Friday, September 20, 2013

The Sinister Side of Homeschooling

You may have heard of Michael Farris, founder of The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and Patrick Henry College.  Michael is very active in the homeschooling community and uses the advocacy power of the HSLDA to pressure governments to remove any and all regulation on those that teach their children at home.  

This gentleman has unflinching trust in every single parent that homeschools, including defending those that are accused of abusing or murdering their children.

This article, The Sinister Side of Homeschooling, by The Daily Beast gives a clear narrative of why Michael Farris is dead wrong.  The facts do not lie.  Lack of regulation and increased secrecy, coupled with the large percentage of homeschoolers that follow ultra-conservative teachings, like the child abuse practices of Michael and Debbie Pearl, make stories of physical abuse, death, and sexual abuse an all too common story.

Now, should you think that I, Incongruous Circumspection, am against homeschooling, I will put that thought to rest right now.  I am not.  I think that it can be done well and I have dear friends that are living proof of this.  It works for some and I wish them the best of luck.  

But the frequency of the stories found on Homeschooling's Invisible Children gives succinct examples as to why those that do it well should want to make sure they are proven both legitimate and loving.

Try not to weep as you go through the stories.


  1. The more I find out about HSLDA, the more it makes me disgusted that my mom and dad were ever members of it.Micheal Farris' legal defense of people proven to be abusers in the US, and then the way they helped the Twelve Tribes cult in Germany, it's despicable.

    I've seen the Homeschooling's Invisible Children site before, but I didn't know that Heather Doney of Becoming Worldly was one of the people behind it.

    Are you familiar with Homeschoolers Anonymous? I'm a proud contributor over there.

  2. While Farris is indeed a visible element in the homeschool community - including in Germany, most recently - he doesn't advocate for unfettered parental rights when it comes to abuse. In fact, his organization specifically condemns such abuse. When he advocates for or against laws, it is because of the broad brush the law would apply to everyone - considering guilty until proven innocent.

  3. I have the same concerns as a former homeschooler. Mostly because I know people who *did* actually abuse their children, or are currently and I can't do anything because it is hearsay at this point, and I'm overseas.
    As a former child "protected" by the HSLDA, I do not and did not see any good from any of the years we paid them dues.

    Now they are being bullies in Germany against German Constitutional law. Not liking that one bit.