In the Arizona Law Review, Bartholet argues that while homeschool children may perform as well as their peers on standardized tests or in college, they are also often isolated from their peers and denied experiences and exposures that would make them more productive citizens.
Bartholet claims in her article that "a very large proportion of homeschooling parents are ideologically committed to isolating their children from the majority culture and indoctrinating them in views and values that are in serious conflict with that culture."
"Isolated families," she asserts, "constitute a significant part of the homeschooling world."
In contrast, Sikkink's analysis found that among the schooling groups surveyed, homeschooling families had the highest level of "community involvement" of all school sectors.
"Community involvement" activities included attending sporting events, attending concerts, going to the zoo or aquarium, going to a museum, going to a library, visiting a bookstore, or attending an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group.
Homeschooling graduates are almost identical to their public school counterparts in likelihood to vote in federal and local elections, Sikkink found.
Furthermore, the total number of volunteer and community service hours for homeschooling graduates is very similar to or slightly higher than public school graduates, the analysis found.
Bartholet asserts that some homeschoolers "engage in homeschooling to promote racist ideologies and avoid racial intermingling."
In contrast: "The reality is that about 41% of homeschooled children are racial and ethnic minorities," Sikkink writes.
"When asked about four closest friends, about 37% of young adult homeschoolers...mention someone of a different race or ethnicity-exactly the same as public schoolers."
This diversity also extends to schooling practices- increasingly, Sikkink says, homeschooling adopts new forms, including "hybrids" that combine the benefits of home and institutional schooling.
(Story continues below)
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"About 57 percent of homeschoolers are using some form of instruction outside the family," Sikkink told CNA in an email.
"That includes using tutors, private or public schools, colleges or universities, or homeschooling coops. That percentage would be higher if we included those who reported obtaining curriculum from formal institutions, such as public schools."
Moreover, about a third of homeschooling parents obtain their curriculum or books from a public school or school district.
"Altogether, 46% of homeschoolers have some pedagogical relationship with public schools," Sikkink asserts.
Bartholet argues that homeschooling puts children at risk of abuse by their parents, while if children were in public schools, they would be among teachers who are mandatory reporters of any suspected abuse that may be taking place.
"The issue is, do we think that parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? I think that's dangerous," Bartholet asserts in the Harvard Magazine piece.