Home Educator's Family Times - Home Education & Family Services - Homeschool Support Network
Winter 2000
Volume 8, No. 1
Homeschooling to Celebrate 25 Years!!

by
Jane Boswell

The modern home education movement was resurrected in the late 1960's - early 1970's by the work of several dedicated educators and parents who recognized full well the dangers to children from a decaying school system. People like John Holt, Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, Dr. Pat Montgomery and others like attorney William Ball, tackled the hostile challenges of school authorities and state legislatures - literally breaking down barriers for the rest of us.
So we are excited to share the news of an official (and historic) meeting to celebrate and applaud homeschooling and its accomplishments in this country and abroad.

The official announcement reads:

"The modern home education movement is celebrating 25 years of outstanding accomplishments which make it the most rapidly growing educational alternative in the world today. The home education alternative is becoming a significant force in reshaping education around the globe.
Congressmen, state legislators, educational leaders, and the business community will partnership with dedicated families on Wednesday, October 18, 1995 in Colorado Springs, Colorado to celebrate and honor the international homeschooling movement.
We will be recognizing the pioneers who have provided the foundations which characterize home education: strong moral character, academic excellence, and ever-expanding psycho-social maturity coupled with responsible citizenship to pass on to succeeding generations."

What an exciting day for homeschooling families! This event not only marks a quarter of a century milestone for us but, I believe, will usher in another 25 years marked by cooperation and unity among homeschoolers, organizations and leaders who respect and defend the right of parents to choose the education of their own children.
An important aspect of the 'celebration' will include an examination of current issues facing homeschooling and parent's rights, and those challenges that will most assuredly loom in our path during the next 25 years. It will be important to plan strategies now - and together - to protect our next generation's freedoms and beyond. (I don't know about your situation, but our grown and married children have already announced that they plan to homeschool their children - with grandma's help.)
An essential part of that future planning will depend upon an atmosphere of cooperation. We must form a united front - not along religious, philosophical or political lines - but based upon a dedication to defend family autonomy and specifically the right of parents to homeschool their children, in this country and beyond. We must return, in a sense, and reclaim the passion of those early pioneers that truly forged a path for the rest of us.
As a member of the steering committee organizing this event, I was privileged on June 30, to meet homeschool leaders from many different states. The most interesting experience, however, was one I've had countless times but which always amazes me. You have probably had a similar experience ... In that formal conference meeting room where many of us met for the first time, there existed a bond - a connection - not because of skin tone, national origin, educational philosophy, or even religion - but simply the common denominator of love for our families - our children - that has helped us give them our best through homeschooling. However formal the meeting, there were no strangers among us. I was encouraged and hopeful at the continuation of this pattern. It represents a philosophy of respect, which allows us to remain unique while empowering us to lock arms and face challenges together under the same banner.
The first move toward a healthier future for home education has been taken. The International Coalition of Home Educators, a developing network of families, individuals and organizations committed to protecting home and family education, is a first and essential step in the process of linking the home education movement internationally.

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