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Educational Neglect

Learn About What Is And Isn’t Education Neglect And How To Report Homeschool Neglect

By: Andrea Dillon 

Homeschooling faces a lot of criticism. Many are skeptical of someone’s ability to educate their children; some even consider the entire process of homeschooling educational neglect. The accusation of educational neglect is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Let’s look at reasons others may mistake homeschooling as educational neglect, how to report homeschool neglect if there are legitimate concerns, what to do to protect your homeschool, and what to do if you are accused of homeschool neglect. 


What Is Educational Neglect

According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, “Educational neglect involves the failure of a parent or caregiver to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school or to provide appropriate homeschooling or needed special education training.”

What is the appropriate homeschooling or needed special education training? This will depend on the homeschool law of the state where the homeschooler is located. Read over your homeschool laws and connect with local homeschool associations and support groups to help understand what is needed to be legally compliant. 



Information For Homeschoolers About Homeschool Neglect 


Information On How to Report Suspected Educational Neglect 


Information For Homeschoolers About Homeschool Neglect 

Are you concerned about educational neglect? Want to know how to best prepare and protect your homeschoolers from this accusation? Get help below. 



How To Protect Against Educational Neglect 


What To Do If You Have Been Accused Of Homeschool Neglect


How To Protect Again Homeschool Neglect 

Many out there are very much again homeschooling; how do you protect yourself again an accusation of homeschooling? This is not legal advice but good practices to help you in the worst-case scenario. 

What To Do If You Have Been Accused Of Homeschool Neglect

If you are accused of homeschool neglect, don’t panic. 

  • Gather your information: homeschool proof (your NOI or whatever homeschool requirement you needed to do when you started homeschooling), your homeschool records (lessons plans, notes, photos, portfolios…), your homeschool assessments and evaluations. 
  • Connect with your homeschooling community. Ask about their experiences and legal representation recommended if this accusation escalates.

Some outside resources to consider:

17 Helpful Tips on how to protect your family | Kidjacked 

“When the Child Protective Service comes to your door, take it seriously. Never think that it can’t happen to you because you’re a good parent. It can, and has happened to millions of good parents.”


Homeschoolers and Social Services | Homeschool Is Legal

“Some materials published by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) include frightening scenarios that depict homeschoolers being threatened by agents of Social Services. But what are the chances that a homeschooling family would ever have contact with Social Services? Does HSLDA truly offer any real protection? And what other resources are available?”


Information On How to Report Suspected Educational Neglect 

Are you concerned about a homeschooling family you know and want to find out how to report for homeschool neglect? Check out the resources below.  


Connect With The Family


Things To Consider About Homeschooling 


How To Report Homeschool Neglect 

Connect With The Family 

If you suspect educational neglect, the first step is to talk to the family. Homeschooling families constantly have to defend their decision and “prove” they are schooling and that their children are learning to various family members, friends, and random strangers in public. Do not come from a place of accusation of neglect or intense questioning, especially by drilling the children on items you think they should be learning. Instead, offer to help. Offer to teach a lesson or do an activity on a subject that you maybe have more knowledge on than the parent. Spend time with the family to better understand what may be happening in the house. 

Please note the parents may not take you up on this. Their willingness will depend on your family dynamic or their comfort level. Them saying no does not automatically mean your fears are confirmed. 


Things to Consider About Homeschooling

If you have found this post in the interest of reporting homeschool neglect, please take a minute to read over this section. Homeschooling can look vastly different than public schooling. You have legitimate concerns. However, some of those might be alleviated by learning how homeschooling works and why it might not be as you assume or expect.  


Homeschooling Methods

Unlike the public school system, homeschoolers often use other methods of homeschooling that can seem foreign to those not homeschooling. Looking at the different forms of homeschooling might help identify the type of learning that is happening and why it could be different. 


Homeschool Schedules

While most people’s experience of schooling is the typical eight hours of school each day, that isn’t true for homeschoolers. There are various homeschool schedules that homeschoolers may use. 

Many homeschoolers intermingle learning throughout the day during regular interactions and usually spend only 1-3 hours of what would be considered formal education. These hours do not need to happen in the typical schooling hours, so there may be days/times that you would expect children to be “at school” that aren’t the same for homeschoolers. 

Homeschoolers also do not always homeschool every day of the week. Some families have weekend homeschooling, and some get it all done in four days. Each family is different and has created a schedule to meet their homeschooling and life needs. This is especially true for single homeschooling parents and homeschooling parents working full-time



Deschooling is another idea to consider before claiming homeschool neglect. New homeschoolers need time to acclimate to the different learning environments, and new homeschooling parents need time to figure out how to meet their children’s needs best. What might look like no schooling to you might be deschooling for that family. 



Many homeschooling families see progression differently than in a typical school setting. Homeschoolers are often allowed to progress at their own pace, which may mean they are on different levels in different subjects and skills. This is not neglect but allowing a child to learn at a speed of their own. While some homeschooling parents still follow a set of standards, many subscribe to allowing their children the flexibility to grow on their own time. 

The Coalition for Responsible Home Education has excellent information about recognizing educational deprivation to help as well. 



What about tests? Depending on the homeschooling laws in the homeschooler’s state, some assessment or testing may be done every few years. This can look like standardized tests, report cards, portfolios, transcripts, or other documentation. 


How To Report Homeschool Neglect 

Making an accusation is something that should be done with careful consideration. If you have looked over the above considerations and are still concerned about homeschool neglect, now what? 

Each state has different avenues for reporting educational neglect. The Coalition for Responsible Home Education has information for each state to help you reach the correct office to report. 



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