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. 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 the current lack of legal oversight of homeschooling enables child abuse by allowing abusive parents to isolate their children from outside contact, 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 stand to benefit from both improvement in social services and sensible oversight of homeschooling.
We believe … that homeschooling needs safeguards to ensure that it is not used as a cover for child maltreatment, and that enacting such safeguards is in the best interests of both children’s well-being and the credibility and public image of homeschooling as a movement. We draw attention to the consequences of lax homeschool statutes by cataloguing cases where abusive or neglectful parents use homeschooling to hide child mistreatment.
We believe … that there need to be checks and balances in place to protect homeschooled children and ensure their well-being. CRHE’s policy recommendations, which were developed based on common themes identified in this database, would go a long way towards protecting homeschooled children. These include measures to flag at-risk children who are withdrawn from school to be homeschooled and efforts to bring homeschooled children into contact with people who are mandatory reporters.