The Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators exists to serve homeschooling families in Maryland.
It executes that mission through support for the legal right
to homeschool, support group networking, a state convention, local conferences and events, informative communications, and individual encouragement.
MACHE exists to…
the journey of every Maryland homeschool family,
them to experts,
them to learn without boundaries.
MACHE serves thousands of homeschooling families in Maryland, delivering a wealth of support, guidance, and information to both new and longtime home educators.
The “MACHE Experience” involves a banding together of homeschoolers to accomplish the task of developing academic and personal excellence by sharing resources, creating connections, enhancing relationships, and breaking down barriers. Acknowledging there is no one “right” way to educate, MACHE acts as an ambassador and champion, serving and protecting the rights of all homeschoolers.
The History of MACHE
Home education, or the education of a child by the parent in the home, has its roots in the founding of the United States. Many of our greatest leaders, scientists, theologians, and innovators were taught at home. As the availability and quality of public education in the 18th and 19th centuries increased, however, many families began to shift the responsibility of education to the community. The modern homeschooling movement in the US began in the late 1970s as educators like John Holt began to express dissatisfaction with the public education system.
In Maryland, people like Manfred Smith and Gary Cox began to organize and lobby for homeschool freedom. In early 1984, the Miller family, of Laurel, had charges brought against them for violating the state’s compulsory education law. The case was weak, and ultimately dismissed, however in the fall of 1984 the Maryland State Board of Education passed the first homeschool bylaw prohibiting home education without a teaching certificate – essentially making homeschooling illegal. Smith, Cox, and other pro homeschool activists coordinated their efforts and with the sponsorship of Del John Gary introduced HB 1443 which would have legalized homeschooling with no restrictions in early 1986. The bill passed the House, but was weighed down with very restrictive amendments in the Senate and was ultimately scuttled.
In the summer of 1986, homeschool leaders from across Maryland met with Charles Hornbeck, Superintendent of the State Board of Education, and over the next several months worked together to draft a new homeschool bylaw. As a result of an impressive willingness to listen to the needs of homeschoolers, MD COMAR 13A.10.01 was passed by the State BOE on July, 1 1987.
Two men called to the fight for homeschool freedom, Dave Smith and Jon Shilts, recognized the need for a State level organization that supported the needs of Christian homeschoolers. MACHE was born in 1989, and was later incorporated as a 501c3 with the mission of educating, encouraging, and supporting Maryland families to homeschool their children from a Christian perspective. Through a hugely successful annual curriculum fair, Homeschool Day at the Capitol, and countless hours of answering phone call and email questions, MACHE has met the practical needs of homeschoolers in Maryland for three decades. Through regular meetings and strong relationships with the State Board of Education and Legislators, MACHE has been actively engaged on behalf of homeschooling families in the fight to protect the freedoms so many take for granted. As we look to the future, MACHE is committed to continuing to serve and protect a growing and diversifying body of Maryland Home Educating families.