As the Common Core curriculum is rolled out around the country, parents are just beginning to get a taste of what is in store for them and their children in the coming years, and many parents aren’t happy about what they see. Add this to the reality of our already failing school systems and many parents are being forced to look at other options for their children’s education. One option that is standing out for many parents is the option of homeschooling.
Homeschooling, once considered to only be the choice of religious families, has suddenly become the choice of many non-religious families who are fed up with the schools in our country. As this happens, and homeschooling grows at a rapidly increasing rate, progressives around the country are starting to look for ways to discredit this type of education. Why would the liberal progressives care whether or not a family chooses to homeschool? Because if families choose home education over state run education, the liberal progressives can’t indoctrinate our children with their liberal propaganda, and God forbid that our country might actually have a few free-thinking individuals left to mess up the future of their socialist utopia. The liberal progressives suddenly have to come up with a way to stop, or at least slow down, the growth of the homeschooling movement and find a way to control the families that do choose to homeschool. The best way to slow down the growth of homeschooling and inflict as much damage as possible is to discredit the movement as a whole and what better way to do this than to use the liberal media. In a recent article published on the Daily Beast, called “The Sinister Side of Homeschooling“, the author equates homeschooling with abusive homes and families, stating that:
Some families [who homeschool] are simply trying to hide abuse and keep kids wholly under their control.
In the article, the author relays several stories about homeschooling children who have been abused, sometimes even killed, by the families who were homeschooling them. One story the author tells is about Erica Lynn Parsons, a girl from North Carolina who was being homeschooled by her adoptive parents. Her adoptive brother reported her missing in August of this year and it was then found out that Erica hadn’t been seen since 2011. The girl’s birth mother is now calling for greater regulation and oversight of homeschooling and pushing for a bill called “Erica’s Law”.
There is no doubt that the stories the author relays are heartbreaking, but these stories, and stories like them, aren’t the real reason for this particular Daily Beast piece. Before we get to the real reason why the article was written, let’s first look at the supposed reason–which was to expose the sinister, abusive side of homeschooling. According to the author’s statistics, there are approximately 1,500,000 homeschoolers currently homeschooling in the United States, and in the past 13 years there have been approximately 70 reported cases of abuse coming from homeschooling families. (*I have seen numbers as high as 2.1 million but we will use her numbers for continuities sake)
When you divide 70 by 13, we come up with a total of 5.3 abuse cases per year or approximately .00000353% of the total number of homeschoolers. Now let’s compare the homeschool abuse statistics to child abuse statistics as a whole:
· In 2011, there were 676,569 children abused in the United States or approximately .0091% of the total population of children under 18.
· 493,219 of the children abused were either school age or preschool age.
· Children in the general population were 2,578 times more likely to be the victims of abuse than children in the homeschooling population alone.
Some might argue that the reason the number of abuse cases are so low within the homeschooling movement is simply because the children are “hidden” or as the author of the article said, “It’s easy for the world to forget that they exist”. While this might be true in some cases, as a homeschooling mom who just started her third year of homeschooling, I can tell you that for most homeschooling families nothing could be further from the truth. My children, and most homeschooling children I know, are well integrated into society. These children attend any number of activities including homeschool co-ops, sports activities (including public school sports activities), church functions, dance classes, art classes, music classes, doctor’s visits, etc. It would be more than a little difficult to “hide” abuse when most homeschooling children are seen by numerous “outside” people daily, don’t you think?
So let’s get back to the real reason why this article was written: to discredit the homeschooling movement as a whole—because if liberals can’t force homeschooling children to attend their liberal progressive schools, they will do everything in their power to control the families that choose to homeschool, and the best way to do that is through stricter regulation and oversight.
Throughout this article the author repeatedly calls for “greater regulation” of homeschooling. She wants to make sure that all states make it harder for families to homeschool and she wants government to have a greater say in what we are allowed to teach our children. These progressives are trying to force every child to fit their liberal mold so that the future of our country will be shaped by the next generation of young socialists (or communists).
As conservatives we must fight back against the lies that are being perpetrated against the families that are trying to break out of the public school mold and protect their children from the liberal progressive agenda. The best way to fight back is to point out the fallacies that are continually being told by the liberal propaganda machine, or in other words, the mainstream media.