Homeschool Idaho


Legislative Day is an annual formal reception at the Capitol. Delicious homemade pie from homeschool kitchens is served to Idaho’s legislators. Beautiful classical music is provided by homeschool students. Displays are presented in the Capitol’s Rotunda, highlighting the quality achieved by home education in Idaho. And, very importantly, compiled testing scores of Idaho’s private home educators are presented to legislators. “Pie Day” is an event that Idaho’s lawmakers look forward to year after year.


February 10, 2021

Bake Pies

Our homemade pies serve as a small but tangible expression of our appreciation to our legislators and Capitol staff. The pies also reflect the individuality of each homeschool family creating them; the time and effort invested in a homeschool is mirrored by that invested in a pie made from scratch. We count on each and every pie you make to help provide the means to say “thank you” to the hundreds that visit us on Legislative Day and protect our freedoms! If you can participate, please let us know by February 8, 2021.

Create a Display

Share with Idaho’s Legislators what you have been learning at home. The subject of the displays are as unique as Idaho’s homeschools. In past years, displays have highlighted Idaho history, 3D printing, astronomy, raising bees, parasites, and sportsmanship in a variety of activities. The opportunity to interact with these unique families make this event the highlight of the legislative session. Students who participate must be between the ages of 10-18, and privately home educated. The application deadline for displays is January 16, 2021.

Be a Teen Ambassador

Teen Ambassadors help with setup, accept pies as they are dropped off, deliver whole pies to officials, escort legislators around displays, and assist with cleanup. Ambassadors must be between 14-18 years old, and privately home educated. Be sure to read the information sheet below for all of the details on participating as a Teen Ambassador. The application deadline for Teen Ambassadors is January 9, 2021.

Perform Music

Students who have studied violin, viola, cello, piano, harp, classical guitar, oboe, flute, English horn or clarinet are invited to apply to play classical music. In keeping with building noise protocols, amplified or loud instruments may not be included. Applicants for music performance must be between 10-18 years old and privately home educated. Participation is based on audition. The application deadline for music performers is January 16, 2021.

Thank you for the great work you do. It’s so important! I always look forward to the pie, and all the wonderful kids on the fourth floor who make home education sparkle like the crown jewel that it is. Representative Lenore Hardy Barrett

The History of Pie Day

At the advice of Representative Tilman, in 1993, the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators began hosting an annual Legislative Day at the Idaho Capitol.  They asked homeschool families to bake homemade pies to serve Legislators, and they asked a couple of Legislator’s wives to cut and serve the pie. These ladies were the grandmothers of homeschooled children.  They were lovely and sweet, and who can resist homemade pie anyway? Whether they came to please these dear Senator’s wives, or to get their piece of pie, it didn’t really matter. What was important was that legislators came to our show and tell.

They were greeted by homeschooled “Teen Ambassadors” who offered to show them around the fourth floor of the Rotunda, which was filled with interesting displays and bright-faced young homeschooled students.

Legislators met face-to-face with real homeschoolers, who shook their hands, looked them in the eye, and spoke articulately about their displays. They listened to musical performances by talented homeschooled children. They played chess with some very gifted chess playing homeschoolers.

“Pie Day” became a much-anticipated annual event. To this day, Legislative staff not only marks the date for this event on their calendars, but some even bring their own ice cream to adorn their pie.

One of the most important things for Legislators to see each year are the large testing charts that are on display. These charts compare the standardized test scores  of Idaho homeschoolers with Idaho public school students, and also the national averages. These scores make a dramatic statement about the academic effectiveness of home education.

Every year since 1993, the message that we have conveyed to our Legislature is quite simple: “We want nothing but our freedom.” Legislators have regularly commented that we are the only constituency that comes to the Capitol without having our hands out for assistance from the government. They are quick to remind us that what they finance, they must also regulate.

Through the years, Pie Day has expanded to more floors than just the fourth. It now includes a floor highlighting the accomplishments of Homeschooled Alumni where legislators are served coffee and tea. Another floor showcases Idaho Homeschool History.

Our excellent relationships at the Idaho Capitol are built upon the efforts of ICHE, now known as Homeschool Idaho, in hosting this annual event. They also work hard all year to build and maintain strong alliances with legislators.

Furthering this strong tie are homeschooled seniors who serve as Pages for the Idaho Legislature. The Sergeant at Arms, who hires and manages the Pages, has come to rely upon homeschooled students as responsible and hardworking teens.

Idaho homeschool families are thankful and proud to be represented at the Capitol by an organization that operates with a high standard of integrity. Our philosophy of coming alongside of legislators and offering them honest, direct advice on issues impacting home education, has turned out to be very effective.