The Beast Looks At Homeschooling
The Daily Beast looks at the problem of certain parents who use homeschooling as a way to hide their abuse in The Sinister Side of Homeschooling. This article does make it clear that homeschooling is usually not done as an excuse to abuse and that most homeschooling parents are not abusive. However, the author of the piece also appears to be advocating for more oversight of homeschooling. I am not sure I agree with that. More children who attend public schools are abused than homeschoolers and even so, many die. How much oversight would be necessary of homeschoolers in order to make sure that they are not abused? I do feel that it would be a slippery slope.
[…] was asked in the comments to my post, The Beast Look At Homeschooling, why I believe that regulation of homeschooling is a slippery slope and what would be appropriate […]
I was homeschooled and I currently homeschool my three kids and I agree with Latebloomer that a little regulation might be a good thing. I don’t like testing (for any kids) but portfolio review is an option we have here in Ohio and I think that works really well.
As a homeschooler, I’d hate to see something so natural and beneficial to many families being used to cover up child abuse. If a little, non-intrusive regulation can help abused children, I’m all for it.
Hi Hermana Linda,
First off, thanks so much for the attention that you have been bringing to the destructive nature of the Pearls’ teachings, and thank you for highlighting the series over at Homeschoolers Anonymous.
I’m curious as to what you think should be done to help protect homeschoolers from abusive situations? What do you think would be an appropriate level of oversight? Homeschooling regulations vary from state to state, and many basically have none at all. Surely some level of regulation is better than zero, for the sake of children whose parents choose to homeschool in order to hide abuse?
While it’s true that more public school children are abused than homeschool children, this is simply due to the fact that there are many more children in public school than are being homeschooled. We have no reliable statistics to show us whether the rate of homeschool children experiencing abuse is higher or lower than the rate of public or private school children experiencing abuse. Even if the rate was higher in public school, does that mean we should just leave the unprotected homeschool children with the same level of protection as before–that is, to say, none?
“Slippery slope” is not an argument, but a logical fallacy. Some increase in regulation does not automatically mean that regulation will go overboard. In fact, if anything, the efforts of some to de-regulate homeschooling has gone the other way: there is so little regulation in some areas that children are left unprotected. As latebloomer said, moderation is necessary. We don’t want to make it incredibly difficult for competent, loving parents to homeschool, but neither can we turn a blind eye to abuse.
I’m going to have to think about that question. I really don’t want to make it more difficult for innocent families to homeschool. I believe that abusive parents should be stopped and try to raise awareness so that other people in the child’s life might recognize abuse and report it.
I’ve been following that series too, as hard as it is to read :(. I’m curious though about why you feel regulation of homeschooling is a slippery slope. As a formerly homeschooled student, I think that moderation is the key, just like many things in life–a little can be good or helpful, and too much can be bad.
Some regulation ideas I would support include not allowing sex offenders or parents convicted of child abuse to homeschool. I think parents should also be required to inform the government that they are homeschooling, and participate in some form of standardized testing, preferably administered by a local school.
It’s true that we can’t stop all abuse, not in public school and not in homeschooling. But a little regulation could make a big difference for some of these kids, without harming anyone in the process.
I agree about not allowing sex offenders or parents convicted of child abuse to homeschool. I’m not sure about having to inform the government of intent to homeschool, but it does seem reasonable. I do not agree with standardized testing. Each child learns at his or her own rate and in his or her own way. I do not agree that the government has the right to determine what the child must learn. Of course, my perspective is that of a long time homeschooler. The consideration of abuse makes things look different, but I still maintain that abusers will find ways to abuse and I do not want the government to have that much control over how we raise our children.