Based on a short news item posted at the Home Education Magazine website in August, 2010, publisher Helen Hegener is involved in a lawsuit which was filed against homeschooling mother Heather Idoni, owner of Beloved Books, editor of The Homeschool Notebook, and manager of, brought against her by Mimi Rothschild, Howard Mandel, and Learning by Grace, Inc.

As part of Home Education Magazine’s 28-year-long commitment to keeping the homeschool community informed, the files and information on Learning By Grace, Inc. et al. v. Idoni are presented at this case-specific page.

Comments on the case are welcome, but Learning By Grace, Inc., et al. v. Idoni is an active defamation suit. Be truthful, respectful and please don’t spam.

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3 Responses to “Learning By Grace, Inc., et al. v. Idoni”

  1. Barb Lundgren says:

    What was your incriminating post Helen, that prompted this lawsuit?

  2. I’ve been advised not to re-post the link, but you can find it by doing a search at the HEM web site for Mimi - it’s the post in News & Commentary titled ‘A Lawsuit from Mimi,’ from last August.

  3. Mimi Rothschild says:

    I am a homeschooling mother, a spouse and a dreamer….that things could and should be better.

    My name is Mimi Rothschild, and 25 years ago, I feared that public education was not “healthy for children and other living things.” I started down a path which I have been privileged to walk with the many families, far and wide, who have partnered with the Learning By Grace online homeschooling Academies to help educate their children. This sacred trust and responsibility is at the center of my life, and each day I strive to pick it up and carry it further.

    To be sure, there have been rough places along the way. About 10 years ago, after we helped over 3000 Pennsylvania homeschoolers get free computers, free internet, and free teachers for those who wanted them, a multitude of school districts sued us, because they did not want “their” money going to homeschoolers. We thought we had started something wonderful, but were instead plunged into litigation which rapidly took over our lives. In time, the lawsuits were thrown out, but not before a couple of mall newspapers had decided that we were in the wrong.

    To this day, some people, who do now know me or the people I work with, continue to refer to these lawsuits as support for the position that I am a “scam artist,” and that the Learning by Grace Academies are “frauds.” I won’t try to convey the sleepless nights, the despair, and at times the outright anger I have experienced as a result of these accusations. What I will say for now is that it hurts…like a knife to my heart.

    If you have never been lied about in public, then think of the last time you were accused of something you did not do, perhaps by a boss who was listening to the wrong person, or a neighbor who jumped to wrong conclusions without gathering the facts.

    After much prayer seeking the Biblical response and after asking Heather idoni and Helen Hegener to please take down the false statements only to be repeatedly ignored, we were advised that the only way to finally stop the cruelty was to file a lawsuit for defamation.

    We filed a lawsuit against Heather Idoni and Beloved Books based on her writing two articles, each titled “Virtual Homeschool Fraud Alert,” which contained serious and false claims against me and the Learning by Grace Academies. Anyone who read these “alerts” without knowing the full story would conclude that I am a monster, and that the Academies are in the business of stealing money from, as Ms. Idoni put it, “unsuspecting homeschooling families.”

    We added Helen Hegener and Home Education Magazine to the lawsuit after Ms. Hegener created a link to Ms. Idoni’s “fraud alerts,” and added that I have “notoriously unethical business practices.” These are more false accusations that would lead me, if I was looking for homeschool resources, to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction.

    Every time I walk into the Learning by Grace offices, seeing my staff hard at work answering questions, grading assignments, and working with parents, I know why I thad to take action and filed suit. We are not what Idoni and Hegener say we are. Tens of thousands of families in all 50 states and 20 countries know the truth and return year after year to our online homeschooling Academies and to use our free homeschooling materials.

    Before starting any legal action, we invited Ms. Idoni and Ms. Hegener to tour the Learning by Grace offices, to talk with our devoted staff and families, review our materials, and see how hard we try, not only to satisfy parents, but to make sure that our kids are actually learning what they need to earn school credits. We offered to fly them at our expense to see for themselves our facilities, warehouses, and meet our teachers. Both Ms. Idoni and Ms. Hegener declined our invitation which surely would have set the record straight.

    Because the lawsuit is pending, my ability to comment on it is restricted. I will say this, however: To those who have already concluded from Ms. Idoni or Ms. Hegener that I am a “fraud,” that our academies are “scams,” or that our families are nothing more than “victims,” consider that over the almost 3 decades of our involvement in homeschooling, we have never once been sued by a family of any of the children we have taught. For those who can keep an open mind and want to learn more — about what we have accomplished and where we see the future, please contact me. My email is and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you kindly.

    Mimi Rothschild

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