Illinois Reporters Use Tragic Child Abuse Case To Dishonestly Smear Homeschool Families

Rather than hold abusive parents or government workers accountable, reporters point fingers at homeschoolers.

Scientific American demands federal regulation and background checks for homeschoolers

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Scientific American, a 178-year-old science magazine published by the German-British Springer Nature Group, has prioritized ideology over science in recent years, having made clear its commitment to "advancing social justice" and to promoting progressive leftist perspectives absent counterpoint on various issues.

The publication, which broke with nearly two centuries of convention in 2020 and endorsed Joe Biden for president, has pushed social constructivists' pseudoscientific claims about gender; suggested Western science invented the sex binary; advanced the suggestion that the science informing legislation against sex change mutilations is "disinformation"; and championed the use of irreversible and dangerous puberty blockers, which were long used to sterilize sex offenders.

Extra to arguing that the deep state isn't real, denying the possibility that wealthy elites profited from the pandemic, stressing the COVID-19 vaccine was safe, and declaring the lab-leak theory regarding COVID-19 "false," Scientific American has also wasted ink, time, and money on multiple articles claiming that math, the NFL, and fighting obesity are racist.

Scientific American recently directed its activistic energies to concern-mongering about homeschooling.

In its Monday "Today in Science" newsletter, Scientific American reiterated claims from an article published in the June issue of the magazine entitled, "Homeschooling Needs More Uniform Oversight," by "The Editors."

'Federal mandates for reporting and assessment to protect children don't need to be onerous.'

The magazine's editor in chief is Laura Helmuth, a University of California, Berkeley, graduate who was called out by a peer-reviewed medical journal, the BMJ, last month for ignoring science that undermined her preferred crumbling narrative on gender. Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist at Harvard University, recently called Helmuth a "woke fanatic."

Jeanna Bryner, the managing editor at the magazine, appears to be an ideologue of similar stripes.

The editors suggested that the Biden administration "must develop basic standards for safety and quality of education in homeschooling across the country."

"It is clear that home­school­ing will continue to lack accountability for outcomes or even basic safety in most states," wrote the editors. "But federal mandates for reporting and assessment to protect children don't need to be onerous."

Scientific American suggested that in order to teach one's own children, parents "could be required to pass an initial background check, as every state requires for all K–12 teachers."

In addition to securing approval from Washington, D.C., to do what their forebears otherwise did freely, the editors suggested that parents "could be required to submit documents every year to their local school district or to a state agency to show that their children are learning."

While the editors sounded the alarm about the potential for abuse of students at home in the absence of federal regulation — despite the rampant abuse in the otherwise regulated public school system — they appeared more concerned about curricular content and the prospect some students may not be subjected to the orthodoxies of the day.

"Many parents are attracted to homeschooling because they want to have more say in what their child learns and what they do not," they wrote. "Nearly 60 percent of home­school parents who responded to the 2019 NCES survey said that religious instruction was a motivation in their ­decision to educate at home. Some Christian home­school­ing curricula teach Young Earth Creationism instead of evolution."

"Most states don't require home­schooled kids to be assessed on specific topics the way their classroom-based peers are," continued the editors. "This practice enables educational neglect that can have long-lasting consequences for a child's development."

It's unclear how productive the proposed changes would be granted the standards set by the government for the public education system appear to accomplish very little.

The Hill noted earlier this year that in 44 Chicago public schools, not a single student was performing at grade level in math. In 24 schools in Chicago, not a single student was reading at grade level. In 40% of Baltimore's city high schools, not a single student was satisfying standards in math.

Blaze News noted last year that the National Assessment of Educational Progress' 2022 assessment revealed that grade 8 students' history scores last year were the lowest they had been since the NAEP began monitoring in 1994. Significant declines in academic ability were also observed amongst public grade-schoolers in reading and mathematics as well as in other subjects.

In fact, the poor quality of the public education system is one of the reasons why homeschooling is so popular today.

The National Center for Education Statistics revealed in a September 2023 publication that the top reasons parents gave in a 2019 survey for homeschooling were: concerns about the school environment; to provide moral instruction; to emphasize family life together; dissatisfaction with schools' academic instruction; to provide religious instruction; to provide a nontraditional approach to education; and/or to help with their child's special needs.

In the years since, ruinous school closures, sporadic teachers' union strikes, and the politicization of the classroom likely also had a substantial impact.

The Washington Post revealed late last year that the number of home-schooled students jumped by 51% over the previous six years while public school enrollment dropped by 4%.

The Post found that for every 10 students in public schools during the 2021-2022 academic year across 390 districts, there was one home-schooled child. By October 2023, there was an estimated 1.9 million to 2.7 million home-schooled students in the country.

Writer and home-school mom Heather Hunter responded to the Scientific American article, stressing it "selectively picked extreme examples from every anti-homeschooling argument."

"'Horrific abuse'? Many parents are taking their kids out of school because their child is getting abused/bullying and schools are doing nothing," wrote Hunter. "There have been numerous examples in just the past year of students ending up in critical condition in the hospital because of other students beating them so severely. People forget that there is also negative socialization. The vast majority of homeschool parents are loving and going above and beyond in their child's education.

"'Poor education'?" continued Hunter. "My daughter will be a second grader this fall (but now doing third grade curriculum in language arts) and can count to 100 in French, is learning about ancient civilizations, Latin, math, playing soccer, socializing with her friends at the homeschool co-op while doing art projects and learning science hands on in field trips and in nature."

Corey DeAngelis, senior fellow at the American Federation for Children and executive director at the Educational Freedom Institute, said of the proposed regulations, "Hell no."

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Homeschool your kids — they may be thankful that you did

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If I ever have children, they will never darken the door of a public school.

Parents who choose to homeschool can provide a much higher caliber of education than a public school, plus their kids won't be subjected to a barrage of unbiblical left-wing ideology.

I'm thankful that I spent hardly any time attending public school, that my mom taught me how to write, and that I was homeschooled for the latter portion of my pre-college education.

While I went to public school for a few months at the beginning of first grade, I ended up attending a private Christian school for the remainder of that year through the end of seventh grade.

My mom homeschooled me in eighth grade, but I wanted to attend public school for high school. That lasted even less time than my public school stint in first grade — I bailed after only a few days.

I ended up doing various forms of homeschooling throughout my high school years, including a co-op in ninth grade that involved two days of in-person classes per week and copious quantities of homework. In 10th through 12th grades, my education involved various formats such as homeschool curricula, online courses, and in-person classes with other homeschoolers.

Obviously, not everyone has the financial resources or time necessary to homeschool, but parents can still educate their children. My mom taught me how to write, beginning while I was attending private Christian school and continuing into my homeschooling years — and that skill carried through college and into my current career.

For parents who have the ability to homeschool, I'd highly recommend choosing that path — your kids just may be thankful that you did.

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