Testing the Homeschooling System
Many homeschooling proponents consider Missouri to be one of the best states in which to homeschool children, because state regulations do not require mandatory testing or teaching credentials. This has brought to the state many independent-minded people, who want to exercise their right to school choice freely.
The state’s homeschooling system is now being tested in divorce court. The wife in this case has homeschooled her children for eight years, having become disillusioned with the public school system after spending a year on the school board. Homeschooling parents have leapt to her support. She has given her kids standardized testing, even though this was not mandatory, and engaged them in activities like co-ops and scouting to help ensure they are socialized and well-rounded. Her husband, however, now wants to enroll the children in a private school.
Without speculating about the details of this particular case, this highlights the potential for vulnerabilities in the system. Parents should have the right to determine how their children are educated, and it is unfortunate that these particular parents cannot agree about what is best for their children. If the children are thriving in a homeschool situation, should the court take that into account when trying to arbitrate between their parents’ contrary wishes?