The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a non profit advocacy organization that provides many valuable services to homeschooling families.
What is the Home School Legal Defense Association?
Michael P. Farris and J. Michael Smith, two homeschooling fathers and attorneys, founded the Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983. The organization grew to include tens of thousands of homeschooling families in their membership. According to HSLDA their mission is to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.
The HSLDA defends for the rights of families to homeschool their children based on two basic freedoms - religious freedom and parental rights. The organization advocates for homeschooling families and their freedoms in many places including:
- Government - on federal and state levels
- Media - print, radio and television
The main goal of the HSLDA is creating a large membership base of homeschooling families for the purpose of providing quality professional legal defense at a low cost. Once a family pays the yearly membership fee there are no additional charges for legally defending the family's right to homeschool. Everything in covered including:
- Full attorney fees
- Travel expenses
- The cost of expert witnesses
- All charges legally allowed for the organization to pay based on individual state law
Although the HSLDA is a Christian organization, they do not limit membership based on religious beliefs.
Additional Benefits of Joining the HSLDA
In addition to legal defense, there are additional benefits to becoming a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association.
- Information, resources and links for each state
- State laws on homeschooling
- Homeschool organizations
- Legal contacts and cases
- Legislation relating to homeschooling
- State forms
- News regarding homeschool issues
- Coordinators that provide assistance with homeschooling children with special needs, including those that struggle with attention deficit disorder or have learning disabilities or medical problems.
- Coordinators that provide guidance for homeschooling high school students
- GPA Smart Store offers discounts on new curriculum materials, apparel and gear
- Online curriculum market - An online auction format for materials relating to homeschooling where anyone can list items for sale, but only HSLDA members can bid on the items.
- Discounts at the HSLDA bookstore - The bookstore includes family favorites for homeschool parents, teaching aids and graduation items including:
- Cap and gown
- Diploma - high school and middle school
- Graduation tassel
- Graduation announcements and thank you cards
- Updates an alerts regarding homeschool reform and government issues
- Bi-monthly newsletter Home School Court Report
- Special member discounts including school supplies, insurance and hotel reservations
- Access to the Home School Heartbeat radio program
- Issue library providing information on the following issues:
- Educational issues
- Family issues
- Parental rights
- Religious Liberty
- Privacy issues
- Tax issues
- Issues pertaining to Congress
- International news regarding homeschooling issues throughout the world
- Speakers for conferences, group gatherings, commencement ceremonies or other events
The HSLDA offers several membership options:
- One year - $115 (discounted membership - $95)
- Two year - $230 (discounted membership - $190)
- Five year - $500 (discounted membership - ($400)
- Lifetime - $1000
To qualify for the discounted membership fees you must belong to an organized local or state homeschool organization that participates in HSLDA group discount program. Discounts are also given to missionaries, full time ministers and retired or active members of the military.
The option of a payment plan for the one year membership is also given to all those that join.
Homeschooling families that decide to join HSLDA must first complete an application. The application can be filled out online or downloaded, printed and mailed to HSLDA. Parents can also request the application be sent to them by mail.
If you are a member of the homeschooling community, becoming a member of the HSLDA offers many benefits and most importantly legal protection if the need should arise. .