“Renewing and transforming homeschooling from within.”
To advocate for the wellbeing of homeschool students and improve homeschooling communities through awareness, peer support, and resource development.
Our Strategies and Goals:
HARO’s mission is to advocate for the wellbeing of homeschool students and improve homeschooling communities through three strategies: launching awareness and education campaigns within homeschooling communities on recognizing and addressing child abuse, mental illness, self-injury, and LGBT* students’ needs; building peer-support networks between homeschool students and homeschool graduates; and by developing resources for therapy, life coaching, education assistance, and financial support.
We want to put tools for fighting abuse, neglect, and mental illness directly into the hands of homeschool parents, students, and alumni. We recognize that homeschool communities are unique, so we are working to develop resources on child abuse that are specifically targeted to them, and we hope to bring them to local, state, and national support groups and conferences. We also want to help alumni who have been hurt connect to support groups and therapists who understand their experiences and can help them heal. We are actively cultivating safe communities for alumni in online spaces, and working with abuse survivors and professionals to create networks of recommended practitioners and best practices. We recognize that homeschool alumni who have survived abuse and neglect often struggle to integrate into life afterwards, so we’re in the process creating resources to help with college and financial aid applications.
Why We Exist:
The U.S. Department of Education estimates there are 1.5 million children being homeschooled. Due to a lack of safeguards for homeschool students, many experience abuse, isolation, and neglect. This results in lack of access to higher education, stunted personal growth, mental illness, and substance abuse. There are currently very few homeschool organizations dedicated to advocating for students themselves or bringing awareness to issues like child abuse, mental illness, and LGBT* students’ needs.
Homeschoolers Anonymous launched on March 17, 2013 as a collaborative narrative sharing platform with a staff of editors. The idea of the website originated in conversations with our friends who had also been homeschooled. As we talked about our lives and our struggles with a variety of emotional, mental and physical problems, we started to realize that many of our formerly homeschooled peers were dealing with similar issues. After observing these patterns, and the fact that there was no existing venue for discussing them and telling these stories, we created Homeschoolers Anonymous. Our desire was to bring awareness to these all-too-common narratives, and to inspire others to share their stories. On July 26, 2013, we announced Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out, a non-profit organization of which HA is now a project. We formed HARO to concretely address the things learned about through the stories shared on HA. The founding board members of HARO were Ryan Stollar, Nicholas Ducote, Andrew Roblyer, Shaney Swift, and Lauren Dueck. Roblyer stepped down in September 2015 and was replaced with Dr. Janelle Briggs. Lauren Dueck and Shaney Swift stepped down in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Becki Farris was added to the board in 2016.
The current HARO board is: Nicholas Ducote, Janelle Briggs, and Becki Farris.
HARO is a federally recognized 501c3 non-profit organization. Donors can deduct contributions made to us under IRC Section 170. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.