History of Hartsville Home Educators
HHE was established as a homeschool support group in 1994 by two homeschooling mothers, with four families joining the first year. Since then, HHE has grown to over 50 families strong with over 100 children participating within the group.
Originally "Mom's Night Out" (MNO) meetings were held monthly and have provided encouragement and support to our homeschooling mothers. From sharing information and resources, planning, decision-making (by majority vote), brainstorming problems, to just having an evening of fun and fellowship, the "Mom's Night Out" continues to be one of our favorite activities.
Originally, at the beginning of each school year, moms would sign up to host the monthly MNO meetings or coordinate field trip and play days for the children. From this simple beginning, our MNO's have evolved from an informal time of business/discussion to a more formal approach with a monthly topic of discussion or entertaining a special speaker. Since the first MNO, these meetings have forged strong bonds among the mothers.
Co-founder of HHE, Faith Markle, has this to say about our MNO meetings:
"We laughed and talked together, and sometimes cried, and prayed for each other."
Currently, our co-op has become an avenue not only for academics but also for fun, fellowship and encouragement. MNO meetings continue to be held from time to time.
Before the age of "email" we had a "phone buddy" system in place for the purpose of dispensing information among members. Since 1997 an "email loop" has been used to keep in touch with each member.
As HHE grew the need to become a structured organization became evident. In 2009 HHE voted to become a non-profit corporation of South Carolina and elected its first Executive Board consisting of a President, Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Co-op Director, and two At-Large Members.
A set of by-Laws and a Statement of Faith were drafted and submitted to the entire membership to review and vote on. The members of HHE unanimously voted to accept the By-Laws, Statement of Faith, and move forward with our non-profit status. HHE has entered a new era, yet continues to embody the spirit of the first families that worked to create it.
Co-founder Faith Markle, having witnessed the birth and growth of HHE, commented about the changes she has seen through the years:
"Times and people come and go. Big and little changes have transformed the outward appearance of Hartsville Home Educators. YMCA classes have replaced Recreation in members' back yards, computers outdated the phone chains, and our organizational tool became a Leadership Team, which now has established a Board of Directors. But the hearts of united homeschoolers, sharing a dream for God and their children, have remained the same. May I encourage each of you to do your part in carrying on this good work and noble task with your friends' and God's help."
"He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for
their children it will be a refuge"