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Archive for October, 2009

This post reviews Philip Marzluf, “Writing Home-Schooled Students into the Academy” in Composition Studies 37, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 49-66

Marzluf, professor and director of the writing program at Kansas State University, here pens a thoughtful reflection on the challenges that arise in composition courses when conservative Christian homeschoolers enroll in them.  (more…)

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This post reviews Cheryl Fields-Smith and Meca Williams, “Motivations, Sacrifices, and Challenges: Black Parents’ Decisions to Home School” in Urban Review 41 (2009): 369-389

Fields-Smith, a professor at the University of Georgia, and Williams, at Georgia Southern, here offer an important contribution to the literature on parental motivation for homeschooling.  This article is the first to look carefully at African American homeschooling parents to determine their motivations.  (more…)

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Yesterday homeschooling activist lawyer Chris Klicka died after a 15 year battle with multiple sclerosis.  Klicka was hired by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in 1985 before it had really gotten off of the ground, and he helped grow it into the powerhouse advocacy organization that it is today.  In my book on homeschooling history Klicka gets extensive treatment because of his central role at HSLDA.

Klicka also wrote one of the first histories of the homeschooling movement, Home School Heroes: The Struggle & Triumph of Home Schooling in America.  Though it has its flaws, it contains some great first-person accounts of pivotal moments in the legal history of homeschooling and some revealing insider information about HSLDA.

As you can see from the in memoriam page posted by HSLDA, Klicka was a pious Christian and a devoted family man.  He leaves behind his wife Tracy (read her journal describing Chris’ last days here) and their seven children, all of whom were homeschooled.  Though many people with whom I spoke in the course of my research do not share all of Klicka’s political or theological opinions, he was universally regarded as a generous and compassionate human being.

Klicka’s death is a real loss for the movement and a milestone in the history of homeschooling.  I tend to interpret the history of the homeschooling movement thus far as having had three phases.  Phase one was the era of Holt and the Moores.  Phase three is the recent trend toward a more mainstream and hybridized movement.  It would not be an overstatement to call phase two, when HSLDA was the dominant force in American homeschooling, the era of Chris Klicka.

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This post reviews Chad Olsen, “Constitutionality of Home Education: How the Supreme Court and American History Endorse Parental Choice” in Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal 2 (2009): 399-423

Olsen, a law student at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, here provides a fascinatingly detailed, though flawed, analysis of the famous In re Rachel L. case, the 2008 California Court of Appeals decision that unleashed a national outcry by finding that California law did not permit homeschooling.    (more…)

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Continuing the theme of last week’s post, here follows a round-up of more recent treatments of homeschooling in the mainstream press.

First, here is a human-interest piece from the New Yorker about homeschooled child actors.    (more…)

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