In 1983, God impressed my husband and I to home school our children. Because this was unheard of in our community and rare in our state, we took the initial steps with trepidation and much prayer. I shared the idea with my friend Carol, and her family joined with us in initiating our little school. We tossed around options for names, and combined our two ideas into Light of Life Christian Academy. We tried to lay low and start quietly, but because we had enrolled our older children in the local public school, the authorities noticed. My friend and neighbor was also involved in the PTA, so the school figured it out. To truncate the story, we began.
It wasn’t surprising that a representative from the local Social Services agency was sent to investigate both families, and to our knowledge, she gave a positive report. However, shortly after taking a fall camping trip to Branson, Missouri, to combine fun with nature studies, we were visited by the county sheriff who served a subpoena to appear at a hearing on a charge of “truancy.”
Carol and I both had an inkling this was coming; during our individual Bible study and prayer times, we each sensed a warning that we would be challenged, but we were to put our faith in God to take us through. Carol had a high school diploma, and I had a teaching degree with four years experience. Though Carol was a naturally gifted teacher, we all felt that the court would respect my credentials more, so I became “principal.” I wrote a Philosophy of Education statement, and we gathered curriculum and materials to present to the hearing. In the meantime, I contacted the Home School Legal Defense Association. At that time, if families were already contacted by authorities, we were ineligible for their help. Their job was preventative. However, Mike Farris, head of HSLDA, searched for and found the name of a Christian attorney in our area. Dick Peckham readily agreed to take our case, and we attended the October hearing. The assistant district attorney declared that all seemed legitimate, but they would schedule another hearing for December 5 in case the Kansas Supreme Court ruled against the home school case which was before them.
Carol and I were clinging to the declaration of Joshua and Caleb after the spies had reported on the land of Canaan to Moses. The others were full of fear at the size of the giants in the lush and spacious land. They were afraid to go in even though God had told them to move forward. ..
.” but Caleb declared…’We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.'” Numbers 11:30.
God was telling us not to be dismayed at the giants of our opposition who had power and resources to fight our small little school led by two frightened moms armed with the determination of conviction.
See Part II