HSLDA Updates

All things legal can be found at the Home School Legal Defense Association.  Your membership fees not only help support the advancement of parental rights to homeschool throughout the U.S., but also provide invaluable reassurance when you find yourself interacting with your local school board.  

As a homeschool support group, Treasure families get a discount on HSLDA memberships.  Please update your Treasure registration with your HSLDA member number so we can maintain accurate records for HSLDA.

Discount Group #292176 

VA Religious Exemption - Update from Loudoun County

posted Dec 11, 2018, 7:35 AM by DanandBecky Kee   [ updated Dec 11, 2018, 7:36 AM ]

(reprinted from HSLDA.org)

Loudoun Targets Virginia’s Religious Exemption

by Helaina Bock • December 4, 2018

“Don’t try to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. I ask you not to repeal the religious exemption,” said Paul Millhouse at a Loudoun County School Board meeting last Tuesday. The multitude of hands raised in silent applause after he finished speaking revealed the audience’s agreement with his statement.

Millhouse, who lives in Loudoun County, was one of over two dozen Virginia residents who came to the meeting to defend their right to homeschool under the state’s religious exemption to compulsory school attendance.

On November 13, Loudoun County Public Schools announced that they intend to ask the Virginia Legislature to alter the religious exemption, under which thousands of families currently homeschool.

The county board’s proposal seeks legislation that would require families to educate their children only through “an alternative public, private, parochial and/or approved home instruction setting.”

Curtailing Freedom

If the exemption were changed in this way, parents would no longer be permitted to opt out of the public school system on the basis of their religious convictions.

As Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff explained, “This action is very disturbing because it means that the school district wants new ways to control religious-exempt families.”

Woodruff had notified homeschool families about the resolution and encouraged them to attend the school board meeting.

The public response was overwhelming—at least two dozen people spoke, and even more came to support the speakers. So many people registered to comment that the school board cut the standard two-minute speaking time in half.

People rushed to make their points before the buzzer signaled the close of each person’s speaking time. The comments came from individuals of all different ages and backgrounds. Some were seasoned homeschooling parents, while others were homeschooled students. Many speakers said they homeschooled under the religious freedom exemption.

Speaking styles ranged from emotional to cool and composed. Some told personal stories, while others used statistics and history to craft their arguments.

More than a Choice

Yet a common thread woven through all the presentations was a firm commitment to preserve one of the fundamental rights upon which our nation was built: religious freedom. This public comment period served as a powerful reminder to the school board that, for many, homeschooling is more than just a matter of school choice; it is a matter of religious freedom.

Millhouse explained that, for him, homeschooling his children is a calling from God. As Christians, he and his wife believe that “the Lord holds us accountable for what and how we teach our children.”

Removing the religious exemption would allow the state to interfere with religious-exempt families’ educational choices. The school board justified their proposal by alleging that they only want to make sure that children are getting a satisfactory education.

First of all, Scott Woodruff pointed out, no empirical evidence suggests that homeschooled children are currently lacking a satisfactory education. Secondly, under the school board’s proposal the district—not the parent—would become responsible for determining what a “satisfactory education” looks like.

Citizens throughout Loudon County recognized this threat and refused to watch in silence as the school board discussed compromising their rights. Although we have yet to find out what the board will decide, the message of individuals who spoke out at the school board meeting undoubtedly will impact the school board’s decision-making process. And the public comments serve as a reminder to us all that when we stand up for the right to homeschool, we are also standing up for religious freedom.

As Woodruff said, “Parents must be empowered to educate their children according to their faith.”

Helaina Bock

Media Relations Specialist

Helaina Bock serves as HSLDA’s media relations representative and writes content for HSLDA’s website. In 2018, she graduated from Patrick Henry College with a degree in American Politics and Policy. In her spare time, Helaina enjoys hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Teaching the Constitution

posted Sep 18, 2018, 1:30 PM by DanandBecky Kee   [ updated Sep 18, 2018, 5:48 PM ]

Did you know that Monday September 17 is Constitution Day?  In celebration, HSLDA is offering 35% off all Constitution Educational materials in their online store.  Shop here before the sale ends on 9/23/18!

Now, have a laugh with their latest blog post, in case you need a reason NOT to teach your kids about the constitution this week =)
    1200x628 FB constitution.png

It’s Constitution Week, commemorating the 231st anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution! Are you excited about it?

Well, you shouldn’t be. In fact, here are five good reasons* why you shouldn’t bother to study the Constitution with your children.

1. The writing style is unreadable. “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility . . .” So many words. It’s just not the kind of thing that people would memorize and quote, right? Also, it could benefit from some emojis sprinkled in for added interest.

2. The concepts require a strong grasp of history to understand.They’re good ideas, sure, but it would be so much easier if it were written in short, punchy sentences. “We the people want freedom.” See? None of the tedious discussion about why the people want freedom andwhat that freedom looks like.

3. The whole “We the People” thing is a problem. Anyone reading it—assuming they can make it all the way through—will come away with the idea that the people should shape their own government, instead of just submitting to whoever is in power. That’s really inconvenient for a government that wants to exercise unchallenged control over its people.

4. The Constitution gives a surprising bulk of the power to the people. It lays out checks and balances, specific duties of each branch of government, and outlines what a government can’t do. Again, that makes it really burdensome for a government to do whatever it wants to.

5. The concept of “amendments” is unsafe. Allowing people to change what’s already written undermines a government’s authority to decide for them. Think about it—what could possibly be so important later that it would require people to amend the law of the land?

Bonus: The “United States of America” as the name of the country.It’s as if the writers of the Constitution wanted to emphasize the fact that the new country wasn’t one solid bloc under a single all-powerful entity. It was as if they recognized value in a country made up of many different ethnicities, religions, personalities, and beliefs all joined together under a common banner.

So there you go—5 good reasons why you should just skip Constitution Week and not bother teaching the Constitution to your kids. Unless, of course, you think that it was a good idea to limit governmental authority and empower the people. In which case . . . well, I guess you’ve got 231 years of history to celebrate, so you’d best get on it.


*Disclaimer: If you haven’t already guessed, this article is satire and simply meant to make you laugh. Please take everything I say with at least a couple very large grains of salt.

 Editor’s note: Looking for materials to help you teach the Constitution to your kids? Now through September 23rd, get 35% off Constitution materials in HSLDA’s online store! Go here to learn more.

Photo Credit: Mark Thoburn.

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