Mike Donnelly, adjunct professor of government at Patrick Henry College and a staff attorney at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), joins the podcast to talk about homeschooling. We begin our discussion with a brief history of the homeschool movement back in the 1950s and ’60s, noting both its secular and religious origins, and how the movement expanded rapidly in the 1980s. Prof. Donnelly provides some demographic context to our discussion by telling us who is most likely to homeschool and the reasons these families choose to do so. Our converstation covers the concerns over academic achievement (on standardized testing and college performance) and socialization. As for the latter, Mike reveals that homeschoolers are not any less well socialized than their peers in public or private schools. The latter half of the podcast focuses on various legal hurdles facing homeschoolers and Mike recounts several of the specific cases that he has litigated, including one involving a German homeschooling family that sought asylum in the United States. We finish with a brief discussion of the HSLDA and Patrick Henry College, a recently-created institution of higher learning that caters to homeschoolers but also accepts students educated in public and private schools.
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