If We Want Homeschooling to Flourish, Keep the State Out of It
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If We Want Homeschooling to Flourish, Keep the State Out of It

In the 2020s and beyond, homeschooling will grow into one of the hottest political topics in the nation. From public schools across the nation running into fiscal problems to people worrying about the increasingly political nature of public education, there will be plenty of opportunities for homeschooling and similar educational arrangements to position themselves as alternatives to the public education status quo.

During the last two decades, homeschooling has been on the uptick. In a previous article, I noted that the homeschooling population increased from 850,000 in 1999 to 1.7 million in 2016. That increase is starting to catch the attention of a legacy media outlet such as National Public Radio (NPR). NPR recently posed the question, “How Should we Regulate Homeschooling?”

Kerry McDonald of the Foundation for Economic Education is pushing back against suggestions for homeschooling regulation. She identifies the real endgame behind efforts to regulate homeschooling—control. We see this regulatory control in countless other areas, such as small businesses and even the dietary choices we make. This type of regulatory overreach is most blatant in the education sector, with the government dominating public education while also trying to get its paws on the homeschooling sector.

In recent history, homeschooling re-emerged as an alternative to the state module of mass public education. As homeschooling has gradually grown, it has caught the attention of the political class, who are more than eager to hamstring it through regulation. The good news is that there hasn’t been any comprehensive federal measure to regulate homeschooling, so states have leeway in crafting homeschooling policies. Some states are hands-off on homeschooling, while others ask that homeschool educators conduct yearly check-ins or share lesson plans.

This may not be ideal, but this allows the homeschooling sector enough breathing room to grow and innovate. However, we live in the era of the managerial state, where there are still busybodies out there who want to swoop in and micromanage homeschooling outright.

They’ll appeal to fears about homeschooling being “unsafe” or how it leaves students susceptible to indoctrination. Such concerns ignore the very real frequent cases of violence in inner-city schools and the literal indoctrination students receive at public schools, which turns them into cogs in the wheel, susceptible to government propaganda, rather than critical thinkers. If anything, homeschooling offers a clean break from those dangers.

With nearly two million homeschoolers in America, the market is indicating that there is a homeschooling niche people are willing to step into and provide resources for. Let’s be real, the one-size-fits-all educational model we see in public schools does not work for everyone. Homeschooling is not a silver bullet, but it provides one of many methods that parents can turn to in order to ensure the quality of their children’s educational experience.

The surge in homeschooling reflects free families banding together to provide instruction customized for the student throughout America. And we can thank the government’s intrusion in the education sector for crowding out other private alternatives and making our children’s education a rather dull experience.

No matter how burdensome the government gets, market forces still find ways to provide, as witnessed with homeschooling’s growth. For that reason, we should celebrate homeschooling’s rise, while also advocating for policies that keep the state out of this form of education.

If we have to ask, “How should homeschooling be regulated?” then we’re asking the wrong question.

Comment section

3 thoughts on “If We Want Homeschooling to Flourish, Keep the State Out of It

  1. Who wants homeschooling to flourish? Not those who benefit or seemingly benefit from political government’s monopolistic or near monopolistic control/dictatorship of education. Certainly not politicians or teachers or teacher union administrators/slop-at-the-trough, suck-at-the-golden-teat parasites. Certainly not the peripheral businesses that profit from lucrative and egregious contracts with the schools.

    Privatize education and witness the rebirth of reason/logic and morality.

  2. The thing is, every child should be given an education that uses the best available practices. And who knows them better than the public schools and their teaching colleges….in short, the government?
    Anyway, that’s what I hear whenever homeschooling or vouchers is mentioned within earshot of someone who has bought into the establishment line. Save those neglected children!

  3. I thoroughly agree with not regulating homeschooling. Even if the methods and matter taught are unconventional, that’s the parents’ right. God gave children to parents. I’ll re-think this when government can get pregnant. We homeschooled, and we did not submit to any regulations. I consider sending children to public school to be educational welfare (bought into by many conservatives, unfortunately), involuntary intermittent incarceration for the crime of being young, and child abuse. It also gets its funding by totally negating property rights. Your home doesn’t belong to you, even though you paid for it. The government owns your home, and if you don’t pay the property tax (rent), you will be evicted. Seizure of property for public purpose with no compensation, let alone just compensation. It is time we ended all property tax. Use sales tax instead. That is what the Founders envisioned, and that is what the federal land patent laws expected. There is no authority to tax real estate in any land patent. It doesn’t exist. They get away with taxing us because nobody ever protests in an effective way. Sales tax should not be charged on food, used clothing and cars, or alternative remedies and pharmaceuticals. They do not charge sales tax on services in my state. But Amazon charges state sales tax (illegally) on shipping, which is a service. The violations of the rights of individuals are rampant. Public schools are nothing more than indoctrination centers, and it is rare to find a public school that is an exception (although perhaps a couple dozen exist). They violate the religious rights of the family. This needs to end. So pull your children out of public school and homeschool them. If you don’t know how, use a curriculum (widely available) or join a homeschool co-op.

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