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January 30, 2006

Shine on the State House Day '06

The purpose of Shine on the State House Day is to help lawmakers understand homeschooling and homeschool families so they will see the importance of protecting our freedom. Although public acceptance of homeschooling grows every year, some lawmakers are still in the dark. Lawmakers who do not understand homeschooling may be less likely to protect it.

You can help your senator and delegate understand homeschooling by meeting him or her. We encourage you to call ahead and get an appointment to meet with your delegate and senator (or one of their aides) on February 21, preferably between 11 a.m. and noon.

We encourage you to bring a delicious baked item from your kitchen and drop it by your senator and delegate's office on February 21. Attach a note saying, "Good things are made at home, including education." Include your name and address. If you are a member of the event's sponsor, Christian Home Educators Network of Maryland (CHEN), indicate that as well.

We encourage you to bring children who are able to behave appropriately. They should be well-dressed as a sign of respect for the legislature.

When you meet your delegate or senator, simply introduce yourself and your children, say that you homeschool your children, and thank him or her for protecting the freedom to homeschool. We do not want to ask for favors, which can often lead to government restrictions.

Your delegate or lawmaker may talk to your children and ask them how they like being homeschooled. Discuss with your children beforehand how they might respond to such a question, perhaps including one or two specific things they especially like about being homeschooled. The happy faces of your children will brighten the lawmaker's day.

If you are asked a question and are not sure of the answer, don't guess! Even lawmakers don't know all the answers. Tell them you will get back to them with an answer. Julie Wesolek, the contact person for the event, or HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff should be able to help you find a suitable answer.

Use our legislative toolbox to find your senator and delegate's contact information.

Detailed Schedule and Directions

Arrive in Annapolis by 10:10 a.m. and park in the Naval Academy's stadium parking lot. Take the Rowe Blvd. exit (Route 70) into Annapolis. Shortly after you cross a bridge, you will see the Naval Academy stadium on the right. Turn right onto Taylor Avenue just past the stadium and enter the parking lot through Gate 5. The cost to park is $5 for the day. From there, board the free trolley and get off at the Lawyer's Mall, a courtyard area facing the back of the State House with statues commemorating the career of Thurgood Marshall.

At 10:30, the CHEN team will greet you and provide literature to give to your delegate and senator. We will go inside the State House and observe a session of the legislature. At about 11, we will head toward the office buildings housing the senators and delegates where you will drop off your baked goodies.

We will stop for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. You can bring a lunch or eat at one of the nearby restaurants or state cafeterias.

At 1:15, we will meet at the Lawyers Mall, enter the State House again and meet Lt. Governor Steele. The Lt. Governor plans to pose for an official photograph in the company of all the homeschool children on the grand marble staircase. We anticipate that he will share a few words with our group.

After the Lt. Governor speaks, Ned Ryun will speak to us about how the Generation Joshua program can help homeschool students shape the future by learning about civic action and becoming part of the process of electing pro-family leaders.

The event will conclude after Ned Ryun speaks to us.