The following is an excerpt from R.L. Stollar’s “Children as Divine Rental Property: An Exposition on HSLDA’s Philosophy of Parental Rights.” You can read the paper in full here.
Who do children belong to? This is a much-debated question. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) insists that parents have the “sole authority” to “carefully craft” their children’s lives and minds, while denying those children any rights of their own. HSLDA thus finds other answers to that question threatening: such as children belonging to themselves, the government, or the community. These other answers redistribute rights away from parents and towards non-parental units. But one particular answer — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “it takes a village” answer — has received a disproportionate amount of attention from the organization.
HSLDA employees seem inexplicably obsessed with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advocacy for children’s rights. The late Chris Klicka said Clinton had “declared war on parents’ rights in America”[i] because of her support of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. HSLDA founder Michael Farris made one of the villains in his fictional book Forbid Them Not a character named “Helene Rodman,” whom he describes as “the first female president of the United States” with a “perfectly plastic smile,” a “feminist agenda,” and a desire to attack “home schooling.”[ii] Farris has freely admitted that Rodman is based on Clinton.[iii] In Forbid Them Not‘s alternate universe, “Rodman” (or Clinton) takes advantage of “a landslide election, which swept a Democratic majority into both houses of Congress” and immediately signs the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Naturally, all hell breaks loose and a Farris-esque hero named Cooper Stone (a lawyer who moved from Washington State to Loudon County, Virginia,[iv] just like Farris) must swoop in and save the day.
Other HSLDA employees have also obsessed with Clinton,[v] in particular her book It Takes a Village that called for “comprehensive early education programs for disadvantaged children and their families.”[vi] The “it takes a village” concept has long been a target of conservative Christians (beyond just HSLDA) — which is odd, because the concept is nothing new nor did it begin with Clinton. The “Children belong to their community” answer to the question “To whom do children belong?” dates back millennia. It is neither Clintonian nor Marxist — nor anything else modern, for that matter. Yet conservative Christians today (including HSLDA) fixate on Clinton as the arch-nemesis of their own values who threatens to bring Big Brother into families’ living rooms and bedrooms.
The most explicit articulation of this sentiment comes from Michael Farris’s 1999 presentation before the Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society’s World Congress of Families in Geneva, Switzerland.[vii] Farris says “it takes a village” advocates (whom Farris equivocates with child welfare workers) use terrorist-like tactics: “Those who believe that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ are willing to use coercion, threats, raw police power, and intimidation to enforce their agenda. Parents who raise children in a manner that the village doesn’t like have learned to fear the knock on the door lest they hear the dreaded words, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help raise your children.’”
Farris relates international children’s rights efforts to these terrorist-like tactics. He specifically calls out a number of children’s rights as negative, such as: (1) “the right of the child to express his/or her opinion” concerning the child’s own education; (2) the right of a child to not be physically hit by parents; and (3) the right of “children, particularly adolescents, to pursue, medical or legal counseling without parental consent”. Children should not have these rights, Farris makes clear. And if children are granted them, Farris believes the consequences will be dire: “It is up to this generation of parents to act for the generations to come to ensure that we protect the family in the black and white of our Constitution lest the global village overtake our homes.”[viii]
These three children’s rights — the right to self-determine education, the right not to be physically hit by parents, and the right to self-determine one’s medical treatment — are consistently targeted by HSLDA. In fact, nearly every statement HSLDA has made in the past (and continues to make today) against the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child — or any other declaration of children’s rights — calls out these three rights negatively. It is worthwhile, therefore, to look at each respectively:
The right to self-determine education
The right to self-determine education is, of course, a direct threat to HSLDA’s specific form of homeschooling advocacy. HSLDA holds back little on this count: Klicka was forthright about the fact that, if children had rights, then they could say no to homeschooling — which Klicka would not tolerate. “If children have rights,” he said, “they could refuse to be home-schooled.”[ix] Thus to protect the ideal of homeschooling, Klicka denounced giving children rights. In fact, in a later article written on behalf of HSLDA by both him and former HSLDA attorney Doug Phillips, to “give children fundamental rights enforceable against their parents” was explicitly said to be a “threat.”[x] As Klicka and Phillips later define “fundamental rights” as rights such as “speech, press, religion,” one can deduce that HSLDA does not believe children should have rights to speech and religion enforceable against their parents. Indeed, the Washington Post has noted that two reasons HSLDA opposes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are “the group fears that ratifying the treaty would mean children could choose their own religion” and “a child’s ‘right to be heard’ could trigger a governmental review of any decision a parent made that a child didn’t like.”[xi]
Klicka made this explicit in The Right Choice: Home Schooling. He explained that rights such as “freedom of expression,” “freedom of religion,” “freedom of association,” and “right to privacy” “would virtually undermine parents’ rights as we know it in the United States. Parents no longer would have the basic right to control [their children],” in particular “what church they attend.” Giving “children the fundamental rights of freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of religion,” and so forth is thus “in direct opposition to of [sic] those parents’ rights.”[xii]
The right to not be physically hit by parents
The right to not be physically hit by parents is a direct threat to HSLDA’s advocacy of corporal punishment. The aforementioned quote by Chris Klicka continues as follows: “If children have rights, they could refuse to be home-schooled, plus it takes away parents’ rights to physically discipline their children.”[xiii] Klicka and HSLDA not only defend the right of parents to physically hit children, they actively fight to expand that right to include foster parents physically punishing foster children: “[Klicka] had a similar explanation for [HSLDA’s] opposition to increased federal child abuse laws — more laws would mean more likelihood that corporal punishment could be defined as child abuse…Administrators from Patrick Henry College were among those testifying before the Virginia Department of Social Services for a measure that would allow foster parents to physically discipline foster children.”[xiv]
It is important to highlight that HSLDA does not simply defend the right of parents (natural or foster) to physically hit children. Rather, HSLDA explicitly promotes parents doing so. Michael Farris has declared that, “I am a firm believer in—dare I say it?—spanking. When the children are little I will spank either gender for deliberate disobedience of a rule that they have been taught.” Farris describes a father who will not use corporal punishment on his daughter as a “pushover” who “loves his daughter in principle, but…hates her in practice.”[xv]
In Klicka’s book The Right Choice: Homeschooling, Gregg Harris contributes a guest chapter (“How Should We Then Teach? Walking In Light Of God’s Principles Of Education”) where he instructs parents that, “Spanking is one divinely mandated method which must not be ignored,” and that if parents do not spank, their children “could become another statistic in the war on drug abuse, AIDs, and drunk driving.” Parents who do not use corporal punishment are “disobey[ing] God by discarding a clearly biblical method of child discipline.”[xvi]
The right to self-determine one’s medical treatment
The right to self-determine one’s medical treatment is a direct threat to HSLDA’s defense of parents’ religious freedom — contextually defined as the right of parents to withhold medical treatment from their children if their religion thus dictates. Religious freedom forms the cornerstone of HSLDA’s objection to mandatory vaccinations, for example. Chris Klicka has declared that, “Immunizations should not be mandated for all children [because] many parents have strong religious convictions against vaccinating their children.”[xvii] Klicka defends medical religious exemptions because, “Religious exemption statutes simply codify the protections of an individual’s right to freely exercise their religious belief as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and parallel portions of the state constitutions.” However, Klicka never explains how an individual’s right to religious expression implies a right to impose that expression on another individual — i.e., a child’s medical treatment.
Similarly, HSLDA’s current senior counsel Dee Black has expressed support for parents exempting their children from not only immunizations but other health care as well. HSLDA offers support to homeschooling parents who “claim a religious exemption from immunizations,” Black says, “and health and medical services.”[xviii] Farris believes this is appropriate because, even when it comes to complicated medical procedures of which parents have zero education or expertise, “God has delegated these kinds of decisions to parents, not to doctors, social workers, or courts.”[xix]
Since “the village” — the concept of community taken for granted by many cultures and societies throughout history — could potentially lead the recognition of one or more of these 3 rights, it takes on a purely nightmarish quality to Farris and HSLDA. This nightmare drives them to shrink the circle of necessary and desirable socialization to the nuclear family — as we see, for example, in a statement by HSLDA’s Will Estrada that, “It doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes parents.”[xx]
But note: while mass mobilization on a national or international scale via government-funded programs (such as public schools, day care, health care, etc.) to recreate the “village” atmosphere lost due to the last few centuries of industrialization is indeed a relatively novel idea, so too is the idea that a nuclear family can adequately carry all the responsibilities previously carried by the “village.”[xxi] (This is why John Holt once argued that, “The family we talk so much about preserving is a modern invention.”[xxii]) While HSLDA does not hesitate to point out the former, they never provide any justification or rationale for the latter. Whether this is due to historical ignorance or intentional omission is unclear. What is clear is that they believe, contrary to actual facts, that the 20th century, American, heterosexual two-parent nuclear family concept is the historical norm.
Click here to read the rest of “Children as Divine Rental Property: An Exposition on HSLDA’s Philosophy of Parental Rights.”
[i] Chris Klicka, The Right Choice: Home Schooling, Noble Publishing Associations, 4th printing and revised edition, 1995, p. 243.
[ii] Michael Farris, Forbid Them Not, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002, p. 398-400, 448.
[iii] Michael Farris, “Parental Rights: Why Now is the Time to Act,” Court Report, Marcy/April 2006, link, accessed on December 3, 2015: “In 2002, I published a novel, Forbid Them Not (Broadman & Holman), with the premise that a thinly-disguised Hillary Clinton had been elected president. The first act of her new administration was to secure the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). I do not claim the gift of prophecy, but there is a looming possibility that I may be proven right.”
[v] Examples of HSLDA’s singling out of Hillary Clinton include: (i) Michael Farris, “Appeals court rejects coerced entry to home,” Washington Post editorial, September 7, 1999, link, accessed on December 3, 2015. Michael Farris begins generalizing about the “it takes a village” people: “We have heard from the ‘it-takes-a-village people’ that the government’s need [sic] to protect children from abuse.” (ii) HSLDA’s autobiographical series, “1983-1998: Marking the Milestones — A Review of History: Hardwon Freedoms,” describes Clinton’s “village” concept in its “International Threats” section: “So-called child advocacy groups, such as Children’s Defense Fund—part of the ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ establishment—have begun to use international bodies, like the United Nations, to gain more control over the world’s families.” See link, accessed on December 3, 2015. (iii) HSLDA, “Pray for Parental Rights,” January 5, 2005, link, accessed on December 3, 2015. HSLDA declared it is “increasingly concerned about the erosion of parental rights, especially when religious parents want to do something that offends modern secular sensibilities. There is a profound tension between the rights and responsibilities of parents, on the one hand, and the increasingly popular ‘It Takes a Village’ mentality on the other.” (iv) Michael Farris, Home School Heartbeat, “Parental Rights, Part 1 — Lessons from History,” Volume 67, Program 1, April 24, 2006, link, accessed on December 3, 2015. Farris says, “There are three direct threats to parental rights,” one of which is, “There’s a rising number of anti-parent politicians who believe, like Hillary Clinton, that ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child.” (v) Michael Farris, “New World Playpen,” American Conservative, October 1, 2009, link, accessed on December 3, 2015. Farris describes “a coalition seeking ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child” as “the faithful, who subscribe to the notion that ‘It Takes an (International) Village to Raise a Child.’” (vi) Will Estrada, HSLDA, “Whose children are they? UPDATE: HSLDA’s Will Estrada counters Melissa Harris-Perry on The Daily Caller,” link, accessed on December 3, 2015. Will Estrada, HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations, criticizes MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry by way of criticizing Clinton: “It doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes parents…This leftist ridiculous idea that children somehow belong to the state—I thought we defeated this back with socialism, back with fascism.” (vii) One of Will Estrada’s speech presentations takes direct aim at Clinton: “The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child—It Takes a Village to Raise Your Child.” See link, accessed on December 3, 2015. These are but a few of many possible examples, all of which indicate HSLDA is particularly bothered and/or threatened by not only the “village” concept in itself, but perhaps more importantly by Hillary Clinton’s specific articulation of it.
[vi] Katherine Paterson, “First, Families,” New York Times, February 11, 1996, link, accessed on December 12, 2014.
[vii] Michael Farris, “Remarks to The World Congress of Families II,” presented at the 1999 World Congress of Families, The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, link, accessed on December 3, 2015.
[xv] Michael Farris, How A Man Prepares His Daughters For Life, Bethany House Publishers, 1996, p. 30-1.
[xvi] Gregg Harris in Klicka, The Right Choice, 1995, p. 188, 190.
[xvii] Christopher Klicka, “Immunizations: A Parent’s Choice,” HSLDA, September 13, 2007, link, accessed on December 3, 2015.
[xviii] Dee Black, “Homeschool Affidavits: Health and Medical Services/Immunization Requirements,” HSLDA, January 6, 2014, link, accessed on December 3, 2015.
[xix] Michael Farris, “Who Makes the Really Tough Decisions: Parents? Or Doctors?”, HSLDA, November 29, 2011, link, accessed on December 3, 2015.
[xx] Will Estrada as quoted by The Daily Caller, “Homeschool advocate obliterates MSNBC host over ‘collective’ view of children,” April 14, 2013, link, accessed on December 12, 2014.
[xxi] In fact, there is growing evidence that this will only further strain the health of nuclear families. For example, see Emelie A. Olson, “Socioeconomic and Psycho-Cultural Contexts of Child Abuse and Neglect in Turkey,” Child Abuse and Neglect: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, edited by Jill E. Korbin, published by University of California Press, 1981, p. 96: “[There is] another result of the increased [modernization in Turkey]: children are valued more for ‘primary group ties, affection, and love’ and less for security in old age and utilitarian values. Ironically, as children become relatively more important as sources of love, support, and companionship to parents cut off from their family and neighborhood networks, it is possible that the parents’ unmet emotional needs may lead to increasingly high expectations and unrealistic demands on their small children and thus to more classic child abuse.”
[xxii] John Holt, Escape from Childhood, published by Holt Associates, 1996.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has never been subtle about their dislike of LGBT* people or their impassioned advocacy to ensure that LGBT* people are denied human rights and education. In 2004, HSLDA promoted a constitutional amendment that would ban gay and lesbian couples from not only the institution of marriage but also civil unions. They also created two pages on their website, one entitled “Why HSLDA is Fighting Against Same-Sex Marriage” and the other entitled “Questions and Answers Regarding a Constitutional Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage.” Both made explicit how much HSLDA perceived same-sex marriage as a threat to the very foundations of Western Civilization and threatened human rights everywhere. In 2006, the group again lobbied for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations, Will Estrada, personally filed HSLDA’s lobbying report. And in 2012, HSLDA Michael Farris made headlines for threatening LGBT* students from Patrick Henry College, a college created and funded by HSLDA.
Yet over the last 2 years, HSLDA has attempted to sweep all this under the rug. In a August 2014 interview with ThinkProgress, “[Will] Estrada said that the group no longer lobbies on this issue and that he did not know why it had done so then” — even though Estrada himself filled HSLDA’s 2006 lobbying report against same-sex marriage. Estrada later claimed that HSLDA fights “for the gay teen being bullied and his mom wants to homeschool him” — making no mention of the fact that HSLDA will also do everything it can to keep those gay teens from later getting married, getting jobs, keeping jobs, or going to college.
Most recently, HSLDA has quietly removed their most anti-LGBT web pages, including the aforementioned “Why HSLDA is Fighting Against Same-Sex Marriage” and “Questions and Answers Regarding a Constitutional Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage” pages. The only main anti-LGBT page remaining on their website is “Critical Decision on Text of Constitutional Amendment Protecting Marriage,” wherein Michael Farris declaims that, “The only way that we can stop same-sex marriage from infecting every state in the nation is to amend the U.S. Constitution.” And Farris minces no words as to what his goal is: “This may be the only time in U.S. history that we can stop the homosexual movement from obtaining full rights of marriage.”
HA has archived as PDFs all three pages here, here, and here.
A common question we encounter in our child advocacy through Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out is an understandable one: “Do you believe the homeschooling movement can self-police itself?” This question concerns the tragic yet undeniable reality of child abuse and mental illness within homeschooling. Those asking the question are wondering if homeschool parents, communities, and organizations are capable of properly responding to child abuse and mental illness. By extension, they are also wondering if some outside oversight (such as a government agency) is necessary.
My answer to this question is always two-fold. First, yes, I absolutely do believe the homeschooling movement can self-police. Having been homeschooled from K-12 and knowing many homeschoolers to this day, I have great hope and faith in the ability and tenacity of homeschoolers. I know they are capable, driven, and intelligent people. They can do just about anything if they put their minds and hearts to it. So yes, I do believe that if the homeschooling movement dedicated its minds and hearts to properly responding to child abuse and mental illness — with the same sort of zeal which the movement dedicates to opposing Evolutionism, Secularism, and Socialism — it could actually make great strides forward in making homeschooling safer for all children. I am not optimistic enough to think that self-policing in itself could entirely solve the problems of abuse, neglect, and illness within homeschooling. But I can certainly see a lot of good arising from the act.
Here’s the catch, though. The important question isn’t whether or not the homeschooling movement can self-police. The important question is whether or not the homeschooling movement will self-police.
The homeschooling movement certainly can do better internally. It has everything in place that could make this happen. It has a national alliance of homeschool leaders, the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership. It has annual national and international leadership conferences where international, national, and state leaders in homeschooling come together and network. It has numerous legal defense associations like HSLDA and the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL). It has state organizations in every one of the United States. It has national convention companies like the Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC) and national curriculum creators like Sonlight and ACE and A Beka and Alpha Omega. It appeals generally to one authority when it comes to homeschooling statistics — Brian Ray’s National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI).
If the homeschooling movement had the will to tackle head-on the pressing, dire issues facing many homeschooled students and alumni like child abuse, mental illness, and self-injury, we would see a sea change at this very moment.
But we don’t.
And that’s the problem.
Yes, the homeschooling movement can self-police. But it currently doesn’t have the will to do so.
If Brian Ray and NHERI had the will to find out just how prevalent child abuse and mental illness and self-injury are within homeschooling, he and they could begin the process of finding out. They have the resources. They can do the research.
But they won’t. So they don’t.
If HSLDA and NCLL had the will to ensure that every single one of their member families was properly trained in recognizing and responding to the warning signs of child abuse before becoming a member, they could do that. They have the resources. They have the website tools. They can make child abuse prevention training a prerequisite for membership.
But they won’t. So they don’t.
If the Great Homeschool Conventions (and other for-profit and non-profit convention companies) had the will to make child abuse prevention and suicide prevention and mental health awareness a priority in their workshop content, they could do that. They have the contacts. They have the money. They can elevate the importance of these subjects for their customers.
But they won’t. So they don’t.
One can, of course, make the argument that some of these organizations shouldn’t have to focus on child abuse and neglect because that’s not their organizational focus. The argument fails for two reasons: First, any organization that works with or for children — every single organization — needs to proactively tackle these issues. That’s part of properly stewarding the children within their care. As ChildHope says, “All organisations working with children, either directly or indirectly, have a moral and legal responsibility to protect children within their care from both intentional and unintentional harm. This is known as a duty of care.” All of the organizations I mentioned do work either directly or indirectly with children. So they have a duty — both a secular one and a God-given one — to go out of their way to make sure they are doing everything they can to ensure the health and well-being of the children in their purview.
Second, none of these organizations are going out of their way to support or welcome other organizations that do focus on child health and safety. HSLDA hasn’t supported or sponsored a National Child Abuse Prevention Week. Convention companies haven’t sought out GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment) or the Child-Friendly Faith Project or HARO to present at their conventions. The National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership hasn’t sought out a child advocacy organization to draft a national declaration about making child health and safety a priority. We aren’t seeing the movement that is so necessary to creating a sea change in how homeschoolers think about and respond to these pressing issues.
All of this might sound pessimistic or nihilistic. But I truly meant what I said earlier: I have great hope and faith in the ability and tenacity of homeschoolers. I know they are capable, driven, and intelligent people. They can do just about anything if they put their minds and hearts to it.
Homeschoolers just need to start putting their minds and hearts to better protecting the children they care so much about.
It’s easy for someone like Michael Farris to draw “a line in the sand” and make generic statements like, “The overuse of physical discipline is causing real harm to children” — and then make no effort make the line mean something and actively promote alternatives to those practices prevalent within homeschooling that cause that real harm to children. It’s easier still for someone like Thomas Umstattd Jr. to “stand with Michael Farris against the abuses of the patriarchy movement” — and then do nothing to actually work against abuse.
If the homeschooling movement is really going to self-police, we need more than platitudes. We need more than empty declarations from our leaders. We need a concerted, coordinated effort from our leaders, organizations, convention companies, curriculum developers, co-ops, teachers, and parents to do the actual work necessary to better protecting children.
A New Jersey homeschool family is suing after a social worker visited their home and asked questions about their curriculum, their children’s medical history, and the safety of the firearms stored in their house. Buried deep in an article about the case are these paragraphs:
The case highlights the tension between state social welfare agencies and homeschool families as the number of children being educated at home continues to grow. More than 2 million children are now involved in homeschooling, said Michael Farris Jr., spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association.
“When we get calls, it will more than likely be about a social case worker who says, ‘I got a call from someone else who says you’re not educating your kids,’ or ‘We’ve heard that you’re spanking your kids,’” Mr. Farris said.
“Homeschoolers are a unique case, especially because there will be someone, a family friend or even a family member, who disagrees with their choice to homeschool, so they’ll call in an anonymous tip,” he said. “That’s what we’re seeing probably the most.”
These paragraphs—and especially Farris Jr.’s quote—make it sound as though it is extremely common—nay, essentially universal—for homeschooling families to be reported to social services. But is this really true?
I do have some personal experience in this area. I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school and we never had social services called on us. In fact, to my knowledge, social services was never called on any of the homeschooling families I knew growing up, at least during the years I was there. And yet, Farris Jr. wants to make it sound like friends or family members who disagree with families’ choices to homeschool are making near-constant calls to social services.
Of course, my experience is purely anecdotal. Perhaps HSLDA’s statistics are more complete—after all, they have 80,000 member families and urge these families to call them any time a social worker shows up on the door. With that many member families and the frequency with which homeschooling families are reported to CPS just because they homeschool, their phones must be ringing off the hook!
Well, no, they’re not. Only last month, Slate revealed this:
Farris said his group gets 300 calls a year from dues-paying members worrying about “social workers at the door.”
As Slate points out:
This number . . . represents just 0.35 percent of the HSLDA’s membership, assuming each call came from a different family.
And then there’s also a 2013 HSLDA article that contained this paragraph:
The evidence suggests that abuse in homeschooling families is rarer than in the general population. In 2011 (the last year for which data are available), 6.3% of all children in the U.S. were involved in abuse investigations. The same year, HSLDA assisted approximately 1.2% of our member families in child protective services (CPS) investigations. The vast majority of these investigations were based on frivolous accusations (such as the children being seen outside during school hours or concern about a possibly messy home) and closed as unfounded. While this statistic is not comprehensive, it can be seen as an indicator of a generally low rate of abuse among homeschoolers.
I’m not sure how to bridge the gap between 1.20% and 0.35%—that’s a pretty big discrepancy—but either way, that’s a very low percentage of homeschoolers overall. In fact, these numbers reveal that homeschoolers are less likely than other families to have social services called on them. While the article stats that 6.3% of children overall are involved in abuse investigations each year, the number I found was closer to 4% for both abuse and neglect. Whichever number you use, homeschool families are less likely than other families to be reported to CPS.
The article quoted above suggests that homeschool families are reported to social services less often than other families because they are less likely to abuse their children. While this is certainly possible, it should be noted that abusive parents who homeschool are more able to isolate their children from adults who might see and report than are parents who send their children to school. Without more research, it’s hard to know all of the factors that may be at play here.
But I have to say, there is some serious irony in the fact that those at HSLDA believe they can argue both that homeschooling families are constantly reported to social services by upset friends or relatives and that homeschooling families have a low rate of child abuse based on of how infrequently people call social services on homeschooling families.
Of course, if HSLDA was honest about how infrequently their member families are frivolously reported to social services—i.e. almost never—they would probably have a harder time maintaining members.
I do, however, grieve the statements made by HSLDA and its founder, Michael Farris, in the article. Jessica writes, “When I spoke to Farris, he dismissed both organizations [HARO and the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, (CRHE)] outright, calling them ‘a group of bitter young people’ who are ‘fighting against homeschooling … to work out their own issues with their parents.'” It saddens me that Farris has not only resorted to personal insults, but insults he knows well are entirely false, simply to dismiss and ignore the growing numbers of voices from the movement he helped build. Several board members of HARO had personal relationships with Farris due to the homeschool speech and debate league he created through HSLDA. My father was even president of the league while Farris was on the league’s board.
My experience with homeschooling was positive and my relationship with my parents is better than it’s ever been. My parents (as well as many other homeschooling parents) support the work HARO does. And it is because of my positive homeschooling experience that I do the work I do — because I hope that every single future homeschooled child will have a positive experience like I did. Farris should be ashamed to knowingly spread falsehoods, and HSLDA and its other attorneys should demand more honesty from him.
Furthermore, HARO has attempted on several occasions to reach out to HSLDAonly have doors slammed in our faces. It is HSLDA, not HARO, that refuses to help move the homeschooling movement forward in more healing, productive ways. It is HSLDA attorneys, not HARO board members, whoengage in mockery. Thus when Farris says that HARO “will ‘say the opposite, no matter what we say,'” he is willfully misleading. He knows full well that HARO has offered to set aside our differences and partner with HSLDA; it is HSLDA that opposes HARO, no matter what we say.
A final important point of clarification regarding Jessica’s article: HARO advocates neither for nor against increased legislative oversight of homeschooling. On several occasions, Jessica’s article makes it sound as if part of HARO’s work involves promoting more homeschool regulations. This is untrue. That is the work of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), not the work of HARO. While both organizations were created by homeschool alumni, CRHE and HARO are distinct and separate. They share only one board member in common (me). CRHE advocates greater legislative oversight; HARO advocates for the wellbeing of homeschool students and improves homeschooling communities through awareness, peer support, and resource development.
HARO’s advocacy involves three strategies:
Launching awareness and education campaigns within homeschooling communities on recognizing and addressing child abuse, mental illness, self-injury, and LGBT* students’ needs
Building peer-support networks between homeschool students and homeschool graduates
By developing resources for therapy, life coaching, education assistance, and financial support.
True to our organization’s vision of “Renewing and transforming homeschooling from within,” we promote changes from within homeschooling rather than changes from without (such as regulation). You can read more about HARO’s vision and mission here. HARO’s FAQs page also makes this clear: “HARO does not advocate for or against public policy. HARO advocates for awareness and education, peer support, and resource development from within homeschooling.”
Today, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association made a press release regarding the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. As they have consistently asserted, they believe homeschooling will be negatively impacted by the court’s ruling. HSLDA has even advocated their anti-LGBTQ agenda in Russia, at the Kremlin, after many conservative organizations pulled out of a “family” conference. In 2006 , the group lobbied for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. HSLDA’s website claimed that “[s]ame-sex marriage attacks the traditions of the family in western civilization,” and is an “attack on parental rights.” You might also remember when Michael Farris threatened to sue QueerPHC, a blog run by queer students of Patrick Henry College, using his personal Facebook account.
Despite this record of public advocacy, HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations Will Estrada told ThinkProgress in August 2014 that HSLDA no longer lobbies on the issue of same sex marriage and he did not know why HSLDA had done so in the past. Mike Donnelly spoke at the Kremlin Conference in September 2014 – a month after Estrada denied HSLDA’s advocacy on the issue. Michael Farris set the doubt aside this afternoon when he adapted a Facebook post from his personal page and released it through HSLDA’s official PR channels.
This morning, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. This decision has the potential to affect the rights of parents, families, and others.
We believe the right to homeschool is for everybody.
Families can teach their children what they believe is right about marriage, according to their conscience. And we will defend their right to do so.
The legal and social pressure from this decision is going to be extraordinary, most likely starting in the areas of business and public education.
What might this look like? Public schools may be forced to be philosophically compliant with this decision. Children will be taught that there is only one way to view marriage and the family. We believe that families are going to seek educational alternatives that allow them to teach their children according to their conscience.
Consequently, homeschooling will grow. And as it grows, those who wish to impose philosophical restraints on homeschooling will increase their efforts to force us to comply.
Ramifications of this decision will include pressure on businesses and private associations, including homeschooling support groups, to conform.
HSLDA will fight to keep homeschooling free from philosophical controls, and maintain the rights of families to teach their children according to their conscience. Mike Farris
Many HSLDA members responded in an admirable fashion. Many of the top comments on HSLDA’s Facebook post with this statement are criticizing them and pointing out the logical fallacies.
In response to the decision, many conservative politicians are attacking the institution of the Supreme Court. Michael Farris led the pack this morning on his personal Facebook [image]:
My response to today’s ruling in a nutshell… We must stop letting the Supreme Court exercise legislative power.
..We must fight judicial politics with grassroots politics. The only solution is the Convention of States. Four states have voted to call a Convention that can address this issue.
If we want to preserve American self-government, we have to push harder to overcome the naysayers and leftists who want to stop us…
All other alternatives are spitting in the wind. We have lost big time. The only solution is a big time reversal of judicial power.
Farris expounded on his Facebook post and HSLDA press release on Friday afternoon with an additional press release through Patrick Henry College that evening. [full text] The morning of the the ruling on ACA, Farris called John Roberts Judas through a “30 pieces of silver” illusion. Farris continues to hammer on the illegitimacy of the court’s decision and adds the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ruling to his argument:
The Court—not the Constitution—has legalized same sex marriage. No one can legitimately contend to the contrary. This occurs one day after the Court rewrote the Obamacare legislation to save it from a pragmatic death.
In the marriage case, the Court rewrote the Constitution. In the health care case, the Court rewrote a federal statute…
Our solution today requires this same general approach [that FDR used when he threatened to pack the bench]. We have to figure out a way to beat the judicial politicians with superior political tactics.
The core reason that the Supreme Court has this much power is revealed by the Court itself. In multiple opinions, usually in dissents, the members of the Court have acknowledged that there is no realistic check on the power of the Court other than its own internal sense of self-restraint.
If we want to preserve American self-government, we must impose additional restrictions on the power of the Supreme Court. Checks and balances need to be real, not merely theoretical.
Of course, Farris’ policy answer will determine your corresponding level of outrage. Everything he proposes would fundamentally change the nature of the Supreme Court because he disagrees about their decisions on abortion, same-sex marriage, and ACA. His Convention of the States project is his best chance to codify his interpretation of Christianity into the Constitution.
There are many ideas in circulation on how to do this. Term limits could be imposed on the justices. We could add “deliberate failure to follow the original meaning of the Constitution” as grounds for impeachment.
We could give the power of impeachment to state legislatures.
My favorite is to follow FDR’s court-packing idea but with vigor.Every state should be allowed to appoint a member of the Supreme Court. They could serve for a brief term, perhaps eight years. Removing Supreme Court appointments and confirmations from Washington, DC, is the only realistic way to ensure true judicial independence. Otherwise, you get the power cabal that we have in place which was clearly in play in this week’s Obamacare decision.
Continuing his theme of separation from US Federal Government power, Farris posed an open-ended question about having a tribe annex a state – presumably for him and others to escape certain federal laws.
Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal echoed Farris’ institutional distrust of the Supreme Court as they position themselves to court the religious right. Apparently, they think the religious right desires Theocracy.
New presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, linked to Michael Farris and his ideology directly through his chief of staff, strategist, and confidante Farris’ protegee Timmy Teepall, will make “religious liberty a cornerstone” of his campaign. Jindal balked at the court’s decision on marriage and claimed “[t]he next step on this is the left and (Democratic front-runner) Hillary Clinton are going to be waging an all-out assault on our religious liberty rights.” In the same vein as Farris, Jindal advocated abolishing the entire court:
Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that… If we want to save some money lets [sic] just get rid of the court.
I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.
Why is homeschooling linked with the same-sex marriage decision? I suggest reading about Michael Farris’ central role in crafting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and HSLDA’s strenuous advocacy for Virginia’s religious exemption rule. The fear of homeschooling parents is a weapon wielded by Michael Farris, HSLDA, and now an increasing roster of politicians who are threatening the United States’ democratic institutions because the Supreme Court has ruled their religious views cannot overrule marriage equality.
Homeschooling, and homeschoolers, deserve better than to be co-opted into resistance against the Supreme Court. And I’m glad many of HSLDA’s members have spoken out boldly today. Pulling their membership from HSLDA and defunding their efforts is the best way to send a message to HSLDA that homeschooling should not be about attacking our democratic institutions to further “religious liberty.”
Like a lot of other people, I’ve been following the controversy surrounding Indiana’s SB 101, their state level RFRA bill that’s designed to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds.
Indiana’s RFRA has been compared frequently to the federal RFRA, both by supporters of Indiana’s law who claim that it’s no different thanwhat President Clinton signed into law in 1993, and opponents who point out that it’s much broader than the federal RFRA. What most people don’t realize about RFRA, however, is that while it was a popular piece of legislation that passed with bipartisan support, the religious right had their fingerprints on it from the beginning and always intended it to be used for much broader purposes than most of the bill’s supporters realized.
The coalition that drafted the original RFRA was either chaired or co-chaired (alternateaccounts on HSLDA’s website say both) by HSLDA founder and then-president Michael Farris. Farris was one of the drafters of the bill, and takes credit for organizing the broad coalition that supported its passage.
HSLDA’s magazine The Home School Court Reportdescribes it thus:
“After the signing, President Clinton spoke with [HSLDA’s representative at the signing Doug] Phillips and extended his gratitude for the role Farris played in the RFRA drafting and coalition-building process. “Tell Mike, I really appreciate the work he did drafting [the RFRA],” President Clinton told Phillips.”
At the time Clinton signed RFRA into law, the Court Reportquoted HSLDA staff attorney Jordan Lorence as saying that,
“[A]s American culture and public policy grow more and more hostile to Biblical concepts and practices, the RFRA will help shield Christian families, and all other peoples of faith, from having to choose between surrendering their religious beliefs or suffering loss for standing true to their beliefs.”
My astute readers should be able to recognize that language as a culture war dog-whistle from a mile away. Indeed, Jordan Lorence now works for the Alliance Defending Freedom, where he’s spearheaded the string of cases from photographers, bakers, and florists all arguing that they have a religious freedom right to discriminate against LGBT people.
We don’t need to rely on dog-whistles, however. HSLDA has repeatedly stated that one of the purposes of the federal RFRA was to allow religious-based discrimination against LGBT people.
Describing what RFRA means to the average homeschooler:
“But consider what it means for religious people in other contexts: The government wants to say you can’t have a church policy that says you can only have male pastors. Or maybe your church doesn’t want to hire homosexuals. Or your support group doesn’t want to hire homosexuals. Then it would have an impact because the rights of organizations including churches are going to be judged on religious liberty principles alone.” –Michael Farris, Marking the Milestones: The Good, the Bad, the Inspiring
Explaining why a proposed Religious Liberty Protection Act (RLPA) was an insufficient substitute for RFRA because it would not protect:
“Christian landlords who are told by local law that they may not “discriminate” against unmarried couples or homosexual couples in renting out an apartment in their home,” or,
“Small Christian-owned businesses that are forbidden by local law from firing employees for openly immoral behavior.” –Home School Court Report: Religious Liberty Protection Act: Does the End Justify the Means, May/June 1998
That brings us to yesterday, when, writing specifically about the Indiana law and his intent in drafting the federal RFRA, Michael Farris posted the following to his Facebook page. (screenshotted because his posts have a way of disappearing after I blog about them).
Oh noes, how dare the homosexuals ask to be left alone! Look at them there eating crackers like they own the place, don’t they know they’re supposed to be cowering in a closet in fear of the cops busting in and hauling them off to jail?
When Michael Farris talks disparagingly about LGBT people asking to be left alone, he’s talking about LGBT people wanting the police to stop raiding gay bars and arresting everyone inside. About not wanting to be forced to endure chemical castration like Alan Turing or prison like Oscar Wilde. About wanting to walk around in public without fear of being beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead only to have your funeral picketed by people with “God Hates Fags” signs. About not wanting to be subjected to “corrective rape.”
That, Michael Farris, is what asking to be left alone means.
In that one line he trivializes centuries of indignities, abuses, and torture that no human being should have to endure. As if asking for even the most bare minimum of basic human rights is too much to ask of society.
And no, Michael Farris, it’s not about “demanding the right to punish anyone who refuses to join their celebration.” It’s asking for equal protection under law. One of the bedrock principles of American law, and protection enjoyed by all other American citizens under our civil rights laws.
But Michael Farris already knows that, that’s why nearly two decades ago, before any state had marriage equality, HSLDA specifically stated that RFRA was needed in order to overcome nondiscrimination laws.
The smoking gun, though, is in the second half of his post.
See that last paragraph? Read it again.
“The state and federal RFRA would not allow a state or local antidiscrimination law (e.g. a gay rights law) to be applied to a religious person or entity without prevailing over a very high legal standard.”
Saying that RFRA would “not allow a state or local antidiscrimination law … to be applied to a religious person or entity without prevailing over a very high legal standard,” is another way of saying that religious people and entities are allowed to discriminate. More specifically, to discriminate against LGBT people.
Cloak it in religious language all you want, but the religious freedom that RFRA is intended to protect is the freedom to discriminate. And not just the freedom to discriminate in baking wedding cakes, making floral arrangements, or taking photos either. As was made clear in the quotes above, that freedom to discriminate was always intended to extend to denying LGBT people a place to live and allowing businesses to fire them.
I don’t know how you can get any clearer. This is one of the drafters of the original federal RFRA flat out saying that RFRA had discriminatory intent.
Discrimination in the name of religion is still still discrimination and it’s still wrong.
My followup post, complete with video of Farris’ appearance on Hannity, can be found here.
While many homeschool leaders have dismal records in how they discuss and respond to child abuse, their lack of understanding abuse dynamics also extends to other forms of abuse. The following are examples of how homeschool leaders have failed tragically to understand the realities of domestic violence, or spousal abuse.
The following excerpt is from HSLDA founder Michael Farris’s 1996 book How A Man Prepares His Daughters For Life. Farris has his patriarchal beliefs on full display in this book, including such passages as: “I am very supportive of the concept of the authority of fathers in their home…It’s important to be right…It is appropriate to simply say to your daughter, ‘Because I’m the dad, that’s why‘” (page 21); “a woman should be submissive to her husband” (page 96); and “husbands are ultimately responsible for family decisions” (page 101). He defends “a very traditional view about the role of women in churches” (page 27) and later explains that he means “a doctrinal position of male-only elders” (page 55).
But what stood out the most to me was the following 3 paragraphs with which Farris begins Chapter 5, “Guiding Your Daughter Toward Positive Friendships.” The tone-deafness, minimization, and victim-blaming Farris engages in regarding this very clear situation of domestic abuse — and the fact that he provided legal defense for a domestic abuser — goes to show that child abuse is not the only type of abuse Farris does not seem to take seriously. (For those unaware, a quarter-size bruise is a serious indicator of abuse, both for child abuse as well as domestic violence cases.) From page 77:
When I was a very young lawyer in Spokane, Washington, I was assigned to defend a case in which two professing Christians, “Steve” and “Lana,” were getting a divorce. Lana was seeking a divorce because of the advice of her “friends.” She and Steve, my client, got into an argument one evening and he grabbed her by the arm and squeezed. He left a bruise on her arm about the size of a quarter. He was ashamed of the action—as he should have been—and he apologized. But it was a far cry from the “battered-woman syndrome.” Lana was told by her friends, however, that she was a victim of wife abuse and she should seek a divorce. Believe it or not, she did.
A few weeks later her friends advised Lana that she should start dating, even though Steve was actively seeking to reconcile the marriage. One night when Lana was out on a date, their two-year old son fell behind the bunk bed and died from strangulation.
Lana knew what God expected of her regarding forgiveness and reconciliation, but she listened to her friends instead. She paid a terrible price for the wrong advice from the wrong kind of friends.
The following passage is from Bill Gothard’s 1979 Supplementary Alumni Book, Our Most Important Messages Grow Out of Our Greatest Weaknesses. Recovering Grace notes that, “Throughout the publication there are several self-contained Q&A boxes addressing common questions on divorce, such as ‘If two Christians marry and one persists in being unfaithful, does the other one have “Scriptural grounds” to get a divorce?’ (‘Answer: No.’) One Q&A appears to address domestic violence,” which is as follows:
What if the wife is a victim of her husband’s hostility?
There is no “victim” if we understand that we are called to suffer for righteousness. “For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 Christ was not a victim! He willingly gave His life for us. “By whose stripes you were healed…likewise you wives…” 1 Peter 2:24; 3:1 Christ’s life teaches us how to suffer.
The following passage is from James Dobson’s 1983 book Love Must Be Tough. The book claims to address “disrespect in marital relationships, describing its role in the drift toward divorce for millions of couples.” Dobson examines a number of potential marital conflicts, including (but not limited to) infidelity, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse.
Chapter Thirteen of the book is “Loving Toughness in Other Situations,” and it addresses the topic of spousal abuse. Dobson begins the chapter with a letter from a woman named Laura, who tells Dobson her husband has “a violent temper that is absolutely terrifying” and “beats me with his fists.” Laura then asks Dobson what she should do. “I’m so tired of being beaten,” she says, “and then having to stay home for days to hide my bruises” (p. 146-7).
Dobson begins by stressing that, for Christians, “Divorce is not the solution to this problem,” because “Our purpose should be to change her husband’s behavior, not kill the marriage.” His solution is rather to have Laura directly agitate her husband: “I would suggest that Laura choose the most absurd demand her husband makes, and then refuse to consent to it. Let him rage if he must rage.” Dobson hopes this will shock the abusive husband into acknowledging “he has a severe problem” so that he will agree to “competent Christian counseling” that can lead to “reconciliation” (p. 148).
Not once does Dobson recommend calling the police.
After making this suggestion to agitate, Dobson then offers the following “qualification” to his advice (a “qualification” that is, mind you, longer than his actual advice to Laura). The emphases are in the original:
I have seen marital relationships where the woman deliberately “baited” her husband until he hit her. This is not true in most cases of domestic violence, but it does occur. Why, one may ask, would any woman want to be hit? Because females are just as capable of hatred and anger as males, and a woman can devastate a man by enticing him to strike her. It is a potent weapon. Once he has lost control and lashed out at his tormentor, she then sports undeniable evidence of his cruelty. She can show her wounds to her friends who gasp at the viciousness of that man. She can press charges against him in some cases and have him thrown in jail. She can embarrass him at his work or in the church. In short, by taking a beating, she instantly achieves a moral advantage in the eyes of neighbors, friends, and the law. It may even help her justify a divorce, or if one comes, to gain custody of her children. Remember what the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor did to American morale and unity? It solidified our forces and gave us a cause worth fighting for. There are those who believe President Roosevelt ignored warnings of the Pearl Harbor invasion for the precise purpose of unifying our resolve against a rising Japanese imperialism. In the same spirit, I have seen women belittle and berate their husbands until they set aflame with rage. Some wives are more verbal than their husbands and can win a war of words any day of the week. Finally, the men reach a point of such frustration that they explode, doing precisely what their wives were begging them to do in the first place.
I remember one woman who came to church with a huge black eye contributed by her husband. She walked to the front of the auditorium before a crowd of five hundred people and made a routine announcement about an upcoming event. Everyone in attendance was thinking about her eye and the cad who did this to her. That was precisely what she wanted. I happened to know that her noncommunicative husband had been verbally antagonized by his wife until he finally gave her the prize she sought. Then she brought it to church to show it off. It does happen. (p. 149-50)
Love Must Be Tough has been reprinted numerous times and this passage remains. The most recent reprint was 2007 and the passage is still there, unchanged
Michael and Debi Pearl
The following passage is from Michael and Debi Pearl’s 2004 book Created To Be His Helpmeet, as reprinted in 2012. It is under the section “Enduring Suffering Wrongly,” in which Michael Pearl argues that “the Bible is so clear” that “we are commanded to submit to every ordinance of the government that we are under—even to ignorant and foolish men.” Pearl first argues that even if slavemasters cause their slaves “unjust suffering and grief,” slaves must “endure it, and take it patiently.” Pearl justifies this by saying that, “It is acceptable with God (God’s will) for the underling to suffer wrongfully and take it patiently” (262-3). Pearl then applies this principle to a woman being threatened by her abusive husband:
Has your husband revile you and threatened you? You are exhorted to respond as Jesus did. When he was reviled and threatened, he suffered by committing himself to a higher judge who is righteous. You must commit yourself to the one who placed you under your husband’s command. Your husband will answer to God, and you must answer to God for how your respond to your husband, even when he causes you to suffer. (p. 263)
Debi Pearl demonstrates this principle in action when she writes about a young woman named Sunny. Sunny faced a horrific situation of domestic violence:
[Sunny] was soon pregnant with their first child, and in a matter of weeks, the violence began. Over the next seven years, Sunny was regularly subjected to his alcoholic rages and beatings, and she endured his flaunted unfaithfulness… When Sunny was pregnant with their third baby, Ahmed came home drunk and tried to kill her with a butcher knife. (p. 132)
Debi Pearl never suggests to Sunny that law enforcement be called, nor does she even suggest that Sunny approach her church’s leadership. Debi also never condemns Ahmed and his actions. Rather, she exhorts Sunny to “stay with him and begin a campaign of winning his heart” by ceasing to “blab about his sins” and begin to “reverence him” because that is “God’s will” (p. 133).
The reason the church is getting lax about divorce is that we no longer understand marriage. If a spouse has problems, such as drunkenness or fits of temper, the other one concludes it is not a “good” marriage and moves on. Those who take this perspective end up allowing divorce “for any and every reason,” just as the Pharisees were doing in Jesus’ day. Jesus answered the Pharisees that destruction of any God-ordained marriage is always wrong… Only adultery, which breaks the partnership by pouring its resources into a spiritually fruitless extramarital union, as well as (in the case of an adulterous wife) jeopardizing the children’s legitimacy, and desertion, which nullifies the partnership, are biblical grounds for divorce… Christians may never, never, never divorce Christians. (p. 21-22)
Heidi St. John
The following image was posted by popular homeschool convention speaker Heidi St. John on her Facebook page, with the explanation that she “thought it would bring a smile today”:
The image, the text of which St. John altered, comes from an old comic that depicts a chauvinistic man sexually assaulting his frigid boss (an action that leads to her marrying him). A close-up of the image makes clear the woman is terrified and crying:
The image is photoshopped from an old comic that depicts an employee sexually assaulting his “frigid” boss (see here and here or view the full comic here). Sure, one could try to argue that the image has been removed from that context, what with the new words in the bubbles and all, but that fails given the tear on the woman’s cheek and the fact that she is clearly trying to fight the man off (notice her pounding fists). Whatever the words, the image clearly depicts a woman futilely trying to fight off a stronger man’s advances. In fact, in the context St. John provides the image, it appears to be depicting attempted marital rape…
The trouble is that an image like this, in the Christian homeschooling community St. John is very much a part of, arrives in a context already influenced by writers like Debi Pearl and the teachings of Bill Gothard and others. These leaders explicitly teach that a wife should never say “no” to her husband’s sexual advances. These leaders do not recognize the existence of marital rape, because they see sex within marriage as the husband’s right.
Coming in this cultural context, St. John’s image is not “funny.” It’s a problem.
It normalizes coercion and marital rape.
As demonstrated by the previous statements by Farris, Gothard, Dobson, the Pearls, and Pride, Libby Anne’s critique of St. John is spot-on. The biggest names in homeschooling have communicated truly shameful messages about domestic violence — messages that will only add further guilt to victims and make them feel trapped and unable to escape. It’s not a laughing matter, and it’s something that we all need to speak up about and push back against.
Note: if you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or visit their website here. There is help available and you are worth it.
To the James Dobsons and Mike Farrises of the world who literally want a civil war over gay rights and gay marriage, I ask this. In fact, I should ask certain members of my own family. I ask the same thing Jesus once asked.
Which one of you have we wronged?
Which one of you have we cheated or stolen from or harmed in any way? I’m not saying we are perfect, but what did we ever do to you that could make you hate us so much that you literally want a civil war over us being allowed the same rights that you have? What could possess you to put us through the things you have? How can you bring yourself to hate another person – much less a whole group of people- to the point that you force us even as children into “reparative therapy” which is just a fancy word for psychological and physical torture? I’m not even speaking metaphorically here.
After everything you have done to us one might expect we would be the ones with hatred in our hearts. That we would be trying to outlaw the religion that has been used in such vile ways against us. The truth is that many, many of us still believe in God, and we certainly support your right to do so. We do not support your right to use your religion as a weapon against us, and that really shouldn’t surprise you.
How can you say that we and those who love us and support us should be killed? That is what war is. Killing the ones you are against. If you are without sin, then cast the first stone by all means. But don’t forget it was this Jesus you purportedly follow who stopped people like you from casting stones at people like us when he was on Earth. Don’t forget that He said that whatever you do to “even the least of these my siblings”, you do to Him. Don’t forget that in Christ there is no male or female. You like to take the rest of the Bible so literally. Why do you try to explain away verses like that? In fact, what makes you think you can explain away the second greatest commandment – to love your neighbor as you love yourself – just by saying, “Well, my neighbor is gay and that makes them imperfect in my eyes so that doesn’t count”?
So next time before you promise to go on a killing spree, think about whether you are really serving the wishes of the one you call “Lord”.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
[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 SchoolCourt 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.
[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.
[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.”
[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.
[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.’”
[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.”
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.”
[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.”
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.”
[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.”
[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.”
[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.
[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.”
[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.”
[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.”
[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.
[ccxxxix] R.L. Stollar, “HSLDA Gave This Man Their Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award Just 4 Years Ago,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, August 31, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxl] Kiri Kincell, “HSLDA Leadership Conference 2010,” The Kincell Family, October 12, 2010, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “During [Saturday] evening, the Greg Harris [sic] award (named after it’s first recipient) was awarded to Bill Gothard for his huge contributions to the early homeschooling movement.”
[ccxli] Aaron Gould Sheinin and Margaret Newkirk, “TeenPact kids’ campaign efforts raise questions,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 1, 2010, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxlii] Brennan and Mary Jo Dean, “About,” Great Homeschool Conventions, July 15, 2010, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccxliii] Sam Blumenfeld, “The Homeschool Convention Season Is On,” The New American, March 26, 2012, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccxliv] Recovering Grace, “Our Mission,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccxlvi] Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, “Creation Museum Founder Disinvited from Homeschooling Conferences,” Christianity Today, March 25, 2011, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccxlvii] Anderson Cooper, “Farris: U.N. treaty ‘is a law’,” CNN, December 11, 2012, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxlviii] Michael Smith, “Senate Rejects Ratification of UN Disabilities Treaty,” HSLDA, December 4, 2012, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccxlix] Jennifer Schuessler, “And the Worst Book of History Is…”, New York Times, July 16, 2012, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccl] Elise Hu, “Publisher Pulls Controversial Thomas Jefferson Book, Citing Loss Of Confidence,” NPR, August 9, 2012, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccli] International Center for Home Education Research, “About ICHER,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclii] Liberated Minds Black Homeschool & Education Expo, “About The Liberated Minds Black Homeschool & Education Expo,” link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[ccliii] Muslim Homeschool Network, “About MHN,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[ccliv] Homeschoolers Anonymous, “For the media: Former homeschoolers rally against abuse,” March 16, 2013, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclv] Dan Savage, “If Your Gay Kid Is Being Bullied At School And He Begs You To Homeschool Him…,” Portland Mercury, January 29, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015: “Straight parents: If you know your gay kid is being brutalized in his school and you’ve complained and it’s gotten worse, get him the fuck out of there. Homeschool him. Homeschool him and sue the school. Move away. Move someplace more tolerant. Move someplace better.”
[cclvi] Sonlight Curriculum, “Homeschool Legal Advantage is now the Center for Homeschool Liberty,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclvii] National Center for Life and Liberty, home page, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclviii] Center for Homeschool Liberty, home page, National Center for Life and Liberty, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclix] National Center for Life and Liberty, “About National Center for Life and Liberty,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015: “This nonprofit legal ministry—NCLL—will serve to protect and defend the Bible-based values upon which our nation was founded.”
[cclx] Brett Harris, “The Other Side of Modesty,” The Rebelution, June 22, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxi] Doug Phillips, “Statement of Resignation,” Vision Forum Ministries, October 30, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxii] Vision Forum Ministries Board of Directors, “The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries,” Vision Forum Ministries, November 11, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxiii] Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “Homeschool Graduates Launch Nonpartisan Organization to Advocate for the Legal Interests of Homeschooled Children,” December 18, 2013, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxiv] Gen2 Leadership Conference, “The Vision,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxv] Shawn Mathis, “A tale of two surveys: the continued polarization of homeschooling,” Examiner.com, March 18, 2015, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxvi] Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out, “Our Vision and Mission,” link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxvii] Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out, “Announcing the Results from HARO’s 2014 Survey of Homeschool Alumni,” December 2, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxviii] Brian Ray, “A Thorny Survey of Homeschool Graduates,” National Home Education Research Institute, December 11, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxix] Milton Gaither, “The HARO 2014 Survey of Homeschool Alumni,” International Center for Home Education Research Reviews, January 1, 2015, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxi] Kiera Feldman, “Sexual Assault at God’s Harvard,” New Republic, February 17, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxxii] Warren Cole Smith, “Bill Gothard place on administrative leave,” WORLD Magazine, February 27, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxiii] Julie Anne Smith, “Christian Patriarchy is Alive and Well: NCFIC’s Scott Brown Moves to Fill the Void,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, February 3, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxxiv] David Waller, email sent to member families of the Advanced Training Institute, March 6, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxv] Cynthia Jeub, “Melting Memory Masks,” CynthiaJeub.com, October 3, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxxvi] Chelsea Schilling, “Christian Giant Sued For ‘Using Nanny As Sex Object,” WorldNetDaily, April 15, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxxvii] Michael Farris, “A Line in the Sand,” Home School Court Report, August 27, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxviii] R.L. Stollar, “Beall Phillips, Wife of Doug Phillips, Accuses HSLDA’s Michael Farris of ‘Gross Error,’ ‘Bully Pulpit’,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, August 28, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxix] Hännah Ettinger, R.L. Stollar, “When Homeschool Leaders Looked Away: The Old Schoolhouse Cover-Up,” Homeschoolers Anonymous, October 8, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxx] Claire Gordon, “After scathing sex abuse report, Bob Jones calls itself ‘very safe’,” Al Jazeera, December 19, 2014, link, accessed on May 1, 2015.
[cclxxxi] Boerne Christian Assembly, “Update Regarding Doug Phillips,” November 17, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.
[cclxxxii] Audie Cornish, “These Kids Grew Up With The Woods As Their Only Classroom,” NPR, September 4, 2014, link, accessed on April 30, 2014.
[cclxxxiii] Samantha Laine, “Alecia Pennington can’t prove she’s an American – or even exists. What would you do?”, Christian Science Monitor, February 12, 2015, link, accessed on April 30, 2015.