The following blog post is from Family Council staff member Erin Hogan.

In the May/June issue of Harvard Magazine, an essay was written that included some disturbing comments from a Harvard Law Professor by the name of Elizabeth Bartholet. She is noted in the essay for saying that homeschooling violates children’s rights to a “meaningful education.” She argues that homeschooling is not properly regulated and that it isolates the child.

As a former homeschooler, I would beg to differ. I couldn’t help but see the profound prejudice and bias that drenched this essay. Unfortunately, that is the norm for many liberal colleges and it is what’s being fed into the impressionable learners of the generation that attends them.

First of all, what is her definition of “meaningful”? Isn’t the structure and familiarity of a strong family life meaningful? Wouldn’t that include home-education as well? Speaking from experience, I would say yes.

I was given numerous opportunities as a home-educated student and through that, I learned important things like sacrifice, hard work, efficiency, attention to detail, and dedication. I was able to be expressive and innovative, exploring and researching on my own after class. My parents worked hard to make these opportunities possible with my Dad working extra hours and both my parents sacrificing so much to make it happen.

Learning under the care and nurturing environment of the home allows children to be expressive and innovative. It also allows them to have more one-on-one time when asking questions and coming up with creative ideas. This goes for both homeschoolers and public schoolers. The home life that instills deep-held values and skills are invaluable and cannot be replaced.

The problem is, left-wing elitists don’t like the thought of people thinking for themselves. Freethinkers can’t be so easily controlled or impressed on with liberal agendas. Free thought and personal values are given to us through the family unit and has been what birthed the incredible ideas and innovations in our country. Professor Bartholet’s perception of a “meaningful education” and those of many liberal professors most likely look completely different from what most Americans think. 

Many liberal elitists and progressive ideologists don’t like homeschooling because it is out of their reach and influence. Independently minded citizens are something they do not like because they can’t control it. They can’t reach in so easily into the self-reliant spheres of the home-educated, and that gets under their skin. That goes for the independent and free-thinking conservatives in our public school system as well. Many times these students are shut down or told to quiet down if they speak outside of the liberal narrative that is being pushed so hard in our education system today. This is felt on all levels as we see it in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges.

Thankfully, strong families continue despite the opposition — as they have for many years. This is a strong movement, and it will not be going away anytime soon. With resilient families and the continued work of Family Council and the Education Alliance, we will continue to expand and defend homeschooling in Arkansas and across the nation.

But don’t just take it from me.

“The risk to children is NOT from homeschooling. The risk is from radical leftist scholars seeking to impose THEIR values on OUR children.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response to the Harvard Magazine Essay