Ohio: Senate Bill 248, “Teddy’s Law”

Theodore “Teddy” Foltz Tedesco was murdered by his mother’s boyfriend, Zaryl G. Bush, in January of 2013. Teddy’s mother, Shain Widdersheim, had withdrawn him from public school to homeschool him months before after teachers reported signs of abuse, specifically so that she could remove him from contact with mandatory reporters. … Continue reading

Homeschool Graduates Launch Nonpartisan Organization to Advocate for the Legal Interests of Homeschooled Children

December 18, 2013 Canton, Massachusetts — Homeschool graduates are launching the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), the first-ever non-profit public policy organization to advocate on behalf of the interests of homeschooled children. With an estimated 1.8 million children home educated in the United States, this is the first time … Continue reading

Alisa Harris: “Even growing up, I knew I was one of the lucky homeschoolers”

“Even growing up, I knew I was one of the lucky homeschoolers. My family knew homeschooled children who worked in the family businesses instead of doing school, kids who could barely read and who had learning disabilities that their families were not equipped to even identify, let alone address. . . . In so many of these cases, the physical, educational, and emotional neglect was never confronted, not even by fellow homeschooling parents, the only people in a position to see it.” Continue reading

Elizabeth W.: “I am a survivor”

“My mother informed me that from now on we were all going to be “homeschooled” so that no more nosy teachers would be interfering in “our” (her) lives. One of my youngest stepsiblings had made some mention to a teacher of the rampant domestic violence that routinely rampaged through our home. . . . Homeschooling was the first step my mom took to make sure no one could get involved through children’s loose tongues ever again.” Continue reading

Giselle Palmer: “Good home schools will show progress”

“In a country where education is compulsory and all schools and teachers face extreme levels of accountability for their teaching, home schools (while having some degree of curricular freedom) should also demonstrate that they are, in fact, educating children. If parents are providing sufficient education for their kids, this should not be a frightening prospect.” Continue reading

Holly S.: “If there had only been some protection in place”

“Many of my friends and I do not have high school diplomas or transcripts. In the states in which we were homeschooled, there was little oversight and no requirement that parents provide such documents to graduating home school students. In addition to the rampant educational neglect that occurred in homeschool circles, the lack of proper documents made it difficult for many of us to access higher education.” Continue reading

Ryan Stollar: “Not everyone had parents like I did”

“That moment made me realize that, while my parents were highly invested in us jumping through all the hoops to make sure we succeeded, not all parents are like that. Not all homeschool parents know how to educate their children — let alone educate them well. Not all homeschool parents care about the quality of their children’s education. Even the parents that co-existed with mine, that went to all the same meetings and conventions that mine did.” Continue reading

Kierstyn Darkwater: “It’s so easy for people like me … to fall through the cracks”

“If my parents had been unable to write off the validity and necessity of subjects based on theology or gender, if it had been harder for my parents to circumvent the rules, if I had been required to have an evaluation done by a teacher unrelated to my family, I think I would have had a better chance at a decent and well rounded education.” Continue reading

Kathryn Brightbill: “I’ve seen how wonderful homeschooling can be”

“I support oversight of home education not because I had a bad homeschooling experience, but because I had a good one. I’ve seen how wonderful homeschooling can be when it works because I’ve lived it. When I hear the stories of homeschooled students who experienced educational neglect or abuse, or the formerly homeschooled adults who are struggling to overcome the deficits in their education, it saddens me to know how much the system failed them.” Continue reading

Rachel Coleman: “Good homeschooling … is not something that happens automatically”

“I was homeschooled in Indiana, a state with no oversight of homeschooling. My parents did not even have to file notice of homeschooling. All of the things my parents did—creating curriculum plans, putting together annual portfolios, having us tested—they did in an effort to homeschool us effectively and responsibly. My parents would not have found oversight of homeschooling an inconvenience or burden because they already voluntarily did everything effective homeschool oversight generally requires.” Continue reading