EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnMANAGING EDITORrnTheodore PappasrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, ]r.rnEDITORIAL ASSISTANTrnChristine HaynesrnART DIREGTORrnAnna Mycek-WodeckirnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSrnJohn W. Aldridge, Harold O.].rnBrown, Katherine Dalton, SamuelrnFrancis, George Garrett,rnE. Christian Kopff, Clyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrnJanet Scott Barlow, ]ohnrnShelton ReedrnEDITORIAL SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnPUBLISHERrnAllan C. CarlsonrnPUBLICATION DIRECTORrnGuy C. ReffettrnCOMPOSITION MANAGERrnAnita FedorarnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnRochelle FrankrnA publication of The Rockford Institute.rnEditorial and Advertising Offices:rn934 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103.rnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5054.rnAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5811.rnSubscription Department: P. O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-877-5459.rnFor information on advertising in Chronicles,rnplease call Rochelle Frank at (815) 964-5811.rnU. S. A. Newsstand Distribution by Eastern NewsrnDistributors, Inc., 1130 Cleveland Road,rnSandusky, OH 44870.rnCopyright © 1992 by The Rockford Institute.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicles (ISSN 0887-5731) is pubRshedrnmonthly for $24 per year by The RockfordrnInstitute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford,rnIL 61103-7061. Second-class postage paidrnat Rockford, IL and additional mailing offices.rnPOSTMASTER: Send address changes tornChronicles, P. O. Box 800, Mount Morns,rnIL 61054.rnThe views expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford Institute or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressedrnstamped envelope.rnChroniclesrnVol. 16, No. 12 December 1992rnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn ‘Homeschooling’rnHelp! M’aidezl Snivel While perusingrnyour excellent September 1992 issue, Irnwas horrified to see two articles espousingrninaccuracies about homesehooling.rnFirst, E. Christian Kopff. In his articlern”Ignorance and Freedom,” he repeatedlyrnstates (without any source) thatrn”‘Bible-believing’ Christians are stronglyrnopposed to learning [Latin, Greek, Hebrew,rnand German] and allowing theirrnchildren to study them.” This is news tornme. My Big Book of Home Learning,rnone of the standard resources for Biblebelievingrnhomeschoolers, includes fourrnchapters on resources for learning foreignrnand classical languages. Many ofrnthe programs I reviewed are also widelyrnadvertised in homeschool magazines,rnwhich largely eater to Bible-believingrnChristians.rnI also object to Anita Evangelista’s essay.rnThe burden of this article appearsrnto be that homeschoolers, dullards thatrnwe are, force our children to sit for hoursrnat school desks filling out workpapersrnand breaking for new classes at thernsound of a bell. As the author of eightrnbooks on homesehooling and as someonernwho is in close touch with homeschoolersrnfrom around the country, Irnmust say that I have never met even onernhomesehooler who meets Mrs. Evangelista’srndescription. If anything, homeschoolersrntend to be too fond of “unitrnstudies,” meaning unpressured timernspent researching areas of personal interest,rnoften with the sketchiest parentalrnguidance.rnThe article is filled with other inaccuraciesrnas well. To name just three.rnFirst, Mrs. Evangelista says that estimatesrnas to the number of homeschooledrnchildren range between 10,000rnand 200,000. Actually, knowledgeablernestimates range between 200,000 andrn500,000—the “10,000” figure dates fromrnten years ago. For example. TeachingrnHome magazine alone has a data basernof over 200,000 homesehooling families,rnmany of whom are teaching more thanrnone child. Second, she claims, “Not allrngovernment districts ‘permit’ homeschooling.”rnIn fact, homesehooling isrnlegal everywhere in the United States,rnalthough the conditions under which itrnis legal may vary. See the Home SchoolrnLegal Defense Association’s publicationrnHome Schooling in the United States: ArnLegal Analysis, which includes the actualrnstatutes for each state. Third, shernclaims that state mandates requirernhomesehooling children to be “subjectedrnto tests of their ability to memorizerncertain ‘official’ facts.” Even in Missouri,rnher own home state, this is notrntrue. The Missouri law specificallyrnstates, “Nothing in this section shall requirerna . . . home school to include inrnits curriculum any concept, topic, orrnpractice in conflict with the school’s religiousrndoctrines.” Missouri, like manyrnother states, allows families to documentrntheir homesehooling efforts by maintainingrneither “a plan book, diary, orrnother record indicating subjects taughtrnand activities engaged in,” “a portfolio ofrnsainples of the child’s academic work,”rnand “a record of evaluations of thernchild’s academic progress” (which doesrnnot necessarily mean national standardizedrntests); or “other written, crediblernevidence equivalent to [the first threernoptions].”rnI also object to the use of John TaylorrnGatto’s credibility and ideas (used, asrnfar as I can tell, without his permission)rnto blast all homeschoolers who are notrnideologically pure unschoolers and extremernlibertarians. If John Taylor Gattornthinks homeschools, in Mrs. Evangelista’srnunhappy phrase, are “perpetuat[rning] some of the public schools’rngreatest failings” and are “in the processrnof creating . . . a permanent underclass,”rnlet him write a Chronicles article himself.rnIf not, quit using him like a ventriloquist’srndummy.rnI object, too, to Mrs. Evangelista’srnMarxist tactic of dividing homeschoolersrninto “educationally correct” and “educationallyrnincorrect” camps. Let’s getrnclear about this—the vast majority ofrnhomeschoolers would fight to the deathrnfor the right to homeschool any way theyrnwant. With bells. Without bells. Withrndesks. Without desks. In real life, mostrnhomeschoolers use a combination ofrntechniques, ranging from unschoolingrnto “living books,” to textbooks and workbooks,rnto unit studies, to apprenticeships,rnetc. The pros and cons of the differentrnmethods are vigorously debatedrnin the homesehooling press. None ofrnthis openness of thought and practicern4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn