The reports of the ‘mainstreaming’ of homeschooling continue.
Home-school effort becoming mainstream: Once illegal in Va., the practice is now growing in state, 7 June 2008, Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia
The home-school movement, once considered suspect, steadily is becoming mainstream. Its proponents point out success home-schooled children have had on standardized tests and in high-profile competitions such as the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Once relegated to using teaching materials from private schools, home schooling has spawned countless cottage industries that sell everything from textbooks to T-shirts. Nearly 200 vendors (including the Boyers family, selling books and recordings) are on hand at the convention.
I wonder what effect ‘mainstreaming’ will continue to have on homeschooling. As homeschooling’s practice mirrors ‘standard’ educational goals more closely, how long will it be before homeschooling is indistinguishable from ‘standard’ schooling? If it ever becomes indistinguishable, what will keep it legally separate from ‘standard’ schooling?
Cultural Dissent, Madhavi Sunder, UCLA excerpt
footnote, page 512 (emphasis added)
101. See, e.g., CLIFFORD, THE PREDICAMENT OF CULTURE, supra note 100, at 277-346 describing court’s inability to conceive the Mashpee Indians as a “tribe” because of years of assimilation and erosion of their cultural distinctiveness); Marie R. Deveney, Courts and Cultural Distinctiveness, 25 U. MICH. J.L. REFORM 867, 875 (1992) (critiquing the “common judicial conception” that cultural distinctiveness warrants accommodation “only where members of the dominant culture find easily perceived, usually material, manifestations of the minority culture both to be starkly different from their own and to be essentially unchanged from the culture at a time which the dominant culture associates as being ‘authentic'”). To this extent, law’s traditional deferential approach has been good to the extent law has not required a cultural or religious group to show any consistency of belief. See, e.g., Thomas v. Review Bd. of Ind. Employment Sec. Div., 450 U.S. 707, 714 (1981) (“[R]eligious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.”).
Which might buckle first? Compulsory schooling laws, or homeschooling’s exclusion from them?
Other items about homeschooling and mainstreaming are:
- Home Schooling: From the extreme to the mainstream, October 2007, Studies in Education Policy, Fraser Institute
- Homeschooling, A Feminist Challenge, 4 September 2001, FOXNews.com
- Homeschooling goes mainstream, November 2001, HR Magazine
- Schoolhouse rocked, 21 March 2004, Boston.com
- Family lessons: Home schooling is attracting mainstream families for a variety of reasons, 28 December 2004, St. Louis Dispatch (archived at WorldWide Religious News)
- Homeschooling goes mainstream, 18 February 2005, The Lompoc Record
- Homeschooling: It’s not what you think, 26 June 2005, Tampabay.com
- Homeschooling Exodus, 19 September 2007, Happy Homeschooler (blog)
- Home Schooling Is Going Mainstream, October 20, 2007, Homeschooling Book (blog)