By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
The following is a historical timeline of the modern U.S. homeschooling movement from 1904 through the present. It details the various and divergent aspects of homeschooling — from the leftist unschooling movement pioneered by John Holt to the conservative Christian takeover masterminded by Michael Farris, Gregg Harris, Mary Pride, and Brian Ray, the so-called “Four Pillars of Homeschooling.” The purpose of this timeline is to educate the public about how homeschooling has evolved over the years and also reveal divisions that have plagued it since its beginnings. Please feel free to make suggestions for changes or additions in either the comments or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Indiana Appellate Court case State v. Peterman, the Court defines a school as “a place where instruction is imparted to the young” and holds that “a school at home counts as a private school.”[i]
Influenced by the Catholic Worker movement, Norbert and Marion Shickel begin subsistence farming. They homeschool their 13 children and call their homeschool “Mary Hill Country School.” Their local school district is not only impressed by their homeschooling, but also “actively sought [Marion] out to deal with some of their problem cases.”[ii]
In Illinois, Marjorie Levisen and her husband Lincoln are convicted of truancy for violating the state’s compulsory attendance law. Marjorie had decided to not enroll her daughter in public school and instead enrolled her in the Home Study Institute, a Seventh Day Adventist correspondence course.[iii] The Levisens are Seventh Day Adventists who believe “that the child should not be educated in competition with other children because it produces a pugnacious character, that the necessary atmosphere of faith in the Bible cannot be obtained in the public school, and that for the first eight or ten years of a child’s life the field or garden is the best schoolroom, the mother the best teacher, and nature the best lesson book.”[iv] In the Illinois Supreme Court case People v. Levisen, the truancy conviction is overturned and the Court rules that Levisen’s homeschooling via correspondence course “did qualify as private schooling under Illinois law.”[v]
Paul Goodman writes Growing Up Absurd.
R.J. Rushdoony writes the book, Intellectual Schizophrenia, a critique of tax-funded, public education.”[vi]
Bill Gothard incorporates Campus Teams, the organization that will later become the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP).[vii]
Many conservative Protestants pull their children out of public schools on account of Supreme Court decisions that force racial desegregation and ban school-officiated religious activities (such as school-sponsored Bible reading). Their complaint is that the Court “put the Negroes in the schools—now they put God out of the schools.”[viii]
Raymond Moore cofounds the Hewitt Research Foundation with Carl Hewitt.[ix]
R.J. Rushdoony writes The Messianic Character of American Education, a critique of the educational philosophies of over two dozen of the major founders and philosophers of American progressive education, from Horace Mann to John Dewey.[x]
Paul Goodman writes Compulsory Miseducation. Between this and Growing Up Absurd, Goodman argues “that compelling children to attend school is not the best use of their youth, and that education is more a community function than an institutional one. This idea was developed and amplified over the years by many authors, but most forcefully by John Holt.”[xi]
John Holt writes How Children Fail. This book “created an uproar with his observations that forcing children to learn makes them unnaturally self-conscious about learning and stifles children’s initiative and creativity by making them focus on how to please the teachers and the schools with the answers they will reward best, a situation that creates a fake type of learning.”[xii]
Francis Schaeffer first encounters the writings of R.J. Rushdoony. He makes Rushdoony’s book, This Independent Republic, the basis of a seminar for students at L’Abri in Switzerland.[xiii]
Wheaton College, Bill Gothard’s alma mater, invites Gothard “to design and teach a course based on his work with youth.” The course is given the name “Basic Youth Conflicts.”[xiv]
R.J. Rushdoony founds the Chalcedon Foundation.[xv] The Foundation affirms homeschooling as not only one of the most important institutions for implementing Rushdoony’s ideology of Christian Reconstructionism,[xvi] but also “the only model for education given in the Bible.”[xvii]
In New Jersey, Barbara and Frank Massa remove their daughter from public school to homeschool her. This action leads to the 1967 New Jersey Superior Court decision State v. Massa.[xviii]
The New Jersey Superior Court rules in State v. Massa that homeschoolers satisfy the “elsewhere than at school” portion of New Jersey’s compulsory school attendance statute. The Court declares not only that “a child may be taught at home,” but also that the homeschooling teacher “need not be certified by the State of New Jersey to so teach.”[xix] This vindicates Barbara and Frank Massa’s decision the previous year to remove their daughter from public school to homeschool her.
In response to school authorities demanding Amish children attend public school, the Iowa legislature passes SF 785, establishing “an exemption from compulsory school attendance for members of religious denominations which profess ‘principles or tenents [sic] that differ substantially from the objectives, goals, and philosophy of education embodied’” in public school.[xx]
John Holt writes How Children Learn.
Paul Lindstrom founds the Christian Liberty Academy as a result of dissatisfaction with government schools. From this academy is developed a homeschool curriculum known as CLASS. Many of the early seminal court decisions that helped to win the right to homeschool involved homeschoolers who were affiliated with CLASS.[xxi]
Dr. Henry Morris founds the Institute for Creation Research.[xxii]
Ivan Illich writes Deschooling Society, which influences Holt. After Deschooling Society appears, Holt studies and corresponds with Illich at length.[xxiii]
Everett Reimer writes School is Dead: Alternatives in Education.
Edith Schaeffer writes her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, which later inspires Mary Pride in her writings.[xxiv]
Raymond Moore writes “The dangers of early schooling” for Harper’s Magazine.[xxv]
Reader’s Digest publishes a condensed version of Moore’s piece for Harper’s as “When Should Your Child Go To School?”,[xxvi] which “distributed it to millions more readers.”[xxvii]
Shamanist/writing coach Hal Bennett writes No More Public School, which “explains how you can take your child out of public school and educate him at home.”[xxviii]
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Wisconsin v. Yoder (a court case frequently cited by later homeschooling advocates and leaders), rules that Amish children could not be placed under compulsory education past the 8th grade. The Court affirms “the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the State, to guide the religious future and education of their children.”[xxix]
The Colorado legislature revises its compulsory attendance law to exempt from school attendance any student “being educated at home by a parent under an established system of home study approved by the state board [of education].”[xxx]
In Marion, Utah, noted white supremacist John Singer removes his children from public school after his daughter comes home one day with a textbook that celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. and showed a picture of black and white people together. While Singer is initially arrested for doing so, a Utah court rules that he is “permitted…to homeschool his kids so long as they were tested twice a year and received an annual psychological evaluation at the Singer home.”[xxxi]
R.J. Rushdoony writes his book, The Institutes of Biblical Law. Gary North says that this book, which “took the Ten Commandments as the ordering principle [to] be applied to modern life” and “that civil government must be shrunk drastically to meet biblical standards,” “launched the Christian Reconstruction movement.”[xxxii]
John Holt becomes a public advocate for the children’s rights movement with the publication of Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children.[xxxiii]
Bill Gothard’s organization Campus Teams is re-named the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.[xxxiv]
Raymond Moore coauthors Better Late Than Early with his wife Dorothy.
Mormon homeschooling pioneer Joyce Kinmont begins homeschooling[xxxv] because her “6-year-old daughter had become ‘engaged’ to a boy at school.”[xxxvi]
The State of Virginia passes a religious exemption from compulsory school attendance. The exemption states that, “A school board shall excuse from attendance at school…any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school.”[xxxvii]
In Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better, John Holt proposes “a new Underground Railroad to help children escape from schools.” This proposal inspires current homeschoolers to contact Holt, which in turn inspires him to create a newsletter for homeschoolers.[xxxviii]
John Holt starts Growing Without Schooling, a bimonthly magazine for those who desire educational activities outside a traditional school framework.[xxxix] Growing Without Schooling is “the nation’s, and probably the world’s, first periodical about homeschooling.”[xl] The magazine is “filled with citations of trial court rulings home schoolers had won. These cases gave parents confidence and helped the home school movement grow.”[xli]
John Holt coins the term “unschooling” in the second edition of Growing Without Schooling.[xlii]
Manfred Smith, who was previously involved with the “radical reform school movement” that embraced free schools, discovers the writings of John Holt and becomes a homeschooling advocate.[xliii]
Nancy Campbell begins publishing her Quiverfull magazine Above Rubies, “seeking to fill a void in the encouragement of women who resisted the lures of feminism and careers.”[xliv]
In Amherst, Massachusetts, Peter and Susan Perchemlides decide to homeschool their son and submit a curriculum proposal to their local superintendent, Donald Frizzle. Frizzle repeatedly rejects their proposal, leading to the 1978 Massachusetts Superior Court case Perchemlides v. Frizzle.[xlv]
In Perchemlides v. Frizzle, the Massachusetts Superior Court rules that Peter and Susan Perchemlides, who removed their son to homeschool him and are represented in court by the Western Massachusetts Legal Services and the Cambridge Center for Law and Education, have a constitutional “right to privacy” that includes the right to homeschool. The Court declares, “Parents must be allowed to decide whether public school education, including its socialization aspects, is desirable or undesirable for their children.”[xlvi]
Bob and Linda Session are tried in Iowa Magistrate Court for allegedly “failing to obtain equivalent instruction for their homeschooled 7-year-old.” However, the Sessions are ultimately victorious on appeal. The Iowa District Court rules that, “The state had failed to make its case that the Sessions’ homeschooling program was not equivalent to the instruction provided by a certified teacher.”[xlvii]
Time Magazine runs an article on the homeschooling movement,[xlviii] “the first of its kind in a major American weekly.”[xlix]
John Holt and Bob and Linda Session appear on The Phil Donahue Show,[l] which has “an immediate and dramatic impact on the scope and prestige of homeschooling.” This show is profoundly influential on later homeschoolers, as “many of the first wave of homeschooling families trace their inspiration back to that first Donahue show.”[li]
Steve Gothard, Bill Gothard’s brother and an employee of the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, is discovered to be having sexual relationships with numerous IBYC employees. Bill Gothard “did nothing officially about it.”[lii]
Beverley LaHaye founds the Concerned Women for America, an organization that “opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion, comparable pay legislation for jobs of equal worth, unisex insurance and the 1984 Civil Rights Act.”[liv]
Catholic educator Pat Montgomery becomes a fan of homeschooling. She is asked by a family “to help them teach their nine-year-old at home using the same approach she designed for the students of the campus school.”[lv] Montgomery consequently creates the Home Based Education Program administered through her private school, Clonlara School, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It becomes “a popular correspondence program designed specifically to meet the needs of homeschooling families.”[lvi] It also technically allows parents to obey state laws requiring certification of homeschool teachers (since Montgomery herself is certified).[lvii]
Raymond Moore does his first radio show with Focus on the Family, prompting James Dobson to later say, “I consider Dr. Raymond Moore to be the father of the modern home school movement. The avalanche of mail we received at Focus on the Family after our initial broadcast with Ray in 1979 confirmed that his pioneering theories on education had found a receptive audience.” Note: email correspondence with Milton Gaither indicates that Moore first appeared on Focus on the Family on May 3 and 10, 1980, during a two-part show called “School Can Wait,”. [liii]
Manfred Smith founds the Maryland Home Education Association.[lviii]
Bill Gothard announces his resignation from the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts due to, among numerous charges, sexual harassment accusations against him as well as accusations that he ignored his brother Steve’s sexually inappropriate relationships with IBYC employees. However, Bill “return[s] to power shortly thereafter”[lix] and technically “never left the function of IBYC president.”[lx]
Pat and Sue Welch begin publishing The Teaching Home magazine.[lxi]
Laurence Popanz of Avoca, Wisconsin withdraws his 3 daughters from public school. Popanz informs his district school administrator that he is a member of “The Agency for the Church of the Free Thinker Inc.” and that this church administers “The Free Thinker School,” his own private school in which his daughters are now enrolled. This leads to a conflict that results in the 1983 Wisconsin Supreme Court case Wisconsin v. Popanz.[lxii]
Dr. Anne Carroll creates the first Catholic homeschooling curriculum, Seton Home Study School.[lxiii]
Michael Farris becomes head of Washington State’s Moral Majority, “the largest Moral Majority affiliate in the nation.”[lxiv] As the affiliate director, Farris debates Timothy Leary at Whitman College on LGBT rights.[lxv]
R.J. Rushdoony starts being an “expert witness” in school court cases.[lxvi]
Francis Schaeffer writes his book, A Christian Manifesto, making him “the leading theorist of the ‘religion’ of secular humanism,” against which “the practice of Christian schooling increased.”[lxvii]
Tim LaHaye creates the Council for National Policy, once dubbed “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of.”[lxviii]
Bill Gothard writes his book, Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts: Research in Principles of Life.
Ken and Laurie Huffman create the Utah Home Education Association. Joyce Kinmont organizes the Association’s first conference and features John Holt as the keynote speaker.[lxix]
After a school board denies homeschooling parents Denise Pierce and Christopher Rice their request to homeschool, the parents appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. In Appeal of Pierce, the Court rules in favor of the parents, saying that, “While the state may adopt a policy requiring children to be educated, it does not have the unlimited power to require they be educated in a certain way or place.”[lxx]
Michael Farris attends a pastor’s seminar taught by Bill Gothard and is converted to the Quiverfull movement.[lxxi]
Michael Smith hears Raymond Moore on James Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program and he and his wife Elizabeth decide to start homeschooling. As he was professionally a lawyer, Smith “quickly found himself inundated with requests to defend homeschooling families in Southern California.”[lxxii] According to Smith, Moore’s interviews with Focus on the Family “laid the foundation for the early explosion of the home-school movement.”[lxxiii]
Michael Farris travels from Washington to Utah to tape a radio program with Tim and Beverly LaHaye. HSLDA says, “Raymond Moore, a guest on the program, was there to discuss homeschooling. By the end of the day, Dr. Moore had convinced Mike, as well as the LaHaye’s daughter, to homeschool.”[lxxiv] Many other notable homeschool leaders credit these interviews as foundational.[lxxv]
Michael and Vickie Farris and Michael and Elizabeth Smith found the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).[lxxvi]
Michael Farris moves from Olympia, Washington to Washington, D.C. to become the general counsel of the LaHayes’ organization Concerned Women for America.[lxxvii] He helps Beverly LaHaye defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.[lxxviii]
Mark and Helen Hegener begin publishing Home Education Magazine.[lxxix]
Cathy Duffy begins her career as a “curriculum specialist” for the homeschooling movement.[lxxx]
Francis Schaeffer’s daughter, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, writes her treatise on Christian education, “For the Children’s Sake.” Cathy Duffy considers Macaulay’s book “foundational reading for those beginning to homeschool”[lxxxi] and the book causes the work of Charlotte Mason to experience “a resurgence among Christian homeschoolers.”[lxxxii]
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in Wisconsin v. Popanz, supports Laurence Popanz’s decision in 1980 to withdraw his 3 daughters and enroll them in his home-based private school, “The Free Thinker School.” The Court overturns “the state’s compulsory school attendance law by holding that the attendance law could not be enforced against parents or guardians who sent their children to an unrecognized private school because the statutory phrase ‘private school’ was so vague that it was impossible to determine whether or not children were attending a private school.” In response, the Wisconsin legislature passes the 1983 Wisconsin Act 512, providing that “instruction in a home-based program may be substituted for attendance at a public or private school only if the home program meets all the criteria required of a private school.”[lxxxiii]
Manfred Smith’s Maryland Home Education Association organizes the legal defense for Kathleen Miller, a Maryland homeschooling parent charged with truancy. According to Smith, “The trial lasted two days, and the defense team overwhelmed the prosecution. The trial proved that Mrs. Miller was in full compliance of the law and that anyone could homeschool in Maryland so long as they provided regular and thorough instruction to their children.”[lxxxiv]
The Coalition on Revival is formed “to form a united, spiritual army willing to help mobilize the Body of Christ.”[lxxxv] The original steering committee includes Gary DeMar, Michael Farris, Duane Gish, Timothy LaHaye, Josh McDowell, Gary North, R.J. Rushdoony, and Edith Schaeffer.[lxxxvi]
Beverley LaHaye’s Concerned Women for America applies for — and is denied — $85,000 in federal funding “to survey the nation’s 16,000 school districts for school policies, textbooks and classroom activities that Beverly LaHaye believes violate parental rights.”[lxxxvii]
Bill Gothard, Dr. Larry Guthrie, and Inge Cannon begin development of the Advanced Training Institute (ATI),[lxxxviii] a homeschooling program in which “the core curriculum is the Wisdom Booklets, a 3,000-page amplification of the Sermon on the Mount.”[lxxxix]
Jordan Lorence is hired as a part-time attorney for HSLDA.[xc]
The North Carolina Supreme Court rules in Delconte v. State that, “Homeschools should be permitted to operate under the rules governing private schools.”[xci]
Chris Klicka becomes HSLDA’s first full-time attorney.[xcii]
John Holt dies.[xciii]
Francis Schaeffer’s son, Frank Schaeffer (who was himself homeschooled[xciv]), is a literary agent and discovers an author named Mary Pride.[xcv] Mary Pride writes her seminal book, The Way Home, detailing “her post-college embrace of evangelical Christianity, which led to her repudiation of what she saw as anti-biblical feminist ideals.”[xcvi] Starting with this book, Pride is considered by some to be “the Spiritual Mother of the Quiverfull Movement.”[xcvii]
The number of homeschooled children reaches 50,000.[xcviii]
Large-scale homeschooling conferences (with 1,000 or more attendees) begin to spring up across the nation.[xcix]
Conservative Christian homeschoolers become the dominant force within homeschooling, changing “the nature of homeschooling from a crusade against ‘the establishment’ to a crusade against the secular forces of modern-day society.”[c]
Kirk McCord and Brad Chamberlain establish the Texas Home School Coalition as a political action committee “because of the numerous lawsuits against home schoolers across [Texas] and harmful legislation being introduced in Austin.”[ci]
Michael Farris begins working full time with HSLDA.[cii]
Michael Farris allegedly signs the Coalition for Revival’s 1986 manifesto, which declares, “We believe American can be turned and once again function as a Christian nation.” Farris later denies signing it.[ciii]
Mary Pride publishes The Big Book of Home Learning, “the first mass-market homeschool how-to book.”[civ]
Michael Smith moves from Santa Monica, California to Washington, D.C. to work full time with HSLDA.[cv]
Gregg Harris writes The Christian Home School. Harris’s “early Homeschooling Workshops inspired thousands of families to begin homeschooling and many state homeschool organizations to launch annual state conferences.”[cvi]
Bill Gothard’s organization, the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (originally called Campus Teams in 1961), is renamed the Institute in Basic Life Principles, the name which it continues to have today.[cvii]
David Barton launches WallBuilders,[cviii] an organization dedicated to “educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country” in order to inspire “public policies which reflect Biblical values.”[cix]
Cheryl Seelhoff starts her homeschooling magazine Gentle Spirit, “a small magazine for (mostly) Christian women living the simple life at home.”[cx]
Brian Ray creates the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI).[cxi]
HSLDA founds the National Center for Home Education “to serve state leaders by providing information about state and federal legislation of concern to home schoolers.”[cxii]
Joyce Kinmont founds the LDS Home Educators Association.[cxiii]
Christian Home Educators of Colorado is founded.[cxiv]
After creating ATI’s Wisdom Booklets and directing Bill Gothard’s ATI program for 6 years, Inge Cannon is invited by Michael Farris to head up HSLDA’s National Center for Home Education.[cxv]
HSLDA membership reaches over 15,000 families and spans all 50 U.S. states.[cxvi]
Cheryl Seelhoff appears on a Focus on the Family radio program, an appearance that “brought mounting attention to Gentle Spirit.”[cxvii]
Rick and Jan Hess publish A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, a foundational text of the Quiverfull movement.
During the 1990-91 school year, fewer than 2,000 homeschoolers sought assistance from HSLDA.[cxviii]
HSLDA goes international with the formation of HSLDA Canada.[cxix]
Jordan Lorence becomes a full-time attorney for HSLDA.[cxx]
Doug Phillips begins working for HSLDA as their first law clerk.[cxxi]
Inspired by the work of John Holt, Grace Llewellyn publishes her book The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education. The book “speaks directly to teens, encouraging them to consider the unschooling option”[cxxii] and embrace youth rights.
Sociologist Jane Van Galen classifies homeschoolers into two groups: ideologues and pedagogues.[cxxiii]
Homeschooling is officially recognized as a legal option in every state.[cxxiv]
John Taylor Gatto publishes Dumbing Us Down, the central argument of which is that “schools are not failing,” rather, they are “explicitly set up to ensure a docile, malleable workforce to meet the growing, changing demands of corporate capitalism.”[cxxv] This book puts him in “heavy demand as a speaker to groups ranging from principals’ associations to software companies to homeschool conferences.”[cxxvi]
Michael Farris runs unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.[cxxvii]
Mary Pride and her husband Bill appear on the first edition of Wired Magazine, promoting the use of computer software in homeschooling.[cxxviii]
Doug Phillips becomes the Director of Government Affairs for HSLDA’s National Center for Home Education.[cxxix]
President Bill Clinton signs the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill drafted by Michael Farris. Farris is unable to attend the signing ceremony so Doug Phillips attends in his place.[cxxx]
Michael Farris establishes the Madison Project.[cxxxi] The organization “raises money for conservative candidates through [its] network of grassroots conservatives”[cxxxii] and currently has a budget of over $5 million.[cxxxiii] The group becomes known for evading federal election laws regarding donation limits by engaging in a fundraising practice called “bundling.”[cxxxiv]
Gregg Harris’ son, Josh Harris, creates New Attitude, a magazine aimed at teenage homeschoolers.[cxxxv]
H.R. 6 sends cataclysmic divisions throughout the U.S. homeschooling movement.[cxxxvi] Doug Phillips plays a central role in HSLDA’s efforts against the bill.[cxxxvii]
In October, Raymond Moore vehemently attacks not only HSLDA for how it handled the H.R. 6 situation but also all four of the “Pillars of Homeschooling” (Farris, Harris, Pride, and Ray) in his White Papers, or “The Ravage of Home Education Through Exclusion By Religion.” [cxxxviii] Moore accuses Gregg Harris of property theft, saying Harris “raped our Foundation program in the crudest, boldest, most dishonest spree ever.” He also lambasts all the “Pillars” for a “form of bigotry” he labels “Protestant Exclusivism.”[cxxxix]
Larry and Susan Kaseman argue in Home Education Magazine that HSLDA is undermining (via federalization) the entire homeschool movement and its rights, placing homeschooling freedoms at risk.[cxl]
HSLDA successfully lobbies against the U.S. ratification of United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.[cxli]
Cheryl Seelhoff’s magazine Gentle Spirit reaches approximately 15,000 subscribers and generates a gross income of $300,000.[cxlii]
Ken Ham launches Creation Science Ministries in the U.S., later renamed Answers in Genesis.[cxliii]
The number of homeschooled children is between 500,000 and 750,000.[cxliv]
Christopher Klicka writes his book The Right Choice: Home Schooling. The book contends that “sending our children to the public school violates nearly every biblical principle” and homeschooling is the “biblical form of education.” Klicka includes a chapter by Gregg Harris that argues against interfaith homeschool support groups because “biblical methods of discipline may be reported by fellow group members to authorizes as ‘child abuse’” Klicka’s also includes a section written by R.J. Rushdoony, in which it is argued that a child’s will “must be broken.” [cxlv]
IBLP and HSLDA stakeholders (including Bill Gothard, Michael Farris, and Jordan Lorence)[cxlvi] launch Oak Brook College of Law, a “law school for homeschoolers.”[cxlvii]
HSLDA joins (and pays membership dues) to Tim LaHaye’s Council for National Policy.[cxlviii]
Michael Farris’s daughter, Christy Farris (now Christy Shipe), starts a homeschool debate league through HSLDA.[cxlix]
Tim Echols incorporates TeenPact, “with a mission to train youth to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend the Christian faith, and engage the culture.”[cl]
Mary Pride’s sales of The Big Book of Home Learning reach close to a quarter million copies.[cli]
Grace Llewellyn founds the Not Back to School Camp. The camp is for “unschoolers & homeschoolers ages 13-18” and “aspires to create a sanctuary that affirms, inspires, and mentors unschoolers” through normative outdoor camp activities and crafts.[clii]
Cathy Duffy presents John Taylor Gatto with the “Alexis de Tocqueville” Award from the Alliance for the Separation of School and State.[cliii]
13-year-old Rebecca Sealfon of Brooklyn, New York wins the National Spelling Bee, bringing “new attention to the growing phenomenon of homeschooling” as she is “the first homeschooled child to win the National Spelling Bee.”[cliv] Sealfon, however, is not entirely positive about homeschooling, noting that, “One disadvantage is that many of your friends are not at your same age, and there is not the same socialization quite like I would have in school.”[clv]
Josh Harris writes I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which “singlehandedly made the word ‘courtship’ popular in mainstream evangelical circles.”[clvi]
Cheryl Seelhoff, publisher of the Gentle Spirit homeschooling magazine, sues 3 of the “Pillars of Homeschooling” — Sue Welch, Gregg Harris, and Mary Pride — as well as others for “defamation, slander, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with commerce, and violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”[clvii] Michael Farris provides counsel to the defendants.[clviii]
HSLDA holds the very first national homeschool debate tournament at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Virginia. Christy Farris (now Christy Shipe) is the tournament organizer.[clix]
David and Teresa Moon launch Communicators for Christ (CFC), a nationwide tour teaching homeschooled students public speaking and debate. CFC is later renamed the Institute for Cultural Communicators, with the goal “to equip Christians to shape the future through authentic leadership and cultural communication. “[clx]
HSLDA successfully lobbies against HB 211, a New Hampshire bill that would have included “psychological injury” and “isolation” as forms of child abuse.[clxi]
The Homeschool Sports Network is launched, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting homeschool sports events and teams.
Doug Phillips leaves HSLDA and founds Vision Forum Ministries with the aim “to facilitate the restoration of the Biblical family.”[clxii]
Cheryl Seelhoff is victorious in her lawsuit against Sue Welch, Gregg Harris, and Mary Pride. In the court case Seelhoff vs. Welch, the jury “returned a verdict saying the defendants Welch entered into an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act, that damages were caused and determined the damages to Cheryl’s business were in the amount of $445,000. In antitrust actions, awards are automatically trebled, so Cheryl was entitled to receive in excess of 1.3 million dollars from Sue Welch.”[clxiii] Prior to the trial, “Welch’s co-defendants Gregg Harris, Christian Home Educators of Ohio and its then-chairperson, and Bill and Mary Pride settled with plaintiff Gentle Spirit publisher and editor Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff.”[clxiv]
HSLDA has 45 employees and reaches 53,000 member families.[clxv]
California homeschool activist Mary Griffith publishes The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom, a book that becomes immensely popular among unschoolers. The book is “focused on the idea that children learn best when they pursue their own natural curiosity and interests.”[clxvi]
Kevin Swanson becomes the Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado.[clxvii]
HSLDA holds its “Proclaim Liberty” conference in Washington, D.C., where many Republican presidential candidates show their support for homeschooling.[clxviii]
Then-Senator John Ashcroft honors “home schoolers throughout America by presenting Mike Farris with Senate Resolution 183—recognizing September 19-25, 1999, as ‘National Home Education Week.’”[clxix]
HSLDA admits using member dues to pay for Michael Farris’s membership in the Council for National Policy.[clxx]
The National Home Education Network (NHEN) is launched as an inclusive, interfaith alternative to HSLDA. Founded by homeschoolers frustrated with HSLDA’s exclusivism,[clxxi] NHEN declares it “espouses no one particular political agenda or homeschooling philosophy”[clxxii] and “formed in order to expand the general public’s image of homeschoolers to what we truly are, an enormously diverse group which cannot be neatly categorized.”[clxxiii] The founding Board of Trustees include Lisa Bugg, Laura Derrick, Carol Moxley, Sue Patterson, Pam Sorooshian, and Barb Weirich.[clxxiv] The organization’s regional contacts include Linda Dobson, Barbara Weirich, David H. Albert, Elizabeth Bernard, and Holly Furgason.[clxxv]
The Texas Home School Coalition incorporates as a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization “to serve and protect home school families in Texas.”[clxxvi] The organization represents “home-schoolers disenchanted with the HSLDA Texas affiliate.”[clxxvii]
John Holzmann, co-founder of the Christian homeschool curriculum company Sonlight, announces that Sonlight will “dissociate from HSLDA” because of HSLDA’s tactics against supporters of Cheryl Seelhoff.[clxxviii]
Michael Farris and HSLDA launch Patrick Henry College[clxxix] “with the primary goal of training conservative, fundamental leaders who will work for legislators and think tanks.”[clxxx]
Salon covers the internal conflicts within homeschooling between “conservative” homeschooling groups (HSLDA, the “Four Pillars”) and others. Mark Hegener, co-founder of Home Education Magazine, declares that HSLDA is “part of a socially conservative constituency network using home schooling as a way to further its political goals.”[clxxxi]
In partnership with German homeschoolers, HSLDA creates Schulunterricht zu Hause, a Germany-based homeschool legal defense association.[clxxxii]
Eric and Joyce Burges found the National Black Home Educators Resource Association, later renamed National Black Home Educators. The organization is “affiliated with HSLDA” and “has grown to become the premiere national organization for Black homeschooling families in this country.”[clxxxiii]
HSLDA’s homeschool speech and debate league becomes a separate organization, the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA). NCFCA’s original seven-member board of directors includes Christy Shipe, Teresa Moon, Todd Cooper, Michael Farris, Skip Rutledge, Deborah Haffey, and Terry Stollar. [clxxxiv]
The number of homeschooled children reaches 1.7 million.[clxxxv]
HSLDA has 70,000 member families.[clxxxvi]
Attorneys meeting at the annual Homeschool of California Conference decide to launch the Association of Home School Attorneys, an HSLDA alternative with the goal of “helping homeschooling families negotiate legal issues that are unique to homeschoolers, including the legality of homeschooling, obtaining services from the public schools, custody issues, and contacts from child protection agencies.”[clxxxvii]
Homeschooling baseball coaches Lori Cochran and Jeff Hartline launch the Homeschool World Series Association, a national homeschool baseball tournament.[clxxxviii]
FLDS leader Warren Jeffs calls for all FLDS families to remove their children from public schools in order to homeschool them with his own FLDS curriculum.[clxxxix]
R.J. Rushdoony dies.[cxc]
The National Household Education Survey finds that 70 percent of homeschoolers cite a nonreligious reason as the top motivator in their decision to home school.[cxci]
National and state homeschool leaders across the U.S. join together to launch the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership, Inc., otherwise known as “The Alliance.” The organization is “dedicated to the support of Christian statewide home education organizations”[cxcii] and hosts an annual training conference that allows leaders of Christian state homeschooling organizations to train and network. The Alliance has an approximate annual income of $100,000.[cxciii] Its original staff includes Kenneth R. Patterson, Bruce Eagleson, Susan Beatty, and David Watkins.
HSLDA creates Generation Joshua, a youth civics program with the goal “to ignite a vision in young people to help America return to her Judeo-Christian foundation.” Generation Joshua founding director Ned Ryun says, “In another ten or fifteen years, we may see a disproportionate number of homeschoolers in positions of highest leadership.”[cxciv]
Michael Farris files a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court defending a Texas law that makes it a crime for two people of the same sex to engage in consensual sexual activity.[cxcv]
HSLDA membership reaches over 70,000 families internationally.[cxcvi]
HSLDA commissions NHERI’s Brian Ray to conduct “the largest research survey to date of adults who were home educated.”[cxcvii] While Ray’s study “is widely cited to support the claim that graduates of homeschooling are well-socialized and go on to lead successful lives,” it unfortunately “has so many methodological problems that we can draw few conclusions from it.”[cxcviii]
Homeschooling parent and lawyer Deborah Stevenson founds the National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD). Stevenson creates the organization as an alternative to HSLDA because she believes HSLDA aims “to actively promote the adoption of federal regulation of homeschooling.”[cxcix]
The number of black homeschoolers reaches 103,000.[cc]
Jennifer and Michael James found the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance,[cci] “the only nonsectarian organization for African-American homeschooling families.”[ccii]
Mitchell Stevens publishes Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement, a sociological study of the modern homeschooling movement. Stevens divides homeschoolers into two camps, the “inclusive” unschoolers and the religious “believers.”[cciii]
African American scholar Paula Penn-Nabrit publishes Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League. Penn-Nabrit receives “a lot of open hostility” due to detailing “accounts of the discrimination her sons allegedly faced in public school” and her emphasis on “an Afrocentric approach to education.”[cciv]
Noticing her local Islamic school does not offer “a comprehensive Islamic Studies and Arabic curriculum,” Cilia Ndiaye founds the Al-Duha Institute.[ccv] The Institute offers the first-ever Islamic homeschooling curriculum. Thousands of copies of the curriculum are sold to Islamic homeschoolers around the world.[ccvi]
SecularHomeschool.com is created in 2003 “to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world.”[ccvii]
Tim and Beverly LaHaye present Michael Farris with the “Alexis de Tocqueville” Award from the Alliance for the Separation of School and State.[ccviii]
HSLDA backs an amendment to the U.S Constitution to ban both same-sex marriages and civil unions.[ccix]
Homeschool alumna Lila Rose creates LiveAction, an organization that conducts hidden camera stings on Planned Parenthood. Rose is a former NCFCA debater.[ccx]
Jolene Irving founds the National LDS Homeschool Association.[ccxi]
Unschooling advocate Sandra Dodd coins the phrase “radical unschooling” to signify the erasure of the division between academic and non-academic activities.[ccxii]
The number of homeschooled children reaches 1.9 to 2.4 million.[ccxiii]
Gregg Harris’ kids, Alex and Brett Harris, create “The Rebelution,” a blog aiming to “’wake up’ other teenagers.”[ccxiv] The Rebelution becomes immensely popular, currently boasting “more than 40 million page views.”[ccxv] Alex and Brett are former NCFCA debaters.[ccxvi]
The National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance reaches 3,000 member families.[ccxvii]
Reb Bradley pens an article called “Solving the Crisis in Homeschooling,” which later goes viral with the name “Homeschool Blindspots.” Bradley describes the “crisis” in the following way: “Parents have graduated their first batch of kids, only to discover that their children didn’t turn out the way they thought they would. Many of these children were model homeschoolers while growing up, but sometime after their 18th birthday they began to reveal that they didn’t hold to their parents’ values.”[ccxviii]
Raymond Moore dies.[ccxix]
HSLDA creates ParentalRights.org, a parental rights advocacy group.[ccxx]
Alex and Brett Harris’s Rebelution launches “The Modesty Survey,” described as “an exciting, anonymous discussion between Christian guys and girls who care about modesty.”[ccxxi]
The National Household Education Survey finds that homeschooling parents list religious or moral instruction as the most important reason why they homeschool.[ccxxii]
The homeschool industry generates $650 million in sales annually.[ccxxiii]
Unschooling advocate Dayna Martin and her husband Joe appear on the Dr. Phil Show,[ccxxiv] introducing 50 million viewers to Martin’s philosophy of “radical unschooling.”
HSLDA creates its Lifetime Achievement Award and names it after Gregg Harris. The “Gregg Harris Award for Leadership” is first awarded to its namesake.[ccxxv]
HSLDA awards NHERI’s Brian Ray its Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gregg Harris Award for Leadership.[ccxxvi]
The National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance disbands.
Dayna Martin founds Unschooling United, a non-profit organization dedicated to unschooling advocacy.[ccxxvii]
After homeschooled speech and debate competitors protest NCFCA’s national tournament being held at Bob Jones University on account of the University’s history of legalism and racism, California separates from NCFCA and forms a new speech and debate league, STOA.[ccxxviii]
Nancy Campbell’s Above Rubies magazine reaches a readership of 150,000.[ccxxix]
Milton Gaither publishes Homeschool: An American History, “the first scholarly book-length treatment of its theme.”[ccxxx]
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services removes 437 children from FLDS leader Warren Jeffs’s Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, TX due to allegations of widespread child abuse. This removal leads to “the largest child custody battle in U.S. history.”[ccxxxi] While the children are eventually returned, numerous cases of child sexual abuse are substantiated.[ccxxxii]
Kevin Swanson resigns as Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado in order to become the full-time Director of Generations with Vision and its radio program, Generations Radio.[ccxxxiii]
HSLDA awards Focus on the Family’s James Dobson its Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gregg Harris Award for Leadership.[ccxxxiv]
Kevin Swanson’s Christian Home Educators of Colorado hosts the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit at IBLP’s Indianapolis Training Center. The Summit features Kevin Swanson, Doug Phillips, Chris Klicka, Voddie Baucham, and Brian Ray and aims to “define a vision for the future of the Christian home education movement” and develop “a Christian Education Manifesto statement.”[ccxxxv]
Dayna Martin publishes her book Radical Unschooling – A Revolution Has Begun.
Unschooling advocate Sandra Dodd publishes her book Big Book of Unschooling.
Chris Klicka dies.[ccxxxvi]
Robert Kunzman publishes Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling, a study of six conservative Christian families who have decided to homeschool. Milton Gaither calls it “one of the most important books on homeschooling ever written.”
The Christian Law Association, run by David Gibbs Jr., launches a homeschool legal defense organization alternative to HSLDA. The organization is called Homeschool Legal Advantage (HLA) and is run by Gibbs Jr. and his son, David C. Gibbs III.[ccxxxvii] Gibbs III says HLA is “on track to have over 10,000 member families by the Spring of 2010.”[ccxxxviii]
HSLDA invites IBLP’s Bill Gothard to be a special guest speaker at the 2010 National Leadership Conference.[ccxxxix]
HSLDA awards Bill Gothard its Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gregg Harris Award for Leadership.[ccxl]
Tim Echols and his organization TeenPact are accused on engaging in legally questionable campaign practices after Echols directs “150 home-schooled Christian teenagers” to potentially “violate two tenets of laws requiring nonprofits to avoid political campaign work.”[ccxli]
Brennan and Mary Jo Dean launch the Great Homeschool Conventions, a national, for-profit homeschool conference company[ccxlii] that they describe as “a conservative organization and avowedly ‘young-earth.’”[ccxliii]
Former students of IBLP and ATI launch Recovering Grace, “an online organization devoted to helping people whose lives have been impacted by the teachings of Bill Gothard, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI).”[ccxliv]
The Association of Home School Attorneys ceases operations.[ccxlv]
Brennan Dean’s Great Homeschool Conventions company withdraws their invitation to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, who was to speak at four of their upcoming conventions. The invitation withdrawal is due to Ham publically criticizing another one of GHC’s speakers.[ccxlvi]
Buddhist homeschooling parent Tammy Takahashi writes Zenschooling: Living a Fabulous & Fulfilling Life Without School, a book about weaving together Buddhist teachings and the homeschooling experience.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° features Michael Farris as a leading opponent of U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.[ccxlvii] Due to the efforts of HSLDA members and others, the Convention’s ratification fails.[ccxlviii]
David Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies is voted “the least credible history book in print” by the History News Network.[ccxlix] The book’s publisher, Thomas Nelson, ceases publication because “basic truths just were not there.”[ccl]
A group of international scholars (including Milton Gaither and Robert Kunzman) found the International Center for Home Education Research. They contrast themselves with Brian Ray’s HSLDA-affiliated NHERI by saying, “We are not an advocacy group.”[ccli]
The Liberated Minds Black Homeschool and Education Expo is founded “for the strong purpose of providing quality culturally based resources, educational training, and support to Black/Afrikan homeschooling & non-homeschooling parents as well as educators.”[cclii]
Muslim homeschooling mothers in Southern California join together and form the non-profit organization Muslim Homeschool Network. The Network exists “to support Muslim homeschoolers on a larger scale in areas such as Islamic, educational, social, and parent growth, and at the same time outreach to the larger Muslim community and increase awareness and education on homeschooling.”[ccliii]
Homeschool alumni launch Homeschoolers Anonymous “to bring awareness to, and healing from, different forms of abuse in extreme homeschooling subcultures.”[ccliv]
Gay rights advocate and sex advice columnist Dan Savage recommends homeschooling in cases of gay kids being bullied.[cclv]
The National Home Education Network, intended as an inclusive, interfaith alternative to HSLDA, disbands.
David C. Gibbs III separates Homeschool Legal Advantage from his father’s Christian Law Association and re-launches it[cclvi] as the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL)’s Center for Homeschool Liberty.[cclvii] The Center intends to compete with HSLDA as “a fresh approach to homeschooling legal help.”[cclviii] NCLL’s Center for Homeschool Liberty is, like HSLDA, explicitly Christian.[cclix]
Brett Harris partially apologizes via The Rebelution for his and Alex’s “Modesty Survey.” Brett says they sent “the message that modesty is a female issue and lust is a male issue.”[cclx] (The Modesty Survey is later pulled offline a year later in Fall 2014.)
In October, Doug Phillips resigns as president of Vision Forum Ministries and discontinues future speaking engagements. Phillips claims “a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman” led to these actions.[cclxi]
In November, the board of Vision Forum Ministries declares the organization is closing.[cclxii]
Homeschool alumni create the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), “the first-ever non-profit public policy organization to advocate on behalf of the interests of homeschooled children.”[cclxiii]
NHERI’s Brian Ray and Generations with Vision’s Kevin Swanson announce the Gen2 Survey, allegedly “the largest Christian study ever conducted on the Millennial generation.”[cclxiv] While claiming to be notable in its survey of homeschool alumni, it is criticized for “severe limitations”: “it is a non-random sample that strongly attracted similar-minded homeschoolers.”[cclxv]
Homeschoolers Anonymous incorporates as a non-profit organization, Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out (HARO). HARO’s mission is “to advocate for the wellbeing of homeschool students and improve homeschooling communities through awareness, peer support, and resource development.”[cclxvi]
HARO announces the 2014 Survey of Adult Alumni of the Modern Christian Homeschool Movement, the first-ever survey of its breadth to be conducted by alumni for alumni.[cclxvii] Brian Ray criticizes it for “tell[ing] the public very little about adults in general who were home educated”[cclxviii] and Milton Gaither criticizes its method of distribution.[cclxix] Shawn Mathis, however, praises it in comparison to the Brian Ray and Kevin Swanson’s Gen2 Survey, saying, “The substantial amount of data offered by the HARO study renders this study a more transparent and interesting read about homeschoolers.”[cclxx]
In February, Patrick Henry College is rocked with allegations that the college administration mishandled numerous cases of campus sexual assault.[cclxxi]
In February, the Institute in Basic Life Principles places Bill Gothard on administrative leave “while the board investigates claims that he years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct.”[cclxxii]
In February, Scott Brown’s National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC), which was originally part of Vision Forum Ministries, launches an intern program using the exact same material from Vision Forum Ministries’ intern program.[cclxxiii]
In March, Bill Gothard resigns from the Institute in Basic Life Principles and its affiliated organizations in the wake of the sexual harassment and molestation accusations against him.[cclxxiv]
Cynthia Jeub, child of nationally renowned Christian homeschool speech and debate coach Chris Jeub, accuses her parents of child abuse.[cclxxv]
In May, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel — the woman with whom Doug Phillips claimed he had “a lengthy, inappropriate relationship” — comes forward with her story and files a lawsuit against Phillips in Kendall County District Court in Texas. The lawsuit alleges Phillips used Torres-Manteufel as “a personal sex object” over a period of five years; Torres describes Phillips’s actions as non-consensual, abusive, and predatory. National Center for Life and Liberty attorney David C. Gibbs III serves as Torres-Manteufel’s attorney.[cclxxvi]
In August, Michael Farris publishes via the HSLDA Home School Court Report a white paper, “A Line in the Sand,” in which he publically condemns the actions of Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. Farris also states his opposition to the ideologies of legalism and patriarchy.[cclxxvii] Doug Phillips’s wife, Beall Phillips, issues a public and emotional retort.[cclxxviii]
In October, Paul and Gena Suarez, publishers of the popular homeschool magazine The Old Schoolhouse, are accused of both physical and sexual child abuse as well as protecting known child predators. Homeschool leaders also accused of covering up or ignorance the Old Schoolhouse abuse situation include: Michael Smith from HSLDA, Heidi St. John from the Busy Mom, Brennan Dean from the Great Homeschool Conventions, and David C. Gibbs III from NCLL.[cclxxix]
Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) publishes a scathing report on how Bob Jones University responded to campus sexual assault cases. GRACE’s report finds that the University “urged sexual abuse victims not to go to the police and counseled them to repent for the blame it said they share” for decades.[cclxxx]
In November, Doug Phillips is publicly excommunicated today from his former church, Boerne Christian Assembly.[cclxxxi]
Unschooling United disbands.
Ben Hewitt breathes new life into the unschooling movement with his book Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World. In an NPR interview, Hewitt declares that, “Unschooling isn’t merely an educational choice. It’s a lifestyle choice.”[cclxxxii]
Homeschool alumna Alecia Pennington’s story of identification abuse goes viral.[cclxxxiii]
The number of African American homeschoolers reaches 220,000,[cclxxxiv] making up about 10 percent of all homeschooled children.[cclxxxv]
Scott Brown’s National Center for Family Integrated Churches issues A Declaration on the Complementary Roles of Church & Family. Most notable in the declaration is the allegation that sending children to Sunday School or public school are sins necessitating repentance.[cclxxxvi]
The shocking, grisly deaths of Stoni and Stephen Blair — 2 homeschooled children whose bodies were discovered in a freezer — inspire Michigan Representative Stephanie Chang to propose a bill requiring annual notification and homeschooled children to have contact with mandatory reporters twice a year.[cclxxxvii] HSLDA opposes the bill;[cclxxxviii] CRHE supports it.[cclxxxix]
Lourdes Torres-Manteufel’s lawsuit against Doug Phillips is expanded to include former Vision Forum board directors Don Hart, Scott Brown, and James Zes. Torres-Manteufel’s lawyer David C. Gibbs III says, “Trial is set for March of 2016.”[ccxc]
[i] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in Indiana,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ii] Milton Gaither, Homeschool: An American History, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, p. 83-4.
[iii] Chicago Tribune, “Woman Gives Up Savings to Aid 2 Adventists,” May 8, 1949.
[iv] Supreme Court of Illinois , The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, v. MARJORIE LEVISEN et al., January 18, 1950.
[v] Ibid, p. 128.
[vi] Gary North, “R. J. Rushdoony, R.I.P.,” LewRockwell.com, February 10, 2001, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[vii] Institute in Basic Life Principles, “IBLP History,” link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[viii] Gaither, 2008, p. 107: “The 1962 and 1963 Supreme Court decisions outlawing organized school prayer and school-sponsored Bible reading shocked and devastated many conservatives. Coming on the heels of the Court’s desegregation decisions, many conservative Protestants were simply appalled. Alabama Representative George Andrews spoke for many when he said on national television that the Supreme Court had ‘put the Negroes in the schools—now they put God out of the schools.’ With minorities in and God out, many conservative Protestants left.”
[ix] HSLDA, “The Passing of a Pioneer,” Home School Court Report, September/October 2007, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[x] Gary North says, “This book became the academic touchstone for leaders of the independent (non-parochial) Christian school movement, which was just beginning to accelerate in 1963. It provided them with both the theological foundation and the historical ammunition for making their case against compulsory, tax-funded education.” See Gary North, “R. J. Rushdoony, R.I.P.,” LewRockwell.com, February 10, 2001, link, accessed on April 29, 2015. William Edgar also credits this book as early inspiration for homeschooling: “Many have credited Rushdoony with being an early inspiration behind the home school movement. He certainly was the strongest possible advocate of religious education, consistently favoring private over public schooling. In The Messianic Character of American Education (1963) Rushdoony decried the American public school system, tracing its ideology back to John Dewey and other secular thinkers who believed in the natural goodness of children and the role that education could play in liberalizing society.” See William Edgar, “The Passing of R.J. Rushdoony,” First Things, August 2001, link, accessed on April 29, 2015. Furthermore, Joseph McAuliffe says, ”One of his early books, The Messianic Character of American Education, was a major influence in the fledgling home school movement in California. During the 1960s, Rushdoony was called upon in court cases as an expert historian on home schooling as a legitimate alternative to public education.” See Joseph McAuliffe, “An Interview with R.J. Rushdoony,” The Second American Revolution, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[xi] Pat Farenga, “John Holt and the Origins of Contemporary Homeschooling,” PATHS OF LEARNING: Options for Families and Communities, May, October, and January Catalog Number 4004, 1999, reprinted by the Massachusetts Home Learning Association, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[xiii] Edgar, 2001.
[xiv] Institute in Basic Life Principles, “IBLP History.”
[xv] North, 2001.
[xvi] Chalcedon Foundation, “Our Ministry,” link, accessed on April 29, 2015: “Chalcedon’s activities include foundational and leadership roles in Christian reconstruction. Our emphasis on the Cultural or Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:28) and the necessity of a return to Biblical Law has been a crucial factor in the challenge to Humanism by Christians in this country and elsewhere. Chalcedon’s involvement in and commitment to Christian education began with its inception when founder Rousas John Rushdoony pinpointed the Christian and home schools as the most important institutions in reversing the influence of secular Humanism.”
[xvii] Lee Duigon, Chalcedon Foundation, “Why You Should Homeschool Your Christian Child, Part IV: Ten Reasons Why You Should Homeschool Your Child,” August 8, 2006, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[xviii] State v. Massa, Superior Court of New Jersey, Morris County Court, Law Division, June 1, 1967, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xx] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in Iowa,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xxi] Wayne S. Walker, “The History of Homeschooling,” HOMESCHOOL EDUCATORS ON ACTIVE DUTY, SENDING UPWARD PRAISES, Volume 8, Number 4, November 2005: “One man who was one of the earliest to build upon that foundation by calling for Bible believers to take their children out of the public schools and homeschool them if necessary was the late Dr. Paul Lindstrom, a fundamentalist Protestant minister with the Church of Christian Liberty in Prospect Heights (now located in Arlington Heights), IL. He founded the Christian Liberty Academy, a church-related day school in 1968 as a result of dissatisfaction with government schools. Around 1970, from this was developed a homeschool curriculum known as CLASS (Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools, now Christian Liberty Academy School System). Many of the early seminal court decisions which helped to win the right to homeschool, such as the 1979 Nobel case in Michigan, the 1982-1985 Budke case in Minnesota, and the famous 1993 DeJonge case also in Michigan all involved homeschoolers who were affiliated with CLASS.”
[xxii] Institute for Creation Research, “Who We Are,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xxiii] Farenga, 1999: “Holt studied and corresponded with Illich at length, and was deeply influenced by Illich’s analysis, particularly with his analysis that school serves a deep social function by firmly maintaining the status quo of social class for the majority of students.”
[xxiv] Kathryn Joyce, “Wifely Submission and Christian Warfare,” Religion Dispatches, March 25, 2009, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[xxv] Raymond S. Moore, Dennis R. Moore, “The dangers of early schooling,” Harper’s Magazine, July 1972,
[xxvi] Raymond S. Moore, Dennis R. Moore, “When Should Your Child Go To School?” Reader’s Digest, Vol. 101, No. 606, October 1972, p. 143-147.
[xxvii] Michael Smith, “Honoring Moore’s achievements,” Washington Times, August 20, 2007, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[xxix] Wisconsin v. Yoder, May 15, 1972, published by the Legal Information Institute, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[xxx] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in Colorado,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xxxi] Gaither, 2008, p. 117.
[xxxii] North, 2001.
[xxxiii] Farenga, 1999: “One tactic Holt wrote about was to fight for children’s rights — which he thought would not only help kids escape bad schools, but also help them escape bad social situations — by granting children the full protection and responsibilities of US citizenship. Holt’s Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children (1974) continues to stir passions on both sides of the argument, particularly now that some of the scenarios Holt discusses, such as giving children the right to choose their own legal guardian, the right to control their own learning, and the right to legal and financial responsibility, have come into our courts twenty- five years later.”
[xxxiv] Institute in Basic Life Principles, “IBLP History.”
[xxxv] Darla Isackson, “Joyce Kinmont, Homeschooling Pioneer,” Meridian Magazine, October 6, 2005, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xxxvi] Susan Saiter, “The Learning Society; Schooling in the Home: A Growing Alternative,” New York Times, April 14, 1985, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xxxvii] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in Virginia,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xxxviii] Farenga, 1999: “Holt proposed removing children from school legally or as an act of civil disobedience. While the education establishment barely recognized this particular book of Holt’s, it struck a chord with some parents. Some wrote to Holt explaining that they were teaching their children at home legally, others that they were doing so underground. Some were rural families, some city dwellers, others were in communes. Intrigued, Holt corresponded with them all and decided to create a newsletter that would help put these like-minded people in touch with one another.”
[xxxix] Walker, 2005.
[xl] Farenga, 1999.
[xli] Scott W. Somerville, “The Politics of Survival: Home Schoolers and the Law,” HSLDA, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xlii] Pat Farenga, “What is Unschooling?”, JohnHoltGWS.com, 2013, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[xliii] Manfred Smith as interviewed by Michelle C., “An Interview with Homeschooling Pioneer Manfred Smith,” The Atlasphere, December 5, 2004, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xliv] Joyce, 2009.
[xlv] Gaither, 2008, p. 118-9.
[xlvi] Ibid, p. 119-20.
[xlvii] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in Iowa,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xlviii] Time Magazine, “Teaching Children at Home,” December 4, 1978, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xlix] Gaither, 2008, p. 126.
[l] NBC Universal Archives, “TODAY SHOW OF 6-18-79 (ADDITIONAL STORIES),” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[li] Gaither, 2008, p. 126-7.
[lii] Recovering Grace, “The GOTHARD Files: The Scandal, 1980,” February 20, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[liii] Walker, 2005.
[liv] The Spokesman-Review, “Farris now is lobbyist in capital,” January 3, 1985.
[lv] Clonlara School, “Mission & History,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[lvi] Mitchell Stevens, Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement, Princeton University Press, 2009, p. 49.
[lvii] Somerville, “Politics of Survival”: “She formed the Home Based Education Program at the Clonlara School in Michigan. Michigan law, at that time, required every child to be taught by a certified teacher, but the law did not specify how much time that teacher had to spend with each child. Clonlara made it possible to comply with the letter of the law while keeping the spirit of unschooling.”
[lviii] Manfred Smith, “A Lifelong Journey: Twenty Years of Homeschooling,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[lix] Libby Anne, “Bill Gothard: When People Know . . . and Do Nothing,” Love Joy Feminism, February 13, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[lx] Recovering Grace, 2014.
[lxi] The Teaching Home, “Our Purpose,” link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[lxii] State v. Popanz, 1983, published by Justia, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[lxiii] Seton Home Study School, “Our Story,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[lxiv] John Clifford Green, Mark J. Rozell, Clyde Wilcox, The Christian Right in American Politics: Marching to the Millennium, Georgetown University Press, 2003, p. 238.
[lxv] Spokane Daily Chronicle, “Moral Majority chief, Timothy Leary debate,” April 16, 1981, p. 7.
[lxvi] Duigon, 2006.
[lxvii] Paul Maltby, Christian Fundamentalism and the Culture of Disenchantment, University of Virginia Press, 2013, p. 1992.
[lxviii] John Sugg, “A Nation Under God,” Mother Jones, December 2005, link, accessed on April 29, 2015: “The Council for National Policy—a group that holds meetings for right-wing leaders, once dubbed ‘the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of’—was founded in 1981 as a project of top John Birch Society figures (see ‘The Fountainhead’). Its members included Rushdoony, Gary North, Tim LaHaye, former Reagan aide Gary Bauer, and activist Paul Weyrich, who famously aimed to ‘overturn the present power structure of this country.’”
[lxix] Isackson, 2005.
[lxx] Coalition for Responsible for Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in New Hampshire,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[lxxi] Vicki Farris, Jayme Farris Metzgar, A Mom Just Like You, B&H Publishing Group, 2002, p. 68.
[lxxii] Zan Tyler, “Along the Way: The curtain rises on HSLDA,” Home School Court Report, January/February 2003, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[lxxiii] Smith, 2007.
[lxxiv] Tyler, 2003.
[lxxv] Three examples: (1) Susan Beatty, founder of CHEA of California, “God’s Homeschooling Tapestry: A Memoir,” The California Parent Educator, Summer 2007: “I turned on the radio. This simple act changed the course of my life and my family’s life. It was also one slender thread in the tapestry of history that God was weaving. It was February 1982. The program was Dr. James Dobson’s ‘Focus on the Family,’ and the subject was early childhood education. Dr. Raymond Moore, author of Better Late Than Early and School Can Wait, was describing a typical third grade child who, because he’d been attending formal education from age two or three, was suffering from educational burnout. Dr. Moore was describing my first grade son. Resonating in my heart and head, the idea of keeping children out of formal education until their minds and bodies were mature enough to handle it, took hold of me as I shared it with my husband and as I read Dr. Moore’s books. But this was only the beginning.” (2) Beth Wolsey and Marcia Mantel, co-founders of CHEO, “CHESCA History,” link, accessed on April 29, 2015: “Beth Wolsey and Marcia Mantel, co-founders of CHESCA and the state organization, CHEO, did not know one another when the year of 1983 dawned; but the Lord had already set them on a course that would change their lives, and ours, forever. The prayers of three women asking for direction about an organization to support families interested in home educating were to be answered in God’s perfect timing. Beth, a college-trained teacher, and Marcia, already quietly home educating two children, both heard Dr. Raymond Moore on a ‘Focus on the Family’ radio broadcast. He espoused his ‘better late than early’ beliefs, and a Gregg Harris homeschooling workshop was announced that was to be held in Wooster in the fall of 1982. Both Marcia and Beth attended the workshop.” (3) Mary Pride, founder of Practical Homeschooling, “What’s Our Next Step? The Future of Homeschooling,” Practical Homeschooling, Number 50, 2003: “That famous radio interview catapulted homeschooling into the Christian mainstream. Prior to that time, homeschooling had been growing quietly behind the scenes, as parents from all parts of the political and religious spectrum had become increasingly concerned about their children’s future in both the public and private school systems.”
[lxxvi] Tyler, 2003: “By 1982, Mike Farris had already developed a regional reputation both as a political activist and as a Christian lawyer engaged in fairly high-profile constitutional cases. Mike Farris’ work took him to Sacramento, California, where he met Mike Smith for the first time. Mike [Farris] explained to Mike [Smith] his idea of starting a legal defense association for homeschooling families. His idea embraced the notion that if the education establishment attacked one homeschooling family, the whole homeschooling community would effectively come to their defense…In March of 1983, Mike and Vickie Farris and Mike and Elizabeth Smith became the founding board members of Home School Legal Defense Association.”
[lxxvii] Tyler, 2003.
[lxxviii] Michael Farris, The Joshua Generation: Restoring the Heritage of Christian Leadership, B&H Publishing Group, 2005, p. 102.
[lxxix] Home Education Magazine, “About Us: History,” link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[lxxx] CathyDuffyReviews.com, home page, accessed on April 29, 2015: “Since 1984, Cathy Duffy has been reviewing curriculum for the homeschool community.”
[lxxxi] CathyDuffyReviews.com, “For the Children’s Sake,” updated 2009, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[lxxxii] Patrick Farenga, “Homeschooling: Main theories, theorists, and methods,” Encyclopedia Brittanica, link, accessed on April 29, 2015.
[lxxxiii] Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, “Home Schooling in Wisconsin,” August 24, 2000, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[lxxxiv] Manfred Smith, “A Lifelong Journey: Twenty Years of Homeschooling.”
[lxxxv] Coalition on Revival, “History of COR,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[lxxxvi] Coalition on Revival, “National COR Steering Committee,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[lxxxvii] Russell Chandler, “Religious Right Makes Political Arena Its Major Battleground,” Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1986, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[lxxxviii] Institute in Basic Life Principles, “Wisdom Booklets,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “A group of educators, ministers, scientists, historians, and engineers worked under the direction of Bill Gothard, Dr. Larry Guthrie, and Inge Cannon to develop this curriculum, which comprises over 3,000 pages in 54 Wisdom Booklets.”
[lxxxix] Institute in Basic Life Principles, “Educational Programs: Advanced Training Institute International,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[xc] HSLDA, “Marking the Milestones: 1983-1998,” 1998, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[xci] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A History of Homeschooling in North Carolina,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[xcii] Tyler, 2003.
[xciii] Farenga, 1999: “In 1985, John Holt died of cancer at the age of 62.”
[xciv] Mark Oppenheimer, “Son of Evangelical Royalty Turns His Back, and Tells the Tale,” New York Times, August 19, 2011, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “’I had been home-schooled,’ Mr. Schaeffer told me. ‘I had no education, no qualifications, and I was groomed to do this stuff. What was I going to do? If two lines are forming, and one has a $10,000 honorarium to go to a Christian Booksellers Association conference and keynote, and the other is to consider your doubts and get out with nothing else to do, what are you going to do?’”
[xcv] Oppenheimer, 2011: “As a literary agent, he discovered Mary Pride, the Christian home-schooling guru.”
[xcvi] Mark Oppenheimer, “A Christian Pioneer of Home Schooling Looks to Its Future,” New York Times, January 18, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[xcvii] Hopewell, “Midwife at the Birth of Quiverfull,” No Longer Quivering, June 2, 2011, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Way back in the Day, when he was still styled ‘Franky Schaeffer’ (to distinguish him from from his same-named father), Frank was literary agent to a new Christian author named Mary Pride. With the Schaeffer name attached, Pride’s book was a shoe-in. Today we know her, and her (in)famous book, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality as the Spiritual Mother of the Quiverfull Movement. Frank(y) then, was her midwife.”
[xcviii] Isabel Lyman, “Homeschooling: Back to the Future?”, Cato Institute, Policy Analysis No. 294, January 7, 1998, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[xcix] Farenga, 1999.
[c] Lyman, 1998: “In the 1970s the countercultural left, who responded more strongly to Holt’s cri de coeur, comprised the bulk of homeschooling families. By the mid-1980s, however, the religious right would be the most dominant group to choose homeschooling and would change the nature of homeschooling from a crusade against ‘the establishment’ to a crusade against the secular forces of modern-day society.”
[ci] Texas Home School Coalition, “THSC History,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cii] Tyler, 2003.
[ciii] Mark J. Rozell, Clyde Wilcox, Second Coming: The New Christian Right in Virginia Politics, John Hopkins University Press, 1996, p. 103-4: “Farris’s name appears among ninety-seven Christian intellectuals who signed the Coalition for Revival’s 1986 ‘manifesto’ which declares, ‘We believe America can be turned around and once again function as a Christian nation as it did in it’s earlier years.’ The document lists Farris and Virginia C. Armstrong as co-authors of the section entitled ‘The Christian World View of the Law,’ which states, ‘We affirm that a society must inevitably choose between conflicting legal foundations and views of law and should choose Christian views and a Christian foundation because the Christian system is vastly superior to all alternatives.’ Farris denies ever signing the document or co-writing the section on a Christian view of the law although Armstrong recalls that she and Farris wrote different parts of the section and ‘he certainly seemed to be in general agreement’ of the finished version.”
[civ] Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, “All About Reading and All About Spelling Ranked #1 by Practical Homeschooling Readers,” April 7, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cv] Tyler, 2003.
[cvi] Michael Smith, “Evaluating Success,” Home School Court Report, May/June 2009, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cvii] Institute in Basic Life Principles, “IBLP History.”
[cviii] People for the American Way, “WallBuilders,” Right Wing Watch, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cix] WallBuilders, “Overview,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cx] Linda Dobson, “News Watch Special Report,” Home Education Magazine, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxi] National Home Education Research Institute, “About NHERI,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxii] HSLDA, “Marking the Milestones.”
[cxiii] LDS Home Educators Association, “About,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxiv] Christian Home Educators of Colorado, “History,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxv] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “Meet NCHE’s Association Director,” March/April 1991, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxvi] Edgar, 2001.
[cxvii] Dobson, “News Watch Special Report.”
[cxviii] Christopher J. Klicka, The Right to Home School: A Guide to the Law on Parents’ Rights in Education, Carolina Academic Press, 1995, p. 26.
[cxix] HSLDA Canada, “Our History,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxx] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “New HSLDA Staff,” September/October 1991, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxxii] Cathy Duffy, “Review Of: The Teenage Liberation Handbook,” CathyDuffyReviews.com, 2009, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxiii] Rachel Coleman, “How Have Scholars Divided Homeschoolers into Groups?”, Politics of Childhood, May 22, 2013, link, accessed on May 1, 2015: “In her 1991 article ‘Ideologues and Pedagogues: Parents Who Teach Their Children at Home,’ Jane Van Galen, a sociologist, argued that homeschooling parents were divided into two camps, which she called ‘ideologues’ and ‘pedagogues.’ According to Van Galen, the ideologues, which comprise the larger group, were Christian fundamentalists who objected to what they believed the public schools were teaching and wanted to instill their conservative political and religious beliefs in their children. Pedagogues, in contrast, homeschooled because they believed that children learned more naturally apart from formal schooling, which they believed stifled children’s innate curiosity and creativity.”
[cxxiv] Mary Pride, “What’s Our Next Step? The Future of Homeschooling,” Practical Homeschooling, Number 50, 2003, link, accessed on April 30, 2015:
[cxxv] David Albert, “The Success of Public Education,” Home Education Magazine, March/April 2002, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxvi] Mary Pride, “Interview with John Taylor Gatto,” Practical Homeschooling, Number 37, 2000, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxvii] John Clifford Green, Mark J. Rozell, Clyde Wilcox, Prayers in the Precincts: The Christian Right in the 1998 Elections, Georgetown University Press, 2000, p. 82: “In 1993 it was the Christian home-schoolers that dominated Republican politics. The 1993 convention nominated Michael Farris for lieutenant governor…Farris won the nomination easily against a pro-choice moderate woman and longtime GOP activist, Bobbie Kilberg…Farris, however, lost, running an extraordinary twelve percentage points behind the top of his ticket. Don Beyer, his Democratic opponent, characterized Farris as a Christian Right extremist who would ban books from public schools and whose ideas were dangerously out of the mainstream. Farris was a prolific writer and public speaker, and a number of passages from his writings and published statements gave Beyer ample and credible ammunition.”
[cxxviii] Oppenheimer, 2013.
[cxxix] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “Announcing the Congressional Action Program,” January/February 1993, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxxx] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “Religious Freedom Restored: President Clinton Signs RFRA Into Law,” November/December 1993, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxxxi] People for the American Way, “Madison Project,” Right Wing Watch, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxxii] Madison Project, “14 in 2014,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxxiii] Center for Responsible Politics, “Madison Project: 2014 PAC Summary Data,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxxiv] Erika Niedowski, “A Bundle From Virginia,” CNN, January 17, 1998, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxxxv] Tim Challies, “The Bestsellers: I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” Christian Post, March 30, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Beginning in 1994, he began publishing New Attitude, a magazine targeted at fellow homeschoolers, and one that quickly gained a substantial readership. He was now the second generation of Harris’s to make a mark in homeschool circles.”
[cxxxvi] Walker, 2005: “In the 1970’s and 1980’s, it seems as if homeschoolers from both of these wings of the movement generally presented a united front to support homeschooling freedoms. However, an underlying tension between the two groups has always been present and in more recent years a lot of public disagreement has been noted, especially after the H. R. 6 incident in 1994.”
[cxxxvii] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “The Anatomy of a Victory,” May/June 1994, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxxxviii] Home Education Magazine, “HSLDA touting Raymond Moore?”, August 23, 2007, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “One of the lesser-known items authored by Dr. Moore was a white paper he wrote in October of 1994, The Ravage of Home Education Through Exclusion By Religion. Part of the white paper is about the nationwide alarm HSLDA set off in early 1994. The alarm was to stop the danger that only HSLDA saw from an amendment to the House portion of the then-Congressional bill H. R. 6, a $12 billion reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).”
[cxxxix] Raymond S. Moore, “The Ravage of Home Education Through Exclusion By Religion,” October 1994, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxl] Larry and Susan Kaseman, “HR 6 and the Federalization of Homeschooling,” Home Education Magazine, 1994, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “HSLDA was unwilling simply to have the Miller amendment removed from H. R. 6. Instead it worked for and was clearly pleased with the Armey amendment that is increasing the risk of federalization of homeschooling. Homeschoolers have worked out agreements in all 50 states and in over 15,000 school districts as to how they will homeschool, agreements that are now working well in most cases (of course, there will always be a few problems, and in some cases the agreements include non-compliance or civil disobedience). But by supporting the Armey amendment, HSLDA appears willing to exchange these carefully worked out agreements for one federal statute that could disrupt these agreements and give the federal government power over homeschools that it does not now have.”
[cxli] HSLDA, “Marking the Milestones: 1994,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “In response to an alert from HSLDA, home schoolers from around the nation bombarded their senators’ offices with phone calls and letters opposing the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the 1994 Lobbying Disclosure Act. Following widespread public opposition, the Lobbying Disclosure Act was defeated and the Convention was put on hold for the rest of the 103rd congressional session.”
[cxlii] Dobson, “News Watch Special Report.”
[cxliii] Ken Ham, “The History of Answers in Genesis through February 2015,” Answers in Genesis, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxliv] Lyman, 1998.
[cxlv] Christopher J. Klicka, The Right Choice: Home Schooling, Noble Publishing Associates, 1995, p. 112-3, 181, 188, 422.
[cxlvi] R.L. Stollar, “Oak Brook College of Law Distances Itself from Bill Gothard and IBLP,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, February 20, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015: “When OBCL was launched in 1995, it was done so as a joint effort between Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute (ATI) and HSLDA stakeholders. Bill Gothard served as the law school’s Chancellor, Michael Farris served on the Board of Trustees, and former HSLDA director and staff attorney Jordan Lorence served as the school’s Constitutional Law Professor as well as Chairman of Oak Brook’s Board of Advisors.”
[cxlvii] Practical Homeschooling, “Law School for Homeschoolers,” Number 15, 1997, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxlviii] Sarah Posner, “Secret Society,” Alternet, February 28, 2005, link, accessed on April 29, 2015: “CNP’s tentacles also reach into a community of well-connected activists who advocate for the imposition of fundamentalist Christian ideology in public life and have succeeded in forcing their agenda in the Bush administration. Besides the well-known affiliation of Dobson and Hodel, just one example is the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has paid CNP dues so that Michael Farris, its executive director, could attend the meetings.” The years of HSLDA’s membership are listed as 1996, 1998, and 1999 at “THE COUNCIL FOR NATIONAL POLICY: Past/Present Officers & Prominent Member Profiles,” link, accessed on April 29, 2015: “Michael P. Farris – CNP Membership Directory (1996, 1998, 1999).”
[cxlix] Michael Farris, “Using debate to learn valuable skills,” Home School Heartbeat, Volume 41, Program 3, December 10, 2002, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cl] TeenPact, “History, Vision, and Mission,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cli] Lyman, 1998.
[clii] Not Back to School Camp, “Essential Information,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cliii] Alliance for the Separation of School and State, “History of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cliv] Lyman, 1998.
[clv] Practical Homeschooling, “Rebecca Sealfon Knows How To Spell ‘Success’: Interview with Rebecca Sealfon, homeschool student and winner of the 1997 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee,” Number 19, 1997, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clvi] Libby Anne, “What I Learned from Joshua Harris,” Love Joy Feminism, October 25, 2012, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clvii] Home Education Information Resource, “Jury Finds Teaching Home Editor Conspired to Restrain Trade: Defendants Gregg Harris, Mary Pride, Sue Welch Settled,” July 3, 1999, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clviii] Dobson, “News Watch Special Report”: “Four defendants with varying degrees of memory lapses will testify to Michael Farris’ involvement and/or reveal telephone notes indicating involvement in the preparation of the letter of discipline.”
[clix] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “First Annual National Home School Debate Tournament: October 3-4, 1997,” November/December 1997, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clx] The Institute for Cultural Communicators, “The Mission of the Institute for Cultural Communicators,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxi] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “NEW HAMPSHIRE: Homeschoolers Block Bad Legislation,” July/August 1997, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxii] Doug Phillips, “Vision Forum’s Quest for Family Renewal,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[clxiii] Shay Seaborne, “The Truth About Sheryl,” Home Education Magazine, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxiv] Home Education Information Resource, 1999.
[clxv] Lyman, 1998.
[clxvi] MaryGriffith.net, “About Mary Griffith,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxvii] Christian Home Educators of Colorado.
[clxviii] Andrea Billups, “GOP rivals all praise their efforts and urge an era of responsibility,” Washington Times, September 25, 1999, republished by HSLDA, link, accessed on April 30, 2014.
[clxix] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “Teach Them to Dream Big Dreams: A Look at HSLDA’s Conference at the Capitol,” November/December 1999, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “The resolution was initiated by the Missouri Home Educators Association and drafted by the National Center for Home Education.”
[clxx] E-mail letter from Michael Farris to John Holzmann, December 21, 1999, published by HomeschoolingIsLegal.info, “Does HSLDA Mix Causes?”, link, accessed on April 29, 2015: “We [HSLDA] pay dues to the Council for National Policy so that I may attend the meetings.”
[clxxi] Helen Cordes, “Battling for the heart and soul of home-schoolers,” Salon, October 2, 2000, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Frustrated home-schoolers have in the past several months decided to fight fire with fire, launching a new national inclusive group called the National Home Education Network, which will focus only on home-schooling issues and resources.”
[clxxii] National Home Education Network, “About NHEN,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxxiii] National Home Education Network, home page, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxxiv] National Home Education Network, “NHEN Board of Trustees,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxxv] National Home Education Network, “NHEN Regional Contacts,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxxvi] Texas Home School Coalition, “THSC History.”
[clxxvii] Cordes, 2000: “In Texas, which boasts the highest number of home-schooled kids at 150,000, a state home-school lobbying organization will debut in November, representing home-schoolers disenchanted with the HSLDA Texas affiliate, which is headed by Republican National Committeeman Tim Lambert.”
[clxxviii] Ibid: “John Holzmann is another stalwart Christian who felt the righteous rage of HSLDA when he asked its leaders to respond to issues raised by Seelhoff, the HEM report and many customers of the Christian curriculum publishing firm he co-founded, Sonlight. Sonlight materials had enjoyed great popularity in HSLDA circles and Holzmann offered HSLDA membership discounts to customers. But when Holzmann spoke up, HSLDA struck back. At a meeting with the group’s representatives, Holzmann says he got the bottom line: Don’t ever speak out against HSLDA publicly or you will face HSLDA charges of ‘gossip, slander and failure to observe the requirements of Matthew 18:15-17.’…In January, Holzmann announced that Sonlight would dissociate from HSLDA.”
[clxxix] Sarah Pride, “Patrick Henry College: A College for Homeschoolers (and Others),” Practical Homeschooling, Number 76, 2007, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxxx] Cordes, 2000.
[clxxxii] HSLDA, “HSLDA Attorney Visits Germany, Legal Defense Organization Established,” October 1, 2001, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “In August 2000, German home schoolers asked HSLDA for additional assistance. We provided support and encouragement to them in establishing their own national legal defense association: Schulunterricht zu Hause (School Instruction at Home).”
[clxxxiii] National Black Home Educators, “About Us,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[clxxxiv] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “An Affirmative Plan: National Home School Debate Tournament,” November/December 2000, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “HSLDA has recognized that it is time for a separate organization to take on the support of the national home school speech and debate community. This new organization, the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA), was formed in 2000.”
[clxxxv] Cordes, 2000.
[clxxxvii] Linda Conrad, “AHSA Moves to A to Z!”, Association of Home School Attorneys, August 24, 2011, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[clxxxviii] Homeschool World Series Association, “History of the HWSA Organization,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[clxxxix] Milton Gaither, “The FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and Homeschooling,” Homeschooling Research Notes, February 1, 2010, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “In 2000, when much of the Church lived along the Arizona-Utah border near Colorado City, AZ, the Church made headlines when leader Warren Jeffs called for a massive exodus of the Church’s children from the public schools, urging them to be homeschooled using a FLDS curriculum instead.”
[cxc] North, 2001.
[cxci] Milton Gaither, “Home Schooling Goes Mainstream,” Education Next, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 2009, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxcii] National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership, home page, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxciii] Faqs.org, “National Alliance Of Christian Home Education Leadership Inc in Brooks, Georgia (GA),” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cxciv] Robert Kunzman, Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling, Beacon Press, 2009, p. 100-1.
[cxcv] Tom Strode, “High court could be poised to overturn sodomy law,” Baptist Press, March 27, 2003, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Michael Farris, who wrote a brief defending the law, acknowledged he was ‘discouraged.’ While an oral argument ‘doesn’t make or break a case,’ it can provide ammunition for the justices, said Farris, whose friend-of-the-court brief came on behalf of the Center for the Original Intent of the Constitution.”
[cxcvi] Tyler, 2003.
[cxcvii] Smith, 2009.
[cxcviii] Dr. Chelsea McCracken, “Homeschooling Outcomes or Sampling Problems? A Look at Ray 2003,” Coalition for Responsible Home Education, May 8, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cxcix] National Home Education Legal Defense, “Background,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cc] Gaither, 2009.
[ccii] National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance, “About,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cciii] Nicholas Ducote, “Home Education Ideologies and Literature: Review, Part 1,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, April 23, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cciv] Jessica Huseman, “The Rise of Homeschooling Among Black Families,” The Atlantic, February 17, 2015, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccv] Shannon Espelien, “Interview with Founder of Ad Duha Islamic Studies Curriculum,” Middle Way Mom, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccvi] Daniel Jackson, “Muslim families turn to home-schooling,” Washington Times, February 21, 2012, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccvii] Secular Homeschool, “About SecularHomeschool.com,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccviii] Alliance for the Separation of School and State, “History of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award.”
[ccix] Michael Farris, “Questions and Answers Regarding a Constitutional Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage,” HSLDA, April 15, 2004, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccx] Alex and Brett Harris, “Lila Rose: Fighting for the Unborn,” The Rebelution, May 16, 2007, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxi] National LDS Homeschool Association, “Jolene Irving,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxii] Sandra Dodd, “Is there a difference between a Radical Unschooler and just an Unschooler?,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “I think if people divide their lives into academic and non-academic, they’re not radical unschoolers.”
[ccxiii] Lori Arnold, “Popularity of homeschooling rises nationwide, curriculum concerns, safety cited,” Christian Examiner, September 2, 2007, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxiv] Aaron Mesh, “New Kids In The Flock,” Willamette Week, June 18, 2008, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Gregg told his sons to embark on an ‘intense’ summer reading program ranging from books by New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman to right-wing talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt. The goal: to familiarize the twins with global trends. They say their reading sparked their desire to ‘wake up’ other teenagers, which led them to start the Rebelution blog in 2005. It is a forum for Christian teens to discuss issues from Third World slavery to women’s modesty.”
[ccxv] Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, “Alex and Brett Harris are Doing Hard Things,” The Gospel Coalition, November 5, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxvi] Mesh, 2008.
[ccxvii] Gaither, 2009.
[ccxviii] Reb Bradley, “Solving the Crisis in Homeschooling: Exposing the 7 major blindspots of homeschoolers,” Family Ministries, 2006, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxix] The Moore Foundation and Academy, “Death of Homeschooling Pioneer Dr. Raymond S. Moore,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Dr. Raymond S. Moore, author of Better Late than Early, the book that launched the modern homeschooling movement in the United States, passed away on July 13, 2007, at the age of 91.”
[ccxx] HSLDA, “Parental Rights Amendment,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “The grassroots organization, ParentalRights.org, was established in 2007 to pass this amendment.”
[ccxxi] The Rebelution, “Modesty Survey,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxxii] National Center for Education Statistics, “1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007,” December 2008, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “In the 2007 NHES, parents also were asked which one of their selected reasons for homeschooling was the most important. The reason reported by the highest percentage of homeschoolers’ parents as being most important was to provide religious or moral instruction.”
[ccxxiii] Arnold, 2007.
[ccxxiv] Sara McGrath, “Concerns about unschooling family on Wife Swap TV show,” Examiner.com, April 15, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxxv] HSLDA Home School Court Report, “Dr. Brian Ray Receives Award,” January/February 2009, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “First given to Gregg Harris in 2007, this award honors a leader who has demonstrated valuable leadership to the homeschool community, inspired and motivated others to effective action, overcome hardships and obstacles to succeed, demonstrated a servant’s heart while exhibiting the qualities listed above, and maintained a clear witness concerning Jesus Christ and the Gospel.”
[ccxxvii] Unschooling United, home page, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxxviii] R.L. Stollar, “A Brief History of Homeschool Speech and Debate,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, July 1, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxxix] Joyce, 2009.
[ccxxx] Milton Gaither, “Homeschool: An American History,” Homeschooling Research Notes, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxxxi] Gaither, 2010.
[ccxxxii] Carolyn Jessop, Triumph: Life After the Cult–A Survivor’s Lessons, Three Rivers Press, 2011, p. 23: “They did find other children that were being abused, and that, either way, having sex with a sixteen-year-old in the state of Texas is a felony. They found—they found felony cases of child abuse.”
[ccxxxiii] Christian Home Educators of Colorado.
[ccxxxiv] Jim Daly, “Two Tributes to Dr. James Dobson,” Focus on the Family, October 5, 2009, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “On Friday, September 25, 2009 the HSLDA presented Dr. Dobson with its Lifetime Achievement Award during its annual National Leaders Conference here in Colorado Springs.”
[ccxxxv] R.L. Stollar, “End Child Protection: Doug Phillips, HSLDA, and the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, May 14, 2013, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccxxxvi] HSLDA, “In Memoriam: Christopher J. Klicka,” October 12, 2009, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxxxvii] Homeschool Legal Advantage, “Our History,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccxxxviii] Homeschool Legal Advantage, “Newly Launched Homeschool Legal Advantage is Experiencing Rapid Growth from Homeschooling Families throughout the United States,” Christian News Wire, November 25, 2009, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
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This is good information, but misleading without discussing compulsory / universal education law and children’s right to education in legislation, court rulings, and activism, especially 1880-1930.
I had thought about that, but I felt it might distract from the homeschooling focus. What specific landmarks in those areas you mentioned do you think would be most helpful to add?
For instance, you quote a 1904 Indiana court case permitting homeschooling in that state. The next landmark you give is in the 1940s. In 1929 a California court ruled that in our state, homeschooling was illegal. Which presumably remained the law in California at least until 1999, which is not mentioned despite other homeschooling landmarks in California from the 1980s being mentioned. I can’t comment on other states, but it’s definitely an inaccurate portrayal of California.
However, it’s difficult to be comprehensive in this format. I’m sure you had to leave out a lot of what you came across to keep the article short enough for the blog.
Oh interesting! Do you know the name of the 1929 case?
I think I can/should definitely flush out more history between 1900-1940 at least.
Not off the top of my head. I would have to dig into my notes.
Found it! It’s under “Legislative History” in this case: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1256860.html
It’s important to note that before the last century’s reforms mandating universal education, it was permissible and widely practiced to keep one’s minor children out of school, which is all that homeschooling legally is in most states currently. So homeschooling law as documented in your article is simply a chipping away of child protections established a century ago. A century and a half ago, debate began over whether children had a right to an education, and how to protect children from neglect and excessive abuse. The consensus answer became mandatory school attendance. In the light of the homeschooling movement since, that consensus answer was the abberation, a temporary measure that has been dramatically weakened in the past many decades.
In light of such examples, it seems to me one must consider the possibility that “the consensus answer” you denigrate as “abberation” [sic] was in fact correct: for as mandatory school attendance has been effectively undermined by the homeschool movement, both the frequency and the profound nature of “neglect and excessive abuse” has apparently increased.
Contrary to the naive understanding of politics embraced by the mission statement of this site, there is nothing at all “democratic” about homeschooling. On the contrary: homeschooling is antidemocratic by definition, because it is anti-government and anti-state. What it is in fact and in practice is, in every instance, patriarchal and parochial: it centers individual life in the family or clan rather than in the larger political society of the national state. This is already evident as a matter of its most original and essential action: to remove children from the protection of the state at the whim of a parent or guardian, and to subject the child to the distinctly unchecked and undemocratic authority of the family.
The results of this may turn out to be good or bad for the emotional and intellectual life of the child, depending on the homeschool environment itself. But the results are never indifferent for the state and the society: homeschooling manifestly undermines the ability of the state to carry out its most fundamental charge, which is to guarantee justice to all.
Thank you for sharing your research. I appreciate seeing all these people connected together, and seeing how the movement grew. I’m glad you are willing to look the black, the white, and the gray. It’s very helpful.
I was very surprised not to find any mention of the Internet. It seems that the Internet was instrumental in the expansion of homeschooling, by greatly lowering the cost of access to needed educational materials. Could some of you experts revisit that?
I was one of the early homeschoolers my parents started in 1983 so I have personal experience with this history. I found it to be accurate and I think you did a good job for an article of this length. I appreciate you mentioning John Singer of Marion, Utah I think it is an important moment in homeschooling particularly homeschooling in Utah. But the story is much more involved John Singer was a Fundamentalist Mormon, a polygamist, and a white supremacist. He was shot and killed in a standoff with law enforcement that had to do with a child custody dispute and homeschooling in 1979. I happen to live near Marion and based on what I have heard from locals this Wikipedia article is generally accurate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Singer_(homeschooler)
While I detest religious education and the child abuse I figure stems mostly from poverty if not the strange, patriarchal urge to dominate the family, I have to ask: have any of you attended a public school in the last few years?
They’re pretty terrible in the aggregate. Vile, even. The high discourse of “civil” or “national life” isn’t present there anymore than it is in the homeschooling environment. Given that I’m educated at a proper state university, I wouldn’t have a problem homeschooling my child with a secular curriculum through the secondary tier, and would much prefer that than the prospect of sending my child to the local crime factory.
There are good reasons to avoid sending your child to public schools beyond that of religious preference. They’re underfunded centers where troubled children concentrate their problems to the point of bursting. I think the fundamentalist aspects of the cases listed above are wrong, misguided, and frankly odd, but it is just as silly to send your child to a low-income, high crime, high pregnancy, high violence, low-passing school that does not care if your child is college-ready or ready for the factory or ready for the prison. Public schools are in the middle of a deep crisis right now–I think it started in the 1990s–and a sane homeschooling is probably going to become a reasonable alternative, as a backlash, in the near future.
We live in a good school district but we have chosen to homeschool our children for several reasons other than the religious reasons of our parents. But my kids are enrolled in an online public charter school legally we aren’t even considered homeschoolers by the state.
I have not attended public school ever but my kids have for the past 5 years. Our schools are rated some of the top in the state and my kids are thriving. They love school and have so many opportunities that I never had as a homeschooler. Having kids with special needs has been eye-opening to some of the problems with our schools, yet the teachers and principals in our district have done very well despite unreasonable federal regulations and under-funding. Another issue is the extreme class gap when it comes to good and bad schools. The poorer the community, often the worse the schools are. There definitely needs to be an overhauling but that’s actually happening in many places, at least in the NW.