Catherine S.: “Everyone needs a checks and balance system”

“The horror film that was my life growing up in an isolated homeschool household is what will keep me a forever supporter of this organization.”

I was educated using a curriculum that was self teaching — read and follow directions — and later, my education was outsourced to homeschool coop groups for college prep high school classes. I was often left alone to figure out answers on my own and use deductive reasoning. This forced me to think critically, but it was often challenging without educated feedback from an adult to confirm my findings verbally. 

I might have looked like a homeschool success story, but this was only on the surface. 

We (my sisters and I) definitely were homeschooled as a result of and to hide chronic covert abuse on every level. It was done under the guise of evangelical, conservative, baptist Christian faith, but the truth was that my older sister had spoken with one of her public school teachers at the time, telling them what was going on in our home and my parents had to contain the situation by homeschooling us and scare us into silence to protect themselves. 

The state had practically zero oversight over our living conditions or educational progress aside from annual standardized IOWA testing as a measurement of our successful retainment of information. State oversight would have shined a light on some of the social and developmental handicaps that we were developing as a result of constant chronic abuse. 

If mandatory counselors visits or therapist sessions were required by state law without the presence of a parent, either one or all of us could have been saved from the situation. 

I understand covert narcissism due to my parents. I understand how blindly people can stand in defense of homeschooling, only because they never see, experience, or hear about the diabolical things that are happening in toxic homeschool homes. I know from experience the reality of what we are talking about — helpless children that may never see the light of day outside of their parents’ immediate reach, day in and day out, for 18 years. 

Everyone needs a checks and balance system for moral, ethical purposes. I hope that the Coalition for Responsible Home Education can not only bring awareness, but help create a healthier checks and balance system for homeschool families all across the U.S.

The horror film that was my life growing up in an isolated homeschool household is what will keep me a forever supporter of this organization.

Catherine was homeschooled in Georgia in the 1990s to 2000s. For additional thoughts and experiences from other homeschool alumni, see our Testimonials page.

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