the darker side of homeschooling – and a chance to help

Some homeschooling experiences are wonderful. some – like my own – are a mixed bag of good intentions and flawed actions together with limited ability. Others are downright terrible.
A lot of people don’t want to admit that can be abused, can be an easy way to abuse children, but it is.
Mary’s story is a horrific story of phsyical, emotional, sexual, and educational abuse and neglect gone on for decades thanks to unmonitored homeschooling.

Sarah’s story is one of mental health neglect and frightening abuse, again made possible by homeschooling, and made sensible to parents because of some of the darker beliefs of the quiverfull movement. I’m sure her parents would say they believed their actions pleased God…. and now she’s left on her own, legally blind, without a college education (you can contribute money after reading her story, if you would like to help.)

Josh Powell’s parents homeschooled for religious reasons but apparently were not equipped to provide an education to their children, leading to educational neglect. “By the time he was 16, he had never written an essay. He didn’t know South Africa was a country. He couldn’t solve basic algebra problems.”

Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out (HARO) would like to help with these kinds of problems.

HARO – the expansion of Homeschoolers Anonymous – is raising money to become a 501c(3) – “a real, live non-profit”.
I have been following Homeschoolers Anonymous since the beginning, and I am very excited about their initiative to make homeschooling better for future generations.
You can help by donating money to the Indiegogo campaign  to make HARO possible, and of course follow to get informed on issues in homeschooling. If you were homeschooled, you can submit your own story and help raise awareness about problems in homeschooling, to help make homeschooling better.

From the campaign page, here are some of the projects that HARO has planned:

Homeschoolers Anonymous website

The Homeschoolers Anonymous website will get a professional makeover, greatly improving its internal structure and usability. We also plan to set up a forum with dedicated moderators.

Annual HARO Convention

This wouldn’t be a homeschool-related organization if we didn’t plan a convention, would it? In all seriousness, the internet is a wonderful tool for disseminating information, but in-person community and engagement is important as well. To this end, we will develop an annual HARO convention to begin in 2014.

The Mary Project:

Named in honor of the pseudonymous author of our most popular series, the Mary Project will undertake a public awareness campaign to fight child abuse in homeschooling communities — the campaign that we asked HSLDA to undertake and that HSLDA ignored.

Broken Arrows Initiative: 

The Broken Arrows Initiative will create a tangible and concrete support system for homeschool graduates in need, as well as lifelines for current homeschool students in unhealthy situations. Physical, legal, and financial assistance are all included in this initiative.

R.A.H.A.B.: Research Alliance for Homeschooling Attitudes and Beliefs

Concrete data is important when you’re working with any demographic, and homeschoolers are no exception.  Data helps us determine where we can do the most good and evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts.  R.A.H.A.B. will be the arm of HARO that researches and documents data pertaining to the homeschooling movement.

If you’re still reading this and are excited about what HARO could do to help children and young adults, please consider giving money to help get HARO started

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