“Homeschooling is here to stay. And we are utterly fascinated about it and want to find out more.” This was the clear message from presenters at the launch of Homeschool Hub, a new repository for homeschooling information and research.

The hub is expected to be a world-class source of homeschooling knowledge and is the result of a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins School of Education Institute for Education Policy and EdChoice. (You can read a blog story by EdChoice about the launch here.)

This is the first time a major university has backed homeschool research on this scale.

HSLDA attorney Kevin Boden and I attended the launch in Washington, DC, along with Callie Chaplow from Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV).

We wanted to see for ourselves what homeschoolers could expect, as the Homeschool Hub has certainly generated discussion among the community. We have had questions from homeschoolers about whether they should be concerned by the Homeschool Hub, particularly since international entities like the World Bank and Johns Hopkins University are involved.

The general tenor of the evening left us feeling optimistic.

Law On Our Side

Robert Enlow, president and CEO of EdChoice, kicked things off by quoting favorably from the US Supreme Court’s landmark 1925 decision, Pierce v. Society of Sisters: “‘The child is not the mere creature of the state….’” He then reminded attendees about the importance of this decision and its affirmation of parental rights as a fundamental right protected by the US Constitution. “This is a core foundational belief in the homeschool community,” he said.

Panelists like Angela Watson, PhD, from Johns Hopkins, University of Arkansas Professor Timberly Baker, PhD, (a homeschool mom and professor who spoke glowingly about home education), and John Kristoff with EdChoice (a homeschool graduate) are clear supporters of home education who have personally seen the success of homeschooling, and they will bring that perspective to the Homeschool Hub.

On the other hand, another panelist, Washington Post reporter Laura Meckler, reiterated the tired (and false) trope that homeschooling leads to child abuse. But we were pleased to see other panelists push back on her assertion.

We believe Meckler was at the launch primarily in her capacity as a reporter—she contributed to a series of critical articles about homeschooling in the The Washington Post this past year. We don’t expect her to have any ongoing involvement with the Homeschool Hub. (You can read some good responses to those articles here, here, here, and here).

There is no question that homeschooling has become mainstream. It is no longer a fringe educational option. And as HSLDA President Jim Mason said, “We are here to stay.”

And with that, we welcome organizations like Johns Hopkins University recognizing the importance of homeschooling. We know they will find what we have seen all along: Loving parents are their children’s first and best educators. And homeschooling works.

So as John McClane of Die Hard once said, “Welcome to the party, pal!”