California homeschooling victories—ten years apart

I’ve finally racked up 1,000 quotes on this blog for flogging humanism and its corollaries. Let’s celebrate with this judicial victory from 2008:

From 2000 to 2008, California parents with valid teaching credentials could homeschool their children. Parents who did not have teaching certificates were permitted to homeschool their children by establishing their own private schools, making them exempt from truancy laws.

In February 2008 the Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District ruled that a homeschool is not a legitimate form of private school, effectively making most of California’s homeschools illegal. One family put together a legal defense team made up of representatives of the United States Justice Fund (USJF), the HSLDA, and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and was successful at having the ruling overturned in August 2008.

And let’s keep the celebrations going, with this victory that occurred 10 years later:

In a stunning late-night victory for California homeschoolers and parental rights, [Assembly Bill] 2756 was defeated in the Assembly Education Committee late Wednesday, April 25. The decision only came after committee members listened to hundreds of homeschoolers, one by one, give three hours of testimony against the bill. In the end, not one member of the assembly committee voted for the bill…

“What we saw tonight was a massive victory for homeschool families, parental rights, and government by consent of the people,” said Jonathan Keller, president of California Family Council. “Thanks to the thousands of homeschool families and supporters who flooded the Capitol, legislators were reminded that this building is still the people’s house.”

Authored by Democrat Assembly member Jose Medina from the Riverside area, AB 2756 originally demanded all homeschool families in California submit to involuntary home inspections.

I think Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church was one of the people who testified before the Assembly Education Committee. If that’s correct, I’m glad that he took part. I love it when homeschoolers mobilise like this.

Quote sources

  1. Ingersoll, J.J. (2015). Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, New York, p. 101
  2. LifeSiteNews (2018). California bill demanding homeschool families submit to involuntary home inspections defeated. LifeSiteNews. Available https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/california-bill-demanding-homeschool-families-submit-to-involuntary-home-in. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.
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New constitutional protection for homeschoolers

Puerto Rico is now the first among U.S. states and territories to recognize homeschooling as a fundamental right, thanks to a law signed by Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares on June 7…

Currently in Puerto Rico, homeschooling families are exempt from public school attendance under the non-governmental entity school’s exemption. However, this action on the part of the legislature and governor will ensure that homeschooling families have the highest constitutional protections, just as we all do for rights such as free speech and free association…

By recognizing homeschooling as a fundamental right—the highest constitutional protection available—Puerto Rico has declared the value and importance of educational freedom. We applaud the efforts of all those who made this historic event possible.

Quote source

Smith, M. (2017) Puerto Rico Declares Homeschooling a Fundamental Right. Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Available https://hslda.org/hs/state/pr/201706200.asp. Last accessed 5th Jul 2017

The best American states for homeschooling

In an older post of mine, I said that if I moved to America, perhaps Texas was a good state to move to. But now I could add a few more states to the list:

Jim, of course, homeschooling laws vary considerably from state to state. Today, which are the states that are the easiest for homeschoolers to deal with?

Mike, I like to think of this as: which states are the most free?

The states that are the most free today are:

  • Oklahoma—which has an actual constitutional provision that guarantees the right to homeschooling
  • Indiana, Texas, and Illinois are all private school states in which parents don’t really have to have any contact with the state official.
  • New Jersey has always had a statute that allows parents to homeschool their kids and provide equivalent instruction to what they would get in the public school.
  • And Idaho has just an amazing law that has been crafted over many years of legislative improvement to where it’s virtually completely free in Idaho.
  • Jim, I know that Montana has a really good law.
  • Also, Virginia’s religious exemption, where it’s working properly, is a terrifically good law.

About a third of the states, I would say, are basically in the sector that you’ve just described.

Quote source

Farris, M. (2016). Where Are We Now? The State of Homeschool Laws [podcast]. Home School Legal Defense Association. Available https://www.hslda.org/docs/hshb/126/hshbwk5.asp. Last accessed 1st May 2017

Homeschooling’s growing popularity—in all areas

Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number that were home-schooled in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on national home-schooling trends, according to estimates released Tuesday…

About one-third live in rural areas, while slightly more than one-third live in the suburbs and slightly less than one-third live in cities…

Quote source

Brown, E. (2016). Number of Home-Schooled Students Has Doubled Since 1999, New Data Shows. Washington Post. Available https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/11/01/number-of-home-schooled-students-has-doubled-since-1999-new-data-show/?utm_term=.f9237b85b50c. Last accessed 2nd Dec 2016.

Homeschoolers are sleeping easy tonight

In the first study of its kind, researchers have determined that teens who are homeschooled benefit from healthier sleep habits than those who go to most private and public schools…

[Sleep psychologist Lisa] Meltzer and her colleagues charted the sleep patterns of 2,612 students, including nearly 500 who are homeschooled. They found that adolescent homeschooled students slept an average of 90 minutes more per night than public and private school students…

The study concluded that more than half (55%) of teens who were homeschooled got the optimal amount of sleep per week, compared to just 24.5% of those who attend public and private schools. Conversely, 44.5% of public and private school teens got insufficient sleep during the school week, compared to only 16.3% of homeschooled teens.

Quote source

National Jewish Health (2013). Study Finds Homeschool Students Sleep Better: Research Supports Later Start Times For High School. Available http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-homeschool-students-high-school.html. Last accessed 16 Mar 2016.

The homeschooled society that worked wonders

Given the way the Reformation changed how Christians viewed education, it isn’t surprising that, as spiritual and cultural heirs of the Reformation, the American colonists from the very beginning were a remarkably literate people. In fact, both Americans and Europeans commented on the high degree of literacy in America…

But if America enjoyed such prodigious literacy well into the nineteenth century without anything remotely resembling our modern government school system, and without compulsory attendance laws, who was providing the education that produced it?

[Sam] Blumenfeld’s answer may surprise some: it was primarily families, and, secondarily, neighbors, tutors, and pastors, in homes, informal schools, and institutional schools. Moreover, the Christian character of the education was clear. As late as the 1830s Alexis de Tocqueville observed that education in America was everywhere under the guidance of Protestant pastors.

Quote source

Shortt, B.N. (n.d.) A Foreword to Blumenfeld’s Masterpiece. Chalcedon Foundation. Available http://chalcedon.edu/faith-for-all-of-life/remembering-sam-2/a-foreword-to-blumenfelds-masterpiece/. Last accessed 30th Nov 2015.

Homeschoolers’ maturity: let your light shine before others

The other night as I was an audience member for a homeschool theater production of the musical Annie, I was once again struck by how unique Christian homeschooling is as a cultural trend…

Guests who are not accustomed to homeschooling circles almost always remark on how well-behaved and orderly the children are, and how readily they take direction and show respect for those in authority. If you, like me, are used to such things, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

One woman, who had been a teacher in public schools and Sunday schools for over forty years, was dumbfounded that eighty plus children under the direction of about five to seven moms could be so cooperative.

Quote source

Schwartz, A. (2008). The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education [ebook]. Chalcedon/Ross House Books, Vallecito. Location 273-80