The Home School Court Report
No. 1

In This Issue


The Last Word
Thoughts From Mike Smith
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Following Joshua’s example

Did you find the outcome of the 2006 elections discouraging? It can be easy to lose hope when it looks like many of our hard-earned freedoms might be in jeopardy. However, I would like to encourage you to look at what God is doing in the hearts of young people and their parents through Home School Legal Defense Association’s Generation Joshua program. We can look forward to the future because of the next generation of leaders that God is raising up.

Many of you are aware that HSLDA founded the Generation Joshua (GenJ) program in 2003 to assist parents in developing leadership principles in their children. The program has two prongs.

First, GenJ educates students in the founding principles of our nation, including what the Founding Fathers believed and how their beliefs impacted the U.S. Constitution.

The second prong involves political action. We provide opportunities for young people to work on political campaigns for candidates who stand for the same values we believe in, especially in the areas of homeschooling freedom, parental rights, and morality.

GenJ Student Action Teams assist candidates across the country in getting the vote out during the last week of their campaigns. The program has already exhibited great success. In the 2004 congressional election, both Congressman Geoff Davis (KY-4) and Senator Tom Coburn (OK) attributed their success to GenJ Student Action Teams.

In 2006, the results were mixed. GenJ-endorsed candidates, however, still prevailed in half of the close races, and without the presence of Generation Joshua, the results for pro-family and pro-homeschooling candidates could have been much worse. For example, Marilyn Musgrave (CO-4), a homeschool mom and the representative who introduced the Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act in Congress, won by just 3% (7,000 votes), and Peter Roskam (IL-6) won by 2% (5,000 votes). These races could have been lost had a GenJ Student Action Team not been present to help get people to the polls.

J. Michael Smith
J. Michael Smith, President of Home School Legal Defense Association.

Generation Joshua is ably led by Ned Ryun, son of Congressman Jim Ryun (KS-2). Ned’s background, training, and experience make him uniquely qualified for this position. He has a passion for teaching young people the principles of civics and equipping them for future leadership.

The name and vision of Generation Joshua were inspired by Joshua in the Old Testament. The idea was that this present generation of parents is the “Moses generation.” You had a vision from God to lead your children and your family out of the bondage of secular education into home education. However, you recognize that home education is not the end goal. You are preparing your children to positively impact our nation for God—just like Joshua did for his nation.

Taking a look at the life of Joshua will help us see what made him so successful. Joshua overcame impossible odds to take the Promised Land, defeating the giants of the land with God&rqsuo;s help. He is an appropriate role model for our young people. It occurred to me as I studied the life of Joshua that the principles he followed are ones that we as parents should be exhibiting in our lives as an example to our children.

The most important principle of Joshua’s life was that he was a man of the “Book of the Law” (the Bible). In Joshua 1:7-9, God gives Joshua a foundation for leadership that is essential for every leader who desires to glorify God in his or her life—especially parents. God tells Joshua that he is to know the Book of the Law and to observe it. God explains that Joshua will be able to know the Law and obey it if he will meditate on it day and night. Then God promises that Joshua will have good success, because God will be with him wherever he goes.

God’s foundation and preparation for leadership is spiritual maturity, which leads to godly character. God makes it very clear to Joshua that there is no shortcut to knowing and obeying God’s Word. We simply must read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word regularly in order to be successful in whatever we do.

We all know this, but we have to admit that this is a very hard thing to do. It should be a priority, but it is hard to carry out because of our busy schedules. However, as Christian homeschoolers we have a tremendous opportunity to make the study of the Bible a part of our everyday school activities.

We all want our children to be successful—to be able to stand against the world’s temptation and expand the Kingdom of God. According to God’s Word, this will happen if we know His Word and live it out in our daily lives.

I want to assure you that we at HSLDA are committed to living out the Word of God on a daily basis. We count it a privilege to work with you and your children, through Generation Joshua, to prepare the next generation for godly leadership. I would strongly urge you to consider enrolling your children in GenJ.

To get an idea of how successful Joshua was, at the close of the Book of Joshua we read that because of him, Israel served the Lord during Joshua’s own life and in the next generation as well. Let’s follow Joshua’s example so our children and our children’s children will know how to serve the Lord.