a man holds up a phone to cover his face

Why Gen Z Males Prefer the Right

by Robert Bortins

Gen Z males are leaning more right than left, a recent survey shows. When it comes to political momentum, it is easy to feel intimidated by cultural forces. Especially for younger generations, we are persistently told that revolutions come from youth, and the cultural tides are shifting because of young voices.

Moreover, when touted from the left, this can be disheartening, knowing that Gen Z fills the voter pool with indoctrinated principles planted by far, far leftist public academia.

Is there hope for Gen Z?

However, as politicians, Hollywood, and mainstream media bully conservatives with these empty talking points, the data shows the opposite. And this is especially the case with Gen Z males.

In episode 71 of Refining Rhetoric, Robert explores why Gen Z males are leaning conservative twice as much as liberal, as discovered by a recent survey that contradicts the widely held narrative that Gen Z has a leftist bent. There is hope for Gen Z.

Check out the episode below. Listen to other episodes on Refining Rhetoric or check out “How Civility Can Save Our Country.

Why Gen Z Males Prefer The Right

Robert Bortins is the CEO of Classical Conversations® and the host of Refining Rhetoric. The company has grown from supporting homeschoolers in about 40 states to supporting homeschoolers in over 50 countries and has become the world’s largest classical homeschooling organization under his guidance.

a closeup of open hands

Factions & Fractions

by Lauren Gideon

As a classical educator, I can’t hide my enthusiasm when I find connections between the disciplines and realize the opportunity to practice the classical tools.

To set the stage, we are now walking full steam ahead towards securing the presidential party nominations and the November general election. If you are an active participant in politics or even just a spectator, you know that things aren’t just as simple as team red vs. team blue. Even in our system, dominated by two major parties, it’s not as if we’re separated into giant circles, holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

Why not?

Factions.

Factions – What divides us

Factions are smaller groups within the larger group that often have robust disagreements with other factions based on their differences of opinion. They usually take a bad rap but are a strong indicator of freedom. Our copious evidence for diversity of thought (factions) affirms our political tolerance for freedom of thought, speech, association, etc.

The word fraction is just one letter different and simply refers to a smaller part of the whole. These two words have much in common, but they are not related. However, our factions ARE fractions. It is human nature to form factions within our larger groups, like our families, churches, associations such as political parties, our nation, our world, or within all of humanity past and present, which are consequently fractions of different wholes. Madison discusses factions in Federalist No. 10, which explains the inevitability, the necessity, and the problems they can cause, but also how best to control their effects.

The conservative sphere is fraught with factions and, consequently, fractions. Now, what we know of political power in our republic is that when you divide your collective voice into smaller and smaller groups, it loses power and influence. Those concerned with efficacy are frustrated by these factions that fraction the influence of the whole. To consolidate influence, they cry for unity. Unity is nothing more than the combination of these fractions. And the fractions must combine to have any successful operations.

Combining fractions? Operations? That sounds like arithmetic!

Combining fractions requires the operation of addition. To add fractions, however, we must follow the rules of that operation. Step one is to attend to the elements. We know a fraction has both a numerator and a denominator. The denominator is also called the base.

Now, to combine fractions for the sake of an operation, we know that we must have a common denominator. How do we do that? First, we acknowledge that every denominator is the product of several factors. (I know I have yet to connect all the dots, but I hope you can see where this is going!) When we examine our denominator, we must do the diligence of sorting out all the unique factors. To get to a common denominator, sometimes we must let go of a factor and bring in a new one. Still, we must negotiate between fractions until we can develop a common denominator on which to operate.

Do we have to agree with everyone about everything then?

In short, “no.” You need to find a common base only to operate or TO DO something. That means the people or groups we work with can change based on the thing/things we are doing. For example, philanthropy is a factor/value of many groups that may disagree on theology or eschatology. But to operate on the base of philanthropy, we don’t necessarily have to factor in values that we don’t have in common. 

Politically, we all have bases that are the product of several factors. We have analyzed some of these factors and clarified how and why they became part of our base. We still need to analyze others to have that clarity on their value. Only through this understanding (dialectic art) can we be fruitful in our rhetoric. Clarity helps us find commonality, the essential ingredient for successful operations.

Commonality vs. Distinctions

But commonality is not our nature. Factions are notorious for obsessing over our distinctions. While clarity can come through distinctions, without an appropriate value on commonality, we can kiss operating goodbye!

So why do we prefer to focus on our distinctions? I’ll answer a question with a question. If we focus on what we have in common, or what is the same value, how can we prove the value of our factor to be superior?

We can’t. There is no foothold for our pride or ego when we seek to discover that which is shared or equal. Can it be pride at the root yet again? Surly not, and especially not within Christian conservativism. (I jest).

But before we all unify around the unity train, allow me this caveat

Our common denominator is only as valuable as the factors it contains. There will be those that cry out for unity for unity’s sake. Ignore their baseless cries. Unify on factors that are good, true, and beautiful. To do this, we must know these things, love them, and look for them in the world and people around us.

Philippians 4:8 ESV

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Lauren also contributed The Free-Market Education Table at the Potluck.

Lauren Gideon biography picture

Lauren Gideon is the Director of Public Relations for Classical Conversations. She has been a home educator since her first student was born 18 years ago. She came to Classical Conversations for support when the student count in their home grew beyond what she thought she could navigate on her own. The Foundations curriculum brought their family together, provided a scope and sequence that was manageable, and always directed their attention to Christ. Lauren credits her experience as a home educator and as a leader within Classical Conversations for giving her the classical tools to tackle whatever opportunities come her way. In addition to homeschooling her seven children, she co-leads community classes that unpack our nation’s founding documents and civic responsibility. However, she is happiest at home, preferably outside, with her husband of 18 years, tackling their newest adventure of building a modern homestead.

the Texas capitol building

Get Ready! March & April Homeschool Days at the Capitol!

Homeschool Days at the Capitol, Legislative Days, Capitol Days, Pie Day, and other similar events foster communication between parents and their elected representatives. Seize this excellent opportunity to teach your children the importance of the legislative process. Help them mature into civic leaders who will help protect American freedoms.

The chart below lists March and April Homeschool Days at the Capitol. You can also check your state’s dates here if it’s not listed below.

AlabamaApril 4, 2024
ColoradoApril 11, 2024
GeorgiaMarch 5, 2024
IllinoisMarch 22, 2024
IowaMarch 4, 2024
MarylandMarch 14, 2024
MissouriMarch 5, 2024
TennesseeMarch 26, 2024
a stature of George Washington

Stop Being Polite! How Civility Can Save Our Country

Can Education Save Civility?

“A refugee from the federal government,” Alexandra grew up in a home that prioritized politeness and viewed education as a lifestyle. Yet when she began working for the U.S. Department of Education, Alexandra soon discovered that her coworkers used politeness for corruption and also didn’t care about education. How can civility save our nation?

Politeness vs. Civility

In this conversation, Alexandra Hudson, award-winning journalist, speaker, and author discusses:

  • her disillusionment with the Department of Education
  • how to respect someone while sharing hard truths
  • the difference between politeness and civility
  • why we need less politeness and more civility in the world
  • why the left and right don’t share the same vision
  • not living a boxed life
  • how incivility hurts both others and ourselves
  • how one individual can start a quiet revolution that can change the world
  • how the classical model of education can be used to teach future generations the art of being civil.
Alexandra Hudson, author of The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves, originally aired on Dec 13, 2023. You can find a discount code for Alexandra’s book in the podcast’s show notes. Check out other freedom-loving episodes of Refining Rhetoric.

Robert Bortins is the CEO of Classical Conversations® and the host of Refining RhetoricThe company has grown from supporting homeschoolers in about 40 states to supporting homeschoolers in over 50 countries and has become the world’s largest classical homeschooling organization under his guidance.

A young boy and girl concentrate on their homework, writing together at a table

Oklahoma Bill HB 4130 – A Deeper Analysis

By Elise DeYoung

In recent months, Oklahoma and Michigan, two states that have historically had low regulation on homeschool freedoms, have sought to pass restrictive laws. These states both claim to be passing homeschool registration and oversight laws to prevent the abuse of home-educated children.

Since homeschooling became legal in 1992, many states have tirelessly attempted to oversee and regulate a parent’s right to home education. If you wish to learn about your state’s homeschool laws, you can do so by visiting HSLDA’s website.

You can learn more about the specifics of Michigan’s proposal and its problems here.

In Oklahoma, Rep. Amanda Swope has introduced HB 4130, which would require homeschool parents to send in a letter to the Department of Human Services requesting to homeschool their child, provide the information of every adult involved in the child’s education, and go through biannual background checks performed by the DHS.

While the intentions of Swope may sound noble at first (who wouldn’t want to put an end to the abuse of children?), this bill is founded on a false premise and represents a trend of state aggression towards homeschooling. For these reasons, Americans, especially in Oklahoma, must strongly oppose Swope’s bill to restrict and regulate homeschooling families.

The Narrative is Fabricated

The entire reason for the bill rests upon the premise that there is an epidemic of abuse among homeschooled children, and we need new legislation to address it. Sadly, for Swope and her bill, the statistical facts strongly contradict this narrative.

First, all of the evidence available shows that “homeschooled children are abused at a lower rate than are those in the general public, and no evidence shows that the home educated are at any higher risk of abuse.”(Ray, 2018) What’s more, a Gen 2 Survey found that homeschooled students are actually 257% less likely to be sexually abused than their government-schooled peers.

It is ironic that Swope’s proposed solution to the fallacious low abuse rates among homeschoolers is government regulation. This has yet to help public schoolers who experience constant state oversight. What makes her think it will help the homeschoolers in any way?

Additionally, according to the statistics, if Swope were truly concerned with addressing child abuse in her state, she would turn her attention to the place where children suffer the most—government schools.

Even if there were high rates of abuse among homeschooled children, there are already nationwide laws on the books that protect all children from abuse, including homeschoolers.[1] There is no reason to pass another bill. Oklahoma simply has to enforce the ones it already has in place.

So why do Swope and those who support HB 4130 want to pass it so badly? The answer is increased government oversight and regulation on homeschooling.

Government Overreach

To understand the extent of the government overreach within HB 4130, we must examine the document ourselves.

Letters of Intent

Paragraph F. reads, “On or before the school district start date, parents making the decision to choose homeschooling, podschooling, or microschooling shall submit a letter of intent to the Department of Human Services.”

A Letter of Intent can easily be dismissed as “normal” because many states require homeschooling parents to write a letter outlining their intent to homeschool. However, most states require parents to submit it to their local school district or to their state. The purpose of this is to inform their state schools that it is not responsible for their child’s education.

The difference is that with this bill, Oklahoma parents must submit their letter of intent to the Department of Human Services. Later in the bill, the letter of intent is referred to as “a request to homeschool” and may be denied by the DHS. Denial of a fundamental right to educate one’s child is an egregious abuse of power. Since when did the DHS (the civil government) have the right to determine whether a family has the right to homeschool their children?

The bill continues by explaining what information parents are required to surrender:

  • The names of the homeschooling parents
  • The social security numbers of parents.
  • The names of all the homeschooled children
  • The home address of the family homeschooling
  • The names of all individuals living at the home address
  • The names of “any associated individuals or organizations assisting with the child’s or children’s schooling.”
  • Along with “A brief statement for the decision of schooling”

Furthermore, this bill requires you to “reapply” for homeschooling by sending in a “subsequent letter of intent” every time you make a change in your initial decision to homeschool, whether it is “a result of a move or otherwise.”

Background Checks

Paragraph H. says, “When the Department of Human Services receives a letter of intent, it shall perform an initial background check on parents, other adults within the home, and any adults assisting in the children’s schooling.”

The fact that the DHS wants to perform background checks on parents to decide whether or not they have the right to home-educate their children is Orwellian. It also begs a fascinating question:

Why does this bill not include background checks for the parents of public school students? Those students are home, with no government supervision, for three whole months. Why isn’t Swope concerned about abuse in those homes?

Background checks on “parents, other adults within the home, and any adults assisting in the children’s schooling” is both a disturbing invasion into the homes of home educators and will also cause a multitude of issues for tutoring programs and independent educators who will now be subject to background checks by the DHS.

Biannual Checks

Moreover, parents must repeat all the regulations examined so far biannually. “The Department shall maintain a system to conduct biannual checks of the database and compile a database of individuals, facilities, and organizations that perform and assist with homeschooling, podschooling, or microschooling.”

This regulation means that by the time an Oklahoma homeschool student has graduated, the DHS will have made 24 reviews on that child’s security information, address, family members, homeschool organizations, and teachers.

The bill concludes that the DHS may deny “requests” to homeschool and will deny them if any adult involved in the child’s education has a “pending child abuse or neglect investigation” against them.

Constitutional Home Educators explains the danger of this vague wording: “There are so many loopholes here that could allow DHS to deny your request to home educate. It does not say just an abuse or neglect conviction; it includes a pending investigation. All it takes is an accusation.”

Oppose HB 4130

This bill represents an outrageous abuse of government authority and power. First, it is completely unnecessary and will be totally ineffective. Regulation does not reduce abuse. Second, the bill is designed to empower government-run agencies to dictate a parent’s right to home educate and to regulate that right if it is “approved” by the state. This bill is a blatant abuse of power and must be ardently rejected by the citizens of Oklahoma before it is instated and enforced.

Homeschool freedom is a right that many before us have fought to win. We cannot allow the state to deceive us into surrendering this right for a fabricated narrative and a false promise. All Americans must stand in support of Oklahoma citizens as they fight on the front lines for educational freedom.

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. Elise is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!


[1] (n.d.). 2022 Oklahoma Statutes Title 21. Crimes and Punishments §21-843.5. Child abuse – Child neglect – Child sexual abuse – Child sexual exploitation – Enabling – Penalties. Justia US Law. https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2022/title-21/section-21-843-5/

a person holding up a cardboard sign that says "Act Now"

Stand Against Oklahoma Bill HB 4130 Requiring Permission to Homeschool

By Elise DeYoung

Recently, House Bill 4130 was introduced to regulate homeschool families in Oklahoma. Americans must strongly oppose this bill to restrict and regulate families, because its narrative of abuse in homeschools is fabricated. This bill would introduce extreme government overreach into the realm of home education.

Homeschoolers have the fundamental right of autonomy to educate and disciple their children apart from state overreach. A more detailed analysis of this bill is coming, but due to urgency of action, here are some reasons to oppose it:

  1. Children do not belong to the state, but to the parents.
  2. Therefore, the Civil government has no authority or jurisdiction over homeschooling.
  3. The reasons for restricting and regulating homeschooling are baselessly supported, fueled by fear tactics.
  4. If passed, the state will require social security numbers and background checks for the purpose of tracking every home resident.
  5. If passed, parents may be subjected to home inspection visits.

For these reasons, we’d like to stand with our friends at HSLDA and oppose Rep. Amanda Swope’s bill. 

To join our efforts opposing HB 4130, please contact Rep. Amanda Swope to let her know that you oppose this bill.

Join the Fight to Keep Your Homeschool Freedoms:

  1. Tips For Contacting Your Lawmakers
  2. Letter and Phone Content Template
  3. Join the Oklahoma Capitol Day 2024
  4. Find out more about Constitutional Home Educators Alliance

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. She is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!

the back of a security guard wearing a bright green neon vest

Problems with the Michigan Homeschool Registration Regulation Proposal

By Elise DeYoung

This past month, I had the opportunity to speak to a Kentucky mom about her homeschool experience and the state regulations that Kentucky has in place for homeschoolers. I shared how Classical Conversations has strong feelings regarding state involvement in homeschooling. We believe that the state has no place in our classrooms and actively work to bar state intervention and influence. She asked me how much state regulation is too much, specifically in my state of Michigan. What a timely question!

Any State Regulation is Too Much Regulation

I explained to her that the position of CC is that any state regulation is too much regulation.

Recently, in Michigan, there has been a move to enforce homeschool registration, requiring homeschooling parents to inform their local government schools of their intention to homeschool. This Kentucky mom stopped me short and said, “Oh! We have that in Kentucky. Don’t worry about it. I only have to fill out a form saying I am homeschooling and turn it in to our local school. It really isn’t bad at all.”

Many Michigan residents and homeschool parents share this opinion. What is the harm in filling out a simple form?

Before concluding whether a homeschool registration is “really bad,” we must first understand what Michigan lawmakers are proposing and why.

In December of last year, Dana Nessel, the Attorney General of Michigan, proposed on X[1]

“implementing monitoring mechanisms” onto homeschooling to “ensure that all children, including those homeschooled, receive necessary protections [from abuse].” This demand comes after two families, the Flore family, and the Brown family, were allegedly found to have abused their children while homeschooling them. Nessel charged these parents with thirty-six child abuse crimes and with a conspiracy to commit these crimes [2].

In support of this announcement, House Education Chair and Representative Matt Koleszar wrote on X[3]

“Michigan is one of only 11 states that doesn’t count or register homeschooled children, and abusive parents are taking advantage of that to avoid being found out. It’s time to support all Michigan students and change that. Michigan cannot allow this loophole to continue.”

Their position is clear: Due to the alleged abuse of some homeschooled children, Michigan should enforce a homeschool registration bill – which would inform the state of who is homeschooling and where they are – so that it can protect the children within homeschooled families from abuse. Or, as Koleszar says so innocently in an interview on CBS[4], “We just want to know where they [the children] are.”

This argument seems very convincing at first. If signing a form saying we are homeschooling will save children from abuse, shouldn’t we just do it?

It is tempting to say yes; however, Michigan residents must oppose the homeschool registration proposal because:

  • the narrative is dishonest
  • state oversight does not protect children from abuse
  • state regulations always increase over time

The Narrative is Dishonest

It is important that we put the claim of Nessel and Koleszar – that abuse in some homeschool families justifies state oversight – into a statistical perspective.

Researchers have conducted many studies to address the question, “Do homeschoolers experience higher rates of abuse than public schoolers?” Each study has come to the same conclusion.

“Homeschooled children are abused at a lower rate than are those in the general public, and no evidence shows that the home educated are at any higher risk of abuse” (Ray, 2018)

On the contrary, A Gen 2 Survey found that homeschooled students are 257% less likely to be sexually abused than their public-schooled peers.

This begs the questions:

  • What is homeschooling doing right?
  • What is public school doing wrong?
  • Additionally, if there is more abuse in the public school system, shouldn’t our representatives focus their efforts there rather than seeking to regulate homeschoolers?

State Oversight Does Not Protect Children from Abuse

The main problem Koleszar has with Michigan’s current “lack of oversight” into homeschooling is that the state government does not know where a vast number of homeschooled children are. “They have simply fallen through the cracks,” said Koleszar on CBS. Because of this, the Representative says that the state has no idea whether these children are being educated, cared for, or, God forbid, abused by their parents. The solution offered is to put these children on a government database.

This solution assumes that government oversight prevents the abuse of children, and we must address this assumption. 

This is not the case.

For instance, consider the previous statistics that prove that there is more abuse in government schools than there is in homeschools. Students who attend public schools sit under the watchful eye of the government day in and day out. The state knows where they are.

Additionally, Michigan requires that teachers are all trained to spot signs of abuse and are required to report any suspected victims and abusers to the state.[5]. Do all these government regulations, requirements, and oversight result in lower abuse rates? The statistics prove that they do not.

But let’s set public schools aside for a moment and focus specifically on abuse in homeschools. Would state regulation decrease the abuse found here? Once more, the answer is no.

Nessel uses two families, the Flore and Brown families, as examples to prove why Michigan needs to register homeschooled children to the state to stop them from being abused.

Both examples fall apart when you learn that the children who were allegedly abused by their parents were adopted and foster care children. This is extremely significant because children in the adoption agency and the foster care system are already well known by the government – they know where they are.

Israel Wayne makes this point during an interview with CBS, saying,

“The two families that attorney Dana Nessel is using as examples are families who adopted children out of the foster care system, and legally, you can’t homeschool children who are in the foster care system, so this is not a fair illustration. But these children were deeply known by the Department of Child Services. Actually one of the fathers in that situation was actually a  CPS investigator by occupation… they were already on a government database, and so if they were truly child abusers (that has yet to be proven), they [the children] weren’t protected simply because their name was on a government database.”

In the exact examples cited by Nessel and Koleszar we can clearly see that being on a government database did not protect these children from the alleged abuse by their parents. What makes us think the results will be any different if implemented at a much larger scale?

The issue of the abuse of children being undetected is a Child Protective Services (CPS) issue, not a homeschool issue.

Wayne concluded his interview by stating that a homeschool registration “is not actually going to do what is being claimed. This will not protect children.”

Regulation Always Increases

During his interview, Koleszar was asked an insightful question by the CBS host, “Well, I imagine a lot of parents would say “Surely, they are going to want to do more than just knowing where the children are,” I mean, receiving a letter that says this child is homeschooled, how would you make that jump from understanding if they are in a safe situation to understanding if they are being educated. Surely there would have to be some kind of home visits, some kind of interaction, right?”

He responded by saying, “It’s fair to say that, but I think right now the main thing we need to do is know where – we have a lot of children who have fallen through the cracks, and we just want to know where they are.”

This answer is extremely telling. Koleszar refuses to admit the probability of increased oversight in the future while recognizing it as a “fair thing to say.”

We have already seen how children being on a government database will not stop them from being abused. So, if Koleszar is really concerned with minimizing the abuse of homeschoolers, he will have to instill more and more regulations to have the chance to attain his goal.

Registrations will turn into home visits, which will turn into state tests, which end in a state-regulated curriculum. We have seen this progression in other states, like New York and Massachusetts, that now have extremely high homeschool regulations. HSLDA has researched homeschool regulations by state.

The only result that will come of this proposal by Nessel and Koleszar is an eventual increase in government control and oversight of homeschooling without the promised results of reducing the abuse of children.

The Solution

“The present study’s findings, along with prior limited research, indicates at least three things for policymakers and others to  consider. First, there is no empirical evidence that homeschool students are at any higher risk of abuse than public school and private school students; some evidence indicates that the home educated might be at lower risk. Second, there is no empirical evidence that state control (regulation) of homeschooling does anything to reduce the potential for abuse of homeschool children. Finally, there is no credible empirical evidence that increasing any current levels of regulation of homeschooling would reduce the potential for abuse of homeschool students.(Ray, 2018)

Michigan residents must oppose the homeschool registration proposal because

  • the narrative is dishonest
  • state oversight does not protect children from abuse
  • state regulations always increase over time

Instead of unnecessarily and ineffectively regulating homeschoolers, the state should enforce the laws and make use of the child protective services that Michigan already has in place to help protect children from abuse in all places.

“Our view is that we don’t want to see abuse protected, we want to see every child protected. But we believe the best way to   do that is to prosecute known child abusers with existing laws that we already have on the books. And so, we believe that child protective services and state agencies need to use laws that we already have rather than creating needless bureaucracy that won’t actually protect children.”

– Israel Wayne

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. She is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!


Resources and Further Reading

For more information on this issue, you can listen to Israel Wayne. If you are interested in learning how you can help promote homeschool freedoms in your state, visit Classical Conversation’s Homeschool Freedom Action Center, Israel Wayne’s website, and Family Renewal.


[1] Nessel, Dana. X, 6 Dec. 2023, twitter.com/dananessel/status/1732395669824880823. Accessed 8 Jan. 2024.

[2] Nessel, Dana. “Attorney General Dana Nessel Charges 4 Adoptive Parents with 36 Child Abuse Crimes, Conspiracy.” Michigan Department of Attorney General, 4 Dec. 2023, www.michigan.gov/ag/news/press-releases/2023/12/04/attorney-general-dana-nessel-charges-4-adoptive-parents-with-36-child-abuse-crimes-conspiracy. Accessed 15 Jan. 2024.

[3] Koleszar, Matt. X, 5 Dec. 2023, twitter.com/koleszar_matt/status/1732025556818968823. Accessed 8 Jan. 2024.

[4] “Breaking Down Homeschooling, Childcare in Michigan.” CBS News, uploaded by CBS Detroit, 6 Dec. 2023, www.cbsnews.com/detroit/video/breaking-down-homeschooling-child-care-in-michigan/.

[5] Laws and Model Policies That Guide School Health Service Programs in Michigan. 2nd ed., Michigan Association of School Nurses, 2013. p. 7. Accessed at https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/mde/2021/10/18/ADA_Laws_and_Model_Policies_July_2021_final.pdf

a train station sign that says "Harvard"

Harvard’s Dilemma

By Robert Bortins

In a society where bad ideas have infiltrated even our most prestigious universities, it is essential that we stand up for truth in thought and excellence in education. 

Former Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned due to significant public pressure after she failed to condemn antisemitic speech on campus and was discovered to have committed many acts of plagiarism throughout her professional career. Sadly, the corruption at Harvard will outlive Gay’s presidency as the school continues to promote critical theory and DIE initiatives. 

In Episode 78 of ‘Refining Rhetoric,’ I explore the implications of woke hiring and firing, low academic standards, and a godless worldview at our universities and throughout our broader culture. Also, I highlight the important role Christians have in speaking out against these dangerous ideas while holding fast to Biblical truth and excellence. 

This podcast originally aired on Jan. 10, 2024. Check out other freedom-loving episodes of Refining Rhetoric.

Robert Bortins is the CEO of Classical Conversations® and the host of Refining RhetoricThe company has grown from supporting homeschoolers in about 40 states to supporting homeschoolers in over 50 countries and has become the world’s largest classical homeschooling organization under his guidance.

wooden Scrabble letters put together in a pyramid shape to spell out the word "government"

And So It Begins Again – The Fight Against Government Control

By Carolyn Martin, CHEC Director of Government Relations  

The march toward more government programs, government control over our families and livelihoods, and restrictions on our inalienable rights has begun. Last year was bad enough, but despite this being an election year, those who run our government have not finished implementing their complete transformation of our beautiful state. And so it begins again: today is the first day of the 2024 legislative session. 

Parental Rights & Religious Freedom Relinquished to Government Control 

Parents have relinquished their rights in exchange for the rights of the child. Special rights, ostensibly granted to oppressed groups, have overshadowed religious liberty. What about homeschooling? So far, we have kept the dam from breaking on our freedom to educate our children how we see fit. Yet, there is much opposition coming from many directions. State alphabet soup agencies, departments, and boards. School choice and anti-homeschool advocates. Local school officials and boards. Legislators on both sides of the aisle. 

Stand With Us 

There is no way I can withstand them alone. I rely greatly on God’s help to see and understand these attacks. But each of you also plays an integral part. First and foremost, this is a spiritual battle. God’s enemies hate what He has created – especially children, the family, and the church. Homeschooling is a lifeboat for the preservation of our families and our faith. You must stay true to His call to raise your families in the admonition of the Lord, or everything you do is meaningless. Pray to God for His protection and provision for me and every homeschooling family in this state. 

Commit to Stay Informed and Engaged! 

Unfortunately, I foresee many liberties being taken away from us this year. Let us ensure that the ability to homeschool without government control is not one of them! We have experienced God’s faithfulness since the enactment of the homeschool law thirty-five years ago. As we ask the Lord to show us what it means to be eternally vigilant and how to safeguard what He has given us, it will require sacrifice from each of us. 

“The price of liberty is vigilance.”  – Author Unknown

Will you sacrifice some time to stay informed and engaged during this legislative session? 

  • Join the Colorado Homeschool Freedom Team (HSFT) and the Facebook group. 
  • Share my weekly prayer emails (including a list of bills following and action items) and legislative blog posts with your group of friends. 
  • For a more in-depth understanding of legislation and the legislature, join the Legislative District Connection (LDC), which meets virtually once a month. 
  • Register and participate in Meet Your Legislator Day (MYLD) on Thursday, February 15th
  • Register and attend CHEC’s 30th Homeschool Day at the Capitol (DAC) on Thursday, April 11th
  • Watch for CHEC’s action alert emails and take action when needed! 

Attend CHEC’s Meet Your Legislator Day – February 15th! 

Read the original CHEC article

If you can do more, please contact me! 

Carolyn Martin serves as CHEC’s Director of Government Relations, working for you and other liberty-loving families to protect homeschool freedom, parental rights, and religious liberty at the state capitol. Subscribe to the CHEC blog for Carolyn’s regular updates, learn more about legal issues in Colorado, and support Homeschool Freedom. Contact Carolyn directly at carolyn@chec.org

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Colorado: Meet Your Legislator Day on February 15

By Carolyn Martin, CHEC Director of Government Relations

The following was originally published as “Legislative Update for December 20, 2023” at CHEC.org. It has been republished here with the author’s permission.

Laws, Rules, and Guidance

It is vital that homeschoolers meet their legislators and participate in Homeschool Day at the Capitol and Legislator Day events to protect homeschooling freedom. The legislature solely holds the authority to make laws, while the Executive Branch departments or agencies set the rules for implementing and enforcing those laws. They then use their rules to create guidance on how to follow the rules and comply with the law.

Over the past several years, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has been working on revising the rules around public school financing. The broad rule-making authority has been given to the State Board of Education (BOE) to promulgate rules around part-time programs (CRS 22-54-103(10)(e.5)). The BOE, an elected body, will be reviewing and voting on these rules in February. These changes will impact some part-time public-school programs utilized by homeschoolers.

Changes to Part-Time Programs?

Teacher Qualifications: Technically, they have not changed their guidelines around teacher qualifications for schools receiving funding. At the BOE meeting on December 13th, the CDE representative said they merely moved some of the language from their guidance document into the rules for clarity. School districts, charter schools, and BOCES can still receive waivers to allow teachers who do not have a teacher’s license to teach classes. Additionally, they made it clear in the rules that classes where the parents are the teachers will not be funded.

Eliminate K–5th Grade Online Part-Time Programs: They will no longer fund part-time pupils for asynchronous supplemental online learning for K–5th grade students. This is a change from current policy but is within their authority to decide. Those students must enroll in an online district school to receive those types of services.

Contracts With Instructional Providers: According to CDE, local school districts, charters, and BOCES have the authority to contract with third parties to provide educational services. From what they said, the proposed rules do not change the local control aspects of this provision, but they do add more accountability to these programs by adding additional documentation and hoops for them to go through to be funded.

Impacts on Independent Homeschoolers?

As long as a homeschool family does not enroll in a public-school program, these rules do not apply. While the attitude of education bureaucrats remains opposed to our right to homeschool, these rules do not threaten the homeschool law. But, as Treon Goossen, one of the co-authors of Colorado’s homeschool law, wrote concerning the danger of the emergence of part-time public-school programs, “The public school system wants the public/parents to believe that ‘it is all homeschooling’ so when they make their move to eliminate the control of parents over their independent homeschools and thrust them back under state control — it will appear to be the most natural thing to do.” (Read the full article and connect the dots.) She contended that these programs are a threat to our liberties.

As you know, CHEC works closely with HSLDA on all matters related to homeschooling. HSLDA’s position is that the current proposed rule changes only affect taxpayer-funded public programs and do not threaten the homeschool law. Additionally, HSLDA does not support tax-payer-funded public programs as the programs themselves have the potential to undermine private home education. CHEC and HSLDA will continue to work to ensure homeschooling families remain as free as possible from government control.

Remember: what the government funds, the government controls. CHEC envisions families honoring Jesus Christ by embracing Christ-centered home discipleship and free from government control. We will continue to monitor these rules as they move through the process and keep you informed.

Attend CHEC’s Meet Your Legislator Day – February 15th!

Find out what CHEC is doing this year and register. You won’t want to miss this opportunity for you and your family to help protect the homeschool law in Colorado!

Read the original CHEC article.

Carolyn Martin serves as CHEC’s Director of Government Relations, working for you and other liberty-loving families to protect homeschool freedom, parental rights, and religious liberty at the state capitol. Subscribe to the CHEC blog for Carolyn’s regular updates, learn more about legal issues in Colorado, and support Homeschool Freedom. Contact Carolyn directly at carolyn@chec.org.