W. S. Hunter: “Parents are flawed people, like all of us”

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“Now that I am a parent myself, I recognize the pride and naivety of any parent—no matter how loving and well-meaning—who thinks they can be the sole adult and authority in their kids’ lives.”

I was lucky, academically speaking. My mom loves learning, and had a commitment to making sure we had a balanced education. However, our interactions were often with other homeschoolers and never professional adults. We didn’t have access to oversight. Still, compared to many of my peers, I had an overall good experience.

My biggest argument for oversight is the implementation of safety nets that homeschool children do not currently have.

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I had childhood depression and anxiety due to trauma. My parents didn’t know what to do with me. Thanks to religious stigma and limited outside influence, my parents just thought I was being rebellious. I wonder now what might have happened had I had access to school counselors and teachers. If more people who are trained to recognize childhood issues, would someone have noticed what I was ignoring?

My parents aren’t bad people. They tried to do their best by me. They loved me. But now that I am a parent myself, I recognize the pride and naivety of any parent—no matter how loving and well-meaning—who thinks they can be the sole adult and authority in their kids’ lives. Parents are flawed people, like all of us. And they can’t do it alone.

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Dean Hunter was homeschooled in Louisiana and North Carolina from 1994 to 2008. For additional thoughts and experiences from other homeschool alumni, see our Testimonials page.

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