Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators
"Promoting and safeguarding home education to the glory of God"



Thank you for visiting our website.  The Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators (MassHOPE) is a statewide organization dedicated to

Promoting and safeguarding home education to the glory of God

We offer information and support to homeschoolers from a Christian perspective.  Browse our website and feel free to e-mail any questions to:

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Cape Cod, Massachusetts

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3(KJV)

November 18, 1883

Time zones introduced in the continental U.S.

U.S. Time Zones

Before the introduction of time zones, there was no standard system of timekeeping. Each town or village might set its own clock to what seemed a reasonable time related to the movement of the sun. This was adequate for local residents who only dealt with matters in that particular area. Most people would not travel far enough in their usual routines to need anything but the local village time.

For thousands of years modes of travel did not change except in terms of improving existing technology. The “technology” consisted of human power, animal power, or sails to catch the wind. One could walk, ride an animal or wagon pulled by animals, or ride in a ship with oars or sails. With the coming of the railroad, long distance travel could be accomplished at vastly greater speed. Travelers could go from New York to Chicago in twenty four hours instead of weeks. This also had enormous implications for military use. With large areas now made so much “closer” but having huge variations in solar based time, confusion reigned as each railroad station might operate on a different time. Coordinating military movements in a large scale event such as the American Civil War was a major challenge. The particulars of some Civil War battles are sometimes difficult for historians to nail down because of the various times reported in the journals of participants.

A standard time was first adopted by railroads in Great Britain. Railroad managers in America tried to address the problem of coordinating time by establishing 100 railroad time zones but this was clearly inefficient. A plan offering uniform schedules of arrivals and departures was needed. On November 18, 1883, four standard time zones were introduced for the continental United States. This was the “Day of Two Noons” as each railroad station reset its clock when standard-time noon was reached in each time zone. Most cities quickly followed suit but some areas did not align with the new time until Congress adopted the Standard Time Act of 1918. Read more here.


  • Before time zones, railroad stations could have clocks showing a different time for each railroad.
  • Some cities took decades to adopt standard time. Detroit remained on local time until 1920 and then tried Central Time and Eastern Time before an ordinance settling on Eastern Standard Time was ratified by popular vote in 1916.
  • In 1884 the International Meridian Conference in Washington DC established the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as the world’s time standard. The 24 hour time zone system grew from this with all zones referring back to GMT as the prime meridian.
  • The 1884 conference also established the International Date Line. If you pass it heading east, you go back a day; heading west you go ahead a day. Its complications are too many to describe here. Read more here.
  • China and India, huge as they are, each have only one official time zone.
  • Several locations around the world operate on a half hour deviation from standard time. For example, when it is noon in Boston, it is 1:30 pm in Newfoundland and 10:30 pm in India.
  • The earth’s crust moves slightly so the prime meridian’s exact location also moves slightly. The prime meridian’s original reference remains the Airy Transit Circle in the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England even if the meridian’s exact location moves to either side.

MassHOPE Future Events

Home School Convention:

2017: April 27-29

Planning is underway for another great convention. Details will be posted to the convention page as they become available.

2016: April 28-30

Another convention is history. If you weren't there you missed great speakers like Heidi St.John, a fun and exciting Children's Program, a challenging Teen Track, and loads of helpful vendors. Recordings can be ordered here. Mark your calendars for next year. You won't want to miss it.

High School Graduation:

Formal Graduation Ceremony (cap & gown)

2017: June 10, 2017

Stay tuned for further details about our next formal graduation ceremony.

2016: June 4, 2016

Our formal graduation ceremony took place at Holden Chapel in Holden, Massachusetts at 2:00 PM on June 4, 2016. We had our largest group of homeschool graduates thus far participating - 57. What an encouragement it was to those still running the race. What a testimony it was to God's faithfulness to see another fine group move on to the next stage of their lives. Please visit our graduation page for details of next year's event as they become available.

Used Curriculum Sale:

2017: Date TBA

Stay tuned for further details about our next formal graduation ceremony.

2016: June 18, 2016

Our annual Used Curriculum Sale was held on June 18 at Chapel of the Cross in Westboro, conveniently located near the Massachusetts Turnpike and routes 9 and 495. The sale is one of the highlights of our year, full of bargains and eager shoppers, as hundreds of homeschoolers seek out bargains to supply their needs for another year. Every year thousand of items, including loads of free ones, find new homes. Full details on the 2016 sale can be found here. The sale date for 2017 is to be determined.


Victory in Norway!

Not so long ago homeschoolers were threatend with imprisonment here in the USA. While things have changed here our fellow homeschoolers in other countries still face dire consequences for following their conscience in regard to the training of their children. There is good news out of Norway for supporters of religious freedom and parental rights: Marius and Ruth Bodnariu will soon be reunited with all their children. Read more

Parental Rights:

This is an issue of great importance to homeschoolers everywhere.  Parental rights are increasingly threatened as more members of our judiciary begin to take cues from international law and custom.  These are decidedly unfriendly to homeschooling. For more information and to join the battle to preserve parental rights, please visit


Coming Events

April 27 - 29, 2017
Annual Convention

June 10, 2017
Formal Graduation

2017 TBA
Used Curriculum Sale

Important Links

Neighboring State Christian Homeschool Organizations

CT   ME   NH   NY


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