Welcome! I'm Deborah Morris Burton and I am the creator of Homeschool Court. I'm so happy you're giving us a closer look and thought I'd share a little about the beginning of Homeschool Court. It's been a fun and wild ride!
Here's a look at the cover for the Student Edition in January 2020 before the planned changes.
There's many changes ahead for the mock trial curriculum, case summaries and related resources. With all the excitement of what's coming in the future, it's satisfying and rewarding to look back at how it all began.
I guess where it all really began was with an attorney meeting her future husband and becoming a born-again Christian!
The Homeschooling Journey Begins
My husband and I have two sons who have always been homeschooled and they are now in college. I am probably the least likely person to homeschool -- someone who argued vehemently with my future husband about even staying home with any children we would have!
From not wanting to stay at home to homeschooling our children...how God must have chuckled.
However, after becoming a born-again Christian, it mattered very much to me what God wanted me to do with my sons' educations. My husband and I believe strongly that God's direction to use was to homeschool our children. We started out year-by-year determining whether we would continue...and wound up continuing all the way through!
When our oldest son was in third grade, he and I were talking about what Mommy did before homeschooling. I described what I did as an attorney for a hospital and what attorneys did more generally...which led to what the law was...and the conversation continued for quite a while and I was surprised by his level of interest.
I believe God gave me the idea some time later to pull together some children around my son's age to teach them the basics about our legal system and put on a fun mock trial at the end. I advertised it on our local homeschooling association's email list and I was happily surprised when about ten children signed up right away.
The class was a great experience. My son enjoyed it and so did the other children. I started teaching these classes every so often and my son would participate, so I came up with different cases to use at the end of the class to keep his interest.
Mock Trial Classes Spread
Well, people began telling others about the classes and I started receiving requests to teach classes at different locations. Some of them were close to where we lived and that was usually not a problem to coordinate and plan.
However, word began to spread farther. I received requests to hold my classes hours away from where I lived. A couple of times requests came from neighboring states. But I had two young sons to homeschool and take care of. I wasn't able to go to a lot of the locations and I felt bad that I had to disappoint those far away homeschool moms. I wanted their children to have the same opportunity mine had!
Again, I believe God gave me this idea, too: pull together my teaching ideas into a plan that other homeschool moms could use no matter where they lived! And thus, Homeschool Court was born!
I continued to teach my class every so often and I was able to make improvements and try different ways of teaching the material. I saw that the curriculum could be used in ways that went well beyond the mock trial world:
* in government, civics or debate classes
* as a supplement to a history or logic curriculum
* as an exercise in a writing course
Now that both of my sons have graduated and are in college, I am throwing myself wholeheartedly into Homeschool Court again (it was amazing to me that I had less time to work on my business with teens than I did when they were younger). I am designing new case summaries, updating the curriculum itself and branching out into new avenues (more to come on that later!).
There will be a new cover for all Homeschool Court materials February 1st!
I am very responsive to inquiries and questions. I want your course to be a success! Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can put you on an email list so that you will receive notifications and updates about all that Homeschool Court has to offer.
Enjoy your homeschooling journey! May the Lord bless you and your family as you seek His will.