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Michael Donnelly

Staff Attorney, Director of Global Outreach

Mike is an attorney, writer, adjunct professor of government, and frequent media spokesperson on homeschooling, freedom, and parental rights.

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Why You Want Mike for Your Event

  • At HSLDA, Mike helps member families with legal issues and advocates for homeschooling freedom internationally.
  • Mike’s work on international freedom has appeared in such publications as the International Journal for Religious Freedom and the International Journal of School Choice and Reform.
  • Mike is a licensed attorney in Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.
  • He helped organize the Global Home Education Conference 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Mike teaches constitutional law at Patrick Henry College and is a U.S. Army veteran.
  • He and his wife homeschool their seven children.
TRAVELS FROMWashington, D.C.
HONORARIUMMike is willing to negotiate an honorarium.
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Sessions by Michael Donnelly

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but forces still work to capture our children’s minds, bodies, and souls. These forces seek to erode our current freedoms—and our will to preserve them. What can we do to ensure that the freedom we have to homeschool is secured for posterity? Come hear Mike, a homeschooling father of seven, answer that question. BOOK THIS SESSION
45 minutes
Are you curious about home education but not sure if you’re ready to make the commitment? Do you have a friend or family member who says you’re crazy if you homeschool? Join Mike to see why homeschooling may be the right choice for you. In this talk, Mike helps you understand the basics of homeschooling, shows how homeschooled students often outshine their public school peers, and sheds light on the myths surrounding homeschooling. BOOK THIS SESSION
45 minutes
In most homeschooling families, Mom carries the biggest burden. How can Dad share the load when he is gone all day earning a living? How can we fathers influence our families as God calls us to do? In this talk, Mike discusses Kingdom priorities in homeschooling as well as practical ideas to balance the increasing demands on your time and resources. BOOK THIS SESSION
45 minutes
If you understand your rights, the law, and how to manage the interaction with government workers, there is no need to fear. They have a job to do—and so do you! Come Mike discuss the most frequent issues homeschoolers face when dealing with school superintendents, principals, and social workers. In this practical talk, Mike discusses how to homeschool legally in your state and how to handle encounters with civic authorities. BOOK THIS SESSION
45 minutes
Homeschooled students may be better prepared for college than many other college-bound teens, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. But what alternatives do our bright, well-educated, well-socialized homeschooled students have? In this talk, Mike offers practical tips and insightful advice on finding resources and apprenticeships to help guide teens towards their callings. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–55 minutes
Today’s father spends his precious few waking hours going in countless directions to address seemingly great needs—not least of which is his family. Our children have only one earthly father and our wives but one husband. How can we best invest our most precious resource: time? Where should we be investing it for eternal value? How can we properly lead our families and serve God in an increasingly demanding and busy world of sports, music, drama, church, school, support groups, and extended family responsibilities? How can we know when to say yes—and more important, when to say no? Must we choose between competing priorities to be effective stewards? Come hear thoughts on answering these questions from Mike as he shares insights gained from his experiences as a father of seven and as an army officer, entrepreneur, company executive, and attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association. BOOK THIS SESSION
50 minutes
Even when Mom and Dad are pulling together with a common vision, homeschooling can be challenging. How is it possible for single parents to manage these demands of providing for, protecting, and educating their children? Mike, who was raised in a single-parent home, shares his research and thoughts on how hundreds of single moms and dads can keep homeschool successfully on their own. BOOK THIS SESSION
50 minutes
In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court said that children are not mere creatures of the state. The 1945 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that parents have the “prior right” to decide what kind of education their children will have. So is homeschooling a “human right” of the first order? In this talk, Mike explores this question and shares a presentation he delivered at the world’s largest human rights conference on the philosophy of law and social philosophy. Mike also examines philosophies on the relationship between the family and the state and looks at how human rights doctrine is applied globally towards homeschooling. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
In 1775, Patrick Henry famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” You know that the founders of our country were mostly Christian men who understood that liberty meant Christian liberty. But how much was their faith a part of our founding? John Hancock and John Adams’ battle cry was one of “No King but King Jesus.” While secular historians want to minimize the impact of the founders’ faith, the truth is that 93 percent of the founders were members of Christian churches. An accurate knowledge of our history is critical if we are to ever recover our nation’s heritage. Listen as Mike unearths the truth about, and the importance of, the faith of our founders. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
Increasing numbers of intellectual elites are calling for dramatic regulation and even eradication of private and home education. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized parents’ rights to direct the education and upbringing of their children, American homeschoolers need to prepare to confront growing resistance to freedom in education—especially homeschooling. Come hear Mike examine this growing threat and discuss how American homeschoolers must face it. BOOK THIS SESSION
50 minutes
Serving in the United States military is generally considered patriotic and an honorable profession. But how can societal changes reflected in the military impact a parent’s view of military service today? What is involved in serving in the military, and how should parents mentor their children considering military service? Mike served as a platoon leader in combat during Desert Storm with the U.S. Army’s Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. In this talk, he discusses practical and philosophical issues about serving in today’s military. Come with questions and be prepared to be challenged in your thinking. BOOK THIS SESSION
50 minutes
Homeschooling is growing globally, but homeschooling parents overseas face the mounting pressure and challenges similar to those American homeschoolers experienced 30 years ago: social services investigations, fines, and criminal prosecution. In a world where ideas travel at the speed of light, should American homeschoolers be concerned about the plight of homeschoolers in other countries? Should we help? How can we help? Mike has traveled the world supporting homeschooling freedom, and in this talk, he shares why American homeschoolers should care what happens “over there”—and how we can help. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
When someone asked Mother Theresa what society could do to promote world peace, she responded: “Go home and love your family!” You know homeschooling is putting love in action, but does homeschooling actually promote world peace? Well, parents who homeschool their children produce outstanding citizens, leaders, and future parents. Isn’t this the essence of laying a foundation for world peace? In this talk, Mike shares why loving your family through homeschooling really does promote world peace—and more importantly, how it allows parents to fulfill their most fundamental and sacred duty. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
Grades and graduation may be part of school, but should they be part of your homeschool? Are we limiting ourselves by thinking in these terms? Should we care about grades in a classroom of one? Or is there another way to think about academic, spiritual, and emotional progress? In this talk, Mike explores the freedom and flexibility homeschooling offers you and your children. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
Are you sitting on the sideline in your homeschool, Dad? Your wife needs you to get involved. But with so many demands in today’s world, how can a busy dad do it? How can you be involved in homeschooling? Teaching a class? Casting a vision? Leading devotions? These are all important, and in order to do these things, you must manage your schedule and carefully prioritize your time. In this talk, Mike shares how you can do all of this. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
Homeschooling families face many challenges. Financial, emotional, and physical demands put significant strain on our relationships and our families. The homeschooling community is not immune to societal problems, including broken marriages and broken families. It may be easier to hide the pain than to confront essential elements required for “fixing” these complex and serious issues. But it’s never too late to try to fix something that’s broken. In this talk, Mike shares how he was raised in a broken home and explores the necessary ingredients for homeschooling families to stay connected and whole amidst the pressures and stresses of life. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
Is the federal government operating outside the boundaries of the Constitution? Does Congress delegate too much legislative authority to unaccountable regulatory agencies? How have we accrued massive deficits that put our country and our children’s future at great risk? How does the president operate freely without explicit grants of authority from Congress or the Constitution? How has the Supreme Court become a quasi-legislative power, deciding that it is the final voice on what is or is not constitutional? Is this what the Founders intended? Clearly not. But what can citizens and states do to restore the American republic and put our country on a sound constitutional foundation? Mike explores how an Article V convention of the states could solve many of the problems our nation faces. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes
Who really has the best interests of children at heart: parents or the state?
A growing chorus of voices insists that children don’t belong to parents. Children, these voices say, belong to the “community.” For democracy to survive, they claim, the government must require that children be taught approved values such as “tolerance.” Some of these voices say that children should learn only in government-approved schools or from government-approved standards and curriculums. These misguided voices are prompting both state and federal lawmakers to hand over the keys to the kids. They want to dictate what children eat, what kinds of doctors they can and can’t see, and what they are taught! Skirmishes are being fought over this issue now. Are you prepared? In this session, Mike addresses these serious issues and ties together events both current and historic, providing perspective needed to fully comprehend currents and trends in a timeless struggle for control. BOOK THIS SESSION
45–60 minutes

Biography

Mike serves HSLDA as Director of Global Outreach and as Staff Attorney for members in the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. As Director of Global Outreach, he coordinates HSLDA’s support of homeschooling freedom around the world.

Mike is also an adjunct professor of government at Patrick Henry College, where he teaches constitutional law. He holds a juris doctorate with honors from the Boston University School of Law as a Paul J. Liacos Scholar and an LLM with merit in Constitutional and Human Rights Law from the London School of Economics. He is a member of the bars of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.

Mike’s previous experience includes combat service during the first Persian Gulf War as a United States Army cavalry officer, private legal practice, and founding a nationally ranked internet marketing firm.

Mike is an internationally published writer and a frequent conference and media spokesperson on homeschooling, educational freedom, parental rights, and human rights. His most recent publications appear in the International Journal of School Choice and Reform and Homeschooling in New View. Mike’s other publications include the first-ever chapter on homeschooling in the four-volume global education policy series Balancing Freedom, Autonomy, and Accountability in EducationReligious Freedom in Education. Mike’s work has appeared in the International Journal of Religious Freedom, Creature of the State, and Homeschooling in America and Europe: A Litmus Test of Democracy.

Mike and his wife homeschool their seven children.

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