In the late 1980’s homeschooling was still rare, so resources and fellowship were scarce and coveted. From a small group of early homeschooling families, Christian Home Educators of West Virginia was birthed in 1990. One of the founding purposes was to minister to and with those who shared a strong Christian conviction, so leadership was vested in a Board of Directors consisting of married couples sharing a common set of beliefs set forth in the ministry’s Statement of Faith. Our membership was then, and continues to be, open to any who believe they will benefit from our ministry and services.
A large part of our purpose has been to serve homeschooling families and encourage them in their educational journey. CHEWV’s first statewide conference was held in 1991 with Gregg Harris, West Coast homeschooling father and homeschool leader, as keynote speaker. Subsequent statewide conferences featured nationally-known speakers such as David Barton of WallBuilders, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, and Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries. A sprinkling of regional events, such as Considering Homeschooling seminars, were offered through the years, before a greater emphasis on regional events was birthed in 2013 in order to better serve the entire state. Thus far we have offered multiple art classes and high school seminars in partnership with local support groups. The bi-monthly newsletter, The Homeschool Banner, was first published in 1991 to help connect families and keep us all informed. It was replaced in 2013 with the current monthly emailed newsletter, The CHEWV Update, more easily sent to a wider audience. Social media entered as an immediate way to share information and encouragement. But by far, the hub of the organization has become the CHEWV.org website, introduced by 1996. Expanded significantly in 2007, the website was completely revamped in 2015, preparing us for our next quarter century of ministry. Our prayer is that these resources will continue to be used of God to strengthen homeschooling families in their journey.
Through the years, our legislative watch has been the other essential component of what we do. Our founding verse, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it,” has come alive as God has faithfully blessed us in Charleston when there was little hope of success.And as new threats over the years have arisen, such as those to parental rights, CHEWV has become all the more convinced that foundational principles matter in the fight to defend freedoms. Inalienable rights and unchanging truths are endowed from our Creator, and CHEWV believes that educating our children is a God-given responsibility and Constitutional freedom. That is why our bottom line is defending that freedom, even if we have to sacrifice other opportunities. Freedom is the bedrock. And we have come to realize that those God-given freedoms are what undergird all homeschoolers, regardless of belief. Our foundation and worldview is undeniably Christian, but our service is universal.
Defending Freedom, Serving Families…Together
We have become an alliance of families defending our freedoms and serving one another together. We gratefully recognize that CHEWV is far more than a board of directors, and it embodies a mutual strength beyond even the hundreds of volunteers who make our services possible. These principles and services have been the fabric of twenty-five years of homeschooling community.
Today we can rejoice in hundreds of principled and gifted homeschool graduates, mere toddlers when their parents joined CHEWV, some of whom are now teaching and training a second modern-day generation of West Virginia homeschoolers. The Lord has richly blessed us.
To God be the glory, great things He has done!