Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :
Homeschoolers Meet In High Places

By Janis Tatum
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #18, 1997.

Janis tells about some homeschoolers who participated in mock trials with hundreds of other delegates in Texas.

   Pin It

Justice Erika Tatum of the Texas Supreme Court meets Appellate Court attorneys Heather Barber and Chris Warne. What is strange about this scene? Miss Tatum, Miss Barber, and Mr. Warne are all homeschool students! As participants in the 49th Annual YMCA Youth and Government Conference, these students have come to compete in mock trials at the state level. It is a pleasant surprise for all parties involved to discover fellow homeschoolers among the nearly one thousand delegates from across the state of Texas.

Each year, this diverse group of teens converges upon Austin to participate in this "hands-on" approach to education. The events encompass learning opportunities in the Judicial division, Legislative division, and News Media training. The students must place at District level conferences in order to earn the privilege of competing at the State Conference.

Judicial Division

As mentioned, homeschoolers turned up in the Judicial division of the competition. At the trial courts level, attorney team Michael Moore and Zac Trahan from Hill Country Home Scholars Club in Austin argued both sides of a case involving the Americans with Disabilities Act and an employee who had been allegedly fired because he had AIDS. Their performance distinguished them as an outstanding team among the many teams observed in the trial courts. Naomi Tatum, from the Christian Homeschool Association in Dayton, traveled with a group from the Baytown YMCA and participated as a bailiff in these trials. Her efforts put her in the "Showcase Round" for trial courts and she took home the First Place Award as the top bailiff in the state!

At the Supreme Court level, homeschool students stood out in several areas. Jennifer Russell, from Austin, campaigned for Chief Justice and also served as a Justice in the Supreme Court during competition rounds. When the election returns came in, Russell was on top! She will assume the duties of this office immediately with leadership training and board meetings in preparation for the '97 State Conference. Also serving as a Supreme Court Justice, Erika Tatum enjoyed donning a black robe and presiding over the mock trial which debated the issue of double jeopardy as it relates to the remedial and punitive purposes of D.W.I. sentences.

Both Russell and Tatum participated in the "Showcase Round" for the Supreme Court. Justice Tatum was honored in closing ceremonies by receiving the First Place award as a distinguished delegate and Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Making their appeal, attorney team Heather Barber and Chris Warne competently articulated their position before these distinguished Justices. They have come away from the conference with a new understanding of how our judicial system functions.

Legislative Division

In the Legislative division of the Conference, homeschoolers from Austin - Brocket Davidson, Jeff Hunt, and David Nichols - worked hard together on a proposal as Executive Government Planners. These students composed a document which proposed a solution to alleviating the illegal immigration problem in Texas. They had the opportunity to debate and defend their ideas among the other participants from across the state. Their efforts were rewarded as their proposal worked its way through proper channels. These young men were presented with certificates in closing ceremonies honoring them as distinguished delegates in the program.

Training Future Leaders

The YMCA Youth and Government Program is an excellent training program offered in many states. It identifies and equips the leaders of our country for tomorrow. The Conference in Texas is held in the Texas Capitol and all events take place in the actual buildings where their "real life" counterparts do business every day. Governor George Bush took time from his busy schedule to address the students in a special session in the House. His message inspired and motivated delegates to take their influence on society seriously.

It is becoming evident that homeschoolers will be in the forefront in future leadership roles. Even now, in a statewide conference which attracts large numbers of students from among the "cream of the crop" in our society, homeschoolers stand out in the crowd. Undeniably, they are a cut above. Their countenances reflect a purity and brightness which escapes words. Their character speaks of determination and confidence. Finally, their skills excel even in such arenas of fierce competition, and there appears to be none lacking among their ranks.

As these students take their rightfully earned places among their peers, officials and professionals from all walks of life are beginning to sit up and take notice. Proverbs 22:29 says, "Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men." These humble young men and women have not sought to exalt their own name, but have merely taken on the challenge to pursue excellence in this adventure we call education. Their love for learning and their passion for biblical values will truly distinguish them as leaders in their day.

Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

University of Nebraska High School University of Nebraska High School
Free Email Newsletter!
Sign up to receive our free email newsletter, and up to three special offers from homeschool providers every week.

Articles by Janis Tatum

Homeschoolers Meet In High Places

Popular Articles

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

AP Courses At Home

Teach Your Children to Work

Classical Education

Narration Beats Tests

University Model Schools

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Myth of the Teenager

The Benefits of Debate

Teaching Blends

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Critical Thinking and Logic

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Combining Work and Homeschool

Montessori Math

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

The Charlotte Mason Method

Start a Nature Notebook

Character Matters for Kids

Laptop Homeschool

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

The Charlotte Mason Approach to Poetry

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

A Reason for Reading

I Was an Accelerated Child

The Gift of a Mentor

Who Needs the Prom?

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Shakespeare Camp

Bears in the House

The History of Public Education

Phonics the Montessori Way

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Getting Organized Part 3

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

How to Win the Geography Bee

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1993-2021 Home Life, Inc.