Are Homeschooled Children “At Risk”?

by Kelly Green

In my opinion, one of the most challenging issues home-educating families face is the “But if it saves just one child!” bureaucratic argument in favor of the “regulation” of home education.

We’ve all run into it. People we know–relatives, friends, acquaintances–say things like, “Well, of course you are doing a great job, and your kids are fine, but what about those other parents who

a) don’t do anything with their kids and just let them watch TV or play video games all day;

b) are well-meaning but just not doing a good enough job;

c) keep their kids out of school because they are abusing them? Shouldn’t there be laws to protect children in families like those?”

I have come up against these concerns time and again over the nearly twenty years that I have been homeschooling. Sometimes I have had to speak on these issues not just for myself but for other homeschooling families as well (for instance, when I was secretary of my (Canadian) provincial organization). More often, I have come across such apprehensions in personal conversation. Most recently I have had to cover this ground in exchanges with American and British academic researchers who have chosen to study homeschooling.