Voices for Reform: A Case for Oversight
Many members of the homeschooling community support oversight of homeschooling, including current and former homeschooled students and current and former homeschool parents. At CRHE, we are working to change the conversation. We believe that the voices of homeschool alumni should play a role in conversations on homeschool policy, and that the voices of homeschool parents who support oversight should not be ignored or minimized.
If you would like to contribute your own personal reflection, you can! We invite homeschool alumni and current and present homeschool parents who support accountability for homeschooling to lay out and explain their reasons. You may use a pseudonym if necessary. Click here to learn how to submit your own call for reform! We would love to feature your thoughts.
Homeschool Alumni Reflect
Homeschool alumni who support oversight have had a variety of experiences, some positive and others negative. Alumni with negative homeschool experiences often want to save other children from suffering the harm they did while alumni with positive homeschool experiences want to ensure that current and future homeschooled children have positive experiences too.
- Joan T.: “My dysfunctional and borderline emotionally abusive home was my school.” - “I believe to this day—as I did in childhood—that I should not have been homeschooled, at least not all the way through high school as I was.” For fifteen years, I was a princess in a tower. I... Read More
- Sarah: “The school never did anything to enforce their regulations” - When I was growing up, I was badly abused by my parents, to the extent that it meets the current definition of intrafamilial child torture. Solitary confinement (being locked in my room for days or weeks at a... Read More
- 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... Read More
- Bea M.: “Unchecked power is perilous” - “In my profession, I understand that teaching is a skill. Parents may love their kids, and even be educated themselves, but that doesn’t make them teachers.” I was homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. I am the oldest... Read More
- Jackie H.: “You owe your child a proper education” - “If you are a parent reading this: Ask yourself, why am I homeschooling? Can I give my child a proper education? You owe your child a proper education.” I was homeschooled from kindergarten to eighth grade and also... Read More
- Elle S.: “Some years I had science, most years I didn’t” - “There was a direct correlation between the minimum legal requirements for homeschooling in the state where I was home-educated, Ohio, and the content of the education that I received.” I went to a private school from grades 1-4.... Read More
- Erika S.: “Verbal and physical abuse was a norm” - “My ‘education’ was in spite of my homeschool education.” My experience homeschooling was a fight to survive and every day a focus to cultivate skills for after I left. I went to public school through 6th grade and... Read More
- Jane N.: “We were completely cut off from the outside world” - “Even when taken to the doctor, I was not allowed to see them without a parent present. I think this was because my mother was afraid what we might say. I believe I was pulled out of public... Read More
- Rai Storm: “There was no gratefulness. There was no escape. It just went on and on.” - “When I was in regular school, I had several adults telling me that I was smart, that I was kind, that I was capable of producing good things and of being a good person. When I was homeschooled,... Read More
- Brittany Randolph: “As time went on, our schedule became looser and looser” - “My sister and I were fine with this at first. No school! We could spend time on the things we actually wanted to do. One thing, though, is that none of these things involved friends, at least not... Read More
Homeschooling Parents Reflect
Many homeschooling parents also support oversight of homeschooling and see the need for reform. Below, homeschooling parents share their own personal reflections and discuss how the current lack of oversight for homeschooling in most states affects them personally.
- Faye Marcinko: “Homeschooling in America is full of contradictions and extremes” - “The idea that I have the ‘right’ to do anything I want with my child, without respect to his/her or society’s well-being, strikes me as utterly barbaric.” I am a former attorney homeschooling my child because I love... Read More
- Linda P.: “I wish I could paint a happy ending to this story” - “I want families who choose this route to have a tremendous homeschool experience. After hearing about the Turpin case, like many others with homeschool experience, I believe changes needed to be made in the laws.” My name is... Read More
- E. Bradshaw: “Some kind of oversight for me would help me out” - “I’m a people-pleaser and a rule-follower. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with everything [my son] is required to know, and some kind of oversight for me would help me out. I think some oversight for the people in our co-op... Read More
- Roianna: “I think complete dysregulation is dangerous and harmful” - "While I was researching what I would need to do to homeschool, I was stunned to find that in Texas homeschooling is completely unregulated. . . . Professionally I am a counselor. [At one point] I was working with people struggling with substance use disorders and trapped in poverty. . . . A sizeable portion had left school because their parents pulled them out, allegedly to homeschool them."
- Amanda Smith: “I want a professional looking at what I’ve done” - “As a licensed civil engineer, I would not think twice about my superior evaluating me. It simply wouldn’t be safe for the public if I were to design something without that design being checked by my superior. I think about accountability and oversight of home education in the same way.”
- LaDonna Sasscer: “We home educators should welcome accountability” - “The homeschool community should be leading the way in demanding accountability in home education. We who are not abusing our children, we who are providing a quality education, we who want to be accepted participants in community life, should demand politicians put in place a process that differentiates between quality home education and child neglect, and in the worst cases, abuse.”
- Lara Kondor: “I had never actually intended to homeschool my son” - “Christian believes homeschooling did benefit him. He was allowed to explore reading, math, history and science at his own pace and to develop a great passion for learning. However, he worries that this may not be true of all homeschooled children. He especially worries for the girls he knew that were being told as young as five that they would not go to college because their duty was to be a good wife and mom.”
- Jackie Cordon: “I always felt very fortunate with Iowa’s homeschooling laws” - “As a Christian homeschooling parent of four, I always felt very fortunate with Iowa’s homeschooling laws. I homeschooled my children in Iowa for fifteen years, all the way up until my youngest graduated three years ago. I’m writing because Iowa’s homeschooling law benefited my own children in a real way, and I want present and future homeschooled children in Iowa to have these same benefits.”
- Keith and Gail Brightbill: “We are strong believers in accountability” - “Space does not permit us to discuss the many more positive benefits homeschool parents and their children receive by having accountability procedures in place. Following a few requirements is not burdensome and provides protection for both the parent and child and ensures a successful homeschool experience for all. Remember, the goal is to prepare our children to be educated, moral, productive members of society.”
Across the Country
The personal reflections featured here are written by individuals across the country. While the level of oversight in each state varies, nearly every state’s system of homeschool oversight has serious flaws and loopholes. These reflections shed light on a wide variety of problems that plague current homeschool accountability measures, and touch on points for change.
The personal reflects presented here are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the positions of CRHE.