In the early 1980s, parents in Alabama were being jailed for homeschooling their children, or were moving to other states where homeschooling was legal. This battle was going on across the nation. Around that time, the Alabama legislature passed a church school exemption statute which gave church schools some freedoms within the compulsory attendance educational laws. Homeschoolers realized that forming a church school for homeschooling parents was a viable legal alternative, and church schools were formed across the state for the purpose of providing legal “cover” for homeschooling, thus giving rise to the term “cover schools.” A certified teacher could use the private tutor law to teach his/her own children. For a number of years, those were the only two legal options for homeschooling parents. No specific homeschool law has ever been passed by the Alabama legislature.
Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama was founded in 1988 by a group of volunteers who banded together to support the fledgling home education movement in Alabama. CHEF of Alabama provided education for homeschoolers through its annual conventions and curriculum fairs. Volunteers watched bills coming before the legislature in Montgomery to alert homeschoolers if any new legal challenge arose. Board members from across the state encouraged local families and new church schools.
Times have indeed changed in 30 years! In 2014 the legislature passed a law that allows homeschooling parents to use the private school law. Now Alabama homeschoolers have three options in order to legally homeschool in the state: the church school law, the private school law, or the private tutor law. Successful church schools, support groups, and co-ops provide an abundance of services for homeschoolers. Websites, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, podcasts, etc. have changed the way we teach, shop, keep records, even parent.
So we’re changing too! CHEF of Alabama no longer sponsors a state convention. We seek to partner with regional groups in their efforts to encourage homeschooling. Let us know what you’re planning. If you need speakers or sponsors, contact us.
We welcome your participation with CHEF of Alabama! We maintain an office, phone and website so new homeschoolers or folks who move to Alabama from other states have a place to find out about Alabama state law and local support groups. We continue to watch for legal challenges to homeschooling, and will keep the homeschooling community informed as we hear of things. We need your help to keep us informed about things you are hearing in your community, or get the word out. Communication is a two-way street, isn’t it? So stay in touch. Make sure your church school is on our website and all the contact information is updated. Be on the CHEF Facebook page, join the Facebook group, and make sure we are members of your Facebook group too.
Join with us as we work together to impact lives for eternity.
"For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine." Romans 1:11-12
The Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama was formed in 1988 with the mission to encourage home educators by providing information and resources and to promote a safe legal environment for home schooling in Alabama.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." Thessalonians 5:11
Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama (CHEFofAL) Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to serve and inform the homeschool community and promote home education in Alabama. Its work is supported by tax-deductible contributions of individuals and families.
CHEF is governed by a self-perpetuating volunteer board of veteran home educators from across Alabama. Each family unit on the board has been active in local leadership for a number of years and brings to the board a wealth of experience in Christian home education.