Late in April, Harvard Magazine featured an interview with law professor Elizabeth Bartholet, a severe critic of homeschooling who has called for a “presumptive ban” of the practice. The interview summarized arguments Bartholet had made earlier in an 80-page article published by the Arizona Law Review

Responses began appearing online and in the media almost immediately.  Journalists, researchers, advocates, Harvard graduates, and other friends of homeschooling pointed out how Bartholet’s views mischaracterize the movement and threaten freedom.

Many of these replies are linked to below.

APRIL 14, 2020

Not only is homeschooling superior, it is better for children by orders of magnitude on every front.—Alex Newman, columnist for The New American,
Harvard Law Plots Attack on Homeschooling, Parental Rights

APRIL 19, 2020

In essence, this article is not an attack on a form of education some might view as lesser quality. In essence, this article is an attack on the fundamental rights and freedoms that make our country (and until recently, institutions such as Harvard) what they are.—Melba Pearson, homeschool grad and Harvard alumna,
Harvard Law School Calls for Ban on Homeschooling; Homeschooled Harvard Graduate on Why This is Wrong
Ironically, like so many missives from the ivory tower, Professor Bartholet’s argument and unacknowledged biases may accomplish the exact opposite of what she intends: highlighting the virtues of alternative education options in a world full of ‘experts’ ready to teach our children what is good and true and beautiful.—Alex J. Harris, homeschool graduate and Harvard alumnus,
I Have a Perspective

APRIL 20, 2020

Aside from its biting, one-sided portrayal of homeschooling families that mischaracterizes the vast majority of today’s homeschoolers, it is filled with misinformation and incorrect data.—Kerry McDonald, Senior Education Fellow at FEE, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, homeschool researcher, and homeschooling parent,
Harvard Magazine Calls for a ‘Presumptive Ban’ on Homeschooling: Here Are 5 Things It Got Wrong
Bartholet is concerned that home education is not regulated and that it is practiced primarily by conservative Christians who wish to shield their children from ‘mainstream culture.’—Dorothy Cummings McLean, journalist, essayist, and novelist
Harvard Mag Attacks Homeschooling: Parents Who Choose It are ‘Extreme Religious Ideologues’
While Bartholet speaks about the importance of giving children the ‘choice to exit’ the worldviews of their parents, her proposal to ban alternative modes of education is itself a proclamation of ‘no exit.’—Fred Bauer, columnist
Proposals to Ban Homeschooling Are an Attack on Pluralism
Basically, Bartholet stays up at night, worrying that some parent, somewhere, is preparing a lesson plan on Psalm 23.—Timothy P. Carney, political columnist, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and book author
Terrifying Liberal Tyrants Want to Ban Most Homeschooling Because They Hate 'Conservative Christian Beliefs'
Professor Bartholet is against ‘question[ing] science.’ She feels ‘it’s also important that children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.’ That all sounds great, but we know that in practice those can be newspeak codewords for training young people to respond to life in rigid, programmed, ideologically approved ways.—David Klinghoffer, author, essayist, and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute
Harvard Law Professor—Ban Homeschooling for ‘Question[ing] Science’

APRIL 21, 2020

Banning homeschooling would thrust thousands of children who left traditional schools to avoid maltreatment back into the very schools where they were victimized.—Mike McShane, director of national research at EdChoice, education policy writer,
Harvard’s Lazy Attack On Homeschooling, Forbes
Without citing specific examples, the civil rights and family law teacher argued homeschooled children are at higher risks of abuse.—Caleb Parke, associate editor,
Harvard Prof Calls Homeschooling ‘Dangerous,’ Says It Gives Parents ‘Authoritarian Control’ Over Kids, Fox News
In short, Bartholet’s view is that elite educators necessarily know better than parents and that it would be a disservice to children to let them be taught by the people who gave them life.—Alexandra DeSanctis, staff writer and visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center,
More Thoughts on Homeschooling and Harvard Magazine, National Review
Bartholet is pretty open about her program, which has less to do with ensuring equal educational opportunity across socioeconomic groups (ho, ho!) and more to do with extending the surveillance state, lest unsupervised proles make child-rearing decisions at odds with the priorities Bartholet would prefer to see enforced.—Kevin D. Williamson, correspondent and book author,
The War on Homeschooling, National Review
Totalitarianism by any other name still destroys the family, and this appears to be the intention of the article.—Tom Lindsay, former college professor and administrator,
To ‘Save The Children,’ Harvard Magazine Calls for the Abolition of the Family, Forbes
I think homeschooling and homeschoolers represent a powerful force to help save and serve not only the next generation but also preserve and protect many of the ideals upon which this country was built.—Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family,
Harvard Professor Slams Homeschooling—These are the Facts She Ignores, Fox News

APRIL 22, 2020

Bartholet insists on forcing homeschooled kids out of their homes to ensure that they are afforded their apparent birthright to learn about intersectional feminism and the correspondence theory of truth.—John Hirschauer, fellow in political journalism,
A Harvard Law Professor’s Assault on Homeschooling—and Parenthood, National Review
Of course, Bartholet bemoans the ‘authoritarian control’ of parents, but, like so many homeschooling opponents, she apparently has no qualms with the authoritarian rule of unelected educational administrators who have complete power to bypass the will of parents on all matters.—Luis Miguel, marketer and writer
Harvard Law Professor Calls for ‘Presumptive Ban’ on Homeschooling, The New American

APRIL 23, 2020

Like the vast majority of parents who choose other forms of education, the overwhelming number of homeschool families are led by good parents who are also good neighbors.—Michael Farris, president of Alliance Defending Freedom and HSLDA founder
Harvard Law Professor Attacks Homeschoolers, as She Envisions Them,
Bartholet wants the state to ride in on horseback and break up all those sinister gatherings in which families go through the multiplication tables together. Or discuss the Constitution. Or—sharp intake of breath—even study the Bible.—Kyle Smith, columnist
The Attack on Homeschoolers Is an Attack on American Ideals, National Review
While I can understand why some homeschool parents might be infuriated by this article, I’m primarily struck with a much different emotion: sadness. Some people might actually believe some of what is presented in the Harvard piece and think it is true—and they will never know the joy of homeschooling.—John Clark, author and speechwriter
Harvard’s Bizarre Take on Homeschooling, National Catholic Register
[Bartholet’s] worry, and the worry of all those who argue for weakening the parent-child bond, is that these parents will raise children who adhere to a vision of the good that differs from the morally acceptable viewpoints held by academics in their coastal conclaves.—Kelly Marcum, columnist
Harvard Law Professor Wants To Ban Homeschooling Because Christians Do It, The Federalist
The research shows that by every conceivable measure, homeschoolers outperform their traditionally-schooled peers. Black homeschooling has been the fastest [growing] segment of the homeschooling movement in recent years.—Marie Stroughter, writer and radio show host
Open Rebuttal to Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet, African-American Conservatives

APRIL 27, 2020

The core point that elitist critics seem to miss is that homeschooling is entirely voluntary. Families can teach at home as they like. The best thing about school choice is that parents can decide for themselves what learning services are best, without a scolding from their betters in Boston.—Liv Finne, Center for Education director
Elitist Harvard Professors Say They Do Not Approve Of Homeschooling, Washington Policy Center

APRIL 29, 2020

When all is said and done, the best regulator of the homeschooling parent is other homeschooling parents, motivated by desire to preserve their own and everyone else’’s freedoms.—John Rosemond, family psychologist
Living with Children: In Defense of Homeschooling, The Citizen

MAY 5, 2020

Upon reviewing Professor Bartholet’s article, we conclude that it suffers from contradictions, factual errors, statements of stereotyping, and a failure seriously to consider that the alternative to homeschooling—public schooling—shares the problems that she attributes to home education.—Patrick J. Wolf, University of Arkansas professor; Matthew H. Lee, University of Arkansas doctoral fellow; Angela R. Watson, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy senior research fellow.
Harvard Law Professor’s Attack on Homeschooling Is a Flawed Failure. And Terribly Timed, Too., Educationnext