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West Virginia

August 1, 2011

School Board: Homeschooling Disorganized and Isolationist

West Virginia’s Monongalia County Board of Education is proposing a new homeschool policy. In the document’s “statement of purpose,” the board refers to stale objections, which reveal a flawed and stereotyped view towards homeschooling. Despite the fact that homeschooling has decades worth of practical and scientific evidence documenting its success, there are still public school officials who re-use the same old criticism of homeschooling—teacher competency and socialization.

Here is the proposed policy’s first paragraph:

“Monongalia County Board of Education encourages the enrollment of all school-age children [who] are residents in Monongalia County or in registered parochial or private schools so that they may enjoy the benefits a of well-planned educational program and the socialization possible in a group environment.”

As if homeschooling programs are not well-planned or lack in providing “socialization” opportunities. The modern homeschool movement has been going on for 40 years and there is plenty of evidence showing that it not only works, but it actually works better than other forms of schooling. For resources that HSLDA has been involved with to show the benefits of homeschooling go to: HSLDA Homeschooling Research webpage or the HSLDA brochure, “The Best Kind of Socialization” (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Mike Donnelly, HSLDA staff attorney for member affairs in West Virginia, encourages homeschool families to respond persuasively.

“It can be frustrating to continually address the same tired stereotypes—especially in the public context of a board of education policy review process. However, as we politely and persuasively point out the facts, we have the opportunity to open the minds of people who simply have not considered the arguments or who may not be aware of the evidence in favor of homeschooling. Take an opportunity to witness graciously to your elected officials and help them come to an accurate understanding of what homeschooling really is and the evidence that shows it works,” Donnelly wrote.

Membership with HSLDA allows families to unite and oppose efforts such as this that attack and erode homeschool freedom. When united, families can effectively defeat these attacks, advance the right to homeschool, and further awareness of the benefits of homeschooling.

 Other Resources

Read the Monongalia County Board of Education policy yourself >>