In the 1970’s, the United States experienced a resurgence of what was once the staple of American education: parent-taught schooling at home. Home education was legal in only a handful of states. It became a legal form of education in all fifty states through the tireless efforts of brave homeschooling parents, organizations such as the Homeschool Legal Defense Association fighting on their behalf, politicians willing to push bills for educational freedom through their state legislatures and governors willing to sign those bills into law. Their hard work blazed a trail toward the educational freedom that American citizens now enjoy: the right to teach our children at home free from interference from state run schools.
This is not the time to sit back and relax. As second and third generation homeschoolers, we cannot rest on the success of our late 20th century homeschooling predecessors. Home education is constantly under attack in this country. Public school educators and their powerful NEA union representatives command the attention of legislators who would write laws outlawing home education. Newscasters, reporters, websites and bloggers will cling to any negative mention of homeschooling and use it as a battering ram to break down laws supporting our academic freedom. Critics of homeschooling are everywhere. They shout loudly and clearly to anyone who will listen. It is time for homeschoolers to speak up, speak out, and make our voices heard. We cannot allow opponents of homeschooling to dominate the conversation or set the terms of the debate. If we do, we will lose the debate before it begins. If we don't speak up, we will lose the freedoms fought for by so many Americans just a few short years ago.
Richard Barrette, aka “Arby,” started The Homeschool Apologist with Linda Difino. The purpose of The Homeschool Apologist is to speak in defense of homeschooling. We aim to debunk the common myths surrounding home education, to counter the common and often misleading attacks against homeschooling, and to expose and defeat the anti-homeschooling arguments found in the media and online. Our goal is to preserve and defend educational freedom in this country, while offering support to and a forum for homeschoolers quietly instructing their children in households across America.