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About Homeschooling

This page has information 'about homeschooling,' not about 'how to homeschool.'  The topics on this page are historical, political and about demographics.  For 'how to homeschool' information, see pages such as "For new homeschoolers," "Curriculum," or "Books for grownups."

On this page:

Histories of Homeschooling
Do homeschooled kids ever get snow days? 
Online snapshots through the years 

External links:

Declaration of Educational Independence, Linda Dobson
Homeschool FAQs from Home Education Magazine 
Social worker at the door? What is the main reason for homeschooler concern about legal problems? 

Home Schooling in the United States:  Trends and Characteristics, U.S. Census Bureau, 2001
How many homeschoolers are there?, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
What are they like?, 1999, NCES
And overall? 1999, NCES (with the idiotic weasel-description, "Students were considered to be homeschooled if their parents reported them being schooled at home instead of a public or private school, if their enrollment in public or private schools did not exceed 25 hours a week, ..."  25 hrs./5 days per week = 5 hrs. per day enrolled, which makes nonsense of the collected data)


Histories of Homeschooling

  • Freedoms At Risk -- Twenty Years Later
    Home Education Magazine
    , (originally published May 1991)
    In the late 1980's we started seeing incidents, at first seemingly unrelated but then increasingly fitting a pattern, until by March of 1991 we had become concerned enough to admit a growing sense of alarm to our colleagues, associates, and fellow homeschooling activists. In those days before email and the Internet were commonplace tools, we mailed a letter to a number of people whose counsel we trusted, advising them that we were recognizing patterns of behavior which caused us great concern, and we outlined why. We wrote that our efforts to communicate about and address these issues with the perpetrators had been fruitless, and we felt the point had been reached when a strong stand for homeschool freedoms needed to be taken. We were relieved and gratified when almost everyone we contacted responded in agreement and supported our publication of this now-historic document, titled Homeschooling Freedoms at Risk.
    The "patterns of behavior" referred to in this description were the breaking up of established homeschool groups, the establishment of statement-of-faith groups (SOF) to replace the broken groups, and the consolidation of influence over the new SOF groups.
  • Homeschooling Freedoms At Risk
  • Freedoms Responsibilities And The "Four Pillars"
  • Homeschooling Rights and Responsibilities
  • Bitter Pill-ars To Swallow
  • From Across the Nation
  • Gentle Spirit MagazineWho Stole Homeschooling?  (online 2003)
    As part of the situation described in Home Education Magazine's series on homeschool freedoms, 'homeschool leaders' targeted Cheryl Lindsey Seelhof for not toeing the orthodox homeschool line.  The "who stole homeschooling" series describes Cheryl's journey through the lawsuit she filed, and won.
    A Homeschooler's History I
    Homeschooler's History II
    Homeschooler's History III, 1990 - 1992
    Homeschooler's History IV, H.R. 6
    Homeschooler's History V, 1994 - 1995
    Homeschooler's History VI, 1995 - 1997
  • Washington Home Education Network (WHEN), Gentle Spirit Lawsuit
  • Home Education Magazine
    News Watch Special Report, Seelhof v. Welch
    The Truth About Cheryl
    Interview with Cheryl Lindsay Seelhof
    The Link, Homeschool News Network, Volume 5, Issue 2, Letters to the Editor, Who Stole Homeschooling? and response from Cheryl Lindsay Seelhof

  • HR 6 (1994)
    Synopsis from the Home Education Magazine News and Commentary blogHSLDA worried about the application to homeschooling of the term "nonprofit schools" which were mentioned elsewhere in the reauthorization bill. No variant of the word "homeschooling" appeared in the bill, but still, "nonprofit" in conjunction with Rep. Miller's amendment requiring state certification of teachers was a reason for HSLDA to kick into high gear. 
    (full disclosure: written by myself.  Not that I'm always 'right,' only that I know where I keep my written 'stuff'.)

    One viewpoint:
    HR 6 and the Federalization of Homeschooling  (1994)
    The Ravage of Home Education Through Exclusion by Religion  (1998)

    Another viewpoint:
    Vision Forum Ministries, On the Ten Year Anniversary of H.R.6 (2004)
  • Dave Mankins on the HSLDA (1997)
    I'm composing this because my morning mail included another cry of "wolf" from them, and I'm more than a little angry that they try to spew their noxious propaganda on a list that costs me time and money to maintain.
  • A Brief History of American Homeschooling, by Linda Dobson (2000)
  •, Battling for the heart and soul of home-schoolers (2000)
  • Discovery Institute, 1 July 2000, Homeschooling Comes of Age
    The resources also reflect the philosophical and pedagogical diversity of homeschoolers. The magazine Drinking Gourd, named after a folk song about the underground railway, provides articles and book reviews emphasizing cultural and ethnic diversity. Nathan News, published by the National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network, provides articles by parents and experts on such topics as "Auditory Memory Strategies and Activities," "Custom Fitting a Program for the LD Child," or "My Recipe for IEP." In addition, parents obtain advice, texts, services, and curricula from public and private schools and other institutions.
  • HSLDA, The Politics of Survival: Home Schoolers and the Law (2001) (compare against the viewpoints below)
  • Home Education Magazine, September/October 2001,  HSLDA's "History" Erodes the Foundations of Our Freedom
    Foundations of Our Homeschooling Freedoms
    The primacy of the family: ...
    Private education: ...
    Legal foundations include ... rulings by the U. S. Supreme Court and federal, state, and local courts ...
    Principles from common law ...
    Statutes are not foundations of homeschooling freedoms.

  • "The Humanism Behind Homeschooling", Theresa Willingham (2004)
    In his book," Teach Your Own, " Holt maintained, "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. It is not an artificial place, set up to make `learning' happen and in which nothing except `learning' ever happens. It is a natural, organic, central, fundamental human institution; one might easily and rightly say the foundation of all other human institutions."
  • A very short and general history of home education, Tossed by the Fates, (2008)  (full disclosure, I'm the author)
    Where there was scarcity there is now surfeit. Where once textbook publishers refused to have any truck with renegade parents outside the education establishment there are now homeschooling workbooks sold ‘over-the-counter.’ Where once you needed a teacher’s ID card to buy educational materials, now all you need is a credit card.

Homeschooling stereotypes (2005)
Red and Rover is one of the comics I like to read; the series is cute.  Unfortunately, the author made a short foray into the realm of homeschooling, or rather, part of the viewpoint of a publicly-schooled child's opinion of what it is to be homeschooled, ie, that homeschooled kids get no time off for snow days.  Tsk, tsk.  Mr. Basset, 't'ain't so.  Homeschoolers enjoy 'snow days' with cocoa and cookies afterwards, just as much as anyone else (and the Red and Rover cartoons, too).


Online snapshots through the years

  • Life Without School (blog)
    For some, Life Without School begins as a conscientious choice that is whole-heartedly embraced. For others, it begins as a quest for second chances, new opportunity or even as an internal prompting led by the desire to meet the needs of a child. No matter how we come into this lifestyle, the purpose we most commonly share is reflected best by this one question: "What is right for my child?" Life Without School is not for all families or all children, but it is a valid and valued lifestyle choice for many.
  • Massachusetts:  Summary of data from Massachusetts town homeschool policy and practice database
    For a year and a half, AHEM has been collecting information from homeschoolers about official town policy (including the policies themselves), and about how homeschooling actually works in towns in Massachusetts, according to homeschoolers.
  • Organic Learning

  • Selected Current Citations to Inform Research on the Subject of Homeschooling, Ohio Home Education Coalition Peggy Daly-Masternak and Mary Nix, Co-Coordinators October 2003

  • Against School, by John Taylor Gatto: an article from Harper's Magazine, September 2001
    "If David Farragut could take command of a captured British warship as a pre-teen, if Thomas Edison could publish a broadsheet at the age of twelve, if Ben Franklin could apprentice himself to a printer at the same age (then put himself through a course of study that would choke a Yale senior today), there's no telling what your own kids could do. After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves."
  • Cheapschooling
    A to Z's Budget Shop, Used Materials and Weblinks
    Home Education Magazine
    The Value of Virtual Expeditions

  • Susannah Sheffer, one of Growing Without Schooling's editors wrote A Sense of Self published in 1997.

  • Lampoon (note date) about government oversight of families
    Home Eating a Threat to Public Kitchens?  State Allows Growing Trend of Eating At Home

  • Classic from the late John Holt (1923 - 1985), The Constitutional Basis for Home Education  

  • Home Educator's Family Times: Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool

  • from 1987:  The Home Schooling Movement by Clint Bolick, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.  Wait for the site to download as the page is cached at the Internet Archive (aka, "Wayback Machine")





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The Military Homeschooler is a private web site and is not affiliated with the US government or the DoD.  The opinions stated on the site are those of the site owner and the content is provided for information only. The Military Homeschooler  contains links to other Web sites. These other sites are not under the control of The Military Homeschooler and The Military Homeschooler is not responsible for the contents of any other site. The Military Homeschooler  provides the links only as a convenience to this site's readers, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by The Military Homeschooler of the site.   You are responsible for your own viewing and any dealings with other sites.

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This site was last updated:  Wednesday, 10 March 2010