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Five Reasons for HSLDA

March 3–7, 2014   |   Vol. 118, Programs 61–65

Are you considering joining HSLDA, but are uncertain as to what assistance your family will receive and the benefits involved? This week, Mike Smith explains just how HSLDA protects your right to homeschool and provides an abundance of guidance and resources to assist in your homeschooling journey.

“Behind HSLDA is a strongly rooted desire to serve the homeschooling community in whatever way we can.”—Mike Smith

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Maybe you’ve heard of the Home School Legal Defense Association, but you aren’t entirely sure just how they help your ability to homeschool? Well, be sure to listen in to this week’s edition of Home School Heartbeat, with your host and president of HSLDA, Mike Smith.

Mike Smith: Out of the many reasons to join Home School Legal Defense Association, I’d like to focus today on the protection you have by being an HSLDA member. HSLDA is dedicated to protecting homeschool freedom, nationally and in every state. Our team of attorneys consists entirely of homeschooling parents, and many of them are also homeschool graduates. It’s just one of the big reasons we value homeschooling so much—we personally have seen the success of homeschooling, and it’s why we are on standby 24/7 to help protect your family’s ability to homeschool.

Each year we give thousands of homeschooling families legal advice or representation, and we’ve gone to court for a wide range of issues dealing with both homeschooling and parental rights. HSLDA also lobbies on behalf of homeschooling. Whether on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., or in state legislatures, or even in the media, we make sure everybody knows the truth about homeschooling and its benefits.

We keep you up to date on the latest issues, such as the recent Common Core debate, to keep you informed about issues that might affect homeschooling freedom. You can read about all this and more in our member’s quarterly magazine, The Home School Court Report.

And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Mike Smith: Homeschoolers sometimes face discrimination, and Home School Legal Defense Association is on a mission to prevent discrimination against homeschoolers as much as is possible! We regularly deal with cases where homeschoolers are discriminated against while applying to scholarships, colleges, jobs, or the military. We’ve also tackled cases for homeschoolers trying to get their driver’s licenses, veteran’s affairs, and social security benefits. Because our attorneys are so familiar with the state laws about homeschooling, oftentimes all it takes to solve these problems is a simple explanatory phone call or letter on behalf of our member to the offending party.

It worked for homeschoolers in Louisiana, who were banned from entering an art festival, but the art festival officials quickly reversed their decision after we contacted them.

If a call or letter isn’t enough, we often go to court—just like we have been on behalf of homeschoolers for over 30 years.

All of this is just another reason why you should join HSLDA: we prevent and eliminate discrimination that might come against you for homeschooling.

And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Mike Smith: We here at Home School Legal Defense Association are more than just lawyers successfully fighting for homeschool and parental rights across the country. Behind HSLDA is a strongly rooted desire to serve the homeschooling community in whatever way we can. Because of that, a sizable part of HSLDA works to equip your family to homeschool according to your needs. Our staff includes a number of consultants who can help guide you through homeschooling students of all ages, from toddlers to high schoolers.

We also have staff specifically for struggling learners and children with special needs. These consultants are ready to help our members, free of charge, with whatever questions they may have. And if you just need a listening ear, well, our consultants are happy to oblige! Check out our Struggling Learners, Toddlers to Tweens, and High School pages at hslda.org for more information.

Through our PerX program, we provide our members with discounts on travel, educational materials, marriage conferences, and we also have an online bookstore overflowing with homeschooling resources that we know will serve you.

Visit our website at hslda.org, for more information.

And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Mike Smith: Not only is homeschooling a huge responsibility for the parent, but sometimes it can be a financial burden for families who are facing hardship. Home School Legal Defense Association has a branch dedicated to help those in need. It’s called the Home School Foundation. We’ve been helping families since 1999. The Foundation’s mission is simple: “to bless homeschoolers and the cause of homeschooling.”

Thanks to the generous private donations, we’ve been able to aid a wide array of homeschoolers in the midst of hard times: widows, disaster victims, families in distress over job loss, single-parent households, struggling military families, families with special needs, and more. We have 10 different funds, which include funds for curriculum relief and widows. If you’re a homeschooler in hardship, go to homeschoolfoundation.org to apply for a grant.

And if you have a heart to give to homeschoolers who need financial help, please let us know. Your donations are tax-deductible and will help homeschoolers homeschool through hard times. To learn more about the Home School Foundation, just visit homeschoolfoundation.org.

And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Mike Smith: At Home School Legal Defense Association, we aren’t content to keep things the way they are if they can be improved. Not only do we go to bat for homeschooling freedom in the legal and public arenas, but we’re always trying to find new resources to serve our members better. In the past year alone, we’ve incorporated a new transcript tool that we’re really excited about. It saves our members with high schoolers some time and stress so they can look forward to graduation without having to worry about any high school transcript headaches.

We’ve also added an automatic renew membership option, and have revamped our application to be compatible with mobile devices. We’ve also added a whole new section to our website about the Common Core. If you have any questions about the Common Core and what its effects on homeschooling are, come check out our website at hslda.org/commoncore! We also offer online high school AP courses in U.S. government, economics, literature, calculus, and more through our Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy. And now, if your friends sign up for courses based on your recommendations, you can earn rewards! Go to phcprep.org to learn more!

And of course, we’re always adding new publications and products to our bookstore. We’ve got everything from t-shirts for kids of all ages to graduation supplies to curriculum.

And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Mike Smith

Michael Smith and his wife Elizabeth, along with Michael Farris and his wife, Vicki, incorporated Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and were the original board members. Mike grew up in Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas where he played basketball, majoring in business administration. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served three years before attending law school at the University of San Diego.

In 1972, he was admitted to the bar in California and also has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. He is licensed in Virginia, California, and Washington, D.C.

Mike and his family began homeschooling because their 5-year-old flunked kindergarten. This was quite a disappointment to Mike in light of the fact that he was preparing this child to be president of the United States by starting his education as early as possible.

His family’s life changed drastically when he heard a radio program in 1981 which introduced him to the idea of homeschooling. When they started homeschooling, they began homeschooling one year at a time to meet the academic and social needs of their children. After spending lots of time around people like Mike Farris, he became convinced that he had been called to use his gifts and talents in the legal profession to assist homeschoolers who were being prosecuted because they didn’t hold a teacher’s certificate or satisfy the school district that they could competently teach their children.

Mike came to HSLDA full-time in 1987 and has served as president of the organization since the year 2001. In addition to serving as president, he also is a contact lawyer for California, Nevada and Puerto Rico. All of Mike’s children are now grown, and three of the four were homeschooled. The most enjoyable part of Mike’s job is when he is able to go to homeschool conferences and meet what he calls America’s greatest heroes, homeschooling moms.

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Call: 866.338.8614
Email: heartbeat@hslda.org

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