On Friday I volunteered for a short time at the MACHE Legislative Training Days program(LTD) at the Minnesota State Capitol. My sister and I had gone through the program a few years ago and were asked to come back and share some of our thoughts with high school students and their parents.
LTD is a wonderful program. It’s a two day experience, involving both students and their parents. They learn about the legislative process, experience session and committee hearings, meet legislators and other staff, and ultimately participate in a mock committee where they play the roles of legislators and lobbyists.
This year was special, however, because were we honoring Senator Gen Olson, a long-time advocate for homeschooler’s rights. Senator Olson is in her 30th year in the Senate and will be retiring after this session. We were allowed to meet with her in the Senate chambers and present her with a framed picture signed by the students and parents participating in LTD.
Most touching, however, were their brief speeches. Students talked about how homeschooling has given them countless opportunities, academically and relationally. Parents thanked Senator Olson for her untiring efforts to ensure that they can give their children the best possible education. The plentiful tears and laughter contrasting with the sprawling majesty of the Senate chambers made for an interesting morning.
The whole experience made me realize how passionate about homeschooling many people are. We may be widely scattered, but we are united by belief in the value of home education. If you’re thankful for this opportunity, consider sending Senator Olson a thank-you for her efforts. Homeschooling is alive and well in Minnesota thanks to her and others like her.