Tag: alumni testimonial

Teresa M.: “P only cared about her check clearing.”

“At the time my parents were homeschooling us in the state of Ohio a certified teacher was needed to sign off that the children were being educated. They were supposed to look over the last year’s work to verify. The woman who did ours was also a member of our church and homeschool support group and never even looked at the stuff mom brought her, which wasn’t much. I even remember mom commenting that ‘P only cared about her check clearing.’”

Megan P.: “I do not wish my experience on anyone”

“I was constantly reminded that if I didn’t vouch for my family in the most favorable light, I could and probably would be separated from them. (I now recognize that to be another clear sign of abuse.) The fear of child protective services, and social workers in general (being agents who tore families apart), was both irrational yet deeply ingrained in me as a child.”

Kimberly R.: “Every abuse had a magnified effect on us”

“My mother . . . read to us a lot and corrected our grammar constantly. As a result, my siblings and I all have excellent literary skills. However, both of my parents were sorely lacking in the area of math and science. Since they were the only source of academic support that I had access to, I did not have access to a proper math and science education. I was told many times in my childhood that boys are naturally better at math and science, and that I, being a girl could never excel, so I never tried.”

Lana Martin: “I suffered severe depression, suicidality, and disordered eating”

“Early in my childhood, my mother was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder; throughout the homeschool years she struggled to function as a mother, let alone as an educator. . . . My mother also exhibited traits of borderline personality disorder and was unpredictable and frequently intrusive, hypercritical, and explosively angry.”

Jeremy C.: “For a long time, I did not support regulation of homeschooling”

“I still believe in John Holt’s vision of a healthy, self-actualized society of lifelong learners, but I see nothing in Teach Your Own that says the lives of abused children don’t matter, or that taking basic precautions to protect against abuse is an unreasonable hindrance to the learning process. Ultimately, I believe that I can best advocate for homeschooling by advocating for regulations that protect homeschooled children; being a supporter of homeschooling and a supporter of homeschooling regulation are, for me, the same thing.”

Jamie G.: “I want to see that change, now”

“I was homeschooled … in Illinois, a state that has no homeschool regulation, no testing requirements, nothing. Unless a homeschooled child has been in a public school district before being homeschooled (which would require the family to notify the district as they withdraw the student), local officials and the state quite frankly don’t know you even exist if you are homeschooled.”

Jennifer P.: “My parents broke the state’s homeschooling laws knowingly”

“Upon settling in Pennsylvania, which has regulations that are generally seen as “stringent,” my parents refused to report, having not reported previously. I met other homeschooling families who followed the laws and their children usually participated in a co-op or other activities with other homeschoolers. . . . I was not aware of any educational shortcoming in my friends—even the large families used evaluators and spent a lot of time DOING school.”

Arielle G.: “I was a homeschool poster child”

“I was a homeschool poster child. When proponents tell skeptics about homeschool alums with soaring test scores, stellar credentials, and successful careers, I’m one of the examples they cite. After being home educated K—12 in California and Idaho, I pursued my passion—history—at an Ivy League college, graduating with highest honors and moving on to a Ph.D. program in the same field.”

Caitlin T.: “In New Jersey, things fell apart”

“In New Jersey, things fell apart. Without oversight, there was no need to think about compiling a portfolio. Without state standards, there was no benchmark for my progress. We still tried to follow the Pennsylvania guidelines for high school (3 years of math, 3 of science, 4 of English, etc.), but no one was there to check up on us or offer help as I entered harder subjects.”

Amethyst Marie: “The students most affected … were girls”

“I believe that the education I received through homeschooling was likely better than what I would’ve gotten in my local public school districts. But I can’t say this for all the homeschoolers I grew up with. I knew teenagers who weren’t being given a complete high school education, particularly high school math and science. The students most affected by this were girls.”