In the last issue of the Court Report, I shared with you how we updated our logo to capture the reality that HSLDA is more than just a law firm, and our purpose is bigger than simply safeguarding your legal right to homeschool your children. This occurred as part of a broader self-evaluation of our organization to see how we could better serve the homeschool community.

As part of this process, we decided to approach this self-evaluation as if we were just starting HSLDA, by taking a thorough look at our mission, values, culture, and other aspects of who we are and what we do. This would give us the opportunity to examine every aspect of the organization with fresh eyes—so we could make changes that would enable us to better carry out our mission, while making sure we didn’t change just for change’s sake.

For instance, although we changed our mission statement to “Making Homeschooling Possible,” it keeps the essence of our original mission statement—advancing and protecting the fundamental, God-given right of parents to homeschool—while including the other services HSLDA provides for our members and the homeschool community.

During the evaluation process, we also wanted to officially spell out the core values of HSLDA. These are different from our mission. We want to have our core values reflected in everything we do. These are the values that we want every HSLDA co-laborer (employee) to have!

A broad cross section of our organization was represented in our team that identified our top three core values, and I’m convinced that these values reflect the collective heart of our staff.

HSLDA’s top three values are Christlikeness, Family, and Freedom.

What is Christlikeness?

Our number one core value is Christlikeness. What is Jesus Christ like and why do we want to be like Him?

When Jesus came to earth to carry out the ultimate sacrifice, laying down His life to offer every person the opportunity to experience a relationship with a loving God through His life, death, and resurrection, His core motivation was to glorify His Father in everything He did, demonstrating the Father’s perfect love, mercy, and justice. During Christ’s life, He taught us through example to show honesty, integrity, excellence, empathy, grace, humility, generosity, good stewardship, and care for others.

Through His perfect life, Jesus showed the perfection of God the Father—and even in His painful death on the cross, He sought to glorify His Father (John 17:1). And Jesus told us how we can honor God: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be my disciples” (John 15:8).

To be Christlike is to be a disciple of Christ; therefore, our goal for all of our staff is to be followers of Christ. A 1646 summary of the Christian faith called the Westminster Confession describes it this way: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Followers of Christ at HSLDA work as if they were working directly for our Lord—everything we do is motivated by our gratitude to and love for God, love for those we serve, and passion for making homeschooling possible. At HSLDA, our fruit is our service, and we want our staff to share the character traits of Jesus: serving each of our neighbors with honesty, integrity, excellence, empathy, grace, humility, generosity, good stewardship, and care.

Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our goal is that as we honor God in all we do, those whom we serve might be inspired with praise and thanksgiving to God. In fact, we’ve even spelled out this concept as an official “Action Goal”: “We honor God in all we do.”

Highlighting generosity

One of the areas of service that is especially dear to our hearts is HSLDA Compassion. Through the generosity of donors, we help those that are struggling financially which impacts their ability to homeschool. We help widows, single parents, families with special needs, and those devastated by unforeseen disasters to continue to homeschool. This is a true partnership with our donors to make this service possible—and to those who give, we thank you for your generosity.

Final thoughts

Will we be perfect in our goal to honor God in all we do? No, but where we fall short, it is our goal to address our failure promptly; where possible, make things right; and make efforts to minimize failures in the future.

Thank you for your support of HSLDA. Without the support of our members like you, there would be no HSLDA. We are partners with you, and by our united efforts, we can ensure that the precious liberty we have—to teach and train each child as we think best helps them learn and thrive—will continue to be available for your children and grandchildren.

God bless you all,

Mike Smith

Q: “I’m not a Christian. Will HSLDA defend my right to homeschool and am I welcome as a member?”

A: YES! We believe God has given parents the right and responsibility to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Therefore, any parent who desires to carry out the responsibility of homeschooling honorably and responsibly should be free to do so. All of our services are available to all our members without distinction. We serve you and each one of our members with care, dignity, and respect regardless of religious beliefs or positions. (We don’t even know what your perspective on God is unless you tell us!)