Michael Smith and his wife Elizabeth, along with Michael Farris and his wife, Vickie, incorporated Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and were the original board members. Mike grew up in Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas where he played basketball, majoring in business administration. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served three years before attending law school at the University of San Diego.
In 1972, he was admitted to the bar in California and also has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. He is licensed in Virginia, California, and Washington, D.C.
Mike and his family began homeschooling because their 5-year-old flunked kindergarten. This was quite a disappointment to Mike in light of the fact that he was preparing this child to be President of the United States by starting his education as early as possible.
His family’s life changed drastically when he heard a radio program in 1981 which introduced him to the idea of homeschooling. When they started homeschooling, they began homeschooling one year at a time to meet the academic and social needs of their children. After spending lots of time around people like Mike Farris, he became convinced he had been called to use his gifts and talents in the legal profession to assist homeschoolers who were being prosecuted because they didn’t hold a teacher’s certificate or satisfy the school district that they could competently teach their children.
Mike came to HSLDA full-time in 1987 and has served as president of the organization since the year 2001. In addition to serving as president, he also is a contact lawyer for California, Nevada and Puerto Rico. All of Mike’s children are now grown, and three of the four were homeschooled. The most enjoyable part of Mike’s job is when he is able to go to homeschool conferences and meet what he calls America’s greatest heroes, homeschooling moms.
Steve and his wife Sandra have been married for 36 years. They have been blessed with four sons: Isaac, 36; Ethan, 34; Joseph, 31; and Johnny, 28. With God’s help, they have all been home educated.
Steve addresses a variety of topics at homeschool conferences to encourage parents in their God-given responsibilities of raising and training their children for His glory.As a former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is also the author and founder of Math-U-See. He has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served on the boards of Joni and Friends, Christian Freedom International, and Lifework Forum.
Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. founded the National Home Education Research Institute in 1990 as a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization, and is the president of the institute. He holds his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and his B.S. in biology from the University of Puget Sound. Dr. Ray has been a middle school and high school classroom teacher in both public and private schools, an undergraduate college professor, and a university professor at the graduate level. He is a leading international expert with regard to homeschool research. Dr. Ray executes and publishes research, speaks to the public, testifies before legislators, and serves as an expert witness in courts.
Mike Snavely, the son of missionaries, was reared in South Africa in an area that teemed with remarkable creatures, and he had a wide variety of fascinating experiences which helped to mold his future. After graduating from Oak Hills Christian College in Minnesota, he returned to South Africa to work in Kruger National Park.
In 1986, he and his wife, Carrie, went to South Africa as missionaries and served at Durban Bible College. Since returning to the U.S., they founded Mission: Imperative - a ministry of teaching creation-oriented issues through a series of seminars. Mike and Carrie home-educated their three children.
Mike is the author of Creation or Evolution (curriculum) and has produced eight DVDs that cover various topics relative to creation issues.
Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a genuine “people-person”, and a fan of comfortable high-heels. Through homeschooling her children, and service as a missionary, she discovered a deep love for world history where famous and infamous men and women have left their marks on time through the sovereignty of God. In the year 2000, Linda sensed a clear call to write The Mystery of History series for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come that they might know “the mystery of God … in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3)
In its 14th year of worldwide circulation, The Mystery of History has been well received by all ages. While fact-filled and historically accurate, Linda’s writing style remains warm, personable, and thought provoking. The “Chronological, Christian, Complete” program is user-friendly and includes activities for multiple ages, timeline work, mapping exercises, quizzes, literature recommendations, audio books, and much more to fully engage students of all learning styles. The Mystery of History series has been awarded “Best Homeschool History Resource”, Cathy Duffy’s “100 Top Picks”, Mary Pride’s “Practical Homeschooling Reader Award”, The Old Schoolhouse “Excellence Award”, and “A Top Back to Homeschool Resource.”
A native-born Texan, Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, where she first fell in love with world history. She presently resides in Tennessee where she continues to study, teach, write, and obsess over matters big and small.