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Home schooling revolution / a best seller about how to teach your child at home.
Home schooling revolution / a best seller about how to teach your child at home.

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This book offers a comprehensive, readable overview of the modernday homeschooling movement.

Isabel Lyman is a longtime homeschooling advocate. Her columns about home education have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal Investor's Business Daily, National Review, the Boston Herald, the Dallas Morning News, and the Daily Oklahoman. She has also been published in the refereed research journal, "Home School Researcher," and by the Cato Institute of Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in social science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a doctoral degree in social science from the Universidad de San Jose, Costa Rica. She taught high school for over a decade at a small private school founded by her husband, and she is the mother of two teenage sons. Izzy can be reached at ilyman7449@aol.com. She welcomes constructive criticism, questions about home education, and invitations to drink iced cappuccino.


I would like to say "thank you" to the very fine folks who helped make this book a reality: Kirik Jenness, the CEO of Bench Press International (and my sons' former karate instructor), who eagerly agreed to publish the manuscript; David Boaz, executive vice-president of the Cato Institute, who published the policy analysis I wrote, "Homeschooling: Back to the Future?" which became the impetus for this book; Rich Jefferson of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who faithfully answered the scores of e-mails I sent him; the various newspaper and magazine editors who allowed me to pester their readers when they ran my homeschooling columns, which provided much of the material for this book; the homeschoolers who agreed to be interviewed for this project; my children, Dan and Wid III, who were the guinea pigs for this educational adventure; my mother, who prayed for me (gracias); and last, but not least, my husband Wid. Wid may be one of the few men in the country who earned a commercial truck driving license after receiving a Ph.D. in civil engineering. He is also an outstanding copy editor, first-rate football coach, and dedicated homeschooling father. I am your biggest fan, Pops, even though you told me I had to write a straightforward book and keep the wisecracks to a minimum. I would be amiss not to mention that I am extremely grateful to the good Lord for allowing me to live in a country where homeschooling is freely practiced and where a commoner such as I can write a book. God bless America. And God bless homeschoolers. They are the bravehearts of our age. It is to them that this work is dedicated.

but with down-to-earth people who are prac- . and my curiosity as a freelance journalist motivated me to write The Homeschooling Revolution. This book evolved from the columns and articles I have written about homeschooling over the last seven years. homeschooling has proven to be a marvelous way of educating their children and achieving family unity.The Homeschooling Revolution / 5 Preface Homeschooling exemplifies the American dream. homeschooling parents have engineered a major change in American education. the research was conducted in the busy. my own journey as a homeschooling mother. not with ivory tower thinkers. For many parents. It requires initiative. but rather a loving parent can accomplish that task . I often received correspondence from parents and requests for interviews from reporters who wanted to learn more about homeschooling. It is my hope that this book offers a window into the modern day homeschooling movement. I deem it a 'revolution' because in a short period of time. The most commonly asked questions include: Why homeschool? What type of family homeschools? What about socialization? How do homeschoolers fare academically? What are some of the limitations of homeschooling? These queries. While much of the book was written in the solitude of my office. lively homes of homeschooling families. more competently than the professional. No longer do Americans think it is necessary for a credentialed professional to teach a child to read and write.more often than not. patience. I have enjoyed many conversations. and much hard work. but its rewards are long-lasting. During this time.

The Homeschooling Revolution / 6 ticing what they preach. Done properly. I hope this book reveals that many. many American families are doing the job in an outstanding fashion. homeschooling is an exciting way to teach-thine-own. Writing this book was a rewarding project. Isabel Lyman August 2000 . but not nearly as rewarding as my endeavors as a homeschooling parent.

Yesterday and Today Chapter 3 Legal and Political Inroads Chapter 4 The Socialization Question Chapter 5 What About Academics? Chapter 6 The Marketing of a Movement Chapter 7 The Print Media and Homeschooling Chapter 8 Growing Pains Chapter 9 Profiling Homeschoolers Chapter 10 Conclusion Endnotes 9 23 33 45 59 71 81 93 209 123 129 .The Homeschooling Revolution / 7 Table of Contents Chapter 1 Homeschooling 101 Chapter 2 The Movement .

from the Fort River Elementary School in order to homeschool him. It was the controversial incident that brought Richard's school a great deal of negative publicity. and Richard found himself correcting the third grade teacher's math errors. Although the breakfast was eventually deemed illegal by Amherst's town counsel. Anne adds a complaint that would be amusing if it weren't true.Homeschooling 101/9 Chapter 1 Homeschooling 101 It is a wintry morning in New England. Massachusetts." she shares with frustration. The principal of Fort River Elementary. The books they assigned the children were boring. a small business owner and single parent. Outraged by what she saw as illegal discrimination. Anne. "I didn't like the whole language approach to teaching reading and the awkward way they teach printing. sits at a long table in her federal-style home situated on two acres in Amherst. Anne Maxson." The singular event that pushed Anne and Richard into homeschooling was even more absurd. is savoring a mug of coffee. Her face becomes animated as she rattles off a laundry list of reasons why she has chosen to remove Richard. . "The kids in my son's class knew more about bead work than spelling. Russ VernonJones. Anne alerted the Boston Globe to the event. 48. her youngest child. she was severely criticized by teachers for speaking to the press. decided to host a "blacks only" breakfast on school grounds for African-American staff and parents.

Cory. He also earns a substantial amount of pocket money doing yard work and plays on an ice hockey team. "Being a widow.The Homeschooling Revolution /10 the principal. I feel a great responsibility to my late husband to do the right thing and give my son an education that emphasizes straightforward academics. an idea she once deemed radical. and Stephanie. . 47. Rick is 14. 52." explains Anne. They have three children . postage stamp collection hobby with his grandmother. and there were no repercussions. In addition to spending an average of three hours a day with his mother as his main teacher. not social engineering. he shares a U. Richard enjoys the tranquility of the home classroom where he says he is not distracted by the antics of other students and where his lively mother is more fun than previous schoolteachers. Alan. "I couldn't see my son going to a school where the principal had broken a federal law. a dance instructor. Debbie currently schools her two teenage boys. to Anne's chagrin and that of other local taxpayers. and Debbie. (1) * * * * * * Not far from the Maxsons live the Shumways. Alan's mother and stepfather live part of the year with them in a cozy apartment attached to their house that Alan built. Richard is enrolled in the sixth grade of the Calvert School." notes Anne.S.Rick. is a roofer. did not even receive a reprimand for his role in orchestrating the "no whites welcome" event. a popular correspondence program. At that juncture. Anne decided to pull Richard out of public school and teach him herself.

science. Now I am. "My mother always told me I should be a school teacher. the Shumway boys were categorized as special education students for their language-based disabilities. The Amherst schools are legendary for the generous budget that goes toward the special education program." she says contentedly. attends a public elementary school. Debbie was faced with a decision: homeschool him or put him back in public school. for the 1998-99 school year. but will begin her homeschooling when she reaches middle school. the boys spend their mornings in a wellapportioned corner of the family room. geometry. studying English. "The behavioral problems of others can negatively influence my sons' academics. including snowboarding and music. After Rick's brief and productive stint at a private school which closed.Homeschooling 101/11 and Cory is 13. When they attended public school. and world geography. They are active adolescents who enjoy their extracurricular activities. Nowadays. 11. Stephanie. Debbie spent three months working her way through the chain of command at the Amherst-Pelham regional school district to become the first parent in Amherst to homeschool a pair of students with special needs. But she adds that . Debbie and her family have adjusted to homeschooling and find their lifestyle is less stressful as a result of their choice." admits Debbie. equipped with a computer and modem. The Shumways decided to homeschool Rick. But the Shumways were uncomfortable with their sons having to face the pressures of being in a program that is also known to attract students who really act up. as well as remove Cory from public school.

now a college sophomore and a former National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.The Homeschooling Revolution /12 she does not know how long she will homeschool. Whitney often heads to the family barn to ride a quarter horse named Rocky. Ruth Sanderson Whitney's mom. about twenty miles east of Amherst. The dining room table is strewn with both Whitney's textbooks and Ken's lesson plans. trains in Tae Kwon Do and socializes with other homeschoolers. an icon of Saint Patrick. It's a charming room to work in. have chosen to homeschool because they were disappointed with the mediocre quality of education at the local private school their daughter attended . He briefly schooled his older daughter. 47. takes swimming lessons. Latin. and Ken. Ken Robinson settles down to another day of schooling his 12-year-old daughter. (2) * * * * * * In the blue-collar town of Ware. She also participates in Girl Scouts. When the lessons are done. and religious education from a Russian Orthodox perspective. Morgan. like The Twelve Dancing Princesses. target shooting. and oil paintings depicting scenes from beloved fairy tales. This is where the two spend several hours a day working through a sixth grade curriculum. The art work is by the award-winning artist. 46. Whitney. science. practices law part-time in order to act as his illustrator/author wife's business manager and to teach Whitney. Ruth. preferring to commit herself to one year at a time. math. recorder practice. who holds a law degree and master's of business administration. The Robinsons' curriculum is an eclectic blend of the modern and the traditional . Ken. filled with antique furniture.grammar. plays soccer. historical novels.

Homeschooling 101/13 in kindergarten and second grade. to accommodate their children's educational and emotional needs." Meanwhile.including doing two years in one year and not getting ignored if she doesn't understand the material . is not in their children's best interests." he notes. who upon observation seems to take her assignments seriously. Public schooling has never been considered by the family. I don't want my daughter placed in a morally hostile environment that pretends to educate someone in a value-free environment. and the Robinsons are educational pioneers that embody the can-do spirit that is synonymous with the homeschooling movement. she readily agrees that the advantages of homeschooling .outweigh the disadvantages. in Whitney's terse opinion. says she likes learning with her father. they are representative of that portion of American families who have decided that sending one or all of their children to school. the Shumways. since government schools are anti-Christian. Ken has cheerfully resigned himself to the task of being Mr. He says. They are also generous parents who have reinvented their lifestyles. And while they live in only one corner of the country where homeschooling occurs. Yet. and the socialization is negative. boring. "I enjoy having the opportunity to provide my daughter with a real education. Schoolmarm. It was. * * * * * * . whether temporarily or for the long run. Whitney. (3) Anne Maxson. whether public or private. She admits to occasionally wishing she could attend school with other children for the social component. That is the most precious gift I can offer her. "The quality of education is lacking. and Ken is not shy about voicing his opinions about that institution.

Some parents choose to homeschool because they desire a tailor-made. Some utilize a back-to-nature approach which allows children to understand their world through experience and apprenticeship. One drizzly night they told us that Matthew. not a factorymade. too. a sweet couple named Tim and Jan. Since we were budding individualists and were expecting a baby. we discovered that underneath their laid-back veneers they harbored ambitious plans. Over dinner and Uno games.with reading. Others prefer to include religious instruction . and arithmetic. first grade. I read all the homeschooling literature I could find (which wasn't much 18 years ago). I discovered that homeschooling was not really that new. but rather it was a return to the way education was before the days of common schools and compulsory attendance laws. My encounter with homeschoolers began in the Pacific Northwest. would not be attending kindergarten. They planned to educate him at home. and Jan was not even a college graduate. or any other grade for that matter. My husband and I were living in Bellingham. Torah. am a traveler on the educational road less taken. writing. their three-year-old son. Washington. were better at dispensing hospitality than fixing leaky faucets. Resourceful parents . our curiosity was piqued. Our apartment managers. Once I had been introduced to the teach-thine-own concept. or Koran .be it the Bible.The Homeschooling Revolution /14 I. approach to learning. starting with Home-spun Schools by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. my investigative juices began flowing. during my first year of married life. I also discovered that the reasons to homeschool were as diverse as the methods employed.

I realized that there is more to homeschooling than teaching a child how to write cursive. the math man. and custodian? Was I willing to seek out friends for my child? For some parents. had similar results with numbers. and I had briefly worked as an elementary school teacher in south Georgia. My husband. and recite the capitals of the fifty states. We made our decision to homeschool for these reasons and more. . In his case. and were ecstatic when Dan read simple stories at age five. physical education instructor. we were converts to the modern-day homeschooling movement. the homeschooling lifestyle would challenge the organizational and homemaking skills of even a Martha Stewart. It seemed like there was no better use of my or my husband's time and energies. in our homeschool. Why not homeschool? We both had bachelor's degrees. my desire to play a daily role in training my child's mind and shaping his character was overwhelming. Dan's little brother. and we would enroll Wid III. cafeteria worker. We had taken the initial step and tasted success. By the time our son was born in Miami.Homeschooling 101/15 are finding the will and the way to make homeschooling work for their families. especially those with a large brood. As I prepared for the time that school would begin. I needed to be able to answer the following questions with a yes: Was I willing to bypass a lucrative career to stay at home? Was I willing to be the art teacher. The homeschooling marathon had officially begun. Not long after asking ourselves Why homeschool? we began wondering. Florida. dean of students. we were ecstatic when he read simple stories at age eight. Still. We began to informally teach our firstborn phonics by using Scrabble blocks. find square roots.

Sometimes we tire of teaching. we have faced the typical struggles many homeschooling families confront. days when I wish I could hand my children over to the 'professionals. I stated. now a serious ice hockey player. Sometimes our own children tire of Mom and Dad as their teachers.The Homeschooling Revolution /16 As the years have passed. We borrowed oodles of library books. surfed the Internet. trained in karate. Friends muse that we are a tad overprotective of our offspring. viewed umpteen videos about World War II. Socially we have never lacked opportunities for our sons and have exposed them to a smorgasbord of experiences. conducted science experiments (including hatching baby chicks and dissecting a Carolina grasshopper for a television reporter). and even took a year off from all manner of formal learning. watched animal surgery. where we lived during our sons' formative years. Massachusetts. They have played on numerous sports teams. and taken classes with other homeschoolers. sacked groceries. bought books on tape (from Pippi Longstocking to Harry Potter). Grandparents question the wisdom of making ends meet on one. Store clerks wonder aloud why our child isn't in school on a Tuesday morning. sometimes modest. we made use of traditional and nontraditional curricula. electing to take a sewing class as a little . Memories include Dan. and our curriculum has advanced from colorful math flash cards to complex physics problems. traveled to other lands. salary. I found myself confessing as much in an article I wrote for National Review in 1996. ad libbing whenever the need arose. located in the college town of Amherst. In our little schoolhouse. attended camps. we have had much joy homeschooling our boys.' " (4) Nevertheless. "There are days when I wish I could march out of my home in an Armani suit to make piles of money on Wall Street. as well as the perks of the modern culture.

We also ran a tiny school. and given one son our blessing to try public school in Oklahoma for a semester. During the dozen years we've been teaching our boys. Our curriculum was challenging . For several summers. we hosted children from inner-city New York in our home through the Fresh Air program. and our instruction was personal. a co-ed day school which offered back-to-basics courses and some vocational training. We called our extended homeschool Harkness Road High School. We believe our efforts of laboring in the vineyards of the alternative educational movement are paying off.D.a grade of B was required to pass each course. and Wid III receiving a first-class geography lesson when he joined his trucker dad on the road. much to the delight of his feminist teacher). Our diplomas were real. dined with the residents of a shelter for the homeless. both of us earned Ph. 17 of our 20 graduates went on to college. adjacent to our Massachusetts home.Homeschooling 101/17 boy (the only male to do so.'s. and we had two National Merit Scholarship finalists. teaching other parents' teenagers. my husband and I have been schooling ourselves. By taking turns in master's and doctoral programs. We've entertained Nelson Mandela's grandson at a Halloween party. * * * * * * . and our sons have developed a can-do attitude that will serve them for a lifetime. Our marriage is strong. chatted with Pat Buchanan in our living room and on Lexington Green. since we limited enrollment to twenty students. traveled to Costa Rica to meet thenPresident Rafael Calderon Fournier.

has succinctly observed: Schooling. the media. from those which use the approaches of conventional schools to those which are repulsed by conventional practice. (6) Some homeschoolers' philosophy can be boiled down to a phrase: The world is my classroom. is what goes on in schools. the peer group. writing for the Rockford Institute. on a daily basis... (5) Homeschools are as varied as the individuals who choose this educational method.a situation which .The Homeschooling Revolution /18 What Is Homeschooling? Homeschooling is defined simply as the education of school-aged children at home rather than at a school. The home. Concurrently. and from the homeschool that follows homemade materials and plans to the one that consumes hundreds of dollars worth of commercial curriculum materials per year. the church. education takes place wherever and whenever the nature with which we are born is nurtured so as to draw out of those capacities which conduce to true humanity. are all educational institutions. as John Lyon. rather obviously. (7) Many home educators subscribe to the notion that the student who receives his instruction simultaneously from the home and the community will become a much more culturally sophisticated child than the one whose learning experience is marginalized to an institutionalized setting. They [homeschools] range from the highly structured to the structured to the unstructured. homeschoolers are never limited to interacting with same-age students. Or. as is the case with students in a conventional school setting . the shopping mall . the neighborhood.

the freedom which allows families to teach whatever interests them on a schedule that suits their lifestyles. without fear of . comprise the popular country music trio the Wilkinsons. Jedediah Purdy. Kevin Johnson. Andrew Wyeth. the 7-year-old who aspired to be the youngest girl to pilot a plane across the country. Ike. The historical record offers noteworthy examples of individuals who experienced the 'the-world-is-myteacher' model. Homeschooling vs. Government (Religious and Secular) and Private Schooling There are stark differences between homeschooling and public schooling. and acclaimed artist Thomas Kinkade. Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson. and Tay Hanson. Homeschooling is based on a core American belief in freedom. Achievers like Woodrow Wilson. Christina Aguilera.Homeschooling 101/19 often makes them peer-dependent. Michael New. the pop music princess and grammy-award winner. Zac. Trust and Commitment in America Today. the late Jessica DuBroff. Homeschooling parents can teach that God created the world or they can teach evolution. the brothers who make up the rock group Hanson. Buck. who. the homeschooler-turned-Yale-lawschool student. who plays football in the the National Football League. prominent homeschoolers include Jason Taylor. along with their father. an army medic who was courtmartialed for refusing to don a United Nations uniform. who is the author of For Common Things: Irony. who has four homeschooled daughters. and George Washington Carver were educated at home. Today. Pearl S. instead of invigorated by learning. Steve. who plays basketball for the University of Tulsa and became the first homeschooler to play in the March Madness tournament. Thomas Edison. Agatha Christie.

more rigorous standards. attendance requirements. and grouping by age. raise llamas. as well. The public school is a well-organized monopoly funded by confiscatory taxes. but to private schooling. rude classmates. and a safer environment than the major- . or open a bakery. Most would argue that. teachers. and union officials often act as paid mouthpieces for a failing system. Homeschooling parents can use materials that are boy-friendly for their sons and not worry that they will face a challenge from The Ms. He is not at liberty to escape from lazy teachers. They can take the time to travel abroad. Woe to the homeowner who chooses to not pay property taxes because he has no children.The Homeschooling Revolution /20 offending a special interest group. Woe to the dissident who complains property taxes are too steep when advocates want to build another elementary school. train for a triathlon. private schools (religious and/or secular) offer students a better choice. Homeschooling parents don't take a dime from taxpayers. He may have a lien put on his home or face imprisonment. on the other hand. Of course. public school administrators. He must submit to a draconian set of standards: state-mandated courses. He will be tarred as a heartless Grinch. Many private schools have superior teachers. or ideological indoctrination.' A young person attending public school has little control over time or social contacts. home education is an alternative not only to public education. is a duressbased system. nor do they impose their educational methods on other parents. for those who can afford them. Government schooling. To boot. Homeschooling parents have the luxury to pursue more than academics with their children. Foundation. because education is always blindly promoted 'for the children's sake.

Few. as do credit and graduation requirements. students in private school's have little say concerning the teachers they are taught by or the students they are expected to learn beside. But the framework in which information is disseminated is basically the same. Some even include religious and character education instruction. The information has been selected by adults other than the students' parents or their teachers. and intellectually-varied students. Grade levels are determined primarily by age. Most academic curricula in private schools mirror their public school counterparts. Between arrival and departure. uninterested. One adult. as have been the textbooks and instructional methods. Seldom is there opportunity to vary the regimen to accommodate the students' interests and abilities.Homeschooling 101/21 ity of public schools. Note the similarities between public and private schools. Even the extracurricular activities are similar. parents or students consider questioning this format. if any. is expected to communicate information to a group of unrelated. typically a woman. . All students in a school are subject to the same predetermined academic standards. each day is structured to implement a group of adults' perceptions of what a typical school day should look like. and behavioral guidelines. Students are expected to arrive and depart at the same time every day. Very often it is a loud bell or buzzer that informs faculty that one topic of study must end and another begin. grading policies. Sometimes there are more than 25 of these charges. And often it is student-teacher and student-student conflicts that interfere most with children's ability to learn. As in public schools. regardless of aptitude.

It is this distinction that sets homeschooling apart and invites the information and analysis presented in the pages that follow. During the eleven years my husband and I operated our private high school. and educational philosophy on a yearly basis before granting us the authority to continue with our school. . This one difference separates homeschooling from all forms of institutionalized education. teachers' credentials. The bottom line is this: If children are enrolled in a school (be it public or private). in accordance with Massachusetts law. someone besides the people who know them best and love them most are assuming the responsibility for their academic experiences. almost without exception. They reviewed our curriculum.The Homeschooling Revolution / 22 The fact is that most private schools can't even exist without conforming to an educational paradigm established and regulated by public education bureaucrats. we had to have the approval of the local public school committee.

began to inquire into previously neglected areas of educational research. Raymond Moore In 1969 Raymond Moore. Department of Education employee. and his wife Dorothy. John Bowlby of the World Health Organization.S. who holds an education doctorate from the University of Southern California. laid the groundwork for what would become the greatest populist educational movement of the 20th Century. as we know it today. a former U. The seeds of what has grown into the modern-day American homeschooling movement were planted by them 30 years ago.Yesterday and Today / 23 Chapter 2 The Movement . Two of the questions the Moores and a team of like-minded colleagues set out to investigate and answer were: Is institutionalizing young children a sound educational trend? and. may not have existed if not for a pair of Paul Reveres who alerted parents to the pitfalls of dispatching their children off to schools. and Burton White of Harvard . Moore. These two men offered a solution to parents.The Movement . including Urie Bronfenbrenner of Cornell University.Yesterday and Today Two Pioneers Homeschooling. a reading specialist and former Los Angeles County elementary school teacher. What is the best age for school entrance? (1) The Moore team sought advice from over 100 family development experts and researchers.

" (2) Psychologist Bronfenbrenner went a step further and claimed that subjecting children to the daily routine of elementary school can result in excessive dependence on peers. this work led to an unexpected interest in homeschools. the Moores began to conclude that developmental problems (including hyperactivity. nearsightedness. 20 of which compared early school entrants with late starters. are written from a Christian and research perspective. These specialists made recommendations that went against the status quo. They believed that there should be "a cautious approach to subjecting [the child's] developing nervous system and mind to formal constraints. a trait he viewed negatively. stating. and dyslexia) were often the result of prematurely taxing a child's nervous system and mind with continuous academic tasks. Dr. but contain a broad message for all interested parties. which have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. In the process of painstakingly analyzing thousands of studies. convinced the Moores that formal schooling should be delayed until at least age 8 or 10." (3) The Moores went on to author a series of books about homeschooling. The Moores advocate a firm but gentle approach to home education that balances . which overwhelmingly supported shielding young children from daily contact with institutionalized settings. The bulk of this research. They offer practical advice to parents on how to succeed as home educators. Eventually. The books. "These findings sparked our concern and convinced us to focus our investigation on two primary areas: formal learning and socializing. including Better Late Than Early and Home School Handbook. like reading and writing.The Homeschooling Revolution /24 University. Moore explained the upshot of his research. or even as late as 12.

allowing them to use drugs. trumpeting a libertarian note. [Y]ou will surely agree that if the government told you that on one hundred and eighty days of the year." (5) How Children Fail.. play. Holt compared the dreariness of the school day to the experience of having a "full-time painful job. and own property). who did teaching stints at both experimental and conventional schools. for six or more hours a day. and work outside the home in a loving atmosphere geared toward a child's particular developmental needs. Sounding like British author Charles Dickens. the .The Movement . also lamented the compulsory nature of schooling. Holt. denounced the lack of liberty schoolchildren had. engage in promiscuous activity. Holt. The late John Holt was an articulate advocate for decentralizing schools and returning greater autonomy to teachers and parents. while subscribing to unorthodox ideas about children's rights (e.Yesterday and Today / 25 study.. and there do whatever people told you to do. (4) Holt came to view schools as places that produce obedient. He saw the child's daily grind of attending school as preparation for a life of paying confiscatory taxes and blind subservience to authority figures. even in the most pleasant school settings. chores. a second voice emerged in the ongoing debate about the shortcomings of public school education.g. where he viewed the practice of testing. but dull citizens. as having detrimental effects on learning. you had to be at a particular place. John Holt During the 1960s and early 1970s. for instance. you would feel that this was a gross violation of your civil liberties. He wrote .

understanding. It is not an artificial place. "learning by living." What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children's growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools but that it isn't school at all. set up to make "learning" happen and in which nothing except "learning" ever happens. as he termed it. organic. Holt espoused a philosophy that could be described as a laissez-faire approach to home-based education or. foisted Holt into the national spotlight with its revolutionary tone. The publication became a tool that allowed the burgeoning number of home educators to network with one other. To disseminate his views." It is a philosophy that those sympathetic to John Holt's writings have come to describe as "unschooling. (7) * * * * * * . and creating with which they were born and of which they made full use during the first two or three years of their lives. Holt founded Growing Without Schooling in 1977. central. In summary.The Homeschooling Revolution / 26 book which he published in 1964. Holt concluded that the humane way to educate children was to give them the freedom to learn at home and expose them to the larger world that surrounds them. Holt argued that students' attendance at schools causes them to dislike learning because "they fail to develop more than a tiny part of the tremendous capacity for learning." (6) Ultimately. It is a natural. one might easily and rightly say the foundation of all other human institutions. a bimonthly magazine for and about individuals who were pursuing educational activities outside the framework of school. fundamental human institution.

those who work with Holt Associates. individually. former hippies. like Susannah Sheffer. rather than serves impressionable children. earned a sizeable (but hardly exclusive) following among parents who chose to homeschool primarily to impart traditional religious mores to their children and are representative of the "Christian right. . Moore. By the mid-1980s.The Movement . who had responded more strongly to Holt's cri de coeur. By the 1970s the countercultural left. has become a popular figure with the wing of the homeschooling movement that comprises a coalition of homesteaders. have always attracted individuals who are more complex than these stereotypes. Although they worked independently of each other.Yesterday and Today / 27 The constituencies attracted by Raymond Moore and John Holt. however." Holt. This group would change the nature of homeschooling from a crusade against the so-called establishment" to a crusade against the secular forces in society that denigrate the traditional core beliefs of religious conservatives. comprised the bulk of homeschooling families. Rather. Curious parents sensed that these men were not spouting educational jargon. Still. these two men have earned national reputations as educational mavericks. like Moore's. they had reached their conclusions by watching scores of children be shortchanged by a system that is based on age-oriented grouping and government-prescribed credentialism. eloquently addressing the angst felt by a diverse body of Americans about the present-day educational system . a former Christian missionary to Japan. and New Age devotees. reflected the contrasting backgrounds and lifestyles of the two researchers. a humanist and Ivy League graduate. those affiliated with the religious right dominated the modern-day homeschooling movement. caution that Holt's books.a system that many suspect furthers the careers of educational elites.

pro-homeschooling legal advocates.7 million. Holt and Moore worked tirelessly to deliver the message that homeschooling is a good. (9) The Home School Market. Patricia Lines. believes there could currently be a million homeschoolers. (10) No exact figures currently exist. . prolific writings. and scores of homeschool high school graduates. and posits that homeschooling is growing at the rate of 15 to 40 percent per year.The Homeschooling Revolution /28 Buttressed by their media appearances. but there seems to be a general agreement that homeschoolers comprise at least one percent of the school-age population. published in April 1995. estimated that the number of home schooled children had doubled since 1990 to 800. Table 1 is an estimate of the current homeschooling population. legislative and courtroom testimony. (8) Brian Ray. when American families had more opportunities to work and learn together instead of apart. who worked at the federal Department of Education and has done extensive research estimating the homeschooling population. bestselling how-to books. if not superior. and speeches to sympathetic audiences. grass-roots movement abounding with support group networks.000 and would double again in the next five years. president of the National Home Education Research Institute. that it has the potential to resurrect the positive aspects of pre-industrial society. perhaps as many as 1. the growing popularity of homeschooling has produced a national. thinks the number is much higher. way to educate American children. I compiled these numbers mainly by contacting state education agencies. Numbering Today's Homeschoolers At the end of the century.

who are 17. but only for 1996.Yesterday and Today /'29 There are several caveats when using numbers provided by the states. and Rich Jefferson. All other figures are for the 1998-99 school year. Another problem is that some state agencies do not keep a count of homeschoolers. do not figure in the homeschooling population data base. compulsory attendance ends at 16. since compulsory school attendance laws (the laws which require school-aged children to attend school on a regular basis or be considered truant) vary from state to state. the estimates come from homeschooling advocates. in Pennsylvania a child is not required to enroll in school until he reaches his 8th birthday. As a last resort. (11) Parents who begin home educating a 6-year-old in Philadelphia are not obligated to report this undertaking to school officials and will not figure in that particular state's count of the homeschooling population. unless they are participating in a public school's extracurricular activities. For instance. and rely on state-wide homeschooling support groups with a large membership pool to provide estimates of the number of homeschooled children. This would not be the case. homeschooled students in those states. like Mississippi. as denoted in the table by an asterisk. In such instances. obviously. contributed numbers. In many states. unless the child is under age 6 and has attended more than 20 days in a public school. but in Georgia it is age 6. That particular five-year-old is subject to the state of Georgia's compulsory attendance laws. . I contacted the Home School Legal Defense Association. Therefore. A handful of states had no advocates or public officials who have come forward with a number. in Missouri the age is 7. This is specified by a double asterisk. in Atlanta.The Movement . the association's director of Media Relations.

all show the significant impact of the movement upon the policy-making process.The Homeschooling Revolution / 30 Finally. However. these families remain invisible to researchers. Consequently. that state departments of education are tracking the population. it should be noted that there is a portion of the homeschooling population that is "non-compliant. So the mystery of how many students are taught at home probably will not be resolved satisfactorily anytime soon. that a number is being debated. or they hold religious or philosophical convictions to not comply with state mandates." Noncompliant families are either ignorant of the law. . The debate about numbers is a politically-charged issue which can be used by advocates or opponents of homeschooling as a tool to make their arguments. and that many state education web sites are listing the names and numbers of non-government homeschool support groups as a way of assisting parents with this choice.

132 Hawaii 2.624 Iowa between 16.000 .645 Florida 33.739 Nevada approximately 5.000* Alaska 2400* (private homeschoolers) Arizona 21.000 and 32.129 Georgia 21.811 Maryland between 28.000* New Mexico 5.000** Missouri between 31.000 and 18.000 and 20.868 Maine 3.000 Illinois between 67.688 Louisiana 8.827 Connecticut 2.000 New Hampshire 2.000* Kentucky 9.000** Indiana 12.638 Mississippi between 16.000 and 77.000 and 10.000** Montana 3.131 Minnesota 13.000 and 19.000* Colorado 8.412 Nebraska 4.000 Delaware 1.532 Idaho between 4.The Movement .000** Massachusetts 10.271* Arkansas 8.Yesterday and Today / 31 Table 1 Estimation of the Homeschooling Population Alabama 15.500** Kansas between 15.000* Michigan 2.000 and 35.977 New Jersey 24.731 California approximately 100.796 New York 15.

500** 13.353 3.052 2.000* between 14.691 2.500 1.000 and 22.817 .487 between 150.000 and 3.037 between 63.000 and 200.000** between 20.217 and 990.826 19.000* 588 7.000 and 71.600 14.700** over 1.000* 20.324 19.500** between 893.The Homeschooling Revolution /32 North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Total 21.808 between 3.700 and 16.

Legal and Political Inroads / 33 Chapter 3 Legal and Political Inroads On the Legal Front One barrier to the practice of homeschooling is compulsory school attendance laws. compulsory attendance laws were successfully challenged in court." (1) Blumenfeld has observed that there has been no concerted effort to repeal compulsory attendance laws or have them declared unconstitutional. In Perchemlides v. . Constitution which prohibits "involuntary servitude. and even into the 1990s.S. one landmark case with a positive outcome for homeschoolers was decided in Massachusetts. as the homeschooling movement gained more converts. brought by a homeschooling family with two school-aged children." Blumenfeld also believes such laws violate the Thirteenth Amendment of the U. The court concluded that "the Massachusetts compulsory attendance statute might well be constitutionally infirm if it did not exempt students whose parents prefer alternative forms of education. Blumenfeld has argued. "Today the law is not being used to force delinquents and truants into the schools. but to harass and regulate home schoolers and fundamentalist Christian schools." (3) A milestone case for religious homeschoolers was Michigan v. The Dejonges were convicted of violating a Michigan compulsory education law. Dejonge (1993). Frizzle (1978). (2) But in the late 1970s. a Massachusetts state court established the right of the Perchemlides family to homeschool their son. For example. throughout the 1980s. As education author Samuel L.

The Michigan State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents. Any regulation interfering with that commandment is state regulation of religion. Parents who homeschool can encounter the most extreme penalties possible." (5) In reality. the Dejonges believe that the Word of God commands them to educate their children without state certification. Floyd and Roxy Shippy." (4) The court's conclusion? "We hold that the teacher certification requirement is an unconstitutional violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment as applied to families whose religious convictions prohibit the use of certified instructors. resided in the picturesque community of New Plymouth. and Robert and Cecilia Shippy were jailed for failing to submit to the state of Idaho regarding the education of their school-aged children (totaling sixteen chil- . By many accounts. In such a crucible landed a clan of farmers in southwestern Idaho. the Shippy brothers. Idaho.. ". a family of land levelers. Sam and Marquita Shippy. since they homeschooled for reasons of faith. Such families. some of the legal battles homeschoolers have won have been resolved only at tremendous emotional and financial costs to families. therefore. Their children can be removed from their homes or sent to live in foster homes. and the parents can find themselves jailed for their choice.. were respected laborers with model families.. devout Christians and pacifists.The Homeschooling Revolution / 34 since they failed to have their children taught by certified teachers. The DeJonges countered that the conviction was a violation of their right to freely exercise their religion. The Shippys. In November of 1984. were exempted from the dictates of the teacher certification requirements. The court stated.

the couples were charged with a misdemeanor for failing to enroll their children in school.the type of requirements that would be appropriate for those operating a conventional. The Shippys' problems with educational bureaucrats began in 1982. Although a six-month jail sentence was suspended. At the time of the sentencing." The Shippys were also expected to provide "methods by which normal social growth and peer interaction will be provided." as well as the "qualifications of the teacher (s). Along with a fourth brother. the four couples were placed on two years' probation with the stipulation that they enroll their children in public schools or an approved private program and that the children accrue no unexcused absences. Terry Shippy. For example. all three wives were breastfeeding babies. and when they refused to have their homes inspected.Black Canyon School." (6) The Shippys did not see the need to comply with these intrusive requirements. Connie. It was then that this close-knit family created a homeschool . had a long list of mandates for homeschoolers . school officials noted that the Shippy children were frequently absent from school and . The children went back to public school. The Board of Trustees of the New Plymouth School District. and his wife. The Shippys believed they had to "register" their homeschool with school authorities. they were hauled into court. headed by school superintendent Michael Jacobsen.Legal and Political Inroads / 35 dren). and their nightmare began when they inquired about the particulars of the process. the parents were told to post "Exit" signs over the doors of their homes. in the autumn of 1984. since their homeschool was required to "meet the local and national standards for health and safety of the children. Not long after. private school.

reimposed the jail sentence on three of the Shippy couples for failing to follow the court order to provide regular schooling for the children. When the holidays ended. writing. During their time in the care of the State. After three weeks in jail. were violated. then 14. The Shippy children spent several months in foster care before they returned home for good. On January 10. in 1987.The Homeschooling Revolution 136 complained that they were not being provided an adequate education. On November 8. which influenced their recreation and dress habits. 1984. She also had to wear jeans to school instead of the customary long dress she regularly donned. Payette County 3rd District Magistrate Byrne E. The Shippy situation ended on a sour note. For example. attended a graduation dance against her wishes. This. Sam and Marquita decided they had endured enough persecution and did not return the children to their relatives. And. and the children were allowed to return home for a Christmas visit. and drove them away. some of the Shippy children's deeplyheld religious beliefs. That decision set the scene for a horrific show-down. 1985. and working around the house when they were not attending school. Robert Shippy was again jailed for failing to comply with court-mandated home- . Sheri Shippy. in spite of the fact that Sam Shippy told the Idaho Statesman that the children spent their days reading. county sheriff's officers arrived at Sam and Marquita Shippy's home and forcibly carried their six children to state vehicles. Sam and Marquita Shippy moved from Payette County to Gem County (Idaho) to avoid further confrontations with school officials in New Plymouth. Behrman. the parents were released. loaded them in. (7) The Shippy children were placed under the guardianship of relatives who agreed to send them to public school.

in response to homeschoolers' numerous court victories at the state level. Cecilia. New York. On the other hand." (8) Thanks to the courage of the Shippys and legislators like Bob Forrey of Nampa. homeschooling families in states like Massachusetts are heavily regulated. his wife and the mother of their 11 children.) Until last year. since it is not necessary for homeschoolers to register with local school districts or even participate in statewide standardized testing.Legal and Political Inroads / 37 schooling procedures. Idaho (who advocated on behalf of this persecuted family and who began the process of shepherding a bill through the legislature to soften the state's compulsory school attendance laws). and submission of standardized test scores can be required. Bob Fontaine." (9) States such as Texas are considered friendly to homeschoolers in that there is no requirement for parents to initiate contact with the state. . Today. homeschooling is legal in all states. homeschool regulation in Idaho is a lax affair. But almost two decades after the Shippy tragedy. homeschooling is today a viable choice in Idaho. And the good news continued to sweep through other states. as can periodic reports on the students' progress. passed away. During his prison term. but laws and regulations are much more favorable in some states than in others. 33 states had enacted homeschooling legislation. According to the literature of the National Homeschool Association of Webster. (Curriculum is subject to the approval of the local superintendents. can only vaguely estimate how many homeschoolers there are because "it is impossible to have any kind of count of homeschoolers in Idaho. By 1995. "Homeschooling is legally permitted in all fifty states. the state's coordinator of elementary education. homeschooling families in Lynn.

based on the outstanding scores of his Stanford Achievement Test. for at least three months each year." (10) In spite of the magnitude of legal gains. Ms. even if their tactics infringe upon the right of innocent children to learn at home in peace. Vermont named Karen Maple. Section 4 reads that the legislature shall provide for the "compulsory attendance at some public or other school. no family can be 100% sure that there will be no action taken by statists who are determined to hamper the homeschooling efforts of committed parents. Maple was held at Chittenden Regional Correctional Center for tangling with public school officials who did not approve of the homeschool she set up for Trevor.The Homeschooling Revolution /38 Massachusetts were required to have their homes evaluated by school officials. Her crime? She refused state officials' demands to take her son to a child protection agency. Maple was deemed a criminal and was prosecuted by the Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services for truancy. . But Ms. went to court over the issue of home visits. Two Lynn families. Oklahoma has a constitutional provision guaranteeing what could be interpreted as the right to homeschool. In the fall of 1999 another Shippy-like homeschooling brouhaha erupted around a 36-year-old mother from Burlington. Indeed. Trevor thrived in the home atmosphere. whom they perceive as the 'competition.' while boosting the public school education monopoly. by school officials. homeschoolers can still be thrown curve balls. so his educational needs could be evaluated. Article 13. now and then. and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled in their favor. unless other means of education are provided. of all children in the State who are sound in mind and body. the Brunelles and the Pustells. her 15-year-old son. between the ages of eight and sixteen.

and Mrs. Since New Jersey state law does not require this type of notification. ranging from actual or threatened prosecution to the attempted imposition of restrictions in excess of the law. Judge Michael Kupersmith released Karen Maple after she had spent nearly two weeks behind bars. Maple's time in jail separated her not only from Trevor. "Such cases are but the latest battles in a war that today extends beyond the issue of home schooling to the fundamental rights of families to raise their children the way they see fit. This travesty of justice caused the Wall Street Journal to jump into the fray. the Home School Court Report (also affiliated with HSLDA) reported on the following two cases: 1) In New Jersey. Christopher Klicka. An editorial in the Journal noted. an attorney for HSLDA. they informed their local superintendent of their intent to homeschool and what textbooks their children would be using." (11) In the end. notes that during the 1990-91 school year.000 members with legal assistance." (12) In 1999. Those problems "involved various degrees of harassment. it was a shock to the Morales family when the viceprincipal of Mahwah Township insisted on examining the textbooks. and they were criminally prosecuted for being in violation of the compulsory attendance law.Legal and Political Inroads / 39 Ms. Morales declined.000 homeschoolers with problems sought assistance from his organization. The lawyers on staff at the Home School Legal Defense Association are called upon regularly to assist some of the organization's 60. but from a two-year-old daughter she was breastfeeding. (13) . Eduardo and Pamela Morales of Mahwah found themselves confronting the inconsistencies of that state's law. At the start of the school year. Mr. nearly 2.

homeschoolers overwhelmed Capitol Hill switchboards for several days in their efforts to get Congress to drop a drive that would have forced parents to get teaching certifi- . and detract from the effort that might be expended by the 'authorities' in providing public school students with a better education and safer schools. It is one aspect of the movement which can bind various groups of homeschoolers together and reminds them of their common belief that children learn better at home.The Homeschooling Revolution /40 2) In Kansas. In general. simply because public school authorities have deemed Donnie a "child in need of care. But bureaucrats in Crawford County were not eager to let him go. On the Political Front One focus of the homeschooling movement over the past couple decades has been to support legislation favorable to home education and prevent unfavorable legislation from being enacted. a 10-year-old child known as "Donnie C" was labeled as a special education student when he attended public school. The county attorney and the court-appointed guardian ad litem scrutinized both the competence of his parents and the number of hours of instruction in the Cipolla's homeschool. In 1994. Homeschoolers have shown they exercise political clout and have a track record to prove it. are troubling and costly. however." (14) These situations seem to lack logic. most homeschoolers have few complaints about the current legal climate and eagerly make use of the legal resources available to them if they do encounter a roadblock. Jeff and Tina Cipolla. decided to remove him from school to teach him in their home. His parents. for example.

Gary Bauer. the U. Bush. letters. he played on the football team of Lewiston High School. Pat Buchanan. the Congressional Quarterly noted that House members were besieged by homeschoolers with "calls. you call that socialization?" (16) Many homeschoolers have also won struggles to be allowed to have access to the local public school's extracurricular activities. and George W.. Steve Forbes. (15) In 1999. Maine's largest public school... 'What about socialization?' . and faxes for over a week . you look at some of our schools. It's not uncommon to hear stories like that of Stephen Moitozo II of Maine (who is the owner of Homeschool Associates and BookmobileOnline. (17) While some homeschoolers have opted to be a tangential part of the educational mainstream. served as captain. For those who have carped and criticized and said. which drew five of the nine presidential candidates . Senate proclaimed the week of September 19-25 as National Home Education Week." Their efforts paid off. The House voted with home educators. he started on offense and defense. During his senior year. He believes he is the only homeschooler on the East Coast with this sports resume..C. Alan Keyes. On that weekend.Legal and Political Inroads / 41 cates before they could homeschool.com. on that issue. the movement as a whole has been lauded by some for their commitment to . Candidate Forbes said the following: "You've shamed the regular school systems with what you've achieved. D. All were apparently eager to court the vote of homeschooling parents and to speak on behalf of the rights of parents to educate their children however they choose. 424 to 1.S.. Of this intense lobbying effort. As a teenaged homeschooler. the Home School Legal Defense Association sponsored a rally in Washington. and was selected the Most Valuable Player. which offers parents curriculum support).

what the homeschoolers have done. he shared his frustration with how little the conservative social agenda (e. Weyrich writes. "Therefore. what seems to me a legitimate strategy for us to follow is to look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness. a Washington. and puts in a positive word about homeschooling. new schools." In her column she applauds left-of-center homeschoolers for discovering a positive alternative to the "culture of death" into which many teenagers have immersed themselves. a liberal writer for the Washington Post. banning partial birth abortions) has been implemented. As Mann observes. despite the number of supposed conservative activists who hold elected office. "These home-schooling parents may have much to teach professional educators about how to develop safe and effective learning environments . in their homes. He blames the political culture's corruption for the decline of particular moral standards in society. "Home Schooling's Progressive Wing.where all children feel appreciated . head of the Free Congress Foundation." He continues." (18) At the other end of the political spectrum is Judy Mann. wrote a widely-publicized letter to supporters about the status of the conservative movement.so that we can stop the bloodshed at our schools. or by other enemies of our traditional culture.The Homeschooling Revolution /42 being separated from it." She ends her piece sounding like a gung-ho . D.C. "What I mean by separation is.g. who wrote a column entitled. for example. think tank. They have separated themselves from public schools and have created new institutions. but instead 'condition' students with the attitudes demanded by Political Correctness. In the letter. Paul Weyrich. Faced with public school systems that no longer educate. they have seceded.

subscribers learned she is also sympathetic toward homeschooling. and Cathy Duffy . and has courted influential homeschooling leaders .drlaura. Gregg Harris. Marshall Fritz formed the Separation of School and State Alliance to get government entirely out of the business of schooling. testing. Recalls Fritz. as fans address her." (19) Dr. Fritz sees growing public support for his idea. leaders of education reform organizations are also taking a serious look at this choice. Cathy Duffy gave the keynote address. tears were welling . Laura Perspective. 'This is the beginning of the parent re-responsibilization movement. 1990. "In July. daycare. Dr. Also featured in the issue were several website postings from individuals writing to www. Laura. The secular movement toward home schooling is itself creating environments in which children can soar. is not unfamiliar with homeschoolers. Laura is famously known for advocating stay-at-home parenting vs. curriculum.000 attempted calls a day from folks clamoring for her blunt advice on relationships.Mary Pride. Dr. averages 30.000 to 50. host of one of the most popular radio talk shows in the 1990s. financing.to sign on to his proclamation. streaming . Within twenty minutes. and credentialing. But in the September 1998 issue of her publication.and I nudged my friend who came with me and said.no. (20) While some political and cultural pundits are energizing the homeschooling debate.com which enthusiastically debated the subject of home education.1 sat in the front row at my first homeschool conference. which means kids who don't conform are often bored or cast out. Dr. and out of the business of compelled attendance. Laura Schlessinger. In 1994.Legal and Political Inroads / 43 reformer: "Public schools are institutions for educating the masses. Perspective included a two-page excerpt from The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson.' " (21) .

The Homeschooling Revolution / 44

The Children's Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit organization started in 1998, gives vouchers to low-income parents to help them gain access to the private schools of their choice. Bankrolled by the likes of philanthropists Ted Forstmann and John Walton, the organization has also earmarked scholarships for those who choose to homeschool. Some inner-city families are indeed using the vouchers for this purpose. There has also been a smattering of high-profile political candidates who are homeschooling parents. One candidate, Gex Williams of Kentucky, a homeschooling father of six, came close to becoming the congressman for the fourth district in 1998. Michael Farris, Home School Legal Defense Association founder, garnered 46% of the vote for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1993. Christina Jeffrey of Georgia is both a college professor and a homeschooling parent. She ran in the Republican primary for Newt Gingrich's vacated congressional seat when he resigned as Speaker of the House in 1998. Homeschooling parents also serve in state legislatures, on city councils, and on school boards throughout the United States. For example, State Rep. Kevin Calvey of Del City, Oklahoma has two children who are homeschooled. In addition to the progress homeschooling families make academically, they are finding that as individuals and as a movement they are able to bring about change and find success in the legal and political realms. Such has been the case for some 25 years, and there are no indications that the progress will be impeded, Homeschoolers have come a long way, and, unlike comedian Rodney Dangerfield, they are getting respect these days.

The Socialization Question /'45

Chapter 4 The Socialization Question

Barnaby Marsh's parents, John and Cheryl Marsh, raised him in the Alaskan wilderness near Talkeetna. They gave him the equivalent of a fifth grade education, and then allowed him to do his own learning. During Barnaby's adolescent years, he lived with his family in what he describes as "an extended exercise in wilderness survival," highlighted by sojourns to Anchorage. To his credit, Barnaby made the most of his unusual circumstances. He continued his education by reading the classics and observing his natural surroundings, which included a study of the red-necked grebe, a waterfowl. Today Barnaby is in his twenties. Did he grow up to be like a Boo Radley misfit - the recluse in To Kill A Mockingbird? Is he now a misanthrope, having been deprived of the privilege of 'hanging out' with other high schoolers? Not even close. Barnaby's bona fides are enough to make the parents of a suburban slacker weep. He spent his maiden semester of college, which was his first time in any school, at Harvard University, where he completed several part-time courses to determine how he would perform in a formal academic setting. He then elected to enroll at Cornell University, because he admired their ornithology department. At Cornell, he founded the Ecological Conservation Society; participated in non-competitive crew, golf, basketball, and swimming; was a reviewer for The Ibis (a respected ornithological journal); and served on the Undergraduate Research Board. In 1996, during his senoor year at Cornell, he became one of the 32 American recipi-

The Homeschooling Revolution / 46 ents of a Rhodes Scholarship. He is completing his doctoral dissertation, finishing up his third year at Oxford University in England, and has been elected to a very competitive research fellowship at Oxford. (1)
* * * * * *

Alexandra Swann was raised in the desolate desert of New Mexico. Her parents, John and Joyce Swann, were more sympathetic to middle-class amenities than the Marshes. Consequently, her free time didn't center around gazing at desert wildlife. Instead, Mrs. Swann, armed with only a high school education, assumed full responsibility for her thenfive-year-old daughter's education. Never attending school meant Alexandra spent her days at home with her nine siblings, helping her mother manage the household, and learning from the Calvert School's correspondence course program. For Alexandra, the lifestyle excluded her from cheerleading try-outs, proms, and gossiping with classmates in the halls. Did Alexandra cry herself to sleep for leading such a family-oriented, insulated existence? Again, not even close. By age 16, Alexandra had earned her diploma - a master's degree in history from California State University's external degree program. At age 18, she was hired by El Paso Community College to teach western civilization and U.S. history to students her own age. She says that all her students were products of the public education system. "I was horrified because there were so many of them who couldn't read and write," recalls Alexandra. Like Barnaby, Alexandra is currently in her late twenties. She manages a mortgage and loan business with her

"Twenty years ago we didn't know anyone who homeschooled. Resolution B-67 states that "home schooling programs cannot provide . the woeful Dickens' character in Great Expectations. critics. Neighbors. Very active in her church. She has self-published a book about her educational experiences and has been written about in national publications like National Review and Investor's Business Daily. Socialization Spend time. (2) And therein lies the heart of the matter. and clerics have always been curious about how homeschoolers acquire social skills. The questions run something like this: How does a homeschooled child make and keep friends? How does he get exposed to young people from all walks of life? Isn't a homeschooled child isolated? These are apparently the same concerns of the National Education Association.The Socialization Question / 47 father. and they will inevitably indicate that the most frequently asked question they encounter is about socialization. which adopted an anti-homeschooling resolution at the association's annual convention in the summer of 1999. not academics. rueing her past." says Alexandra. unable to function in society. chatting with homeschoolers. Alexandra didn't grow up to be a bitter Miss Havisham. There was a concern we would become vegetables. even briefly. extended family. That the feats of Barnaby Marsh and Alexandra Swann were accomplished when the homeschooling movement was barely a blip on the educational-reform screen makes their stories all the more remarkable.

The Homeschooling Revolution /48 the student with a comprehensive education experience." (3) As Kathleen Lyons. It is a preparation for the real world that students will have to face whether they are leaving the security of a school or their parents' home. economic status. (5) . (4) That sentiment is echoed by Lyons' colleague. National Education Association president. It is learning to work with others and interacting with people from different races. ballet classes. and ethnic groups. Public education represents a slice of reality that goes beyond participation in 4-H activities. Bob Chase. public schools offer students the opportunity to sharpen essential skills that are required in the job market today. the NEA also demands that "homeschooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. puts it. advantages that most common measures of education success overlook. a spokesperson for the National Education Association." In the same breath. backgrounds. Notes Chase in a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Education is more than forcing facts into a child's head. Too often missing from the debate on home schooling are the benefits that public schools provide children. Public schools provide such experiences. and church socials. backgrounds. Educating children to live and work in a global society where they will have to interact with people from different races.. and ethnic groups is best taught by experience.. such as problem solving in cooperative groups. Further.

"Calls have increased fivefold. school administrators are discovering that browbeating churlish adolescents to remain in school. failed to do anything about her plight. Georgia complained that she was repeatedly sexually taunted by a young male classmate. Monroe County School Board was heard by the U. WorldNetDaily." (6) Another serious issue in public schools is the growing problem of sexual harassment. This begs the question: What concern is it of the State? That schools can deliver what NEA proponents assert is a dubious. sued the Monroe County Board of Education. Supreme Court.The Socialization Question / 49 Giving the benefit of the doubt to Lyons and Chase. LaShonda's school. reported a huge surge in interest in homeschooling across the United States. intelligent students. When school officials at Hubbard Elementary School.S. That a child as young as LaShonda would have to endure such torment indicates that the oversexualization of children in soci- . let us assume that the advocates for a powerful teachers' union are committed to producing well-rounded. (7) The case is revealing on many counts. Aurelia Davis. The issue came to the forefront when a fifth-grader named LaShonda Davis of Forsyth. the girl's mother. claiming it violated Title IX. especially bored males. After the Columbine tragedy. an Internet news site. In May. the Supreme Court justices ruled that public schools can be sued and forced to pay damages for failing to stop sexual harassment by students. WorldNetDaily reporter Paul Chesser quotes a source from the Christian Home Educators of Colorado explaining. That school officials did nothing about criminal behavior is sobering. The case of Davis v. With alarming frequency. can cause chaos. for example. perhaps dangerous claim. from about 60 a month to over 300.

creates awful mischief.The Homeschooling Revolution / 50 ety. The owner would laugh you to scorn or answer angrily if you suggested that he send his young dog down to the kennel . combined with a lack of moral training. Laura writes. Raymond Moore. friends. then it is unrealistic to assume children will control their impulses to misbehave. Finally. Schools enjoy a notorious reputation as nondemocratic communities where a pecking order of cliques always emerges and bullies dominate the weak. which in another era would have gotten a student promptly expelled. seems drastic. Besides that is the narrowness of spending time with throngs of people one's own age. If school officials can't discipline conduct gross and unbecoming. "These big boys were sixteen or seventeen years old and they came to school only in the middle of the winter term. Consequently. (8) Parents have long complained about the unacceptable clothing. They came to thrash the teacher and break up the school. makes the point: The average owner of a fine dog is more careful in obedience training than most parents are of their young children. year after year. the notion that attending school teaches a young person stellar socialization skills is a debatable proposition. Consider a scene from school life in the late 1800s in a quaint. the story by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her husband's (Almanzo Wilder) childhood in upstate New York. And it is hardly a modern problem. manners. a founding father of the homeschooling movement. and entertainment that their children often copy from school-aged peers. one-room schoolhouse as depicted in Farmer Boy." She goes on to say that the teacher took care of the bullies by thrashing them with a 15-foot long blacksnake ox-whip given to the teacher by Almanzo's father. that the federal government would have to step in to bring a stop to crude actions.

As Joshua Harris.the Daniel Boones. the Nathan Hales.' one means the ability to control obnoxious behavior. then there is no evi- . we-are-theworld. being responsible enough to hold a job or support a family. in general. into the mainstream. tamed the land. He knows that a dog's manners and normal restraint go out the window the moment he moves in with the pack. mass media culture. Yet that is precisely the exercise most American early schoolers go through each school morning beginning in the school bus. It is a wonderful story of how American families. If by 'socialization. a twenty-something ex-homeschooler. we have a real opportunity to inject fresh ideas. So. just because they have not seen life in the same perspective that everyone else has. one-size-fits-all." (10) Defining socialization is an arbitrary exercise. often living in the wilderness as jack-of-all-trade trailblazers.The Socialization Question / 51 or pound daily in a yellow group cage to receive some socializing by his peers. knowing how to carry on a conversation. homeschoolers should be lauded for offering a less-jaded perspective on society because of their experiences. who once edited a magazine for homeschooled teens. the Davy Crocketts. and the Harriet Tubmans. Many children delight in reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. contributing to the community. These were individuals who went against the grain and whose heroic tales have inspired legions of Americans. points out. If anything. whether about relationships or education. (9) Critics who leap on the socialization bandwagon have forgotten their own nation's colorful past as one which lauds the principled individualist . and so forth. "Homeschoolers of my generation have a unique perspective. They also had a quality of life which seems far more interesting than our own homogenized.

Their behavior was observed by trained counselors who did not know which children went to regular schools and which were homeschooled. educators' and researchers' suggestions that traditionally schooled children may not be socially well adjusted. This finding supports many parents'. their mean problem behavior scores were well above the normal range of 0 to 6 suggested by the authors of the DOF [Direct Observation Form]. In 1992. then a doctoral student at the University of Florida. The results of this study draw into question the conclusion made by many educators that traditionally educated children are more socially well adjusted than are those who are home schooled. Larry Shyers.The Homeschooling Revolution / 52 dence that homeschooling parents have failed their children. In his study. Although the traditionally educated children participating in this study achieved high mean self-concept and acceptable assertiveness scores. This finding supports the belief held by home school . wrote a dissertation in which he successfully challenged the notion that youngsters taught at home "lag" in social development. which was measured by social development tests. two ground-breaking research studies debunk the myth that homeschoolers grow up to be social misfits. indicating a lack of appropriate social behaviors. the home schooled children in this study received mean problem behavior scores well within the normal range on the DOF. To that end. The study found no real difference between the two groups of children in self-concept or assertiveness. But the videotapes did reveal that youngsters who were taught at home by their parents had consistently fewer behavior problems. 8-to-10-yearold children were videotaped at play. (11) In contrast.

sex." Third. (12) In other words. "Even in a time of growing unemployment. Thank You!" these researchers tracked 46 adults who agreed to be questioned for life history interviews and who had been home educated as children. Homeschooled Kids . If children have fewer problem behaviors due to imitating adult behaviors. these people were gainfully employed and productive members of their communities. less emphasis may need to be placed on social interactions between children. as suggested by this study. Muchmore of the University of Michigan.and We're Doing Just Fine." (13) Three of Knowles and Muchmore's conclusions are revealing. family background. homeschooled students appeared to be better behaved and have higher self-esteem than their public school counterparts .The Socialization Question / 53 proponents that home schooled children are socially well adjusted. as opposed to immature peers. formal school attendance. In a study entitled "Yep! We're Grown-up. From this pool. "The characteristics of the home-educated adults in this study suggest that they grew up with specific advantages that contributed to their independent views of society and their roles in it. The second piece of research was compiled by J. First. present and past residential locations. Gary Knowles and James A.a character strength which has been cultivated because of the amount of time they spend in the company of mature adults. ten individuals were selected for the interviews with care given to forming a diverse group with regard to "age." Second." (14) . Spirituality and a sense of moral purpose were values shared by many of the adults. and vocation. "The adults reflected positively on their home education and their present occupations.

according to Knowles and Muchmore's findings. volunteering for internships. and attending houses of worship. like Barnaby Marsh and Alexandra Swann. Arai finds tha: homeschooled kids are good citizens by noting the high participation levels of homeschoolers in volunteer work and in activities outside the home. have at least one support group where parents can combine their efforts and provide educational and social opportunities for their children. "This suggests that homeschooled kids and their parents are keen to integrate into the wider society rather than pulling back from it. appear to grow up to be content.The Homeschooling Revolution / 54 Homeschoolers. is the emergence of a plethora of homeschool support groups. of Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. Bruce Arai. After conducting numerous interviews with homeschoolers of all stripes. Professor Arai wrote a peer-reviewed scholarly analysis titled "Homeschooling and the Redefinition of Citizenship. attending scout meetings.joining sports teams. Every major city and most other areas. Arai writes. working part-time jobs." In his paper he argues that compulsory schooling cannot be the primary agent for citizenship education. enrolling in college courses. in all 50 states. It might be useful to also include the observations of A. as is commonly presumed." (15) Homeschooling pioneers. . have been the backbone of the movement. which has proven to be a solution to the socialization dilemma. Hardly the social zeroes many critics claim they become. managing small businesses. running youth groups. that they are busy people . One phenomenon of the modern homeschool movement. like Professor Arai. hardworking adults with a strong sense of right and wrong. But those who write about more mainstream homeschoolers find that as a group they are very socially inclined. pursuing political activism. I have found.

(19) Many of these groups' leaders perform a yeoman's work. (18) In the Oklahoma City area.500 homeschoolers. for instance. was held in New England in the summer of 2000.The Socialization Question / 55 Richard G. Carol Simpson discusses the field trips the homeschoolers in her support group might go on . from offering information about state homeschooling laws to organizing conferences. Virginia has volunteers who organize a staggering number of activities. OCHEC magazine. According to Mallon. Mormons. Writing in The Catholic World Report. (16) Homeschool support groups range from the simple to the complex. the Richmond Regional Home Educators of Richmond. National groups have also formed for persons of various religious beliefs. Pursuing their respective faiths and their educational choices often becomes a collective exercise. lists twenty-eight such groups. Eastern Orthodox. "The parents support one another spiritually by praying with and for each . and Unitarians have groups and web sites. a publication for area home educators.dog sled rides or an overnight trip to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. Almost all agreed that they wanted access to a local homeschool support group. Alaska. For example. Ohio. and a graduation ceremony for high school seniors. detailed the results of a survey of 1. Catholics. where visitors can sleep among the seals and sea lions. The 3rd Islamic Education and Muslim Homeschooling Convention. writing in the Home School Researcher. John Mallon describes a Catholic support group in Steubenville. (17) In Homer. Muslims. Medlin. comprised of 53 families. and often communicate with fellow homeschoolers via newsletters. Jews. including a band. gymnastics and karate classes. and 85% of the families surveyed belonged to such a group or intended to join one. a yearbook.

a homeschooling mother. Jewish Home Educator's Network." (20) Lisa Hodge Kander and Joan Horowitz distribute a newsletter. which have been many and eclectic. (24) The Home Education Radio Network. The newsletter offers a schedule of Torah readings and activity ideas for the Jewish holidays. homeschoolers are redefining the debate about socialization. Down Syndrome. fun learning experiences. We have tried to offset their peer-oriented activities with significant interaction with adults. (23) Another association is geared toward Native American homeschoolers who want another option besides government reservation schools. we have played the key role in organizing our sons' social endeavors. and on the first Saturday of the month the parents and children attend Mass as a group. is made up of some 150 secular homeschoolers. a call-in talk show hosted by Vicky Brady.The Homeschooling Revolution / 56 other. National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network. (22) In a Washington Post column. waste-of-time recreation. we have aimed to provide creative. Not encouraging mindless." One group. it appears that homeschoolers eagerly network with others. whether the teacher-supervised brand is preferable to the parent-supervised version. Judy Mann described what she dubbed homeschool's "progressive wing. which has over 12. (21) Homeschoolers with learning disabilities. Since my husband and I have opted for the parentsupervised approach.000 families on the group's mailing list. (25) From the evidence. offers information via the air waves. They question whether school-based socialization is preferable to familybased socialization. like raising our . the Montgomery Home Learning Network of Maryland. Tom and Sherry Bushnell direct one such organization. Like everything else they have done. or cerebral palsy also have large support networks.

it's whose socialization plan to implement. . and with whom. They choose to make the decisions of where. and the research results are on their side. Mr. Tumnus. They have opted for their own. the question isn't whether to socialize or not. and how much they want to facilitate. Homeschooling parents are at liberty to decide what types of socialization opportunities are best for their children. Living in a university town helped us introduce our children to people from all over the world.The Socialization Question / 57 pygmy goat. like the Chinese family which regularly fed us dumplings while debating the merits of socialism. And we have taken advantage of the availability of playmates and activities within the homeschooling community. To them. when.

Students in kindergarten through 8th grade took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). writing on behalf of the project: "Fears that homeschooled children in Washington are at an academic disadvantage are not confirmed.000 homeschooled students across the country. homeschooled children consistently score between the 82nd and 92nd percentiles on achievement tests.What About Academics? / 59 Chapter 5 What About Academics? Besides growing up to be extremely productive members of society. or parents' level of education." (1) Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute. the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) published what some have deemed the most comprehensive study to date of the scholastic achievements of homeschoolers. The data surrounding homeschoolers who elect to take standardized tests indicates that this is the norm. demonstrated that the scores of those children were above average. gender. which has analyzed the SAT scores of homeschooled children in Washington state since 1985. analyzed the standardized test scores of more than 20. Patricia Lines. a statistician at the University of Maryland. Jon Wartes. concludes that "virtually all the available data show that the group of homeschooled children who are tested resembles that of children in private schools. notes that. race. Lawrence Rudner. not the exception to the rule. researcher with the federal Department of Education. regardless of income. and students in grades 9 through 12 took the Test of Achievement and Proficiency . it's hard to ignore that Barnaby Marsh and Alexandra Swann were both excellent students. (2) The data from the Washington Homeschool Research Project." (3) In 1999.

Farris. in that the families who participated are overwhelmingly white and Christian. (6) Homeschooler Charles Foster of Norman. Oklahoma. He opted for Rose State College in Midwest City and became the state's first homeschooled student to receive a full athletic scholarship to an Oklahoma college. president of HSLDA. Most of the scores were in the 75th to 85th percentile. was courted by several Ivy League institutions. and 150 in 2000." says Michael P. which means that these homeschoolers scored higher than 75% to 85% of their conventionally-schooled peers. the study shows that home schoolers pull further away from the pack. his research affirmatively answers the question: Does homeschooling tend to work for those who choose to make such a commitment? Other significant pieces of evidence about the educational progress of homeschooled children are plentiful and colorful. (5) While Rudner himself agrees that there are demographic limitations to the study. The results of the Rudner study reveal that a large majority of homeschooled students score well above the national average. (4) "Young home school students test one grade level ahead of their counterparts in public and private schools. (7) As another indication of high achievement. who commissioned the Rudner study. As they progress. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation selected more than 70 homeschooled high schoolers as semifinalists in its 1998 competition. typically testing four grade levels above the national average by eighth grade. one National Merit Scholar. of the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency. There were 137 homeschooled semifinalists chosen in 1999.The Homeschooling Revolution / 60 (TAP). . Susan Richman.

He correctly gave the winning response. Missouri.euonym . colleges and universities. who became the first homeschooled student to do so. "Immediately after high school graduation from home education. Strengths of Their Own . who also finished second in the National Geography Bee. as were four of the 10 finalists in the geography bee. surveyed the post-graduation endeavors of 232 high school homeschoolers.S. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported a boom in homeschooled students winning admission to selective colleges. South Carolina. "I've had lots of time to study.4% went to a four-year college on a full-time basis. 13. (10) The 2000 National Spelling Bee was won by George Thampy.Home Schoolers Across America. Indeed. "La Nina. and 8. (9) The 1999 National Geography Bee was won by David Beihl. Houghton College in upstate New York had 11 homeschoolers in its freshman class of 340. (12) Dr.correctly. the top three finishers at the 2000 spelling bee were homeschoolers. 25.What About Academics? / 61 reports that a hundred homeschoolers participated in the agency's online Advanced Placement courses in 1998. (11) Another important component to the academic success of homeschoolers is the sizeable number of students that have been admitted into U. Writes Ray. a thirteen year old from Brooklyn. a 12-year-old homeschooler from Maryland Heights. This discipline enabled her to easily spell the winning word .1% went Part-time. For example.2% went to community college. Brian Ray's 1997 book. of Saluda." the Spanish nickname for the weather condition that produces unusually cold ocean temperatures. in 1995." (13) . who has been taught at home since kindergarten. New York. 12." said David. (8) The 1997 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee was won by Rebecca Sealfon. Rebecca explained that her secret for success was studying word lists for up to three hours a day.

Their teachers/parents have a clear idea where their interests lie and the style of learning most suited to them. president of HSLDA. Many of them receive their instruction in a one-on-one setting. (15) Aaron Davidson. is the mastermind behind Patrick Henry College. have accepted graduates of this program. and the Citadel. Farris. parents have a wide variety of resources at their . Air Force Academy. (14) Taking college or professional courses while still of high school age seems to be a natural extension of the education of many homeschoolers. Michael P. a two-year college set in rural Virginia. Paul D. two other Colfax boys were also admitted to Harvard. Later. based in Arlington Heights. Lindstrom. It will cater largely to students who have been homeschooled and will open in the fall of 2000. Also. Indiana). a drop-in center for homeschoolers in Amherst. is a satellite school program which was begun by Dr. Dozens of colleges. the U. who eventually graduated from Taylor University (Upland.S. (17) Now homeschoolers are starting their own college. preceded his university enrollment with classes at the College of Siskiyous in California and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Since 1967. (16) A watershed moment from the early days of homeschooling was when Harvard University admitted the homeschooled son of Californians David and Micki Colfax.The Homeschooling Revolution / 62 Christian Liberty Academy. Illinois. regularly take classes at Greenfield Community College as part of their curriculum. Massachusetts. the school's correspondence curriculum has helped thousands of homeschooling families. including Yale University. teenagers who participate in the Pathfinder Learning Center. especially at an early age. For instance. (18) It is not difficult to understand how homeschooled students can do well academically.

And that happens only after the boys have been alert for a good part of the morning. it can be discarded and another obtained. in the car). It is this freedom that parents have to direct their children's progress through various subjects that helps to make their home education successful and manageable. Homeschoolers are free to progress more rapidly at home. our family has held formal instruction to a minimum and integrated book-based learning into the fiber of family life. educational video viewing. A typical day usually includes two hours of sitdown-at-the-desk academics. or advanced math. I have tried to make the learning as natural and spontaneous as possible. say. quiet reading. if they have special aptitudes in particular subject areas. Consequently. This has been our one-on-one time. If one textbook does not fit. where homeschool cooperatives exist. In many areas of the country. than if they are required to conform to the learning paces of others. Besides this formal hour or two. and the desk-setting is most appropriate for the work we are doing. such as music. in a classroom setting. when pencil and paper are necessary. foreign languages. and games (like Scrabble). Some parents even venture outside the home to contract the services of tutors who have expertise in subject matters in which the parents may be weak. . In my little homeschool. Most parents can discern when their children have mastered the material and are ready to move on. parents can share their expertise and offer classes for one another's children on a part-time basis. the day is laced with question and answer sessions (say.What About Academics? / 63 disposal.

other times the 'teachers' will need to mix and match to best serve their children. many parents opt for someone else's marketed formula for homeschooling. Sometimes one curriculum can meet a family's needs. Perhaps a friend recommends a set of textbooks. .e. Occasionally. not adhering to one particular curriculum. maybe a magazine advertisement catches a parent's eye. Fritz Hinrichs founded the Escondido Tutorial Service (ETS). Many programs are available to parents. or it might be that a group of parents review several curricula and choose one for their group of children (as in a learning cooperative). all year experience for us.with committed. homeschooled students can come out on top. Whatever the means. teaching style. These are merely the tip of the proverbial educational iceberg. Using online-video conferencing software. or evaluation criterion). Although we in our family have selected a very eclectic approach to homeschooling (i. Here are four examples that exist in the marketplace of homeschooling ideas. every day. our sons have studied with other children and under other adults. Escondido Tutorial Service For parents who desire a classical education for their children. whatever the tools . tutors work directly with students interested in studying the classics.The Homeschooling Revolution / 64 Learning is an all day. diligent parents.

its philosophy and literature. physical sci- . art. logic. the Great Books (e. Children taught by this method routinely exhibit academic proficiency. in high school. This includes education in math.What About Academics? / 65 What is a classical education? The core of Classical Education is the trivium. and culture of Western Civilization. analytical thinking and understanding . Shakespeare's plays..... (19) The unique subjects of grammar.g. it's all available. which . Geometry. The Robinson Self-Teaching Curriculum One package.. Click on." (21) So. and begin to learn. Arthur Robinson. in middle school.. and rhetoric supplement a study of "the history... New Testament survey . Homer's Iliad and Plato's Republic). apologetics. emphasizes concrete thinking and memorization . one stop shopping for a homeschooling curriculum... and the development of a Biblical worldview. This 12-year pre-packaged education plan was developed by Dr. parents who have not had a classical education themselves can provide one for their children via the Internet. and abstract thinking and articulation . widower and homeschooling father of six children.. "The curriculum offers self-taught preparation of children for the modern world." (20) The primary goal of classical education is "to give children the tools to think for themselves and to be independent. in grade school. one price ($195). lifelong learners.. including its languages (Latin and Greek)..

. Dr. and much more. where the kids study and work. the oldest child. only one curriculum is necessary." (23) Even at that. economics. will be able to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them. exams. math flash cards. and thinking they want their children to exhibit. According to Dr." (24) The curriculum includes 12 years of education.and then get out of the way!" And because children learn primarily by example." (22) Dr. and a daily schedule conducive to good study habits . and general studies. with 22 CD-ROMs. habits. history. mostly independently. And no matter how many children are in the homeschool. literature. they will continue to do so throughout their lives and. a good study environment. "If your children learn to self-learn. in so doing. Robinson and his children live out their homeschooling on a family farm. a parent's function is to "provide excellent books. a 120. parents should model the behaviors. printable books.The Homeschooling Revolution / 66 ences. Zachary. scored a combined 1480 on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) on his first try.000 page library resource. all of them are excelling academically. He says. Robinson. Robinson claims to spend "less than 15 minutes per day (on average) engaged in working as the children's teacher. They are teaching themselves.

' students can have their unit tests evaluated by an advisory teacher who grades the work and issues a report containing helpful suggestions and comments. our proven approach to teaching is our hallmark: Train a child early and well. which is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education.000 students. Education Counselors are also available by phone or e-mail. were enrolled in the A Beka Video Home School and A Beka Correspondence School. So far. more than 23. each year of the Calvert curriculum contains textbooks. For a 'reasonable fee. Students enrolled in ATS can earn completion certificates and have transcripts of grades furnished to other schools. and then add content and analysis to the highest standards. (26) A Beka Video School In the 1998-99 school year.000 students have participated in the Calvert program. Calvert's goal is to make homeschooling easier for parents and children. (25) Ranging from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. workbooks. teach the basics when it fits the child's development (at a time in their lives when they are eager to be trained). grades kindergarten through 12th. Both standard and enrichment courses are offered. and lesson manuals.What About Academics? / 67 Calvert School At Calvert. (27) Actual classes at Pensacola (Florida) Christian . more than 400. An added benefit of the Calvert School is its Advisory Teaching Service (ATS). either through regular mail or online.

Included with the teaching videos are the Teacher Kit and the Student Kit. Bible stories.The Homeschooling Revolution / 68 Academy. test booklets. and various teacher (parent) guides.. Parents facilitate. are videotaped and made available to homeschoolers. One thing has become certain: Just about any curriculum that covers all the basics can be used by parents to pre- . science (creation. test keys. chemistry. Only those closest to the children. A typical year's curriculum looks like this: 6th grade . arithmetic. While one curriculum may be appropriate one year. containing workbooks. will know what works best at any given stage of development. Christianoriented classroom setting. an entirely different approach may be best in a subsequent year. Or. taught by the school's master teachers. solution keys.. English grammar and usage. creative writing. the parents. physics). spelling and vocabulary (35 words and definitions per week). poetry and art. schedule. patriotic stories). Some are geared toward parents who want to teach. homeschooled students can learn in the comfort and quiet of their own homes. and oversee these lessons. one child may excel using one method and a sibling benefit more from another. others are especially for those parents who want only to facilitate their children's learning. Geography: History of the Western Hemisphere. Although instruction is initially delivered in a traditional. and can supplement them if they choose. * * * * * * Quite a broad array of homeschooling learning aids exist. as is sometimes the case. reading (character-building. in regard to both the materials presented and the teaching method employed.

If standardized test scores can be used as a gauge of learning. . Because most standardized tests focus on the topics covered in a traditional.What About Academics? / 69 pare their children for successful test-taking. who more and more have less and less taught to them about the basics. And indications are that homeschoolers will continue to fare well when measured against their institutionally-educated counterparts. A growing number of support groups and a broad selection of curricula will make jumping on the home education bandwagon increasingly doable for more families. usually better than most public school students. liberal arts academic program. And as a growing number of homeschoolers move up through the ranks and go on to college. home education appears to be very effective. children who study these topics from an early age can score well. the movement's success stories will draw others in.

from big hair to big steaks . they can browse long lines of curriculum tables. and they have fun hobnobbing with like-minded mavericks. homeschooling organizations host large state-wide conferences which feature homeschool advocates (like Christopher Klicka. When the North Texas Home Educators' Network held their annual conference at the Piano Centre in the summer of 1999. or Linda Dobson). a publishing company run by Mennonites. For the technologically -minded there was plenty of computer software. over a thousand participants came. At the two-day conference in Piano. saw. they can receive legal information about the laws in their particular state. and conquered the fundamentals of home education. Mary Pride. Complimentary copies of glossy homeschooling publica- . such as microscopes and plastic cages containing tarantulas. where the natives are supposed to like everything big . a suburb of Dallas. Geography Matters. Patrick Farenga. the National Writing Institute. and online class programs. and Rod and Staff Publishers. Raymond Moore. Homeschooling conferences are well-attended by parent educators because they serve several purposes.The Marketing of a Movement / 71 Chapter 6 The Marketing of a Movement In Texas. teaching videos. There was also science equipment. Year-round. an airy exhibit hall of vendors' tables included representatives from Texas Tech's Extended Learning Program. Parents get the opportunity to listen to nationally-respected speakers. as well as scores of workshops.even the homeschooling conferences are good-sized affairs. A 1993 conference in Massachusetts keynoted Martin Luther King III.

was the evidence manager for politician Woody Jenkins.The Homeschooling Revolution / 72 tions. because he observes that assimilating into public schools is negatively impacting Mexican youth. and another offered information for teaching driver's education. He wants to inform Mexican immigrants that their adopted country has laws which give parents the freedom to homeschool. Louisiana shared how his homeschooled brother. five homeschooled teenagers comprised a panel who fielded questions from the audience about their lives. 16. Eric. "LA Mejor Razon: For que Educar en Nuestro Hogar" ("The Best Reason: Why Educate in Your Home") was offered. president of the Texas Home School Coalition and father of four. like The Teaching Home and the Texas Home School Review.) This being Texas.S. Gomez' goal is an ambitious one. a Republican. charged Mary Landrieu. (1) At this conference one of the "big-gun" speakers was Tim Lambert. Thirty-two workshops were offered. The speaker was a Mexican-American homeschooling father of three named Jorge Gomez. a seminar in Spanish entitled. As part of the program. There is still much misinformation about home- . a state with a booming Hispanic population. Lawrence Burges. Lambert gave an introductory presentation about homeschooling covering legal and socialization issues. Gomez finds that young Mexicans are adopting more liberal values than the conservative ones historically embraced by Hispanics. Parents could unravel "The truth about dinosaurs" or sigh with relief after attending "No more fear in fractions!" One speaker dealt with the topic of the Internet. a Democrat. were distributed to conference participants. with voter fraud when the two vied for a U. He is enthusiastic about homeschooling. (Jenkins. an African-American lad from Baton Rouge. Senate seat in 1996.

" (2) She might add that the reasons also go beyond mere discouragement with a lax superintendent. agrees that "home schooling is a way of life. Whatever the challenge a particular family faces. of parents seems to demonstrate how eager families are to solicit advice to make their homeschools both manageable and enjoyable. In the comfortable atmosphere of Piano. or students smoking in the bathrooms.The Marketing of a Movement / 73 schooling. Even very good reasons to homeschool a child can dissolve on that fall day when a parent. public relations coordinator for the Christian Home Educators of Colorado. an inappropriate sex education class. Janice Quitmeyer. Your reasons for homeschooling have to go further than safety. That these conferences attract hundreds. thus 'taking that first step' seminars are always in demand. even thousands. is faced with the task of . homeschooling is usually done in addition to managing a household and carrying out more traditional parenting duties. as is the experience of most participants at homeschooling conferences. Reinventing oneself as a homeschooler is an ambitious goal. It requires that parents plan the best way to teach. and gleaning knowledge from those who have gone before is very beneficial. and new generations of interested parents keep coming along. a variety of subjects. who hasn't cracked open a high school text in years. Indeed. a police officer who roams the school halls prowling for miscreants. the novice and the veteran gained valuable knowledge which helped many to achieve their academic goals. homeschooling is a philosophy that radically affects the convenience-driven American lifestyle. semester after semester. It's a huge commitment. Conferences motivate parents to talk to numerous professionals to determine the best way to teach their children.

The Art of Education. Blumenfeld. in addition to conference-shopping.Mark and Helen Hegener . . a bachelor. which are courting homeschoolers by offering classes during school hours. homeschoolers need never feel alone in their endeavors. Sounds simple? Indeed.The Homeschooling Revolution / 74 teaching an energetic 15-year-old how to balance chemical equations or conjugate verbs in Latin. homeschoolers. Many families begin their entry into homeschooling by reading a book. Thanks to the market. the California homesteaders who sent several homeschooled sons to Harvard. A shrewd consumer need only log on to any online bookseller and choose from scores of titles available about homeschooling. a turn-of-the-century British educator.D.publishes philosophical and practical books about homeschooling. Popular homeschooling books are plentiful and authored by folks with interesting bona fides: How to Tutor by Samuel L. like gymnastic studios or health clubs. Increasingly. Here are other ways the free market is working to serve home educators: *Books. Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax. including the critically acclaimed. The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason. and The Big Book of Home Learning by Mary Pride. by Linda Dobson. You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Ruth Beechik. They can participate in homeschooling cooperatives. a homeschooling mother of nine. Home Education Press. They can frequent businesses. have many affordable resources at their disposal. where volunteer parents pool their talents to teach each other's children. in curriculum and instruction. a grandmother of four with an Ed. operated by a second-generation homeschooling family .

a colorful magazine which. The Education Industry Report notes that "Over 50 correspondence schools and curriculum providers compete in this market . one of the newer magazines.. Growing Without Schooling looks like a lengthy newsletter and is popular with unschoolers." (4) Saxon Publishers.The Marketing of a Movement / 75 *Magazines. manages the web site for the publication. Maureen McCaffrey. and educational games." "The Chronically Ill or Disabled Parent. says that homeschoolers cur- . The magazine is a family venture. (3) Homeschooling Today.000." *Curricula. science kits. It is a glossy publication and features a popular section called "Understanding the Arts." and "Homeschooling in Tunisia. Homeschooling author Mary Pride publishes Practical Homeschooling. founded by a retired U. The online magazine HomeSchool Dad is filling a specialized niche for busy fathers who desire information about educational activities that can be accomplished without too much preparation. Mary's eldest child." "Conflict Amongst Homeschoolers. contains an insert which alerts families to news about homeschooling in their particular state. 19. There are several respected homeschooling publications which have circulations of 15. which features articles that are hardly run-of-the-mill. among other items. The Teaching Home. CD-ROM software. contains product reviews and first-person vignettes from homeschoolers. An amazing number of suppliers offer textbooks. Air Force test pilot named John Saxon. like "Homeschooling in the Fifties. the President of Saxon Publishers. Ted Pride. The aforementioned Hegeners also distribute Home Education Magazine.000 to 25." which displays color reproductions of art masters. offers math and phonics for preschool through grade 12. begun in 1980 and a staple among Christian homeschoolers. is published by a former vice-president of the Conservative Book Club. those who prefer to learn through a wide variety of life experiences. Frank Wang..S.

offers courses for kindergarten through grade 8 and is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. church history. another program for . Beverly Vickers of Calvert says that the program currently has over 17. tests. for books.000 homeschooled children enrolled in these programs in 1999.The Homeschooling Revolution / 76 rently account for 10 to 15 % of total sales. publisher of the Home School Market Guide.000 students worldwide. Chicano history. Another established religious company which offers a cornucopia of materials to homeschoolers is Christian Book Distributors. and science textbooks for homeschoolers. (7) A Beka video and correspondence school had more than 24. The Calvert School home instruction program of Baltimore. rather than crafting their own game plan. Affiliated with the Christian fundamentalist school of the same name. offers a Home Based Education Program. which offers materials for preschool through grade 12. Homelearning and Homeschooling Resources. Their catalog. and popular books. Clonlara School Compuhigh. offers such items as art supplies. which was begun in 1979 and has had 4200 graduates. Many homeschooling families rely on correspondence school programs. literature. student records. or accounts of the Holocaust. family games. (5) A Beka textbook publishers. had more than 250. Bob Jones University Press provides art.150 homeschool customers. math. Clonlara School. The Drinking Gourd Book Company carries an eclectic selection of multicultural materials. teacher support. which translates into 19. Jane Williams. drama. (6) *Correspondence Programs. says her publication recognizes the existence of 165 such catalogs. and supplies. established in 1906. by Gregg Harris. such as The Home School Organizer. African-American short stories.000 homeschoolers purchase their books last year. headquartered in Michigan. Parents can order books about Native Americans.

The Moore Report International. the . The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. a newspaper distributed by homeschool heavyweights and Washington state residents Raymond and Dorothy Moore. The Teaching Company Superstar Series offers high school courses. and world history. or tests. (The issue I perused was nearly fifty pages long!) It has many ads for an interesting assortment of products and services which range from inviting homeschoolers on board a marine floating lab to playing ElementO. to homeschooled high schoolers via videotapes of the college teachers they consider to be the best in the United States. distributes a brochure aimed at inviting home educators to join their ranks. Dr. which has a circulation of 50. Clonlara founder. There are non-homeschoolers who are eager to pitch their educational wares to homeschoolers. is published by Mary and Michael Leppert of California. As the catalog notes about the courses: "For students taught at home. a board game about chemistry. The center offers college and high-school level courses. but has developed an elementary school program. as well as testimonials and advice on everything from how homeschooling families can subsist on one income to why more boys than girls are enrolled in special education programs. geometry. bells. offers high school over the Internet. Pat Montgomery. The University of Missouri Center for Independent Study. The Link. such as chemistry. (8) *Newspapers. established in 1911. a child should not be subjected to formal schooling. It offers the latest research from the Moore Foundation.The Marketing of a Movement / 77 homeschoolers. catering exclusively to homeschoolers. has 2000 subscribers.000. Homeschooling newspapers are also available. a professional association. believes that until age twelve. *Professional Educators. is one of the largest independent study programs in the nation.

org offer a bonanza of information. policy makers. Oregon and headed by Dr.The Homeschooling Revolution / 78 teachers on these tapes may be an answered prayer. such as the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and the Cato Institute of Washington. Assuredly a web site exists to fit the interest. Ray into the national spotlight. The Internet has played an invaluable role in helping homeschoolers in remote areas feel connected to the outside world. The institute publishes a quarterly journal. Perhaps they want support from parents who are homeschooling twins. researchers. No doubt. *Think tanks. Home Education Magazine offers a section for those requesting cyber pen pals. like the National Homeschool Association. Chat rooms and bulletin boards are also utilized by homeschoolers as a way of exchanging homeschooling tips or in order to post legislative alerts." (9) Oxford Tutorials offers high school homeschoolers another choice . He is often called upon as an expert witness for courtroom and legislative testimony and is frequently interviewed by national and international media outlets. Or.C. This "home school think tank" has thrust Dr. the personal computer and the Internet will help facilitate navigation through the 21st Century for homeschoolers. Sites like www. Families may want to hold membership in a homeschooling organization. Established multi-issue think tanks. which features the work of respected academics. have published widely-distributed monographs on homeschooling.homeschoolzone. they may desire to purchase used textbooks or familiarize themselves with the Federation of New Zealand Homeschoolers. and journalists can bone up on state-of-the-art research through the National Home Education Research Institute based in Salem. .the opportunity to study the Classics online. The Home School Researcher. D.com and www.. Advocates. *Web sites.unschooling. Brian Ray.

Marketers of the movement see the vast pool of home educators as a source of income." These goodies can be ordered online or purchased at conferences. and they use their products to raise revenue and awareness." "Homeschoolers have class. As more parents discover innovative tools and gain experience in their home schools. some education reformers are proclaiming that cyber schools are the schools of the future. baseball caps. Families who want to announce to the world that they are homeschoolers can buy bumper stickers. Very often. tote bags. But it suggests that the world of homeschooling is rapidly growing broader and deeper. the marketing of the movement should broaden even more. *Paraphernalia.The Homeschooling Revolution / 79 Borrowing a page from homeschoolers." and "My child is an honored student at home. Popular messages include: "We learn best in the nest. An increase in the number of products and services available to the homeschooling community has allowed more parents to take the initial steps toward teaching at home and has made their task simpler and more successful. the suppliers are homeschoolers themselves and merely want to share methods and materials which have worked for them. . or t-shirts from independent suppliers. This is hardly an exhaustive list of the information and resources available to homeschoolers.

Isaac. Oklahoma. if not the world. "I love Ike" posters and glow-in-the-dark necklaces abound. The group consists of three teenage brothers . and Zachary Hanson . from US to USA Weekend. Welcome to a Hanson concert in Hartford. the closely-chaperoned teen idols have garnered several Grammy nominations and a place in the 1999 Guinness Book of Records as the "youngest group to earn a platinum single in the United Kingdom. To date. graced the cover of Samuel L. In . 1998 Newsweek cover story on homeschooling. being carried away from home by grim-faced sheriff's deputies. Roses are thrown on the stage.perhaps the hottest homeschooling music group in the country. The Hansons are a pop music sensation . (1) The fact that the photogenic Hansons are homeschooled has been the subject of many entertainment industry articles. And there is no shortage of shrieking 8. The Hansons became household words when their catchy single "MMMBop" became a recording hit. 9.The Print Media and Homeschooling / 81 Chapter 7 The Print Media and Homeschooling The names "Zac" and "Tay" are painted on many young faces." They also earned a spot on the National League of Junior Cotillions' "Best Mannered People" poll. This is a long cry from the days when a black-and-white photo of Idaho homeschooler Solomon Shippy. Blumenfeld's book. They figured in an October 5th. Is Public Education Necessary? Much has changed in the last five to ten years in the way the media reports the news about homeschooling. Connecticut.who hail from Tulsa. Taylor. and 10-year-old girls. They wear their signature blond hair long.

Erik Van Guten. Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states..The Homeschooling Revolution / 82 fact. Here are a few .. Naval Academy. Eric Goldscheider. It is because they swim against the mainstream. because American public education is facing so many negative challenges that homeschooling appears to be just one more option for parents. (3) Goldscheider's perspective." Goldscheider also admires the aspect of personal courage required for both parent and child to undertake this adventure in alternative education. Frankly. grudgingly admitted that the media often spurs on the decision to homeschool. Families who homeschool are in demand for interviews. says that homeschooling is an appealing topic to write about because "it offers a slightly contrarian view of education. public education is in such disarray that former critics now pay attention when the subject of homeschooling comes up. homeschoolers have little to fear in the way of media scrutiny. and journalists like the contrarian point of view. whether as individuals or as a group. a graduate student who wrote a critique of homeschooling. . is not uncommon among the media. both sympathetic and curious. make for an intriguing human interest story to many in the media. a Boston Globe correspondent. (2) Homeschoolers.S. and homeschoolers have graduated from such institutions as Harvard University and the U. as researcher Patricia Lines has noted. that they have received considerably more media attention than their numbers might warrant. the toughest question that reporters pose to a home educator concerns socialization. Upbeat stories about homeschoolers have been featured in such media powerhouses as the Wall Street journal and the New York Times. and most parents can hit that softball out of the ballpark. Concurrently.

are both in their teens and homeschooled by their parents. by Cesar G. a native of Florida." (5) *From the Washington Post . Being educated on the high seas didn't limit her from getting admitted into prestigious Smith College in Northampton. carries this subheadline: "At 17.an article in the arts section entitled "Wilkinsons: A Brother." Diana persevered and graduated from Smith with a major in theater. The Smith co-ed confides her struggles to the newspaper reporter: "There were deadlines and time limits" and "the pressure of public humiliation if I did something wrong. "26 Cents. Reporter Ronni Gordon writes that while Calderazzo's homeschooling experience equipped her with the maturity to develop top-notch independent learning skills and excellent rapport with her professors. Harris. Soriano. Sister & Pop Sensation. Massachusetts.an article about homeschool graduates who are attending college. his message fuels a popular book and sold-out seminars across the country.who topped the charts in Nashville with the debut single. Today. son. (6) *From Truckers News . (4) *From USA Weekend ~ a snappy article accompanied by color pictures of Josh Harris. and daughter . The article. The story describes how Diana Calderazzo. she still experienced a difficult freshman year. Amanda and Tyler. is a homeschool graduate and the author of a book entitled I Kissed Dating Goodbye.a feature article about an eightyear-old boy named Gregory Rossiter with the headline ." The son and daughter. 23.The Print Media and Homeschooling / 83 *From the Union News-Sunday Republican of Massachusetts . Joshua Harris abandoned casual dating as selfish and premature. was homeschooled on a 33foot-long sailboat throughout her high school years." Writer Bill Friskics-Warren describes a trio of musicians father.

home schooling does give them more control over their kids' contacts. The article focuses on the contented lifestyle Whelchel enjoys as a minister's wife and mother of three young children whom she teaches at home. Jo Deutsch. As Pierce puts it. . before they are ready to handle them..a story about Teresa Williams and her partner. the company agrees to let drivers home-school their children and take them on the road. Whelchel makes her decision to homeschool and to give up Hollywood sound like an easy one. Washington has a family-friendly policy toward homeschooling parents. Without such reporting. the print media has played a major role in publicizing this countercultural trend to mainstream America. the love of their parents. "Kids now come into contact with things at a much earlier age. In addition to his hands-on geography lesson." (8) *From Newsweek ." Gregory is homeschooled in the cab of his mother's (Edie Rossiter) Peterbilt truck." (9) Largely because of this type of coverage.On the Road. Writer Donna G. This gay couple is homeschooling their two young sons in Maryland for the academic freedom it allows them." (7) *From People magazine .. the love of God. "Because it understands the family is important. According to the article. The kids have lots of interaction with youngsters from straight families in their home-schooling group. She says.a two-page story about Lisa Whelchel. The Facts of Life. I want them to have a fighting chance in the real world. Pierce notes that Rossiter's job with Smokey Point Distributing of Arlington. Edie gives her son boxing and Spanish lessons.The Homeschooling Revolution / 84 "Home-Schooling . but they need to get strong first in who they are. a homeschooling mother and the actress who played Blair in the sitcom. ".

My Study of the Print Media What follows is my attempt to determine the impact of the print media upon the national conscience. aware that homeschooling is legal. As a rule. from local newspapers. many of whom are parents frustrated with the educational status quo. national newspapers. but growing. Therefore.e. Method/Scope of the Study I examined 340 articles from all over the United States. scholarly studies do not filter down to the masses.The Print Media and Homeschooling / 85 the story of such a private endeavor might not be as widely disclosed to the public. With that in mind. regional magazines and national magazines. written between 1985 and 1997. no homeschooling Publications). . as well as some international material. and chosen by a wide swath of Americans from coast to coast. it is crucial to the future of homeschooling to determine how its past has been chronicled and how its present is being portrayed. In an information age in which news travels so rapidly. many of the myths and realities about home educators are likely to come from the homeschooling families in the neighborhood or from reporters. None of the articles were from publications with a built-in bias toward homeschooling (i. doable. regional newspapers. citizens often form their opinions about the culture via the narrow Tens' of the media camera. Journalists also perform a yeoman's service when they make readers. The body of homeschool research is small.

and editorials. focusing on the following: article themes. The goal of the analysis was to identify the topics. photographs. This. authorities quoted. Has the print media played an important role in influencing public opinion as to the validity of homeschooling as an educational option? To help determine the answers to those queries.The Homeschooling Revolution / 86 Of the 340 pieces I collected. This process allowed me to develop analytic categories based on the examination of the material and draw conclusions concerning the overall print media treatment of homeschoolers. I analyzed the written media accounts. motivating factors in choosing homeschooling. More specialized articles focused on such topics as homeschooling and computers. with 53 (79%) by writers who were partial toward homeschoolers and 14 (or 21%) by those who seemed unfavorable toward homeschooling. Sixty-seven articles were opinion pieces about homeschooling. especially sports teams. controversial homeschoolers. After I catalogued the newspapers and magazines. homeschooler of distinction. frequently debated points. themes. and individuals that comprised the substance of the news stories. and 245 (71%) were regional or local in local in scope. organizations cited. headlines. students' com- . in order to answer two simple questions: Has homeschooling been depicted by the print media in a positive fashion? and. 95 (or 29%) were national in scope. The articles about homeschooling were catalogued into six divisions: general information. the grassroots movement of homeschooling. first person accounts. the next stage of the research involved a content and qualitative analysis of the articles. or homeschoolers trying to gain access to public school programs. legal/legislative victories or losses.

pausing to highlight first one problem and then another." (10) From that vantage point. such as Home .the story of committed mothers who are daily teaching their sons and daughters how to read and write at kitchen tables . as Eric Goldscheider pointed out.The Print Media and Homeschooling / 87 ments. it also showcases especially high levels of parental involvement in their children's lives and the growth of homeschooling as an organized movement. Results of the Study It's a cliche but a truism: Journalists don't tell people what to think. "Journalism is notoriously susceptible to fads and fashions. which hamper real learning. It is the type of story reporters. Less controversial. it was possible to determine the perspective and possible impact of the stories. homeschooling fits into the category of the unusual news story. with their appetite for the controversial and the offbeat. Analyzing these aspects of this sampling. As the Center for Media and Public Affairs has stated. But the media story has been fundamentally a story about academic success . and sidebars. but they do tell people what to think about. as it beams its narrow searchlight over the vast expanse of the social and natural world. delight in covering. No surprise then.teaching them without the public school's social and political distractions. that homeschooling coverage includes elements of conflict between homeschoolers and education officials and underscores harsh critiques of public education. The stories were heavily dependent on quotes from homeschooling families and authorities.

Statistics of homeschoolers' high test scores. The positive theme of "a day in the life of a homeschooling family" was the number one article theme (26% of the articles). was dissatisfaction with public education. Based on the results of this representative article sampling. the future of American public schools is usually discussed in vague terms. stirring photographs (94%). The message that "homeschooling is good" dominated (60% of the articles). and references to how ubiquitous the movement has become provided favorable tones in the stories. The message that "homeschooling is good" was reinforced by a high percentage of positive headlines (57%). given that the most dominant reason to homeschool. as compared to their conventionally-schooled peers. and opinion pieces that were pro-homeschooling (73%). compared with homeschooling opponents. when they were quoted in the stories. often criticized homeschooling . numerous homeschool success stories. The most frequently debated issues were how well homeschooled children performed academically and socially.The Homeschooling Revolution /88 School Legal Defense Association staff attorneys. Public school bureaucrats. This is ironic." Although the media leaves little doubt that homeschooling is growing in popularity with American families. who were quoted only 5% of the time. Homeschooling proponents were cited 31% of the time. Therefore. The message that "homeschooling is not a good choice" figured in only 6% of the articles. positive comments from homeschooled students about their lifestyle (53%). the answer to my first question. such as a public school superintendent. Has homeschooling been depicted by the print media in a positive light? is "Yes. it is not a stretch to conclude that homeschooling has been depicted by the mass print media in a positive light. cited in over 200 articles.

perhaps. as opposed to in the marketplace. as a result.The Print Media and Homeschooling / 89 as an unworthy choice. Limitations of Media Coverage In 79% of the articles analyzed. I did not spot an article about a teenager who disliked being homeschooled or parents who breathed a sigh of relief upon returning their children to public schools. In no story did the media venture to question whether this phenomenon could be construed as a backlash against the forces of hard-line feminism that say a woman's place is in the workplace. Indeed. although. some families have rearranged their lives to homeschool. . the mother was depicted as the primary teacher. the media story that remains to be written is the one about hundreds of thousands of women who are leading happy lives based on their accomplishments at the hearth." This theme of a renaissance of time-honored female roles in post-feminist America is one that merits examination. not the home. No administrator dared acknowledge that the glaring short-comings of their schools might have been the impetus for steering worried parents toward home education for their children. and. These women's homeschools are enabling their daughters and sons to become successes in the "real world. the journalistic body of work surveyed strongly suggests a "Yes" answer to the second question of whether the media has played a role in validating homeschooling as an educational option for willing parents. Consequently. Conservatives often criticize the media as being the handmaiden of school unions. But some media outlets have not ignored their task to report that public schools are falling short. Writing about homeschooling has given the media a vehicle to broadcast the concerns of Americans about the public schools. such stories exist.

given the public obsession with how homeschoolers socialize. In fact. the institution of schooling. there were no negative pieces focusing in on the ideological and academic differences that have flared up between conserva- . Also. or obtaining graduate degrees. raising children. Surely in an age when rearing children in single-parent homes sounds fashionable. In light of the melting pot of cultures and races that is a hallmark of the United States. say. Also." In only 2% of the articles were graduates of homeschooling a story theme. largely absent in the reporting is the mention of ethnic and racial minorities or the economically less privileged who choose to homeschool. more effort could be expended to interview more ethnic groups of homeschoolers. political candidates. the attitudes of these young people toward the popular culture. In general. an African-American. in order to learn what they think. and the role of the family merit some in-depth attention. the story of these involved fathers deserves more attention. The majority of pro-homeschooling experts that were quoted are homeschooling fathers. there were few articles noting that most homeschoolers live in two-parent homes. the homeschooling community has not been subjected to the type of investigative reporting reserved for. provides multicultural homeschooling resources through a catalog called "The Drinking Gourd. Given that the modern homeschooling movement is more than two decades old.The Homeschooling Revolution /90 Continuing with the familial theme. Consequently. Donna Nichols-White. and when sagas about deadbeat dads are frequent. there could be more coverage about homeschool graduates who are now ensconced in careers. For instance. only 6% of the articles had members of minority groups photographed or quoted.

The homeschooling community can be assured that they have received plentiful and constructive media coverage. continuing to publish magazines and newspapers.The Print Media and Homeschooling / 91 tive homeschoolers and liberal unschoolers. As the late John Holt prophetically wrote. making themselves accessible for media interviews. to answer any questions they have about our work and progress. "The press and other media have been virtually without exception friendly to home schooling and home schoolers. particularly now that articles are widely disseminated via the Internet. sending out press releases about their labors. I cannot recall a single interview or report that was hostile. appearing at school board meetings. It is clear that the Fourth Estate has played a crucial role in positively manipulating public attitudes toward home education and establishing its place in the mainstream. But it will be important during the coming years for home schoolers to keep the media well-informed of what we are doing." (11) . and to make as many allies among them as we can. or even running for public office as school reform champions. Nor were there any articles featuring families who have had to change their strategy when their once-compliant charges became feisty teenagers. the media's lack of scrutiny is to the advantage of homeschoolers. Of course. Conclusion Whether the era of good feelings between homeschoolers and the media will continue is hard to predict. Homeschoolers themselves have an opportunity to control the message of their cause by several means: creating web pages.

the show ended up being an eightminute nationwide promotion of home schooling with only a couple of obligatory 'concerns' voiced by the current NEA president. (12) No doubt. Brian Ray's (the institute's president) experiences with the broadcast media are revealing. He writes: And the NBC Today Show aired a story on home schooling on July 27th (1999) that included clips of an interview with me. Oregon. however. the print media has helped. .The Homeschooling Revolution / 92 It seems appropriate to conclude with a brief observation from the newsletter of the National Home Education Research Institute of Salem. This summer. It was fascinating to contrast this Today Show story with the one in which I was the live in-studio guest in 1988. Dr. Eleven years ago the producers tried to incite a debate between the president of the National Education Association and me. The shift in approach was positively amazing.

While this statement may hearten critics and alarm supporters. and the last involves the problems of homeschooling adolescents. a traditional homeschooling household is more preoccupied with grades. Unschoolers tend to shun standardized tests. rote learning. trying to earn its niche in the American mainstream. Conversely. Statements of Faith In one corner are the "unschoolers" .those who prefer a relaxed. There are at least three stumbling blocks which homeschoolers have encountered. and college admission require- .Growing Pains / 93 Chapter 8 Growing Pains The most successful grassroots educational movement of the century is not without its growing pains. the second reveals what headaches can occur when parents offhandedly delegate their homeschooling responsibilities to others. The first focuses on the philosophical clashes that have arisen between unschoolers and homeschoolers. child-directed approach to learning. and which now includes parents with varied motivations and educational methods. who favor a "school at home" approach that sticks to a daily program of academics and electives in a structured environment. Such problems are to be expected in a flourishing movement. the news of difficulties needs to be put into perspective. In the other corner are the traditional homeschoolers. standardized test score results. diplomas. grouping by grades. and many of the practices associated with school.

Or. religious families have much clout in the movement and have produced many stellar graduates. each member agrees to show tolerance and understanding when others' convictions may differ from their own personal views so that the unified purpose for the support group may be maintained. (Indeed." (1) In contrast." (2) The Colorado Springs group advises . The differences in educational philosophies also carry over into how the two formulate support group goals. One disagreement between the factions focuses on heavenly matters.The Homeschooling Revolution / 94 merits. (3) . Evangelical Christians. religion. or personal homeschooling option. evangelical Christians who homeschool." Many of the faith-based support groups are quite large.) Christian Home Educators of Colorado is a support group with 12. The group posts a statement of faith on its website which declares that the Bible is the "inspired and infallible word of God" and "salvation is offered as a free gift to the sinner.. asks only that constituents have a "genuine and active interest in homeschooling" and "make a payment of dues. support group participation being a staple of the homeschooling movement.000 families. Because of this diversity. they adhere to a "statement of faith. which has 600 member families.. in the lingo of homeschool support groups. the Colorado Springs Homeschool Support Group. who are partial to the "school at home" method. which is to be expected. but it is understood that many of the members do hold specific religious or educational convictions. There is no membership restriction of race. often form support groups which require participants or board members to subscribe to a set of religious doctrines. given the sizeable number of conservative.

divinely preserved Word of God." (4) These creeds. Lori Challinor penned an essay in Home Education Magazine recounting her experiences with the religious enthusiasts. (5) Challinor persevered with the group. and many genuinely nice and (surprise!) tolerant people. They echo those of the Colorado group. To join my local homeschooling group. which assured the group leaders that I believed in the inerrancy of the Bible. I wanted a homeschooling support group to provide homeschooling support .I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition. also subscribes to articles of faith. a self-described fundamentalist Christian and homeschool graduate agrees: "We should be working with all people. a statewide homeschool support group." says Farenga. and other fundamentalist tenets of Christianity. which seem more appropriate for church membership than for a group preoccupied with academic issues. does not favor mixing homeschooling know-how with matters of faith. publisher of the journal Growing Without Schooling. and her story had a happy ending. but I didn't make the grade by their standards. sharing our experiences. I am a Christian. is the Achilles' heel of some homeschooling leaders and parents. not ours." (6) Patrick Farenga. I was asked to sign a full page 'doctrinal' statement. I did find homeschooling support.Growing Pains / 95 Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators." (8) . "We believe religion and politics are your business. (7) Alexandra Swann. whether their faith agrees with ours or not. the supreme and final authority for all faith and life. "I joined the group without signing the statement (must've slipped through the paperwork maze). As I've mentioned. and despite the ominous start. The Massachusetts organization believes the "Bible to be the inspired.

a staff attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association. But it is a serious issue that has polarized pockets of the homeschooling community. shy away from seeking counsel from those who appear more eager to proselytize than to share homeschooling expertise. Obviously. And no doubt those not in the homeschooling loop will view this particular rift between secular unschoolers and religious homeschoolers as risible. the people who are excluded are going to be pretty unhappy about a written statement of faith. so forming a group with a particular focus makes perfect sense. however. The question to ponder for those on both sides of . and vice-versa. He says. "These (statements of faith) intentionally exclude people who do not share religious beliefs. Why do local support groups tend to come up with statements of faith? The answer comes from the nature of voluntary associations. Parents who organize homeschool support groups are at liberty to gather under whatever religious or philosophical umbrella they choose. has frequent contact with evangelical Christian support group leaders. a voluntary association exists only as long as there is a shared vision that is strong enough to motivate unpaid volunteers to sacrifice their immediate and personal interests for the common good. It is no different than choosing to be in the company of Republicans instead of Democrats. defends them.The Homeschooling Revolution / 96 Scott Somerville. Local support groups with Christian leadership routinely gravitate toward the model of a church and church leadership to try to articulate and fulfill the shared vision. (9) No doubt homeschoolers will probably be happier mingling with like-minded homeschoolers. Yet." Somerville. who are new to homeschooling and eager for assistance from veterans. some of the non-religious.

sleeps. homeschooling is done primarily by parents. plays. of diverse ideologies. another contains their daily journals. It's more than afford- . Michigan. The family's goal is to have all the children at college level in all major subjects by the age of 13. however. He regularly reviews three folders of paperwork per child. "All of us believe that children learn better at home than in institutions. a homeschooling father of six from Haslett. May their gains not be sacrificed on the altar of petty differences. successfully rely on tutors to teach their children at home.Growing Pains / 97 the aisle is: How to maintain unity while respecting the differences of others? Lori Challinor encourages fellow homeschoolers to remember two powerful truths they have in common. Says Foote. who fought lengthy battles in legal courts and in the court of public opinion. has a hands-on involvement while employing a tutor for his homeschool. which have been prepared by the tutor. "What may be surprising to some is that homeschooling with a tutor is pretty affordable when the number of children gets to three or four. under the same roof that the family eats. One folder is the children's academic work. and the third is a progress report which shows how the Foote children are faring in each of their eight areas of learning. All of us believe that we have a constitutional right to homeschool with a minimum of state interference. and sometimes works. Fred Foote. Some families." (10) It remains to be seen if homeschoolers can overcome these distractions and remind themselves that the privilege to homeschool was not attained without the heroic parents. AWOL Parents By definition.

(12) Steve Theberge. like 14year-old Mishy Leiblum. and access to educational resources. I didn't get much out of it. like. and it was taking a lot out of me. But what happens when parents casually opt for a hands-off approach and turn over their children to those service providers? What are the consequences for the children? the families? the reputation of homeschooling? The Pathfinder Learning Center Pathfinder Learning Center in Amherst. an unnecessary hassle." (11) The growth of the movement has motivated many enterprising entrepreneurs to offer both inside and outsidethe-home services to help parents at their task. as an "academic YMCA. (13) . former public school teachers. "School is. using a tutor allows us to homeschool in a situation where my wife is very supportive but just not academically inclined." Leiblum told the Boston Globe. Also. the opportunity to network with other unschoolers. This homeschooler worked with such groups as Food Not Bombs and the American Friends Service Committee. It has been described by its founders. students receive support services. Massachusetts opened its doors in 1996." Pathfinder acts as a drop-in center for unschooled teenagers who pay a yearly fee of $1500.The Homeschooling Revolution / 98 able (it's cheap!) if the next best alternative is a fancy private school or boarding school. In return. was encouraged by Pathfinder's founder to pursue his interest in political activism. The center is an attractive alternative for teenagers with working parents or for those who have become ill-served by traditional schooling. then 16. Josh Hornick and Ken Danford.

was quoted in the Amherst Bulletin. so she can teach their youngest child. Traditional homeschooling parents. were chagrined at the complaint and the negative media publicity it generated. That's her occupation. It requires parent involvement and requires a huge parent commitment. Some of these parents later converged upon a school committee meeting and aired their opinions. who had had no ties to Pathfinder and had expended much effort working through lessons with their children and dispatching detailed progress reports to the superintendent. Pathfinder's teenagers became the focal point of an academic misunderstanding involving one Massachusetts school official." (16) . the local superintendent of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. and the ability of families to provide a comprehensive instructional program was often in doubt. Greg Handel. explained how his wife does not take an outside job. Gus Sayer. One homeschooling mother. made a startling announcement at a school committee meeting.Growing Pains / 99 But with some parents assigning the academic burden to their children. as the commitment of families to assume responsibility for home education programs was not always certain. "I approved many of these plans with reluctance. many of the families under fire were affiliated with the Pathfinder Learning Center." (14) Coincidentally. "The very definition of home education is that education will take place in the home. pointing out that attending Pathfinder was not the same as being homeschooled. "My wife is a home schooler. Carol Soules. Said Sayer. The superintendent said he was dismayed at the quality and quantity of school work submitted by a number of secondary-level homeschooled students. In August of 1997." (15) Another parent.

homeschoolers who organized a teaching cooperative faced a similar set of problems as the Amherst unschoolers.The Homeschooling Revolution / 100 To their credit. . We suggest he work to ensure that his communication with home-schooling families is clear and then hold these non-reporting families accountable for their choices. Danford notes that since the events of 1997 none of the families affiliated with Pathfinder have had any problems complying with the superintendent's office. now that they understand what is required of them. But writer Eric Goldscheider mentioned that the center had taken a tougher stance with the teenagers . Ken Danford wrote . and students with any failing grades being allowed to begin homeschooling. He has the responsibility of monitoring these families. or co-op. (17) In 1999. and is understandably concerned if many homeschoolers fail to submit reports. In a personal column to the local newspaper. We encourage our members to comply with state law on homeschooling and to file plans and progress reports to the superintendent.video game playing had been halted and twice-a-year meetings with parents had become a requirement. . working parents supervising home-schoolers. parents who he believes take home-schooling lightly. the Boston Globe ran a feature story about the Pathfinder Learning Center and showcased its success in earning a niche in the alternative education mainstream. The superintendent expressed concerns regarding non-reporting families. Edmond Homeschool Co-op In the buckle of the Bible belt. as it is nicknamed. has approximately two hundred home- . The cooperative. Pathfinder's founders responded quickly and well to the criticism.

Some of the teenagers Good was trying to assist were causing strife. accountability to test taking.at a local church. The co-op's organizers adhere to a September to June school year schedule. (19) But during the co-op's second year. They wondered if the co-op was being used as a babysitting service for undisciplined homeschooled students and their uncooperative parents. is to allow middle and high school students a taste of traditional school. Part of the purpose of the co-op. as opposed to the larger ones and the drug culture she would encounter in the public school she would have to attend. The classes are taught by volunteer parents with expertise or interest in their subject areas.Growing Pains /101 schooled students. I like noise." Brook Welch. according to Susan Good. "There's not enough kids to have well-established cliques. teachers were grumbling about students who missed assignments and sat in their classes like bumps on logs or disrupted their studious classmates with incessant chatter. from kindergarten through high school. By November. 14. says. and the daughter of Susan Good. the director. are grateful for the opportunity." Megan Good. 14. and the cost to families is a nominal $10 to $15 per month. "It is better than being isolated at home. Twice weekly they take classes . Included in this 'taste' are opportunities to mingle with others. says she prefers the co-op's small-sized classes and drug-free environment. like those affiliated with the Pathfinder Learning Center.from biology to algebra to quilt-making . and exposure to teachers who are not their parents. 15. Jeremy Waller. (18) Students who attend the co-op. . its academic goals almost got shipwrecked. believes that the negative aspects of school socialization do not surface in this parent-run setting.

A serious course of action was agreed upon. * * * * * * Unquestionably. however. adolescents. be asked to leave the coop).a group with a high attrition rate. Some of the non-productive students lightened their class load. (20) The wake-up call worked. and others became serious about their school lessons.The Homeschooling Revolution /102 Good and her fellow teachers held a long meeting to discuss their predicament. they would face disciplinary action (i.e. many free market endeavors that facilitate the homeschooling process have been a boon to families. and they were required to sit in on classes for two weeks and monitor their children's progress. By December. encountered by the Pathfinder Learning Center and the Edmond Co-op raise serious questions about what occurs when parents abdicate the grind of teaching and the accountability that accompanies that responsibility and only offer a "safe house" from dangerous schools. (21) The dilemmas. If the grades and behavior of the students did not improve after this probation. the academic atmosphere had improved. not replace them as teachers. Currently. Teenagers. are not a majority in the ranks of the homeschooling movement. not known as an intellectual . Probation notices were sent to the parents of recalcitrant students. especially those who want to teach teenagers . Research indicates that 70% of homeschooled students are 7 tol3 years old. They decided to re-affirm the main purpose of the co-op: To help parents with the academic component of homeschooling. ages 14 and up.

The teenagers were to share their ordeal. why not? How is homeschooling. Recounts Boychuk. are they competently managing the homeschool? And how fair is such an arrangement to the young people if their parents aren't modeling a disciplined lifestyle . The Report Card. While working as a managing editor for activists David Horowitz and Peter Collier's publication. "To make a long story short. better than a public school English class?" Boychuk later learned that the girls were even receiving some of their English lessons from a public school teacher. This raised a number of questions in my mind. as former public school students. had an editorial experience that tempered his enthusiasm for homeschooling. and closed off bathrooms to prevent drug dealing. and relationships? Rookie homeschooling students will always require much supervision from the people who know them best and love them most . Didn't Mom review this? If not.their parents. But if parents play a distant role in supervising their children's work. college.Growing Pains /103 group. This is especially true of older students who have been removed from an academically inferior school and whose poor study habits are ingrained. It wasn't even spell-checked. Boychuk commissioned a pair of 16-year-old homeschooled girls to write an article about school violence. the director of publications for the Claremont Institute. "It's hard to undo that kind of (academic) damage. Ben Boychuk. an increased security presence. of putting up with fights. . in this instance. can fast become underachievers when they are unchaperoned. the copy was a disaster. (22) Certainly rescuing a vulnerable child from a dangerous school is a commendable action of any caring adult." says Boychuk.a character trait that allows individuals to flourish at jobs. a California-based think tank.

Some homeschoolers have created middle grounds between these extremes. Consider my own situation. is a barbarian. Homeschooling parents. ice hockey. Really. seeking resolutions to their struggles. Busybody neighbors might be tempted to report the parents to child protection services if they perceive the children to be truant. He played on our local public high school's football. and lacrosse teams in Massachusetts . Dan.the . my 16-year-old son. Back to School What do homeschooling parents do with a 14-year-old son who has lost interest in science and history and literature and wants to 'hang out' with other boys his age? What do these parents do with a 15-year-old daughter who can't imagine not going to a prom or having her picture appear in a yearbook? Most parents who have attempted to homeschool their children through the teen years have faced problems of this sort. If not. literally) through these 'phases' and hold rigidly to the game plan that worked so well during those early years. At the other end of the spectrum is to throw in the towel and opt for the traditional.The Homeschooling Revolution /104 These concerns about parental responsibility merit scrutiny and debate by homeschooling advocates. need to exercise discretion. zealous school officials will be delighted to step into the gap to impose tougher homeschooling regulations. institutionalized approach of public or private schooling. since American families are required to comply with compulsory attendance laws. who delegate the academic responsibilities to others. what to do? One option is to fight (sometimes. He loves collision sports.

My husband and I were happy that he wasn't reluctant to be a pioneer. after all. which had produced a relationship of trust with him. Critics of our decision were surprised to learn that mixing homeschooling and state did not change how our homeschool was regulated. Dan might have never had this opportunity if several Bay State families had not challenged the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's policy that prevented homeschoolers from participating on interscholastic teams. in fact. court injunctions against the association's eligibility rules (which denied homeschoolers equal access to sports teams) forced schools in the Commonwealth to let the homeschoolers 'play ball. In four separate lawsuits. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has crafted rules which require a student to be legally enrolled in a government school before he can play on its sports team. who scored in the 90th percentile of the PSAT. than the years we previously spent providing curriculum plans and schedules for the superintendent. merely requested that we submit Dan's grades and keep attendance. Never mind that the resolution that was offered by an Oklahoma legislator to change this policy was thwarted by homeschooling activists who felt that "families should be willing to sacrifice the privilege of access to public school activities rather than risk losing their own freedoms. is both bright and athletic.Growing Pains /105 only homeschooler in our town to play public school sports. we learned that homeschoolers are back to being separate and unequal. the principal of the Amherst-Pelham Regional High School. I was also pleased that my family was receiving something in return for payment of our property taxes .taxes that are largely used to subsidize public education. It was less work." (24) . Never mind that my son. Scott Goldman.' (23) When we left for a sabbatical to the Sooner State in May of 1999.

Consequently. He mocked the Abercrombie and Fitch clothes and Camaros that were de rigeur among the Stepfordlike student body. Morgan. It was with many misgivings that we watched him plunge into factory-style learning. Dan elected to attend public school for the fall semester.The Homeschooling Revolution /106 Regardless of the policies and ideologies of others. we moved on to new homeschooling challenges. Used to playing on sports teams with Latinos and African-Americans in multicultural Amherst. to a private high school seemed a logical one. For the aforementioned Ken Robinson (see Chapter 1). and he quickly tired of the regimented schedule." the Robinsons felt that Morgan needed to leave her homeschooling comfort zone. Some homeschooling parents have decided to waste no time agonizing over how to educate their teenagers themselves and have decided to send their children to school sometimes public. We lived in the district of what is considered by some to be the best public high school in Oklahoma. Fortunately. and graduates many academic high achievers. "The primary reason that we sent Morgan to school was that . Dubbed by her father as "shy and reserved. our son thought it odd that he never met the Oklahoma counterpart of a "Miguel Jimenez" or "James Ihedigbo. my husband and I concluded that our son should not have to renounce his sports-centered dreams. sometimes private. But to my husband and me." That experiment concluded. at age 14. Massachusetts. the decision to send his elder daughter. He complained about an English teacher who mispronounced vocabulary words and how his classmates ridiculed an inexperienced student teacher. a semester of school was plenty for Dan. Says Ken. a public school is a public school is a public school. It is small and relatively strict.

Growing Pains /107 we believed that she would benefit from being taught by other teachers in an environment that bore some similarity to what she would encounter in college . 41. Schulze are Dartmouth College graduates and the homeschooling parents of four children.") The Schulzes have slowly begun deviating from their school-at-home model.a travel agency and a mail order furniture company. 9. is a ninth grader at the venerable Northfield Mount Hermon School in Northfield.classroom interaction with peers. Morgan's math prowess rose considerably. 14. 43. Barb teaches Rachel math and history. takes two courses at the University of Massachusetts and attends a physics class with other homeschoolers. Emily. (25) The decision was a good one. offbeat activities. They run two home-based businesses . 16. Barb explains that the decision to send her energetic son to a private school was not a casual one. She was awarded a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts where she studies computer science and animation. Chris. (Like the time the Schulze children played extras in a low-budget Hollywood movie which starred Jerry Stiller. 13. are full-time homeschoolers. Rachel. and Rob." Robinson also wanted Morgan to have a more competent adult than himself teach her higher math and science. and Will. Only the two youngest children. George's father on the television show "Seinfeld. and she was selected as a National Merit Scholarship finalist. "The main reason we sent Chris to a conventional school was because the friction we . Barb. Massachusetts. which is taught by a former physics professor and homeschooling father. This family-centered lifestyle has allowed the Schulzes the freedom to pursue fun.

The Homeschooling Revolution /108 were having at home was making homeschooling a negative. At the high school level, a lot is demanded of students, and we knew his resistance would only increase," she says. (26) How has the Schulze family fared after enrolling their son in school? "Having outside authorities telling Chris what he has to do has proved to be a very good move. Now when he is home we can enjoy him more," she says. Chris also made the honor roll in his maiden semester at the private school, and Rachel's PSAT scores placed her in the 97th percentile. Certainly the Schulzes' accomplishments, as well as those of Morgan Robinson, could not have been achieved without the solid, academic foundation that their homeschooling parents labored to give them, but attending private schools has also been an advantage.







If there is anything to be learned by analyzing these growing pains, it is that parents who choose this educational route are opting for a tremendous amount of responsibility and must be ready to face challenges along the way. There are some who appear to be outstanding homeschooling parents, some who seem inadequate, some who are practical, some who are driven by ideology, and some who have very independently-minded students of their own. How American! No doubt the movement will continue to struggle with these issues. Growing pains, however, are a natural part of maturing.

Profiling Homeschoolers /109

Chapter 9 Profiling Homeschoolers Three decades have passed since one of the founding fathers of the modern-day homeschooling movement Raymond Moore - began the research in which he concluded that institutionalizing young children is a mistake. Twenty years have elapsed since Joyce Swann took the step to homeschool her first-born child, Alexandra. Fifteen years have gone by since homeschoolers Sam and Marquita Shippy were sentenced to jail for keeping their school-aged children at home. Much has transpired, and much positive educational reform has been effected. The rise of homeschooling has paralleled the disillusionment of American families with public schools. To many homeschoolers, public education is a massive experiment in failure. Some policy makers have come to agree that it is a crisis of government that can only be rehabilitated with private-sector solutions. But to remove a bored or bullied child from a public school to begin a homeschool is still a strain for many parents. Even more radical is the decision to never have one's child board a yellow school bus or learn his multiplication tables at a blackboard. Journalists, as previously noted, have done a competent job of giving homeschoolers a face. An intriguing article in the San Jose Mercury News by Dana Hull reports that the latest wave of homeschoolers are "tech-savvy, upper-income families who span a broad political spectrum." (1) This new guard of homeschoolers expresses the same worries about unsafe and cash-strapped schools as did the old guard. And when these parents express their dissatisfaction with the status quo, they manage to sound both concerned and hip.

The Homeschooling Revolution /110 Carol Rast, a parent who was featured in the Mercury News article, explains why she is sold on homeschooling "For us, it was knowing that girls lose their souls when they hit junior high. They start to dumb themselves down and express themselves in ways that girls shouldn't. Our daughter Tamiko was ready to join a girl gang so she wouldn't get picked on. We had to pull her away from that." (2) But the homeschooling movement attracts many traditional, equally articulate women, like former nurse Nancy Mansour. The homeschooling mother of four, whose children successfully compete on academic homeschool teams, finds greater satisfaction being a full-time mother than being in the work force. "The job of homeschooling is emotionally satisfying, intellectually stimulating, and spiritually challenging. The rewards are not monetary and are rarely immediate," says Mansour. (3) All of which makes the curious wonder: Has there emerged a prototype American family who is daring enough to embark on this educational voyage? A homeschooling version of the Swiss Family Robinson? What, if any, generalities can be drawn about families that homeschool? Are there common threads? Do philosophies, techniques, motivations overlap? Jane Van Galen has categorized the two primary types of families who choose homeschooling as ideologues and pedagogues. She notes that ideologues want "their children to learn fundamentalist religious doctrine and a conservative political and social perspective," and they establish homeschools to communicate to their offspring "that the family is the most important institution in society." (4)

and invest long hours bonding with their parents. or they are involved with organizations that speak to the issue of childrearing. We know that the leaders in the homeschool movement are respected authorities. as a rule. and they account for only about one to two percent of the school-aged population. given the high numbers who go on to college. In general. primarily because they dislike the professionalization and bureaucratization of modern education.Profiling Homeschoolers /111 Van Galen defines the pedagogues as those who teach their children themselves. since they value their privacy. We also know that homeschooled students are social creatures.they have professional training in education. and other peers. have been a hard group to study. they have close friends or relatives who are educators. But what about specifics? Homeschoolers. siblings. We know that most have strong religious or philosophical beliefs about homeschooling. join support groups. this is what we researchers also know: We know from the high test scores of homeschoolers that many parents are very serious about their academic responsibilities." (5) Both types of families share a common characteristic they have enormous confidence in their ability to do a competent job of educating their children with minimal institutional support. are involved in community activities. they have read about education or child development. There is also the problem of trying to track down homeschoolers. They are parents who "come to their decision to home school with a broader interest in learning . whose advice is sought by parents via how-to books or speaking engagements at conferences. Perhaps too much information about them dims their mystique .a mystique which shuns being categorized or legislated. Does the researcher go .

Perhaps none. . professional researchers and graduate students have begun to glean information about them. As homeschoolers have become less publicity-shy and more confident about their successes. the largest study of homeschoolers to date. Back issues of the Home School Researcher.the attitudes of homeschooling fathers. a peer-reviewed journal of homeschooling. DeJonge (the Michigan family who challenged the Wolverine State's mandates that homeschooling parents possess teaching certificates to homeschool). Representative surveys about homeschoolers are one way to procure sociological profiles." Certainly a far cry from the days of Michigan v. and a study of other research about homeschoolers. Surveys are useful in that they allow outsiders to gain insight into the mindset of a fraternity of like-minded people. information that can sound both ridiculous and useful." (Phew!) Or. What follows is a synopsis of four such surveys . "Academic Achievement: Its Relationship to Selected Variables Among Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. present such articles as "A Qualitative Study of the Characteristics of Home Schooling Families in South Carolina and the Perceptions of School District Personnel Toward Home Schooling. a small study about New Age homeschooling families.The Homeschooling Revolution /112 to a conference and hand out questionnaires to participants? Buy mailing lists from homeschooling magazines? Roam the country visiting support groups? Call them like a pesky telemarketer? Perhaps all of the above.

an understudied group. sent out a questionnaire which 200 families answered.said they were moderately involved 7% .more than 3 hours 16% .Profiling Homeschoolers /113 Study Number One In the summer of 1999. who is a Mormon and an unschooler..did not want the children to grow up "weird" 14 . (6) Here is a synopsis of some of what Green learned . 54% . Publisher Jaren Green.did not want to leave the mainstream . 39 .1 to 3 hours 30% .said they were not involved at all 7% . Describe Dad's involvement in homeschooling on a regular basis. HomeSchool Dad magazine released the results of a brief survey examining the attitudes of homeschooling fathers.described themselves as minimally involved 40% .did not want the children sheltered from the 'real world' 25 .did not believe the parents had the ability to educate adequately 22 .were largely..less than one hour Breakdown of how many dads were initially resistant to homeschooling. 46% .did not want the children socially isolated 28 . His primary goal was to learn what fathers had to say about home education. or equally involved Describe the amount of time Dad spends with the children during an average day.

but neither are most very involved in the homeschool. "When the truant officer comes to a family's door. If officials send a letter threatening legal action. normally we hear from Mom.concerned about child's spiritual needs What are the current ages of the children in your homeschool? ages 0 to 7 . He writes. one learns that fathers of homeschooled children are hardly deadbeats. he immediately turns the call over to the mother. since she is 'handling the home schooling. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) president and author of The Homeschooling Father. Even though the father answers the phone. But there have been dozens and dozens of times that I have experienced the following scenario: I return a phone call to a family needing legal assistance.concerned about public school situation 39 . We recognize that Dad is often at work during the hours when it is necessary to contact an HSLDA lawyer. Farris.34% ages 13-18 -16% Dads. This confirms the opinion of Michael P.' " (7) . we usually get a call from Mom.9% From this survey.The Homeschooling Revolution /114 If Dad was resistant. do you wish to continue home education? Yes .90% Not sure .concerned about child's academic needs 25 . why did he agree to it? 43 .50% ages 8 tol2 .

which agrees with research estimates that the teen-age homeschooling population is smaller than that of elementary school age. surveyed 20. The homeschooling story is also one about fathers who have transformed their lives by starting home businesses or have chosen to bypass the corporate ladder to have a hands-on involvement in the homeschool. Like Jaren Green.930 families in the spring of 1998. fathers become more committed to the idea of homeschooling. devoted an entire school year to teaching our youngest son and volunteering in a homeschool learning cooperative. He keeps his law practice to a part-time endeavor and homeschools his daughter. a significantly lower number of older children are being homeschooled than younger children. Or attorney Ken Robinson (see Chapter 1). College Park. quit his day job to publish HomeSchool Dad magazine and help his wife teach their four children. To date. a researcher affiliated with the University of Maryland. . who is married to an awardwinning illustrator. Finally.760 homeschooled students in 11. Study Number Two Lawrence Rudner. this has been the survey of the broadest scope done about homeschoolers. in time. A survey of those who are reinventing the father-as-breadwinner paradigm would be welcome. and that these men have been willing to give this educational choice a try because of their discontent with public schools. The families were solicited through Bob Jones University Press Testing Services. Green. Ruth Sanderson. himself. who lives in Colorado.Profiling Homeschoolers /115 One also learns that. and Were contracted to take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills or the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency. According to Rudner. Wid. my husband. There is a caveat to this survey.

a peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Arizona. Academics. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they continued their education beyond high school. overwhelmingly Christian.3%). 76. Parents' Education. Some of the results of the survey follow. Large families.000 in 1995).9% of homeschooling mothers do not work for .The Homeschooling Revolution /116 "Students were given an achievement test. middle-class homeschoolers . The results of this study were published in Education Policy Analysis. Marital status. The majority (62. Homeschooling parents have more education than the general population. Most American families with school-aged children have only one or two children. Median scores ranged in the 70th to 80th percentile. One in four homeschool students has one parent who is a certified teacher.1%) have three or more children.a majority of the homeschooling movement. and their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire entitled 'Voluntary Home School Demographic Survey.'" (8) This survey offers a window into the world of white.000 in 1997) than the median income of all American families with children ($36. Income. compared to only 72% of families with school-age children nationwide. Twenty-five percent of these students were enrolled a grade or two above their conventionally-schooled peers. Homeschooling families have a higher median income ($52. The overwhelming majority of homeschooling parents are married couples (97. In addition. The achievement test scores of these homeschoolers were solid.

The religious preferences of the mother and father were Independent Fundamental (25.2%). compared to 30.8%.4%).3% nationwide. compared to 40% of 4th graders nationwide. In 93. limit outside entertainments.6% of homeschoolers in the 4th grade watched more than three hours of television per day. live in a religious and educated two-parent family. Homeschooled children tend to watch significantly less television than the average American child.1%). or Reformed (3.Profiling Homeschoolers /117 pay. Roman Catholic (5.4%). A small percentage of racial minorities (only 6% of those surveyed) participated in the study. while 86. work only part-time. the religious preference of the father was the same as that of the mother.4%). only 30% of married women in the general population with children under 18 did not participate in the labor force.1% of the families. Presbyterian (3. Racial minorities. only 11. Assembly of God (4. In 1996.8%). and have a mother who is willing to make this her daily work. The percent of minorities in public schools nationally is 32. Age of homeschoolers. Independent Charismatic (8. Baptist (24.4% of homeschooled students were in grades 9 through 12.1%). Only 1. Television viewing. In this survey.3% of those who do work. One might conclude that a formula for being a successful homeschooling family is this: have a good income. Religious preferences. .

the fathers are largely self-employed as craftsmen musicians. Mayberry offers a fascinating look at families who homeschool for a particular ideological reason . like art.The Homeschooling Revolution / 118 This is not to say that there are not heroic success stories involving single mothers and inner-city families (who may have fewer professional or material resources).While New Age homeschoolers' political affiliations are outside the traditional framework. shared values. they are fervent supporters of social change. Occupational ." (9) Here is a brief summary of the characteristics of these families. Las Vegas. While some of the women are not in the labor force.. the majority are pursuing flexible careers. The research focuses on only eight families in Oregon. however. Study Number Three 'New Age Families Who Educate Their Children At Home' is a study by Maralee Mayberry of the University of Nevada. and family cohesiveness make the task markedly easier. agriculturalists. but Mayberry posits that they "supplied ample data to produce an exploratory case study of New Age parents who teach their children at home.the parents are involved in the so-called New Age movement. holistic healing. One mother describes her children's pursuits: "Our interests [the parents'] have actually become part of the curriculum. photographers. or freelance writing. amenities. They often incorporate their activism into their curriculum. Our children have spontaneously taken part in Peace House projects . participated in an anti-war play sponsored by the Educators for ..While these are highly educated individuals. Political . No doubt.

Rather.Organized or institutionalized religion is not a strong influence in the lives of these New Age families. they see little value in pursuing Protestant.When it comes to academics. because it is viewed as a distraction from more avant-garde spiritual pursuits. intuitive. and are sympathetic to the tenets of Buddhism or Pantheism. are often seen as embodying secular science's rationalized world view which devalues the very concepts that are the cornerstones of New Age thought . Home schooling provides the opportunity for some New Age adherents to provide their children educational experiences which nurture these ideals.Profiling Homeschoolers /119 Social Responsibility . These New Age families. Catholic. have concluded that their children should not attend public schools as a way to avoid weakening their deeply-held beliefs.. "Modern social institutions. whose lifestyle sounds more exotic than that of more conventional homeschoolers. and holism. New Age parents rarely express their philosophies of education in commonplace terms of teaching their children to read and write well. they believe that education should encompass the emotional. they participate in less conventional activities like Sufi dancing or full moon celebrations.. Educational . and rational. Instead. spiritual." (11) . aesthetic. and protested the treatment of Native Americans at Big Mountain.individual potential. including public education. written letters for peace to politicians . Consequently.." (10) Religious . But they are not opposed to public school educators teaching sex education classes and evolution. They believe public schools are bureaucratic institutions that should do away with such traditions as attendance-taking and numerical grades. As Mayberry writes. spirituality. or Jewish expressions of faith. creative.

schooled at The learning programs that homeschooling parents create are highly individualized and flexible. Brian Ray. Only a minority join public school interscholastic sports teams and bands. that were especially noteworthy. Families favor using both home-made materials and pre-packaged curricula. he analyzed over 150 pieces of research. What follows are generalizations about homeschoolers. *In the fall of 1998. on average.000 single-parent families were homeschooling. . has authored a booklet titled "Homeschooling on the Threshold: A Survey of Research at the Dawn of the New Millennium. *Homeschooled students are formally home approximately 3 to 4 hours per day. Ray says that his goal is "to review important and representative research on home schooling to date. *Children are taught at home. for a period of 4 to 5 years. Most homeschooling parents say that they plan to keep their children at home through their high school years." In the publication." (12) To that end. *Homeschoolers do not use public school services very much. from the available body of scholarly research. president of the National Home Education Research Institute. about 25.The Homeschooling Revolution / 120 Study Number Four Dr. *Male and female students are equally represented in home schools.

a consequential number of parents only have high school educations. while opponents will use findings to discredit their growing nemesis. increasing the parent-child contact. many additional studies will be conducted. and outside classes. and. still others on the effects homeschooling has on taxpayerfunded public education. . These studies will assist parents and policy makers who are looking to make informed choices about this educational option. *Homeschooling is pursued by parents for an assortment of reasons. as homeschooling becomes more and more mainstream. In the coming months and years. Some will focus on academic achievement. However. Advocates will seek to demonstrate the favorable results of the movement. avoiding negative peer influence. as the numbers escalate. and creating the opportunity to make greater academic gains. *The average homeschooling parent has attended or graduated from college. This money usually goes toward textbooks. others on socialization.The Homeschooling Revolution / 121 *The amount of money that families spend per child per year averages $450. field trips. including teaching a particular worldview.

"your children have to prove that they're learning on a regular basis. the reader. and successes we experience in this calling. curves. "The best thing to do is to get the home .either a parochial or private school or a public school." given during the spring of 2000. President Clinton also stated. and even detours encountered along the way. the reader. If you. the President suggested that even successful private endeavors. there are bumps. whether it's right for you. "If you're going to [operate a home school]. Many other families are already down the road a ways. you know them best. should not go unhampered by government impositions. have waded through this book and are still undecided about the homeschooling adventure. but it ought to be taken. try to think of it in terms of what's right for your children. are a fellow traveler on the teachthine-own road to educational excellence. like homeschooling. But they are outweighed by the joys. You love them most. and if they don't prove that they're learning then they have to go into a school ." Clinton remarked. As you may have already discovered. blessings. The first step can be the toughest. May God bless you with wisdom in your decision-making process. In a speech concluding his two-day "school reform tour. I congratulate you for your commitment and urge you to keep fighting the good fight. and they will be there to help you and encourage you.Conclusion /123 Chapter 10 Conclusion If you. President Bill Clinton offered his opinions about homeschooling. To the chagrin of home education advocates." (1) In his speech.

parents who assume the extraordinary burden of schooling their children are by definition parents uncommonly dedicated to their children's education. They have also advanced the role of parental rights in education. because. and socializing their children. verifiable by anecdote and standardized test data alike. at the federal level.The Homeschooling Revolution /124 schoolers organized. Homeschooled students have graduated from prestigious colleges. Homeschooling parents have triumphed when they have assumed the responsibility of teaching. managed small . from newsletters to e-mail networks to conferences to field trips to classes . Many have even graduated from these make-shift classrooms. large homeschool organizations . served in the armed forces. training. organized by government. This is clearly a case of government. Dedicated parents have succeeded in making a countercultural idea acceptable." (2) Of course. As has been argued throughout this book.already exist in every one of the fifty states.that offer a wide range of services to families. is that in every academic area homeschooled students are surpassing students enrolled in government schools. The reality. and they have achieved their goals without much applause and without a dime of government funding. as well as offered an exciting model of reform for future generations. the modern homeschooling story is fundamentally one of a grassroots movement of maverick parent-educators. who are teaching their children how to read and write at kitchen tables. the President really means. who is completely ignorant about the enormous gains made by homeschoolers. in actuality. attempting to create a remedy for a problem that does not exist. from Miami to Des Moines to Fairbanks. And of a public official. Indeed.

run for public office. some people will continue to be suspicious and intolerant of this private education practice. The American can-do spirit is evident in the homeschools and households which parents manage simultaneously. and sold millions of CDs. written books. "The dichotomy between homeschooling and government schooling is the difference between a moral and immoral system. regardless of . As Chris Cardiff. Homeschoolers have offered many Americans hope . when they want." While their attainments are quite impressive. and they are not harming other families' children in the process. There is no shortage of homeschoolers whose quality of life far exceeds that of conventionally-schooled students. unsafe institution that can hinder a child's ability to learn. while government schooling imposes its ideology on all children through predatory financing and its monopoly of force. Homeschooling respects the rights of individual families to choose for themselves. Some are beginning to homeschool their own children.hope that a good education can still be obtained. given that they account for only approximately one percent of the school-aged population. It is likely that the population of homeschoolers will only increase if the current public school system continues to be viewed by a growing number of Americans as an irrelevant.Conclusion / 125 businesses. and how they want. if political leaders like Bill Clinton get their way. writing in the Education Liberator has stated. be spared from the reflexive desires of some to claim the need for government supervision. and they are giving new meaning to the old maxim "there's no place like home." (3) Families who homeschool believe they are using their liberties well and wisely by teaching what they want. played competitive sports. Homeschooling will not.

needs. Martin Luther King. the son of the celebrated social reformer Dr. charter schools. Policymakers who are anxious for good news from the educational front lines should be heartened by the words of Martin Luther King III. Meanwhile. liberal. School-to-Work. the lesson for reformers . or will be improved by the intrusion.bent on promoting educational models. The only "assistance" the government can offer to homeschoolers to simplify their task is further deregulation. "The kind of things homeschoolers are doing may be the saving grace of our nation. Jr. or libertarian . Homeschooling has produced literate students with minimal government interference at a fraction of the cost of any government program. such as Goals 2000.conservative.. or any other scheme that involves the State.The Homeschooling Revolution /126 whether the object of that endeavor wants. King. is this: Less is best. observed. be it through homeschool tax credits or a loosening of compulsory school attendance laws. At a homeschooling convention in New England." (4) .

" U. MA. Ware. 3. Office of Research. Ibid. 79. "A Profile of Home Education Research. Author's interview with Debbie Shumway. p. MA. . p. "Reclaiming the Schools: Reconciling Home and Education. February. "Homegrown and Homeschooled. 2. no. 4. 1999.Endnotes /129 Endnotes Chapter 1 1. p. Summer 1990. 1999. Teach Your Own (New York. Purcellville. Information about homeschools from Brian D. 6. 1. Information about government schooling from John Holt. 3. April. 1981). September 30. May. p. 1993. 7. 56. VA.S. Department of Education. Amherst. 1996. Information about homeschooling from John Lyon." National Review. 6." Mothering. 1999. 5. Ibid. 1992. 21. Chapter 2 1. Information about school entrance age from Raymond Moore. MA. Amherst. 80. 3." The Family in America. p. p. Author's interview with Anne and Richard Maxson. Author's interview with Ken and Whitney Robinson. 2. 4. Lines. p. Delacorte. "Homeschooling: Private Choices and Public Obligations. Ray. 6 (June 1994)." Home School Legal Defense Association. Author's published article "Back at the Ranch. Information about homeschools from Patricia M.

htm. 8. p. p. Information about the homeschooling population from Patricia M. Perchemlides v. p. National Home Education Research Institute. p. p. no. Ibid.org/New%20Pages/ resourcegalaw. How Children Fail." U. 4. p. 5. "Are Compulsory School Attendance Laws Necessary? (Part 3). Ibid. 6. Information on the DeJonge case from Christopher J. 16641 (Massachusetts Supreme Court. Ray. 1995).The Homeschooling Revolution /'130 5.S. NC. 1978). Information about the growth in homeschooling from The Home School Market (Boulder. 10. Information about the growth of homeschooling from Brian D. http://www. xiii. Polemic on education from John Holt. Teach Your Own. 1991. 4. April 1996. 63. 11. Carolina Academic Press. Chapter 3 1." Freedom Daily. CO. cited in "Home Schoolers Aided by Technology. Pitman Publishing Corp. p.ghea. Klicka.fff. Information about compulsory school attendance laws in Georgia. 2." Educational Technology Markets. 9. Hal Clarke. 1.html. November 13. January 1997. May. Polemic on school attendance laws from Samuel L. 3. 7. Holt. "Homeschooling: An Overview for Educational Policymakers. . Lines. 1964). 9. (New York. Blumenfeld.nheri.org/srudent/stl099c. (Durham. 1998. 5. 1995). Frizzle. at http://www. http://www.org. Department of Education Working Paper. The Right to Home School: A Guide to the Law on Parents' Rights in Education.

1999. November 22. 1999." http://www." The Wall Street Journal.com/mynews/news/story. p. Editorial about Karen Maple. Ibid. October. Klicka. 16. 12C. A18." Congressional Quarterly. 10. 1994. Interview with Sam Shippy by Harriet Guthertz. p. "Home-Schooling Movement Gives House a Lesson. Author's e-mail from Bob Fontaine." National Homeschooling Association. 372. Compulsory Attendance Exemption Request. "GOP Candidates Like Home Schooling.adp/cat=010402&i d=1999092406211495. fact sheet. "Crime in Vermont. 479.Endnotes /131 5. Information about homeschooling court cases from Home School Court Report. p. September 10.aol. Ibid. 1984. Information from Steve Forbes' speech to homeschoolers from the Associated Press. 14. 66. April 1999. 1999. 9. p. 12. Information about homeschool laws. 1996. 6. page 12. 7. Information from New Plymouth School District. Section 4." The Idaho Statesman. "Jailed father defends taking kids out of school. The Right to Home School. Author's interview with Steve Moitozo of Homeschool Associates. No. 15. 13. Article 13. passed 11-882. Coordinator of Elementary Education for the state of Idaho. Information about homeschooling movement's lobbying efforts from Phil Kuntz. 26. 17. 8. Cincinnati. Information about the state of Oklahoma's constitution. February 26. Information about home education from "Questions and Answers about Homeschooling. 11. April 13. p. .

The Homeschooling Revolution /132 18. Information from the Free Congress Foundation, "A moral minority?" (An open letter to conservatives from Paul Weyrich), February 16, 1999, http://www.freecongress.org/fcf/. Information about homeschoolers from Judy Mann, "Home Schooling's Progressive Wing," Washington Post, May 26, 1999, p. C15. Information from Dr. Laura Perspective, "An Uncommon Education," September, 1998, pp. 10 - 11. Author's e-mail from Marshall Fritz, president of the Separation of School and State Alliance, June 14, 1999.


20. 21.

Chapter 4 1. 2. 3. Information about Barnaby Marsh from author's published article, Daily Hampshire Gazette, March 27, 1996, p. 6. Author's interview with Alexandra Swann, homeschool graduate, August 1998. Information from National Education Association, "B-67, Home Schooling," 1999-2000 resolutions, at http://www.nea.org/resolutions/99/99b-67.html. 4. Author's e-mail from Kathleen Lyons, National Education Association, communications department, September 9,1998. 5. Criticism about homeschooling from Bob Chase, president, National Education Association, Wall Street Journal, Letters to the Editor, March 19,1997, p. A19 6. Information about interest in homeschooling from Paul Chesser, "Shootings a boon to home education," http://www.worldnetdaily com/bluesky_exnews-/19990607_xex_shootings_bo.shtml. 7. Information about sexual harassment in schools from Joan Biskupic, "Schools Liable for Harassment," Washington Post, May 25,1999, p. Al.

Endnotes / 133 8. Information about early American education from Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy, (New York, Harper & Row 1971), p. 5. Research about peer dependency, Raymond S. Moore and Dennis R. Moore, "When Delay Isn't Procrastination," Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education, (Columbus, Ohio, Merrill Publishing Company, 1990), pp. 126-127. Author's interview with Joshua Harris, homeschool graduate, February 1996. Information about social adjustment of homeschooled students from Larry Edward Shyers, "Comparison of Social Adjustments between Home and Traditionally Schooled Students," (Ph.D. diss., University of Florida, 1992), p. 199. Ibid., pp. 199-200. Information about adults who were homeschooled from J. Gary Knowles and James A. Muchmore, "Yep! We're Grown-Up, Home-Schooled Kids - and We're Doing Just Fine, Thank You!" Journal of Research on Christian Education, Spring 1995, Vol. 4, No. 1, p 39. Ibid, p. 52. Research on the social attitudes of homeschoolers from A. Bruce Larai, "Homeschooling and the Redefinition of Citizenship," Education Policy Analysis, Vol. 7, No. 27, September 6,1999, http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n27.html. Information on homeschoolers and support groups from Richard G. Medlin, "Home Schooling: What's Hard? What Helps?" Home School Researcher, Volume 11, No. 4,1995, p. 1. Information from Regional Roundup, newsletter of Richmond, Va. home educators, Volume 6, Issue 6, February, 1998. Author's interview with Carol Simpson, Alaskan homeschooling mother, September 13,1999.




12. 13.

14. 15.




The Homeschooling Revolution /134 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. Information from OCHEC, home education magazine of Oklahoma, Winter 1999. Information on Catholic homeschoolers from John Mallon, "A Positive Good," The Catholic World Report, December 1993, p. 44. Author's e-mail from Lisa Hodge Kander, manager of JHEN, October 23,1999. Author's e-mail from Tom Bushnell, director of NATHHAN, October 28,1999. Information about progressive homeschoolers from Judy Mann, "Home Schooling's Progressive Wing," Washington Post, May 26,1999, p. C15. Information from the Native American Home School Association, http://expage.com/page/nahomeschool2. Information about the Home Education Radio Network from Homeschooling Today, Volume 4, Issue 6, November/December 1995, p. 28.

24. 25.

Chapter 5 1. Information about homeschoolers and academic achievement from Patricia M. Lines, "Home Schooling," ERIC Digest, no. 95, April 1995, EDO-EA-95-3. 2. Information about homeschoolers and academic achievement from Brian D. Ray, "Home Education across the United States," Home School Legal Defense Association research study, March 1997, p. 12. 3. Information about homeschoolers and academic achievement from Jane A. Van Galen, "Ideologues and Pedagogues: Parents Who Teach Their Children at Home," in Home Schooling: Political, Historical, and Pedagogical Perspectives, ed. Jane Van Galen and Mary Anne Pittman (Norwood, N.J.: Ablex, 1991), p. 45.

5. p." from an Associated Press article by Anjetta McQueen that appeared in America Online. National Merit Scholarship Corporation. May 30. Information about homeschoolers and academic achievement from Michael P. May 27. "New York Home-Schooler is Queen of the National Spelling Bee in D. Evanston. Information about George Thampy from "Home-Schoolers Sweep Spelling Bee. Information about David Beihl from " 'La Nina' Secures Geography Bee. National Merit Scholar.Home Schoolers Across America (Salem. p.The Homeschooling Revolution /135 4. A9.1999.. p.1996." Chronicle of Higher Education.C. 8.1999. 11. Information about homeschoolers and academic achievement from Lawrence M." Sunday Oklahoman.1999. 2000 Merit Scholarship Competition.1999. Yale for Rose State. p. June 18. from Jim Killackey.1997. http://epaa. June 20. 1997. 5. Ray. p.1998. February 2. 1-A. "Nerve-Wracked: Home-Schooled Teen Top Speller. Education Policy Analysis Archives. Seminfinalists in the 1998. 9. 10. 17. Strengths of Their Own .org/media/releases/docs/03-23-99. June 1. http://www. Rudner.." from an Associated Press article that appeared in the Daily Oklahoman.1997.asu. and Deb Riechmann. Information about Charles Foster.1999. "From Home to College.edu/epaa/v7n8/. p. 6. A31. III. Oregon: NHERI Publications. 2000. Author's e-mail from Susan Richman." Daily Hampshire Gazette. Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency. Information about homeschoolers and tertiary education from Brian D.hslda. May 30. 1997). Information about homeschoolers and college admissions from Christopher Shea. 7. 67. ." Washington Post. 12. Information about Rebecca Sealfon from Julie Makinen. "Norman Youth Spurns Harvard. 13.html. Farris.

17. 25.htm. Ibid.abeka. Information about the Colfax family from David and Micki Colfax. Information about Calvert School from http://home. 1987.org/contents. 26. "A center for un-schooling. Information about A Beka Video School from http://www. p. 16. September 26. p. Information about Patrick Henry College from Hanna Rosin." Boston Sunday Globe. Information about the Robinson Self-Teaching Curiculum from http://www. Ibid. 18. 20. catalog.1999. p.The Homeschooling Revolution /136 14. June 1996. Mountain Home Press. Illinois.html.robinsoncurriculum. Ibid. "A College for Home Schoolers. Homeschooling For Excellence. . 23.org/hs/welcome/-org/hs/welcome/_main. 19. F6. Information about homeschoolers and college admissions from Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools.calvertschool. 24. 21. A3." Washington Post. Information about homeschoolers and community colleges from Eric Goldscheider.1999. 15. Information about Aaron Davidson from Isabel Lyman. Ibid. 64.html.org/videoHomeSchool/advantage/Advant age1. Information about Classical Education from http://clasicalhomeschooling. 22.com Ibid. "Homeschooling Comes of Age." Charisma. March 14. 27.

" http://www. Author's e-mail from Beverly Vickers. Author's e-mails from Frank Wang and Marjorie Watson. 8. 7. August 30. 20. homeschooling father. Information about renewed interest in homeschooling from Paul Chesser. Connecticut. Information about homeschooling Education Industry Report.1999. " Volume 7. "Looks. Practical Homeschooling. founder of Clonlara School. "Catering To Home Schools.1999. curriculum from The 3. ISSN # 1089 -6112. Number 5. 4. Saxon Publishers. August 14. Information about Pat Montgomery. November 22.1998. 9. .8. Author attends Hanson concert at the Hartford Civic Center.1999. 2. Calvert School Home Instruction Program.com/bluesky_exnews/19990607_xe x_shootings_bo. Information about homeschooling curriculum from The Education Industry Report.Endnotes /137 Chapter 6 1.clonlara. 5. p. p. May 1999. 3. Author's e-mail from Ted Pride. p. June 17. November 19.1999. Hartford. p.worldnetdaily.org/index78. from htttp://www. not sound. Chapter 7 1.html. and Isabel Lyman. Author's interview with Jorge Gomez. 6.shtml. Information about video high school courses from The Teaching Company SuperStar Series. October 10-11.1999. 2. behind Hanson rage. 3." Weekend Gazette. "Shootings a boon to home education.

." Washington Post. and Amy Brooks. Samantha Miller. p." Newsweek. Information about homeschoolers from Donna G.The Homeschooling Revolution /138 2. pp. 10-12. "A Deficient and Detrimental Educational Alternative: Home Schooling. March 20. "Wilkinsons: A Brother.1998. Teach Your Own. July 6. p. 5. 6. 22. Delacorte Press. p. Information about homeschoolers in the entertainment industry from Alex Tresniowski. Information about media analysis from Robert Lichter. 8. "Two Kids and Two Moms. 7. October 4.On the Road. p. D7.1998. 10. 11." Sunday Republican. July 6. 9. Information about a homeschooling family from Pat Wingert and Barbara Kantrowitz. November 6-8. December 20. Daniel Amundson. "From home school to college. Irene Zutell. pp. Information about the media and homeschooling from John Holt.1999. John Carroll University. Information about homeschool graduates from Cesar G. "Media Coverage of Global Warming: 1985-1991." essay for ED 500 Foundations of Education. Information about homeschool graduates from Ronni Gordon.1998. 1. "Home-Schooling . p.1998. 75-76. 2000." Truckers News. G4. Boston Globe correspondent. "The Facts of Wife. 3. Information about homeschoolers in the entertainment industry from Bill Friskics-Warren. and Linda Lichter. 52." People. Pierce. 356. Information from Erik Van Gunten. D5. April 1999. pp. 1981). Author's interview with Eric Goldscheider." The Center for Media and Public Affairs. March 1999. Sister & Pop Sensation. Soriano. 4. "I kissed dating goodbye." USA Weekend. (New York.

Information about homeschooling from Isabel Lyman. Information about the Colorado Springs Homeschool Support Group from http://www. 34. Ibid. 1996). 6. 11.org/new_site/nav_general_info. p. Ibid. 13. Author's e-mail from Fred Foote. 4.htm.com/CSHSG. Costa Rica. p.1998. Information about the media and homeschooling from Brian D.1999. 3. 34.hschool. 34. 35. pp. Volume No. 2. 4. 4." (Universidad de San Jose.htm. "Finding Common Ground. 5." p. p. January 5. July 26. Information about Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators from HINTS (Home Instruction News and Tips). 9. Challinor. 1. November-December. Author's doctoral dissertation. Ray. p.1999. Issue No. "Not Home Alone. 8. September 14. 2000.chec. 1995. November 1995. 32. "Finding Common Ground. Author's e-mail from Scott Somerville. 10. Information about the Christian Home Educators of Colorado from http://www. 7." Home Education Magazine." National Review. Chapter 8 1. National Home Education Research Institute letter to supporters. homeschooling father. 3. Ibid. . August 27. "An Analysis of Print Media Coverage of Homeschooling: 1995-1996. Information about homeschooling support groups from Lori Challinor.The Homeschooling Revolution /139 12. Home School Legal Defense Association.

p. 16. August 15. 20. 14. 1999. Oklahoma. a publication of the Pathfinder Learning Center." Amherst Bulletin. Volume 1." Edmond Sun.6. October 14. 17. "Home School families form class co-op. Information about Oklahoma homeschool cooperative from Bill Scott. October 14. 3. 15. p. p. p. Author's e-mail from Ben Boychuk.1997. Column by unschooling advocate Ken Danford. 1999. 22. F6.The Homeschooling Revolution /140 12. 13. 18. Wilson. "Sayer seeks stricter rules on homeschooling. Ibid.1999 in Edmond." NHERI Publications.1966. Information about unschoolers and academics standards from Cheryl B. Author's information from the Edmond Homeschool Co-op meeting of Nov. Author's interviews with homeschoolers Jeremy Waller. . Megan Good. 19.1." Amherst Bulletin." Boston Globe.1999.1997. 1999. August 12. 7. p. 5. 11.1997.1999. "Concerns aired on homeschooling. March 14. 21. Information about unschoolers from Eric Goldscheider. Issue 3. Wilson. September 12. "Homeschooling is best option for many teens. "Home Schooling on the Threshold: A Survey Of Research At The Dawn Of The New Millennium. Ray. Information about unschoolers and academic standards from Cheryl B. Claremont Institute. Information about the homeschooling population from Brian D. 18. "A center for un-schooling. 4. December 4. p." Daily Hampshire Gazette. Oklahoma. and Brook Welch in Edmond. p. Information about unschoolers from Liberated Learners. February.

1999. 2. Ablex. Historical. Survey about homeschooling fathers from Jaren Green. Oregon. OCHEC News. HomeSchool Dad Magazine. 71." in Home Schooling: Political. p. homeschool mother. Author's written interview wth Nancy Mansour. Volume XVI. October 1999. January 14. ed. 6. 1. Author's e-mail from Ken Robinson. 1995. Information about homeschoolers from Jane A. "Ideologues and Pedagogues: Parents Who Teach Their Children at Home.1999. 36. Information about homeschoolers and access to public school sports teams from John Giniusz. Ibid. p. Van Galen. Pedagogical Perspectives. Farris.The Homeschooling Revolution /141 23." San Jose Mercury News. 3. homeschooling mother. August-September 1999. 1991)." Greenfield Recorder.1999. 3 Information about homeschooling families from Michael P. October 27. pp. p. Number 4. 5. NJ. 67. p. 1999). Information about Oklahoma homeschoolers. October 25. 5. p. . homeschool father. 24. Chapter 9 1. "Homeschooled Athol boy scores in court. pp. February/March 1999. Information about homeschoolers from Dana Hull. Author's e-mail from Barb Schulze. 7. 26. Thanks to E-Convenience. The Homeschooling Father (Sisters. 25. Loyal. Jane Van Galen and Mary Anne Pittman (Norwood. 4.lA. "Home Schooling's High-Tech Wave: Valley Families Teach Their Own. 3. Affluence. on the court. Ibid. October 24. 2.

1. Ibid. Information about the homeschooling population from Brian D. "Clinton wants to 'organize' home schoolers. January-February 1994." Education Policy Analysis Archives. 2000. "Teaching For The New Age: A Study of New Age Families Who Educate Their Children At Home. 13. p. Information about homeschooling and government schooling from Chris Cardiff. 1. 16." www. . "Martin Luther King III Encourages Homeschoolers. p. May 5." Moore Report International. p. p. No. No." NHERI Publications.1999. 12.worldnetdaily. 10. 5.1989. Volume 7. ISSN 1068-2341.com. Chapter 10 1. Author's published article. 5. Information about homeschooling families from Lawrence M. Ibid. Information about homeschooling families from Maralee Mayberry. 3. 5. Information about President Clinton's speech on homeschooling from Julie Foster. "Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998.2. Rudner." Education Liberator. Number 8. "The Critical Distinction Between Homeschooling and Government Schooling. 1999. 4. March 23.The Homeschooling Revolution /142 8. 9.asu. 3. Vol. 13 Ibid. 2. 11. Ray. "Home Schooling on the Threshold: A Survey Of Research At The Dawn Of The New Millennnium.edu/epaa/v7n8/. p." Home School Researcher. p. http://epaa. Vol.

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