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

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

AmethystI was homeschooled from 1987 to 2000, from kindergarten through 12th grade. I grew up in small rural towns whose public school systems were a joke. Literally. “There’s your [town’s name] education” was a thing in one of these places, and it wasn’t a compliment. I believe that the education I received through homeschooling was likely better than what I would’ve gotten in my local public school districts.  But I can’t say this for all the homeschoolers I grew up with.

I knew teenagers who weren’t being given a complete high school education, particularly high school math and science. The students most affected by this were girls. “She’s not going to college anyway.” “How is she going to use algebra as a housewife?” “Why does she need to know pi? Is she going to decorate a round room?” “It’s better to use these years to prepare to be a wife and mother.” These are all things I heard my friends’ parents—their homeschool teachers—actually say. Eventually some of my friends started saying these things about themselves.

We hear about girls like Malala Yousafzai who have to fight for their right to be educated, and we pat ourselves on the back for fighting the Taliban and bringing American freedom to those girls, over there. But it’s not just over there. It’s not just the Taliban. There are plenty of Malalas right here in America. In your state. In your city. Maybe next door. How many are there? We can’t know, because many states don’t collect any kind of data on homeschool students, or even basic records that show whether or not these girls and boys are actually receiving an education of any kind.

I was homeschooled in Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, all three states with little in the way of oversight for homeschooling. I am in favor of oversight for homeschooling because I don’t want even one American girl to hear that she doesn’t need a complete education because she’s a girl.


Amethyst Marie was homeschooled from 1987 to 2000 in Missouri, Kansas, and Texas. For additional thoughts and experiences from other homeschool alumni, see our Testimonials page.

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