Depictions of Home Education in Film

Home education, or "home schooling", is sometimes a hot button issue. This article would examine depictions of home education in film. How is the issue dealt with by plots or characters in chosen examples? Do recent films reflect a change in attitude towards the subject in contrast to older films? Is there a recurring theme/attitude in these depictions? I only know of 1 or 2 examples of home schooling in film (Mean Girls and RV) but there may be other examples. I also recall an episode of Law & Order: SVU (guest starring Marcia Gay Harden) that depicts home schooling in a negative way.

  • As a student who homeschooled from pre-k to my high school graduation, I find this topic very interesting! I agree with Venus Echos, what examples of homeschooling has been depicted in film already? To my knowledge, there isn't a lot. Furthermore, the topic is a bit brief, would you be able to elaborate on it a little? There is so much to the subject. Would this cover negative depictions? Positive ones? How far back could it go into homeschooling history (homeschooling originally began roughly in the 1970s)? As a homeschool student, film itself was often an education for me (watching documentaries counted toward my overall grade in a given subject). So that could be a point to consider. Also, a common theme I know of in real-life home education is often big families with religious (most often Christian) worldviews. The worldview is very important when it comes to choosing whether or not to homeschool. It's also common of families who move a lot. In the 1900's and early 2000's, homeschooling was frowned upon, but nowadays it is more widely accepted due in part to the recent shootings and similar events. Since the political taboo surrounding homeschooling itself is nowhere near as strong now, I wouldn't call it a "political issue" anymore, although it is still debated and talked about. I really do love this subject, and can't wait to see what article comes from this. – Megan Finsel 8 years ago
  • What an interesting topic! I feel like in movies the main stereotype for a home schooled child is that they're very anti-social, considering they didn't go to school with others. I have no idea how true this is. This article should definitely be written by someone who was home schooled themself. – carleydauria 8 years ago
  • What a great idea for an article! As another homeschooled/virtual schooled student (K-12) I would love to see something covering this topic. I have never seen home education in the media except for Mean Girls -- what other films do you have in mind? – sophiacatherine 8 years ago
  • I guess by political I meant the religious reasons for home schooling, since there are ways in which the politics and religion mix in many cases. It would be interesting to see whether there are any films that depict home education by families who are not Christian or Conservative, as that is part of the movement, even if it is not the dominant part. But I also like what carleydauria brought up, about how home schooling is often shown as creating anti-social individuals. I don't know of too many films offhand that include home schooled characters. I knew about Mean Girls, and I also recall a sub-plot in a film called RV in which some of the characters home school their children so they can be on the road and see more of the country. While I didn't think much of the film, I though that part was interesting and referred back to what I know of the origins of home schooling in the 1970s and earlier. – NateBlake 8 years ago
  • The movie "The Bling Ring" also depicts homeschooling in a negative and (I assume) unrealistic way. The homeschooling mom is spacey and oblivious, and her kids get away with everything. It's more-or-less implied that this overly-permissive upbringing motivates the homeschooled characters in the film to turn to illegal activities. It would be interesting to look at the kind of homeschooling depicted in The Bling Ring, especially in contrast to Conservative/Christian homeschooling that is so common in media. – schwauline 8 years ago

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