This Note explores the competing theories that have informed past and current homeschooling regulation. The author begins by chronicling the history of state education regulation and the advent of homeschooling. This history demonstrates that critics of homeschooling regulation base their theory on the incorrect assertion that education has historically been governed by parental choice. This history also shows that some past state regulations had the troubling objective of forcing minority groups to conform to the majority conception of education. Drawing upon this background, the author concludes that state regulation of homeschooling is appropriate but must be limited in nature. If state regulations serve to objectively and unobtrusively assess the adequacy of a homeschooled child’s education without dictating the methodology, then states can fulfill their role of providing adequate education without infringing on parents’ interests in their children’s education.
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