The Montana Coalition of Home Educators came together in 1988 as a cooperative effort of many individuals, organizations, and support groups in the state. The goal was to bring homeschoolers together to protect Montana's home school freedom while maintaining the independence and autonomy of the individual families and the existing local and state organizations. To accomplish this goal, a loose network of these groups, individuals and organizations was formed. An executive committee was selected to serve as a central clearinghouse for information, to set up and maintain a communication network, to watch for political and legal threats to Montana's freedom, and to inform homeschoolers and suggest possible actions to meet those threats.
MCHE was founded on the basic principles of responsibility and respect. Respect for the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children was the motivation for forming a network for defending that right. Parents were encouraged to exercise personal responsibility for their families by determining for themselves what method of home education would work best for them. Respect for diversity and differences of opinions was encouraged. All parents and groups who wanted to be a part of the Coalition were encouraged to exercise their personal responsibility in defending home education freedom through public relations with legislators and local community, and by being involved with lobbying, hearings, letter writing and other actions needed.