Home School Legal Defense Association Membership - Is It Necessary or Not?

Home School Legal Defense Association or HSLDA was founded in 1983 by Michael A. Farris and Mike Smith, two home schooling fathers and attorneys. Its purpose is to advocate for, defend, and support home schooling families in their right to teach their children at home with as little governmental intrusion as possible.

I personally think of it very much like auto or home insurance, in that you need it but hope to never have to use it because typically that means there is a problem. 

However, they are NOT a form of insurance and reserve the right to make whatever decision they deem necessary pertaining to your unique situation.

Participation is generally optional, although some home school co-ops or tutorials may require that you become a member and will generally provide a discount.

home school legal defense association

About Home School Legal Defense Association

These men answered a call to offer extensive information on how to start teaching your children at home, homeschool curriculum options, legal issues, and more to homeschooling families.

HSLDA is a non-profit organization located in Purcellville, VA, that serves over 80,000 member families and assist homeschooling families worldwide.

Currently, their annual membership fee is $130.00. They offer a discounted renewal fee of $125.00 annually or a monthly auto-pay of $12.00. Please be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date prices.

There is also a lifetime membership rate of $1,200 which never expires!!

In general, their objective is to use their wisdom and experience to assist homeschooling families to enjoy their freedom and succeed in teaching their children at home.

Legal Protection with HSLDA

home school legal defense association

The freedom to home school your children is available for everyone in the nation. 

Although home education is legal in all fifty states, some families are met with opposition and other types of challenges from their local educational agencies when they choose to teach their children at home.

This is where Home School Legal Defense Association steps in to help!

  • The attorneys and staff have networked with other lawmakers and organizations to aid families in their freedom to homeschool. 
  • They give guidance on how to answer your door if school or law officials knock at your door. 
  • They answer member questions and offer sample statements to write to the school representatives regarding pulling your child out of the public school system.
  • They also write letters on behalf of their member families to school or other agencies, such as Child Protective Services, when the issue of home schooling is questioned.
  • Additionally, the Home School Legal Defense Association will send attorneys to represent you in court regarding homeschooling matters if required. 
home school legal defense association

Some additional services HSLDA offers include:

  • HSLDA Online Academy –  a fee-based program of interactive, live courses offered to grades 7-12, including computer skills, SAT Prep, history, logic, foreign languages, government & economics, English, math, and science courses
  • Academy Alumni Scholarship –  scholarship money made available to enrolled HSLDA  Academy graduates for college studies
  • Bookstore - collection of resources for families

In conclusion, I would have to say that the decision to join Home School Legal Defense Association or not will be up to you unless it is mandated by your homeschool group. In which case, groups often have a reduced membership rate available with their group code number.

  1. If there have been numerous cases in your area where homeschooling has been challenged, then I would urge you to join. 
  2. If you feel that you need the extra protection and "peace of mind" knowing that you have trained and knowledgeable lawyers available, then you should join.
  3. If money is not an issue for you, I would suggest you join.
  4. If you want to add (financially) to their collective abilities to serve other homeschooling families, join their organization.