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HSLDA was founded in 1983 by Mike Farris at a time when homeschooling was almost nonexistent and even illegal in many states.

As a homeschool dad and attorney, Farris realized that there was a need to defend homeschool families’ right to direct their child’s education. He rallied the support of Mike Smith—who was also an attorney and homeschooling father—around the idea of starting a nonprofit membership organization aimed at making homeschooling legal in every state. Smith joined as a member of the founding board of directors of Home School Legal Defense Association. Together with the growing HSLDA staff, they worked to fight for homeschool freedom and meet the needs of their member families.

Today, homeschooling is legal in every state—but that doesn’t mean our work is done. We continue to protect and advance the freedom to homeschool, defend member families facing legal challenges, and equip homeschooling parents to give their children the best possible educational experience.

Learn more about the history of the homeschool movement and HSLDA here.