Members of the River Valley Homeschoolers of Maine support group meet Wednesday at the Mexico Public Library. From left are Amanda Sinclair, Director Darcy Klein and Heather MacDonald. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Members of a home schooling support group say they decided to educate their children because they had enough of government overreach, bullying, material taught that is contrary to their beliefs and values and lack of help for those with special needs.

Darcy Klein, director of the River Valley Homeschoolers of Maine support group, said she created the group in 2018 to have an outreach in the community. Since then, there are 184 participating on her Facebook group, she said.

They meet twice a month at the Mexico Public Library to discuss curriculum and get extra help tutoring their children.

“So, I wanted to encompass all faiths and all walks of life within my community, to introduce them and connect them with the homeschool realm,” Klein said. And she wanted to provide support and guidance for other parents and caregivers because she remembered how she felt when she first started homeschooling her son, she said.

“It’s a growing realm and I wanted people to know that they’re not alone and there are other families there that can share their experiences,” Klein said.

Klein said when she asks parents why they joined the group, most often it’s dissatisfaction with public schools, especially when it comes to educating their special needs children. Other reasons, she said, are schools are “too restrictive,” especially when it comes to vaccination requirements.


She’s also had parents tell her their children were bullied.

“And the other thing is that the school is overstepping its bounds when it comes to thinking that it knows better what to teach the children than the parents do,” especially when it comes to comprehensive sex education. “It crosses the line,” she said.

Heather MacDonald of Rumford, a mother of three and a member of Klein’s support group, said her reasons for pulling her children out of Regional School Unit 10 are varied.

During the 2021-22 school year when they were enrolled in the local schools, she frequently attended school board meetings at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford to voice her concerns about what was being taught.

“I’m here to speak about (Critical Race Theory) also known as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and (Social Emotional Learning) and the hyper-sexualized agenda being pushed on our kids in this district,” she said at a meeting in May 2022. “It seems nobody’s willing to admit that this is really going on. Our children are being told that based on their skin color and gender, they may have white privilege with the guilt” and they “have to deal with implicit bias, explicit bias, racial prejudice, microaggressions and are either the oppressor or the oppressed.

“You’re also teaching sexual content that is not age-appropriate and without parental consent,” MacDonald wrote. “There is no valid reason to define children by their sexual orientation. My children’s sexuality is none of your concern. When parents speak up, they’re told it’s the kids who want to talk about sex,” MacDonald told the board.


Amanda Sinclair of Mexico, another member of the support group, began homeschooling her son Jayce in 2020 when he was in kindergarten and his school closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She had been looking into home schooling her children and decided to do it, she said.

The book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki also inspired her in her decision, she said. The book discusses the value of being an entrepreneur versus working for others, and Sinclair believes that entrepreneurial skills are not taught in schools.

‘It’s like school doesn’t teach you how to work for yourself; it doesn’t teach you how to be independent. It teaches you how to be a really good employee and that’s it,” she said.

Sinclair said she enjoys the flexibility of teaching at home. Learning happens whether they are relaxing on the couch or the floor and they can go outside for their lessons whenever they choose to. “As long as they are learning it doesn’t really matter what it looks like,” she said.

The children of Amanda Sinclair of Rumford, from left, Jayce, Gideon and Violet, play in the toy room at the Mexico Public Library on Wednesday while their mother meets with the River Valley Homeschoolers of Maine support group. The group meets twice a month at the library. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

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