We believe that homeschooling can be successful and healthy, and that for many families homeschooling works in the best interests of both the parents and the children. We believe that it is important for homeschooling to continue an an educational option available to parents. We seek to draw attention to the fact that, given the laxity of current laws in most states, there are abusive or neglectful parents who use homeschooling to hide their mistreatment their children. We believe that homeschooling needs sensible safeguards to ensure that it is not being used as a cover for child maltreatment, and that enacting such safeguards is in the best interests not only of children’s wellbeing but also of the credibility and public image of homeschooling as a whole.
We believe that homeschooling as a method of instruction is as good or as bad as the parents who employ it. When compassionate and caring parents homeschool in an effort to improve the lives and educational outlooks of their children, homeschooling can operate in the best interests of the child. However, when unscrupulous parents homeschool in an effort to control their children and hide abuse, homeschooling can be detrimental to a child’s best interests.
We believe that in its current largely unregulated state, homeschooling enables child abuse by allowing abusive parents to isolate their children from outside contact, thus impeding their ability to seek help, tell others of their abuse, or be viewed by people who could help them. Some cases of abuse in homeschooling families also involve a failure on the part of social services. We believe homeschooled children will benefit both from improvement in social services and from basic oversight of homeschooling.
We believe that there need to be checks and balances in place to protect homeschooled children and ensure their well-being. As an affiliated group operating under the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, we endorse the policy recommendations laid out by that organization. We support measures to flag at-risk children who are withdrawn from school to be homeschooled and efforts to bring homeschooled children into contact with people who are mandatory reporters.