Topic: Legal

Title:Homeschooling and Parental Rights: Freedom Under Fire
Speaker:J. Michael Smith
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Keynote, Q & A, Workshop
Topic:Encouragement, Legal, Legislative, Lobbying, Motivational
Audience:All, New Homeschoolers, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:Parental rights and religious freedom are the two pillars of parents’ constitutional right to teach their children at home—but can they withstand a new threat to homeschool freedom? In this session, Mike explains how homeschool freedom was established and reveals why it’s still in jeopardy.


Title:How to Protect Your Family Against a Truant Officer or Social Worker Visit
Speaker:J. Michael Smith
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Child Protective Services, Dealing with Social Workers, Legal
Audience:New Homeschoolers, Parents, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:In light of the government’s ever-growing encroachment into family life and decision-making, the information presented in this seminar is critical. Drawing on over two decades of experience defending homeschooling families against social services and child protective service contacts, Mike informs the audience of the newest threat to their freedom. This session primarily addresses your state’s laws relating to social services contacts and provides general application for other states as well.

Audiences find this session “very, very informative,” “clearly presented, enjoyable to listen to,” and “a necessity.”

Title:The Secret to Homeschool Freedom
Speaker:Darren Jones
Length:45 minutes
Type:General Session, Workshop
Topic:Legal, Motivational
Audience:All, New Homeschoolers
Description:The best way to safeguard the future is to learn from the past. Homeschooling’s history of close calls and exciting victories sheds light on upcoming challenges to homeschool freedom. Come hear the secret to keeping homeschool freedom free.

Title:State of the Homeschooling Nation Address
Speaker:James R. Mason
Length:30–45 minutes
Type:General Session, Keynote, Support Group Leaders, Workshop
Topic:Encouragement, History, Legal
Audience:All, New Homeschoolers, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:A serious but entertaining look at HSLDA’s recent cases and why they are important to you and your homeschool. You’ll want to hear about the Case of the Miscreated Court, the Case of the Rotten Big Apple, and the Case of the Caseworker’s Monumental Miscalculation. With over 15 years’ experience representing homeschooling families around the country, Jim has a unique, up-close perspective on trends, emerging issues, and what the future holds for homeschool freedom.

Title:Why We Need a Parental Rights Amendment
Speaker:James R. Mason
Length:30–45 minutes
Type:General Session, Keynote, Support Group Leaders, Workshop
Topic:Legal, Legislative, Parenting, Political
Audience:All, New Homeschoolers, Parents, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:Homeschooling freedom stands on two essential pillars of freedom: the right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children, and the free exercise of religion. Yet only one of these freedoms—religious liberty—is explicitly guaranteed in the United States Constitution, and both freedoms are under attack. Jim recently became president of ParentalRights.org after its founder (and Jim’s mentor) Michael Farris moved to Alliance Defending Freedom in order to focus more exclusively on religious freedom. Jim has taken up the challenge of explicitly including parental rights in the Constitution. HSLDA and ParentalRights.org believe children are best served when parents are empowered to act in their children’s best interests without undue interference from the state. Come and hear about what it takes to change the Constitution—and how you can help.

Title:Top 10 Homeschooling Legal Issues
Speaker:Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
Length:30–45 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal
Audience:New Homeschoolers, Support Group Leaders, Teens, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:In this workshop, Tj discusses current legal problems homeschooling families encounter in your state and what HSLDA has done to protect homeschooling within your state. The workshop also looks at national homeschool issues and how HSLDA is addressing them.

Title:What to Do When You Get a Knock on the Door
Speaker:Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Dealing with Social Workers, Legal
Audience:New Homeschoolers, Parents, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:In this session, Tj explains your rights and provides general information on how to handle social services investigations, school officials at your door, or police welfare checks, social services contacts, and interaction with school officials. Tj shares stories and examples from his experience of over 15 years with HSLDA. This session helps prepare homeschooling families to deal with questions about their homeschool program and with anonymous tips / false reports.

Title:Preserving Liberty for Future Generations: The Battle for Homeschool Freedom and Parental Rights on Capitol Hill
Speaker:William A. Estrada
Length:30–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal, Legislative, Lobbying, Motivational, Political
Audience:All
Description:Will uses ripped-from-the-headlines stories and personal anecdotes to share what issues homeschooling families face on Capitol Hill, what the current political environment is like, what HSLDA is doing at the federal level, and why grassroots activism is so important. For longer general sessions, Will goes into detail about the history of the federal government and homeschooling, threats to our freedoms at the federal level, the battles that are being fought, the victories that are being won, and what is on the horizon.

Title:Defending the Freedom to Homeschool
Speaker:Michael Donnelly
Length:45 minutes
Type:General Session
Topic:History, Legal, Legislative, Motivational, Political
Audience:All
Description: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.

Title:How Do I Graduate My Child with Special Needs?
Speaker:Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Education, Legal
Audience:New Homeschoolers, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:In this session, Tj explains how you can homeschool your child with special educational needs all the way through graduation! He also discusses how to know when a certification of completion may be more appropriate than a diploma, how to prepare transcripts for your special needs child, and how to get accommodations for the SAT or ACT. This session also touches on dealing with discrimination that a child with special needs might encounter. Finally, Tj looks briefly at Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability benefits and times when you may want to pursue guardianship or conservatorship.

Title:The Knock at the Door . . .
Speaker:Michael Donnelly
Length:45 minutes
Type:General Session
Topic:History, Legal, Legislative, Motivational, Political
Audience:All
Description: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.

Title:Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs: What Legal Issues Do You Need Know About?
Speaker:Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Education, Legal
Audience:New Homeschoolers, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:This workshop covers everything you need to know about your legal rights when homeschooling a child with a special educational need. Tj discusses your right to homeschool and highlights any reporting requirements across the country that are unique for families of children with special needs. This workshop also covers your right to seek an evaluation from the public school of your child’s needs as well as your right to decline a school’s individualized education plan (IEP) for your child. Tj shares information for parents who live in states where homeschool students are eligible for special education services and talks about the pros and cons of seeking these services through the public school. To ensure that your specific issue or question is addressed, this workshop has plenty of time for your questions.

Title:The Parental Rights Amendment
Speaker:William A. Estrada
Length:30–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Workshop
Topic:History, Legal, Legislative, Lobbying, Political
Audience:All, Parents
Description:Will goes into detail about why the Parental Rights Amendment is so critical to the future of parental rights and homeschool freedom. He discusses the history of parental rights in our courts and law, the current threats, future challenges to our liberty, and how the Parental Rights Amendment would enshrine in the U.S. Constitution the God-given right of parents to raise their children. He closes with information on how each member of the audience can help in this crucial battle to preserve liberty for our children and grandchildren.

Title:Why Teach Government?
Speaker:Joel D. Grewe
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal, Motivational, Political
Audience:Parents, Teens
Description:Someday, your kids are going to be our nation’s voters. They’ll make decisions that shape the behavior of our government and our county. That’s serious business. Here’s why you should help them learn about those rights and responsibilities beforehand.

Title:The Erosion of Parental Rights and How to Stop It
Speaker:Dan Beasley
Length:30–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Workshop
Topic:Education, History, Legal, Legislative, Parenting
Audience:All, Support Group Leaders
Description:Parental rights are foundational to a parent’s right to homeschool. While the Supreme Court has historically recognized parental rights as fundamental, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Troxel v. Granville in 2000 has led to confusion and intensified attacks on parental liberty. Come learn how you can help protect parental rights for years to come.

Title:Homeschooling Today: Up-to-date Review of Homeschool Laws, Legislation, and Legal Issues in Your State
Speaker:Dan Beasley
Length:30–45 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal
Audience:All, New Homeschoolers, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:Dan breaks down your homeschool law in easy-to-understand steps to help you homeschool with confidence. He also highlights legal issues and legislation that impact homeschooling and shares some of the ways he is advocating on behalf of homeschooling families. This workshop can be tailored to audience interest and background.

Title:Homeschool Investigation: Answer the Door with Confidence
Speaker:Dan Beasley
Length:30–45 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Dealing with Social Workers, Legal
Audience:All, New Homeschoolers
Description:The first step in safeguarding your homeschool is knowing your state’s homeschool law. Dan regularly communicates with school officials, social workers, and others regarding the legal requirements and legitimacy of homeschooling. In this workshop, Dan makes sure you know what is legally required of you while equipping you to confidently handle interactions with government officials.

Title:Creature of the State?
Speaker:Michael Donnelly
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Keynote, Q & A, Support Group Leaders, Workshop
Topic:Education, Encouragement, History, Legal, Motivational
Audience:All, Fathers, Mothers, New Homeschoolers, Parents
Description: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.

Title:Elites to Homeschooling Families: “We’re Coming for You”
Speaker:Michael Donnelly
Length:50 minutes
Type:General Session, Support Group Leaders, Workshop
Topic:Legal, Legislative, Political
Audience:Parents, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description: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.

Title:The Common Core Con: What the Common Core is and isn’t, How it will Affect Homeschool Freedom, and What You Can Do to Fight It
Speaker:William A. Estrada
Length:30–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Workshop
Topic:History, Legal, Legislative, Political
Audience:All, Parents
Description:The Common Core Con: What the Common Core Is (and Isn’t), How It Affects Homeschool Freedom, and What You Can Do to Fight It

Title:The Danger of U.N. Treaties: “It Takes the World to Raise Your Child”
Speaker:William A. Estrada
Length:30–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Workshop
Topic:History, Legal, Legislative, Political
Audience:All, Parents
Description:Will goes into detail about the history, content, and effects of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He discusses how U.S. ratification of these treaties would threaten homeschool freedom, parental rights, and the sovereignty of the United States. Will also discusses the shifting political support for these dangerous international treaties, what freedom–loving citizens can do to fight them, and how homeschoolers have defeated these treaties in the past.

For longer sessions, he closes with a discussion of the Parental Rights Amendment, and how it would protect American families from the dangers of these and other U.N. treaties.

Title:Homeschool Discrimination and What We’re Doing About It
Speaker:Dan Beasley
Length:30 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal, Legislative
Audience:All, Support Group Leaders
Description:Homeschool graduates still encounter this phrase when applying for employment, admission to colleges and trade schools, social security, disability, and veteran’s benefits, and participation in extracurricular competitions and programs. While homeschooling is now widely recognized as a legal form of education, there is still much work to be done to ensure that students and graduates are not discriminated against because their parents choose to exercise their right to homeschool.

HSLDA continues to advocate for students and graduates who face this kind of discrimination. Come hear the stories, legal battles, and solutions for how to end homeschool discrimination.

Title:Homeschooling with Confidence: Understanding Your State's Homeschool Law
Speaker:Scott Woodruff
Length:50 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal
Audience:All
Description:This session covers everything you need to know about your state’s homeschool law so you can homeschool with confidence. It includes a thorough presentation of the basics with plenty of time for questions.

Title:Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: A Guide to Effective Lobbying for the Homeschool Family
Speaker:William A. Estrada
Length:30–60 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal, Legislative, Lobbying, Motivational, Political
Audience:All
Description:You may live 3,000 miles from Washington, D.C., but you can still make a difference. Find out how as Will presents a compelling case for why and how every single homeschool family can be an effective lobbyist on the issues that are important to homeschooling families. Drawing on Will’s own experience as a federally registered lobbyist for HSLDA and ParentalRights.org, this workshop will offer informative, practical advice for effective lobbying and will answer every homeschooler’s specific questions. Whether you are an experienced political junkie or a busy homeschool mom who’s never tackled politics before, discover how to make a difference in the political world.

Title:Constitutional Liberty, Social Services, and Your Front Door
Speaker:William A. Estrada
Length:30–45 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:History, Legal, Legislative, Lobbying, Political
Audience:All, Parents
Description:Will gives a historical review of the Founders’ intentions when they drafted the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. He then discusses how many of the provisions in the U.S. Constitution directly protect homeschooling families. Will concludes with an informative and practical discussion that includes real-life examples of how parents can protect their constitutional freedom even when an irate social worker is demanding entrance into their home.

Title:Keeping Your Family Safe During a Child Abuse or Neglect Investigation: Simple Strategies that Work
Speaker:Scott Woodruff
Length:50 minutes
Type:Workshop
Topic:Legal
Audience:All
Description:You don’t know when it could be you. But knowing beforehand what to do when a caseworker knocks on your door can mean the difference between quickly resolving a child abuse / neglect investigation and watching helplessly as a caseworker takes your children away and puts them in a foster home. After helping more than a thousand families in abuse and neglect investigations, Scott offers wisdom based on experience. This presentation includes an easy-to-understand explanation of the 4th Amendment, six proven strategies, and instruction that may help you keep your family together should government agents appear on your doorstep.

Title:Problem-Proof Your Support Group
Speaker:Darren Jones
Length:60 minutes
Type:Support Group Leaders, Workshop
Topic:Legal
Audience:New Homeschoolers, Support Group Leaders, Veteran Homeschoolers
Description:Guard your support group against legal surprises! In this workshop, Darren helps you understand issues that affect your group, including civil rights law, child abuse prevention, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Don’t miss this important discussion of policies your support group should adopt when addressing membership issues and child protection!

Title:Going the Second Mile: Support Groups and Homeschool Families in Crisis
Speaker:Darren Jones
Length:45–60 minutes
Type:General Session, Workshop
Topic:Encouragement, Legal, Political
Audience:All, Support Group Leaders
Description:Homeschool support groups often have the opportunity to assist families who are experiencing difficulty. Divorce, abandonment, unexpected special education needs or mental illness, or just falling behind with too much on their plate—all of these present unique challenges to homeschooling families. Darren discusses ways the homeschool community can rally to help “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

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