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STEPHEN HOWSLEY

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I was homeschooled from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I had a really excellent experience with homeschooling. I was able to take classes with other homeschoolers, a co-op, which was a one day a week school sort of situation. That was really great and a great option for our family. It worked out well and allowed us to be flexible on how my parents educated us.

There’s this idea of homeschooling being a freedom here in Texas, and that freedom is predicated on an understanding that we have rights as parents, or family rights. When you go to the legislature, there are only a few organizations that are actively working on parental rights legislation, such as BPS reform and family law reform. Personally, I’m just a huge fan of school choice in general and homeschooling being one of the great educational options that Texans have. It’s a right worth fighting for.

I think homeschooling when it first started, it was primarily people of religion that were doing it, but not exclusively. They liked the fact that they could teach the subjects that they wanted to. They liked that they could be more flexible on being able to incorporate religion into their homeschool. It has changed a lot. Homeschooling has become mainstream now and it’s a widely, nationally and internationally accepted form of education, so that changes it a little bit. Now, people look at it more as a progressive way to educate your children; to educate your children differently and stretch them in a way the public school system might not be able to.

For me personally, I would love to start out homeschooling my kids, for several reasons. Mainly though it’s having the ability to incorporate my own religious beliefs into the child’s education. To give them that foundation. At some point, they might transition to public school or private school or charter school or some other option.

School choice to me really means giving parents as many options as possible when it comes to the education of their children. Anything that gives families more flexibility with their educational tax dollars and with any other things that have to do with education, I’m a huge fan of giving parents and families more freedom in those areas.

When homeschooling became legal in the 1990’s, the community was very tight-knit. We wouldn’t have the freedoms that we have today without the activists that defended homeschooling. I encourage homeschoolers to incorporate these support groups into your homeschool family, and for you to also support them during your journey.

BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE
BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE