see the Save the Date postcard below. Be on the lookout for more details very soon!
June 28, 2019
Hello HAHA Members,
I know many of you have been wondering just what is going on with HAHA! And I’ve been anxious to report something to you for several weeks now. I am finally able to do that. I was recently nominated and elected to the position of president of Harrisburg Area Homeschoolers Association by the former Board of Directors. I have accepted that position and I, along with an emerging team of amazing women, each one a fellow or former homeschooling mom, are hard at work, getting things set up so that we can fill the huge shoes that Jamey McClintock and others filled for many years. As you can imagine, this is not easily or quickly accomplished, however, things are beginning to move along nicely. In that effort we are currently working to fill leadership positions and those leaders are building teams to assist them in their respective areas of operation.
We are excited about the future of HAHA and the ways we will be able to serve you. Some of those ways will be the same resources and activities you have come to depend upon and appreciate. Others will be new. I want to encourage you to visit the HAHA website over the next couple of weeks to read HAHA’s mission, check out the calendar for new field trips and yes, even renew your membership or become a new member for the first time. (We will alert members when registration for membership opens.) There will also soon be information regarding a forthcoming activity in August specifically designed for current members and those interested in membership to come and meet the new leadership team as well as hear about the mission and vision for HAHA’s future.
In the meantime, we ask for your continued patience as we rebuild and get HAHA back up to speed and smoothly clicking along. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks & God bless your summer!