An Incomplete Primer on Homeschool Freedom

by | Jul 8, 2022 | Articles

CHEWV believes that parents have the God-given authority and responsibility, as well as the Constitutional freedom, to educate and train their own children in the home environment. We do not hold that this necessarily prevents parents from delegating some of that responsibility to a private or public school, but we do believe that almost universally homeschooling is the best method to do what God requires. 

Because we believe that a parent’s responsibility to educate their children is derived from the Creator, we defend home education as an inalienable, God-given right. The right to homeschool does not originate with any legislature, but with God Himself.  This fact makes homeschooling more than an educational issue; it is more fundamentally an issue of religious freedom and of parental rights.  

God did not command the government to be responsible for educating our children. Children do not belong to the state, regardless of some government officials claiming otherwise.

So why do we submit to the government?  Because God requires it of us. He tells us to live obediently to the government as long as the government doesn’t forbid us to do what God requires or require us to do what God forbids.  That is why we can support those in other countries who raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord when that is opposed to their country’s law (because they must obey God rather than men); these families are an inspiration to us!  

By contrast, we would not support those in WV who do not obey our law’s administrative requirements. Annual assessments, while perhaps cumbersome, are certainly not disobedience to God. In fact, God has substantially blessed Americans and West Virginians with the freedom necessary to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!  It is our prayer and hearts’ desire that more and more Christian parents will choose to educate their children at home with a Christian worldview.  There is nothing in our law that prevents us from doing that.  If we’re not, it is because we are choosing not to do so, not because the law is preventing us from doing so.

However, when troubling trends or ideas do come up in our state, we must voice our opinions and seek to elect representatives who will protect and defend our freedoms.  CHEWV exists, in part, to help Christian parents band together to defend the freedom we all enjoy here in WV.

We remind you that educational law is passed at the state level, not in D.C.  Although federal funding has often been used as a tool to influence state policies, the actual laws are still written and executed at the state level. That is why CHEWV’s continued vigilance in each state legislative session has been, and will remain, immensely important to WV homeschooling.

Submission of forms and assessments as required by law is also an important tool for maintaining our current level of freedom. While some parents feel that they must defend or “prove” their educational prowess to the county, submitting only what is specified in the law is wiser.  Nothing additional is required nor usually prudent. Public school officials are generally only aware of whether homeschoolers do or do not comply with the law.  Do your part to ensure that no county official can claim that homeschoolers sidestep the law, cannot therefore be trusted, and so must be regulated more heavily.

Should we have to submit anything to the county?  Should the government have any type of oversight of children’s education?  These are fair and pertinent questions.  Whatever your answer, it should be pointed toward your state legislators.  State legislators enact laws that place boundaries around the educational bureaucracy. Departments of Education derive their power from legislative acts, past and present. 

Remember, though, that our freedoms (and responsibility) ultimately come from God. While you carefully follow the law’s requirements, and protect your family by not submitting more than what is required, look to God, not the school system, for accountability.  Your blessing and success come from Him.