“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
As schools closed to COVID-19, homeschooling has swept across America. I have been wondering how many parents have taken well to it and will continue homeschooling after COVID-19. I know many families who were sold on homeschooling long before the current crisis. Their children have validated them by going on to be very successful and productive.
That’s why last week I was taken aback by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet’s statement that homeschooling should be banned! As the faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, her comments carry weight. Why would someone from such a prestigious school say something so radically wrong? For a learned educator she is woefully or willfully ignorant of the facts.
Jim Daly of Focus in the Family called her statement outrageous and noted, “the fact is that children who are schooled at home perform academically better than their public schooled counterparts by a degree of 30 percent. They also have higher SAT/ACT scores as well as better grade point averages in college… they represent a powerful force to help save and serve not only the next generation but also preserve and protect many of the ideals upon which this country was built… [including] our first freedoms …life and religious liberty.”
And we haven’t heard the last of her. She will be promoting her prejudice at a Harvard Law Symposium this summer, geared solely for those who oppose homeschooling.
Daly called out the professor’s real agenda: her opposition towards parents giving their children an education that is in keeping with their religious values. Conservative Christians were among the first to embrace homeschooling and Bartholet says, “that in itself, is reason enough to discredit homeschooling as an educational model.”
Fortunately, the law provides that parents not only have the responsibility to care for and protect their children, but the right to guide and educate them also.
It’s not a given that public schools will share your moral or spiritual values. Parents in neighboring Massachusetts are finding this out. Check out Mary Ellen Siegler’s Facebook page: Massachusetts Informed Parents. In our own state, Family Policy Alliance has found that RI School Districts were told to implement a disturbing Obama mandate, despite President Trump’s executive order overruling it. The mandate requires that teachers and counselors validate gender dysphoria without the parent’s knowledge. That same mandate would allow a minor to change the gender on his school records without parental notification.
With policies like these in place, it’s no wonder some parents prefer to educate their children at home!
If you are thinking about homeschooling post COVID-19 check out Focus on the Family for resources. You may also check the Home School Legal Defense Association, aimed at “Making homeschooling possible.”
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island