Homeschooler Nicholas Clark Returns Home

On October 13th, a 13 year old homeschooled boy left home to go live in the woods because he did not want to start public school.

His mom was worried, so she reported to the police. He left a note, but his mom still worried that he did not have enough supplies to survive.

Normally, a 13-year-old runaway is not a story worth printing. But this story was printed, because the boy ran away not because of family turmoil, but because he did not want to go to public school after being homeschooled.

Then, after 12 days, he called his mom to come pick him up. He wanted to come home, and was ready to go to school.

His mom was happy he was OK, and said that he must have had an adventure of a lifetime. She did not seem too overly upset that he left. She was just worried that he overestimated his survival skills. (At least, from the tone of the article, which we of course can’t rely on 100%.)

Although I have a few questions (like why did he call her to pick him up? couldn’t he come home the way he escaped? and how did he survive out in the wilderness? did he really spend all his time outside?), I’m more interested in the reaction to this story.

Some say that it was irresponsible to “let” this child go on an adventure. Others assumed that he left because his mom “taught” him that school was scary (Doesn’t TV do a pretty good job of that without the help of mom?). One person wondered if maybe he was hanging out at a friend’s house, and his friend’s parents finally kicked him out. Others say he’s an awesome kid for doing what he did.

What’s your take on it? Do any of you know this family? Do you think the mom did the right thing? How about the Nicholas?


2 Responses to “Homeschooler Nicholas Clark Returns Home”

  1. Zayna Says:

    In all honesty, I think this is one of those ‘worst case scenarios’ that works to feed both sides of the homeschool debate.

    Opponents of homeschooling will argue that it’s the parents fault for making their child “fear” public school, where defenders of homeschooling/unschooling will tout the child’s independent nature.

    In the end, what matters really is that Nicholas is back home with his family and that this didn’t end up a tragedy.

    But if it were me, and my 13 year old Son ran away from home for 12 days with barely enough to survive on, I’d certainly be looking at it is as family issue and not just as a kid on an adventure.

  2. nick clark Says:

    hey this is nick hear to clear things up if anyone cares i was in the woods and i took a lot of gear the point was never to have an adventure that would come naturally i was triyng to reach new jersey and this experience was not fun and wasnt expected to be i got an email from tom but i sent a few emails one of which i called him tommy boy tom replied saying he would not let me take the standard class and wouldint return my emails something i learned about tom is he is not perfect and middle school isnt to difficult

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