GWS :: twelve


The courts have always held that while the states have the right to regulate private schools, they do not have a right to say that private schools must all do exactly what the public schools are doing.

Parents are entitled under the Constitution to choose not just which school building they will send their children to, but what kind of schooling they want for them.

They are entitiled to a real educational choice, which means, the right to an education which may be in many ways significantly different from that given in public schools.

–John Holt in Growing Without Schooling, Issue 12

archived here.


  1. Interesting… in our state of Australia (NSW) they have over recent years mandated that private and state schools both teach to the NSW Australian Curriculum (they are in the process of bringing in a national curriculum so this is the NSW version of that). Earlier this year they extended that mandate to homeschoolers. You are required to show full paperwork demonstrating you have covered everything in the NSW curriculum for your child’s appropriate school year – you can’t individualise for your child (unless you do it on top of that content). Supposedly it is designed to catch those that are at the unschooling end of the spectrum where they have concerns about whether the kids are being taught but it penalises and limits those who are even at the Living Book and Classical Education of the spectrum; who I would suggest are already giving a vigorous education

    There is more detail here…including the way they brought in the requirements with no consultation of homeschoolers!

  2. wow, Sarah! thanks for sharing so much from your neck of the woods. i’m sorry that such penalties exist. this John Holt quote comes from the early 1980s when homeschooling was technically against the law in the U.S. now it is legal in all states, though with more or less state oversight depending where you live. there is a push towards common curriculum…i wonder how things will change for homeschoolers in the future.

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