Perhaps at one point, the homeschooling movement was so fragile that it couldn't deal with any scrutiny, but that is no longer the case. It has now become a thriving educational option with a lot to offer. And, as one of many educational options--like public school, Christian school, Catholic school, Montessori school, etc--it is time to allow a balanced approach to the discussion that shows the good, the bad, and the ugly. Along with the great success stories of homeschooling, there are many other stories of pain, neglect, and abuse that were enabled or exacerbated by homeschooling.
That is why I'm so excited to partner with a new website called Homeschoolers Anonymous. Although it's not even a month old, already so many former homeschoolers have found their way there to share their stories. As many of those former homeschoolers know, it is difficult to decide to share these stories. Within fundamentalist Christian homeschooling, we were trained to see ourselves as representatives of a movement with a fragile reputation, and we were taught that every personal failure and struggle was nothing more than our own spiritual weakness, unconnected to our homeschooling experience. But now, in sharing our stories and hearing others, we are finding healing and strength, most of all from knowing that we are not alone, not crazy.
Please listen to our stories with empathy, even if your homeschooling experience was positive. Instead of immediately and only jumping to defend homeschooling, please ask yourself what can be done to reduce the potential for harm within homeschooling. Instead of merely pointing out that harm also happens within other educational options, let's actually try to address these problems. It's difficult to share our stories, and we don't want our stories to be wasted.