The Evingers were hard working farmer/ranchers in the far western part of North Dakota. During 1983-84 one of their children was in the 1st grade. The bus ride alone was more than 2 hours a day. But the reason to begin thinking of another way to school the children also had to do with the disturbing social skills the children were coming home with and Linus and Anne didn’t like it. The children’s attitudes seemed to greatly improve over Christmas vacation so they decided to keep the children at home and school them using a denominational curriculum Anne had just recently heard about; so she began the following September. They took steps to do what they knew to be right for their children. Just one little problem, homeschooling was illegal until 1989.
Anne says her curriculum was delivered those many years ago by the mailman and she wonders if maybe that is how the school district found out she was homeschooling. They did not notify the school and eventually the sheriff came to their home to serve a complaint for failure to comply with the compulsory attendance law. Anne says most of the community ignored the issue.
However, one Friday evening after church, four or five law officials surrounded their vehicle and attempted to serve Linus. The Evingers refused to get out of the vehicle and the deputy called the local states attorney to find out what to do and was told to detain them…all night if necessary. Eventually, under duress, Linus signed some form presented by the deputy.
Linus was served an arrest warrant; there was an initial court appearance. Anne had the children’s test results available for the hearing; the children were doing well. At this point the Evingers seriously thought about moving to Montana. Eventually the states attorney dropped the charges.
In 1989 after the legislature finally addressed the issue, Anne decided to take a national teacher exam; she exceeded the cut-off scores and went on to homeschool all 10 of her children. The children all became successful according to the talents God had given them; all were schooled into the high school years most took the G.E.D. Their son, Michael, stated he has never regretted that his parents chose homeschooling. As a hands-on learner it was a blessing.
Their extended family wasn’t initially on board, but as the years went by they began to see how well socialized the children were compared to others and it became apparent that homeschooling was working very well for the Evingers. The educational choice and the blessing of a ranching life taught the children to be responsible and socially adept.
Anne states that the greatest lesson learned was to trust God because it was God’s idea for her to homeschool so she obeyed. She declares, “He was with me all those years.”