The Founding and Future of SCAIHS
Because parents “can now homeschool their children with support and encouragement and without hostility and legal problems,” we often forget that the rights and privileges we enjoy as home schoolers were won by families who chose to homeschool at great personal risk. Such people of courage, led by Zan and Joe Tyler, founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) in 1990. It was their hard work and dedication in the face of isolation and criminalization that laid the groundwork for the homeschooling freedoms we enjoy in South Carolina today.
We would do well to imagine what it would be like to homeschool under the circumstances described by Zan when she said, “I knew no one—not one person in the entire world—who was actually homeschooling.” (You can read her full story here.)
At SCAIHS we are committed to continuing in the legacy of what Zan and so many others built. Then they fought for the legalization of independent home schooling in the state; now we work for normalization.
Homeschoolers do not presently face the threats confronted when SCAIHS began. But we still have enemies and detractors in spite of the well documented positive outcome of homeschooling. “Normalization” means making home schools as prevalent as private schools. The next great battle for home schooling will occur in the field of public opinion not political action.
Imagine what it would mean if 10% of South Carolina students were homeschooled. Currently that number is about 2%. If we reach a goal of 70,000 homeschooled students in SC, we will have a critical mass that will make legislation against home schools virtually impossible to pass in the future.
SCAIHS is committed to the goal of 10% in ten years. As part of that goal we are in the process of seeking accreditation. Furthermore we are pursuing partnerships with hybrid schools and athletic programs, partnerships that will help make homeschooling more widely accessible.
Still, this is not something we can accomplish alone. With such lofty goals for the future it is imperative that we take to heart the advice given by Mike Farris of HSLDA over 20 years ago, “Homeschoolers in South Carolina need to be banded together for future action on all fronts.” So we support all home school options in SC.
SCAIHS is not the right option for every family, nor could we effectively serve 70,000 students at the level of service we offer. However, if you sense that home school is the right choice for your family but are terrified of starting, we can help you. We offer the most complete homeschool service in the state.