The Seduction of Homeschooling Families

Has the time come for homeschoolers to reevaluate a relationship with the local government school?  Pioneers of the homeschool movement were very leery of any involvement with public schools due to a myriad of reasons.  It appears homeschoolers are not the only ones who foresee a loss of liberty with involvement in this educational system.

Regarding “… homeschool-public school partnerships … In fact, finding ways to draw homeschooling families back to the public school system seems to me a necessary complement to the passage of effective regulations [of homeschoolers]” [p. 39-40]. *

* Reich, Rob. (2001, August 30 – September 2). Testing the boundaries of parental authority over education: The case of homeschooling. Paper prepared for delivery at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, August 30 September 2, 2001.

Indiana Association of Home Educators and IAHE Action have been concerned about the government’s reach into the area of homeschooling.   The word “seduction” is a perfect description.  We may even describe it as two Trojan Horses.  They appear to be gifts, but on closer inspection, there may be hidden, undesired surprises.

The first Trojan Horse is the virtual public charter school.  We have attempted to make a distinction between home schools and these type of schools which are accredited, public schools which are funded by the state.  Homeschools are non-accredited, nonpublic schools which are funded by the parent.  We are pleased to see improved marketing where these schools are now advertised as online, public schools.  In the early days of these programs, many believed they were the same as what IAHE has been advocating for over three decades.  IAHE has spent considerable effort educating the Indiana homeschool community as to the difference.

The second Trojan Horse is the idea of government-funded homeschooling.  For those who are new to the homeschool community, they may not understand that taxpayer funding forces the recipient to have accountability to the government.  This is as it should be.   The best way to protect your autonomy as a parent is to avoid the strings of government-funding.   What “choice” do parents have if all educational options are funded by the taxpayer and therefore under government control?

ESA Trojan Horse

IAHE Action wants to share an excellent article that we believe ties in well with the concerns expressed above.  It is called, “The Seduction of Homeschooling Families” and is from Foundation for Economic Education.

Government Homeschooling Programs Seek to Eliminate Parents’ Choices for Their Children’s Education

Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes.

For the last several years, homeschooling has been the fastest growing educational alternative in the country. Estimates of its growth rate typically range from 15 to 25 percent annually. Homeschoolers are notoriously difficult to count; however, the National Homeschooling Research Institute believes that currently 1.2 million children get their education at home. While that constitutes only about 2 percent of all school-age children, it’s more than 20 percent of those who are outside the government educational system. and, with a 20 percent annual growth rate, another quarter million children will join the homeschooling movement this year.

The sheer number of homeschoolers represents a distinct threat to the hegemony of the government school monopoly. Qualitatively, the academic success of homeschoolers, measured by standardized test scores and recruitment by colleges, debunks the myth that parents need to hire credentialed experts to force children to learn.1

Read more here.

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