Jeremy C.: “For a long time, I did not support regulation of homeschooling”

“I still believe in John Holt’s vision of a healthy, self-actualized society of lifelong learners, but I see nothing in Teach Your Own that says the lives of abused children don’t matter, or that taking basic precautions to protect against abuse is an unreasonable hindrance to the learning process. Ultimately, I believe that I can best advocate for homeschooling by advocating for regulations that protect homeschooled children; being a supporter of homeschooling and a supporter of homeschooling regulation are, for me, the same thing.”

Jamie G.: “I want to see that change, now”

“I was homeschooled … in Illinois, a state that has no homeschool regulation, no testing requirements, nothing. Unless a homeschooled child has been in a public school district before being homeschooled (which would require the family to notify the district as they withdraw the student), local officials and the state quite frankly don’t know you even exist if you are homeschooled.”

Jennifer P.: “My parents broke the state’s homeschooling laws knowingly”

“Upon settling in Pennsylvania, which has regulations that are generally seen as “stringent,” my parents refused to report, having not reported previously. I met other homeschooling families who followed the laws and their children usually participated in a co-op or other activities with other homeschoolers. . . . I was not aware of any educational shortcoming in my friends—even the large families used evaluators and spent a lot of time DOING school.”

Arielle G.: “I was a homeschool poster child”

“I was a homeschool poster child. When proponents tell skeptics about homeschool alums with soaring test scores, stellar credentials, and successful careers, I’m one of the examples they cite. After being home educated K—12 in California and Idaho, I pursued my passion—history—at an Ivy League college, graduating with highest honors and moving on to a Ph.D. program in the same field.”

Caitlin T.: “In New Jersey, things fell apart”

“In New Jersey, things fell apart. Without oversight, there was no need to think about compiling a portfolio. Without state standards, there was no benchmark for my progress. We still tried to follow the Pennsylvania guidelines for high school (3 years of math, 3 of science, 4 of English, etc.), but no one was there to check up on us or offer help as I entered harder subjects.”

Jerusha Lofland: “Ignorance leaves people vulnerable”

“I support oversight of homeschooling because every child deserves a good education in all subjects. I received a great education in English grammar, and I could recite entire chapters from the Bible. But my parents gave up teaching me basic algebra, my textbooks viewed history through a primarily anti-Catholic lens, I was warned against studying the humanities, and I have spent a decade unlearning much of the “science” I was taught.”

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.”