Indiana’s School to Prison Pipeline debacle has given Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) a reason to do a number of surveys to help us discern where problems lie.
First, the responses we received from our survey in 2016 should remind us to pray for public school teachers. Their job is a difficult one. Since prayer and Bible reading are no longer the norm in schools since the 1960’s, there is no ultimate standard taught for “why” students should “do the right thing” which makes it difficult to encourage the morally right behavior. Teachers must deal with other behavioral issues due to lack of proper parenting at home. The breakdown of the family is exacerbated when everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Additionally, our education system is being nationalized as well with federal regulations making teachers’ jobs very challenging.
Second, many of the reasons families exit the school is beyond their control. Square pegs are forced into the round holes of standardization, but we know that children are not made with cookie cutters. Often parents feel forced to homeschool out of a desperation to take their child’s education into their own hands. Fortunately, Indiana has a long history of positive results when home educating families take the reins of their child’s education.
We asked parents why they transferred their student from public school to home school in the years 2013-2016. The reason we asked about those years is that those are the years the State claims there were 30,000 “homeschool dropouts.”
Here’s what these families told us. We received responses from at least 74 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Some did not specify their location. Most had multiple reasons why they left the school, which is the reason some response totals exceed 100%.
Survey Results: Reasons for Transferring to Homeschool
1.) Never enrolled or “called to homeschool” 23%
- Never in public school
- Were in public school and felt “called” to homeschool
2.) Dissatisfaction with former school 29%
- Safety concerns
- Negative socialization in school
- School staff
- Class size
- Balanced calendar
- Weekly weighing
3.) School Curriculum 26%
- Common Core
- Revisionist history
- Data collection
- Tablet-based work that cuts out parent
- Busy work
- Lost love of learning
- Poor school rating
- Developmentally inappropriate
- School regulations
- Direction school was heading
- Private school conformed to state regulations
- Spend a month to prepare for standardized tests
4.) Faith 16%
5.) Desired Individualization 29%
- Desired more family time
- Tailor education
- Desired half-day kindergarten
6.) Special Needs 34%
- Special Needs
- Unmet needs
- Requiring unwarranted meds
- Chronic health issues
- Mental health issues caused by the school
7.) Private School 5%
- Cost of private school
- Private school cut grades offered
- Private school closed
If the problems above were corrected in their school, would they return?
- Yes 14% 14%
- No 86% 86%
In conclusion, we also asked parents to provide testimonials for the Indiana Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. IAHE encouraged legislators to review these. These children are thriving with Indiana’s low regulations.