Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Annual Legislative Day
For nearly 30 years, Idaho homeschool families have visited the Idaho capitol to highlight to our elected officials the many advantages of a private home education. We serve homemade pie while our legislators tour a wide variety of student displays and listen to our talented musicians. This event is sponsored by Homeschool Idaho, but we could not do it without the help of families just like yours.
We would love to have YOU join us!
There are 5 different ways to participate in Legislative Day:
What would Pie Day be without delicious homemade pies? Our goal is 250 whole pie donations to have enough to serve legislators, staff and other guests at the capitol. All flavors of pie are welcome!
Create a Display
Our student displays highlight the interests and pursuits of students privately home educated.
A display can be about any school subject that has caught your interest and that has been pursued with passion. Do you like coding, robotics, literature, writing, art, sports, foreign language, outdoor activities? We need a wide variety of displays since each legislator will connect with a special interest of their own.
Perform Live Music
Our student musicians provide a delightful atmosphere that invites our guests to linger and enjoy. If you have a student with a musical gift, we would love to give them an opportunity to perform in the rotunda of the Idaho Statehouse.
Lend Your Teen
We would appreciate help from your responsible teen! These young adults will need to arrive at the capitol building to help with set-up and to receive pie donations curbside at the capitol steps. They will be needed throughout the day to assist with many tasks including delivering pies to various offices around the capitol complex, greeting legislators, and assisting with clean-up. Our legislators really enjoy meeting these special teens!
Take a Field Trip
We are excited to inaugurate in-person field trips during Pie Day. During this guided tour of the Idaho capitol building, students will learn about state government and how a bill becomes a law. They will discover historic treasures on display throughout the capitol with our special field guides. We will try to arrange for your students to meet an Idaho legislator (depending on availability), and our tour guide will explain how a bill becomes a law.
What do Idaho’s Legislators think of Pie Day?
The History of Legislative “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.