Homeschooled: an autoethnography of education, freedom, and control

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Engle, Mary
Grutsch McKinney, Jackie
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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Thanks to the skyrocket of homeschool rates as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the topic of home education in the United States is more relevant than ever before. In this autoethnography, I write about my story as a homeschool alumna who lived in the homeschool community until I left home to go to college. I explore my complex identity as someone who appreciates my homeschool education but also resents its far-right ideological underpinnings. This project examines the five stages of the homeschool movement from the 1970s to the 1990s and uses this historical background to make sense of the prevailing attitudes about home education today. I combined my personal knowledge about the homeschool community with research about current laws in order to bring forth concerns about problems within the homeschool community. I share my own personal stories about what it is like to deal with stereotypes and misconceptions that exist about students that are educated at home and bring to light a more clear picture of what homeschooling really looks like in the context of real peoples’ lives. Finally, I advocate for a future of homeschooling that is inclusive and focused on building a homeschool culture that prioritizes what is best for students and not just what fulfills the hopes and dreams of conservative political and religious idealogues.