What was it like to homeschool in the ’80s and early ’90s, when homeschooling wasn’t even legal in some states? This week on Home School Heartbeat, Mike Smith and Christopher Klicka share the stories of the courageous families who followed their convictions to teach their children at home.
Chris Klicka, a fellow attorney at Home School Legal Defense Association, is joining me today to talk about how God has guided and protected the homeschool movement over the last 25 years. It’s good to have you with us, Chris.
In the early days of homeschooling, some states had very restrictive laws—such as North Dakota. Tell us about homeschooling in that state, Chris.
Yes, in North Dakota, in order to homeschool, a family had to have a licensed, certified teacher. Most parents weren’t certified teachers, so when they were discovered by the local school districts, they were taken to court. We spent many hours defending families in the courts throughout the years, and we would lose the trial and then we’d appeal to the supreme court and we’d lose it there. Finally, Clinton Birst, the former homeschool leader in North Dakota, overheard the chief justice talking to the head majority leader of the legislature and said, “When are you going to change the law? We’re getting tired of handling these homeschool cases.” And that was the year we were finally able to change the law.
Chris, that’s an amazing story. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.