What does CHEA stand for?
CHEA stands for Christian Home Educators Association of California. CHEA celebrated its 35th anniversary in August of 2017.
What are the benefits of individual membership?
- Support an organization that protects your freedom to homeschool in California
- Free MP3 downloads with new Membership (3) and renewal (1)
- Transcript Creator service (log in to view dashboard)
- Member Discounts service (log in to view dashboard)
- Discount on Conventions and events
- A Members-only Facebook page
- 10% discount on CHEA publications
- $20 discount on HSLDA annual membership
- Discount on events (SCOPE/CHEA Conference, Annual Convention, Special Needs Conference)
- Discount on Annual Leadership Conference
- Early access to the Exhibit Hall at Conventions
- Possible eligibility of member’s student for the $1,000/year senior scholarship.
How much does CHEA Membership cost?
Basic Membership is just $35/year for new Members and renewals. Silver ($250/year), Gold ($500/year), and Platinum ($1000/year) Memberships offer free Convention attendance and other benefits you can view here.
What resources does CHEA offer?
Our website offers an article library, legislative updates, news, step-by-step instructions for filing the Private School Affidavit which we update each October, event details, scholarship and opportunities. We offer archives of our free, digital magazine, The California Parent Educator here, and an e-mail subscription to the CHEA Connection. CHEA also maintains a Homeschool Directory, a group of homeschool support groups, private school satellite programs and resource-providers around the state. We have an Educational Consultant available five days per week by phone.
Is there a phone number I can call to ask questions?
Yes! You can call the CHEA office Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 562-864-2432 for brief how-to questions. Also, we have a free service, our Home Education Phone Consultant, available by phone four evenings a week, plus Saturdays. Call Portia Fiedler at 562-544-7875, Monday through Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 1 to 3 p.m. She is a long-time homeschool veteran mom and can answer your questions in greater detail than the office staff.
How many employees does CHEA have?
CHEA has a several part-time staff and a few contract staff workers. This is down from seven full-time staff members in recent years. See staff bios here. The staff works at considerably lower wages than they would receive in the private sector and have limited benefits.
Does CHEA have a Board of Directors?
Yes, CHEA has volunteer board members. They meet several times each year.
Where is the office located?
As of November 2017 all staff will work part-time from home offices to save on office space rental.
Is CHEA a non-profit organization?
Yes, CHEA is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible.
What does CHEA do the rest of the year when not hosting a Convention?
Convention hosting is a long-term project, consuming staff time for 1 1/2 to 2 years. But we do work on many other tasks at the same time throughout the year. We maintain Membership databases and process Member requests, produce a weekly blog, a weekly Connection e-mail, maintain several Facebook pages, have a Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram page, send out e-news for legislative alerts, homeschool news, and Convention news, interact with the media when consulted, offer smaller events like homeschool leadership gatherings, Special Needs Solutions conferences, partner with SCOPE in Sacramento for its conference, interact regularly with Home School Legal Defense Association and Family Protection Ministries, produce a Support Network newsletter for Member groups, update our print and web resources to stay current with the law (such as vaccination and private school satellite/PSP changes), publish how-to and resource books, seek out new resources--both books to publish or distribute and post online, maintain a library of workshop audios, and much more. See Why is CHEA Critical to California Homeschoolers?
What does CHEA do with the Convention revenue?
All money generated at the Convention goes to pay for the event expenses only. CHEA relies on Memberships, donations, advertising, and product sales to operate CHEA. We work year-round in California on behalf of the homeschooling community.
Why doesn't CHEA follow Great Homeschool Conventions' business model?
Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC) is a for-profit business based in Ohio and runs several conventions in different states, which allows them to take advantage of economy of scale (signing speakers and exhibitors for multiple conventions). GHC is a for-profit business that takes all revenue out of California and offers no support directly to California homeschoolers or CHEA throughout the year.
Why does GHC seem to have better speakers than CHEA?
GHC selects speakers and exhibitors from the same small pool as CHEA, and most of their speakers have spoken at CHEA at one time or another. Some GHC speakers are required to sign multi-year contracts with exclusivity clauses, disallowing them to speak for CHEA.
Why is there no longer a Bay Area Convention?
CHEA operated a Bay Area Convention for 26 years. The attendance declined so much over the years that the event was operating at a loss every year. CHEA could not continue following this business model, so discontinued the event when another suitable, lower-cost venue could not be secured. We now partner with SCOPE in Sacramento to put on an annual event there.
What is the new Annual Convention pricing?
Running a Convention in California is an expensive endeavor. The size of CHEA’s past events has necessitated larger facilities than churches could offer. CHEA's Board of Directors approved a new price structure for the Convention which includes a family price. Parents still have the option of paying for the Children's Convention and/or the Teen Convention, but can also opt to keep their children with them. Our costs are now comparable to GHC's. See our article, How Much Does It Cost to Host a Convention?
Will there be a 2018 Annual Convention?
Yes! The 35th Annual Homeschool Convention will be held June 28-30, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center.
What are options for children in the Convention?
Children from age 1 to 3 are always welcome to stay with their parents. Children 4-11 may attend the Children's Convention for an extra fee. Children 12-18 may attend the Teen Conference for a fee. We also now offer the option of having children with you for the entire Convention, included in the family price. In early Conventions, people complained that children were being noisy and disruptive and/or taking seats so adults could not attend the sessions when the room was full. In response, CHEA added the Children’s Convention to give parents the option of having the children onsite.
What does CHEA do for homeschoolers behind the legal/legislative scenes?
CHEA works closely with HSLDA and Family Protection Ministries (based in Sacramento) to publicize threats to our homeschool freedoms. We post these on Facebook, include them in our publications, and send out e-news alerts to the mailing list we maintain. This helps mobilize support or opposition, whichever the case may be, to current legislation that affects homeschoolers or parental freedom. CHEA has assisted HSLDA in many cases such as the 2008 In Rachel L. case where a California judge declared homeschooling illegal.
How can we (the average homeschooler) help?
CHEA can only survive with help from homeschoolers like you. First and foremost, you can pray for the general success of CHEA as well as prayer for guidance for the Board of Directors and others involved. You can also help by giving. You can help by volunteering in the office, at the events, or in other capacities, You can help by attending our events, and buying our resources, and by spreading the word about CHEA.