Homeschooling

The Homeschooling Choice

The choice to homeschool your child is not an easy decision, nor should it be a quick one. Our goal is to support you in considering the options, dispelling the myths, and arriving at a decision that best suits your needs.

In addition to the many advantages listed below, increased homeschooling provides a broader purpose. School districts receive funding, in part, based on enrollment. Declining enrollment means less school funding, forcing policymakers to become more accommodating to the needs of students and parents.

Reasons To Homeschool

Homeschooled children often receive a better education.  The homeschooled consistently score on average, at the 65th to 80th percentile on standardized academic achievement tests as compared to the public school average of the 50th percentile.1

In addition to providing better education and protecting children from harsh COVID rules and mandatory vaccine mandates, the new draconian measures could result in lifetime psychological damage to millions of children worldwide.2

The new distancing measures include requirements to wear masks or face shields, stay 6 feet apart from other children, use plastic partitions, have no shared supplies, no lunch, no recess, ride on school busses with one child in every other row and remain in isolated groups for the entire day.3

Some states have already passed laws mandating that children receive dozens of vaccines as a prerequisite for enrollment. And many states are considering adding mandatory COVID vaccines when they become available.4

Many parents have discovered that their kids were not learning much at school.5

Reduces or eliminates competition, judgment, ostracization, biases, labeling, prejudices, bullying, shaming and peer pressure  

1“Research Facts on Homeschooling ….” https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/. Accessed 29 Jun. 2020.

2 “What Are the Psychological Effects of a Quarantine ….” 29 Mar. 2020, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/head-games/202003/what-are-the-psychological-effects-quarantine. Accessed 29 Jun. 2020.

3“Considerations for Schools | CDC.” 19 May. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html. Accessed 29 Jun. 2020.

4“The Dual Epidemics of COVID-19 and Influenza: Vaccine ….” 11 Jun. 2020, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2767284. Accessed 29 Jun. 2020.

5“The Failure of American Public Education – Foundation for ….” 19 Jun. 2020, https://fee.org/articles/the-failure-of-american-public-education/. Accessed 29 Jun. 2020.

Advantages of Homeschooling

  • Better curriculum with activities designed specifically for the needs of the child
  • Students move at their own pace with individualized attention
  • School takes significantly less time daily
  • Flexibility with schedules, work, and travel
  • Comradery and community with like-minded families
  • Reduces or eliminates competition, judgment, ostracization, biases, labeling, prejudices, shaming and peer pressure
  • Independent thinking is encouraged
  • Parents have more control in the socialization of their children

Steps To Getting Set Up

Look At Your Child

Look to your child. Assess their learning preference, strengths, weaknesses, personality traits, present interests and special needs.

Research About Homeschooling

Research different philosophies of homeschooling. Talk with current and former homeschooling parents about their experiences with various educational approaches. Decide which teaching style best fits your child.

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Create a mission and vision statement. The mission is the “what” and the “how,” and the vision is the “why you want to homeschool.

Decide on what areas you will create your own curriculum or if you will use published curriculum resources.

Tap into advocacy groups, co-ops, etc.

Inform Yourself About Homeschooling State Laws

Know your state’s homeschooling laws and requirements for annual testing, assessments, immunizations, graduation requirements, etc. Only seek to fulfill the minimum state educational requirements to give yourself the most freedom.

Determine Your Budget

Determine your budget for homeschool curriculum, extra-curricular activities, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses. 

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Enjoy Your Homeschooling!

Make your homeschooling unique, enjoyable, and fun for both you and your child. Everything you learn and experience with your child over the next months and years falls under the umbrella of homeschooling.

Never Question Your Abilities

Forget about doing it the way the public schools do. They were created to build a worker-class for the state, not a free-thinking society. Homeschooling is about creativity, not conformity.

Although you will have a plan to guide you, take your homeschooling one day at a time. There will be good days and bad days. Accept what happens, learn from it, and move on. Remember, you are doing the best thing you can do for your child by providing them with an education designed specifically for who they are as a free and sovereign individual. Nothing the public schools offer can come close to that.

Most Importantly, don’t question your ability to homeschool. You do not have to be an expert in every subject. That is why you utilize available resources. Your goal should not be to teach facts and figures but to teach your child how to learn.

Top Myths About Homeschooling

Homeschooling in the United States has been growing at a fast pace over the past decade. Some estimates have the number of homeschoolers at over 2 million with many more flocking to this option in response to recent COVID 19 mandates. Growth in home-based learning has been highly diverse, with the number of families across all ethnic groups, regardless of income or education, on the rise. However, homeschooling is still subject to many myths and misperceptions.  Below are some of the top myths surrounding homeschooling today

Myth: Homeschooling Is Only For Religious or Faith-Based Families

Fact: The National Household Education Survey (NHES), lists the highest rated reason parents choose to homeschool as the negative environment of their child’s public school. The desire for religious education is not the primary reason. In fact, many families prefer a secular homeschool curriculum and prefer to integrate their values into lessons when appropriate.

Myth: Homeschoolers Don’t Socialize

Fact: Homeschoolers socialize more than public schooled children. The nature of personalized learning and homeschool curriculum is to explore the world more. Homeschoolers routinely visit museums, parks, science centers and participate in a variety of social activities. There is a wide array of social experiences for homeschoolers.

Myth: Homeschoolers Are All Gifted Or Naturally Intelligent

Fact: The idea that homeschoolers are gifted or naturally intelligent is a common myth. However, many parents seek out homeschooling because their kids need more one-on-one attention. Homeschooling is often a great solution for kids who are advanced learners, as well as kids who feel disengaged in school, bored, or are struggling.

Myth: Homeschoolers Do Not Go To College

Fact: Homeschoolers are more likely to attend college than traditionally schooled students, and are more likely to stay and graduate. Other data suggests that homeschooled students routinely perform better on standardized tests including the SAT and ACT. Colleges are looking less at standardized tests and GPAs and instead are looking at a student’s resume. In this area, homeschoolers have a distinct advantage, because they have more experiences to share with colleges and universities.

Myth: Homeschooling Is Not An Accepted Form Of Education

Fact: Homeschooling has been around for over one hundred years and in many ways predates our current public education system. The number of children homeschooling is estimated to be between 2.0 and 2.5 million. Due to declining school budgets, poor academic ratings, crime, bullying, and reduced resources, parents are looking for better options that will benefit their children.

Myth: I have heard that Homeschooling is not only a health and safety risk for children but also a threat to society and that homeschooled kids could grow up to become enemies of the state.

Fact:  Homeschooling poses reduced health and safety risks and children who are homeschooled grow up to participate more in community service, are more likely to vote, succeed in college and internalize the values of their parents than are public schooled children. 1

1“Research Facts on Homeschooling ….” https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/.

Myth: Parents Are Not Qualified To Teach

Fact: Every parent has anxiety about their child’s education and whether or not they can be a good enough teacher. We often don’t think about it, but the knowledge we pass on to our children throughout their life is substantial. We teach our children an infinite number of things, including manners, empathy, how to walk, how to get dressed, how to reason, and how to learn. This goes far beyond learning how to read, write, understand numbers, or appreciate art and culture.

Myth: Homeschooled Kids Cannot Play Sports Or Participate In Extracurricular Activities

Fact: Many parents don’t realize that public schools often allow homeschoolers to play in school sports or participate in after-school activities. Homeschooled kids play in recreational leagues, participate in martial arts, and any number of other extracurricular activities and community service projects. Because homeschooling provides families with greater flexibility, homeschoolers are free to pursue their passions and talents.

Myth: Homeschooling Parents Are Stay-At-Home Moms Who Don’t Work

Fact: Through a combination of hard work, cooperation, and support from other homeschooling families, parents who rely on two incomes often find ways to homeschool. It is important to remember, homeschooling is personalized and flexible, so by its nature – you can mold it to fit your family’s needs.

Anticipating the Challenges of Homeschooling

Structure

Determine the minimum structure required to accomplish your goals. Be open to change, adaptation and new ideas.  Learn what works, where it works best, when it works, and why. Disconnect from the traditional public school mindset about desks, periods, study halls, lunch, gym. Experiment with different schedules and study environments that maximize your child’s learning while minimizing stress.

Struggles/ Unwilling participants

Determine the reasons behind the issues and accommodate as best you can. Expect there to be days/weeks that may be especially challenging. Strive to make learning fun. Be patient. Be creative.  After an initial introduction, most children come to prefer homeschooling. Continually monitor any peer pressure from outside social groups that may be divisive and take appropriate action if necessary.  

Lack of Social Support

Be gentle and firm but not confrontational or dogmatic when discussing homeschooling. Seek peer support from other homeschooling parents as, not everyone will understand your choices. Expect people to show concern or even be adversarial, especially when “your child did fine in public school.” However, in most instances, friends and family will “come around” when they see the positive results homeschooling is producing in your family.

Financial

The financial component of homeschooling can be stressful. However, there are ways to minimize this impact. Only purchase new essential resources when they cannot be found used. Borrow from other homeschoolers. Find free alternative resources locally and online. MOST OF ALL, use your local library. It will be your most valuable resource throughout your homeschooling experience.

Common Questions About Homeschooling

Q: Do I have to become an expert on every subject?

A: You just need to be an expert on your children.  And no one loves your child more than you do.

Q: I’m a working Mom (or Dad), so what can I do?

A: There are lots of resources, video courses, job-sharing options, friends, and relatives that can make it work.

Q: What time commitment am I looking at for my child?

A: Homeschooling uses “engaged instruction” which is much more efficient than peripheral instruction used in institutional settings where the teacher’s attention is dispersed over 20-30 children. What requires 8 hours in public school environments can easily be covered in under 2 hours with pre-teens, and in 3-5 hours with teenage homeschoolers.

Q: I hear packaged curriculums are not ideal?

A: Packaged curriculums are great for the new homeschooler.

Q: What about socialization?

A: Church groups, homeschool groups, science groups, etc. are great social platforms where your kids can find and make friends.

Q: What resources are there for economically disadvantaged families?
A: Disadvantaged students are at a higher risk of failing academically due to outside factors. A daily individualized tutoring program with ongoing instruction will likely increase a students’ chances of graduating high school and achieving the many long-term economic benefits that go along with academic success.
Q: What can I do about the soon-to-be coming vaccine mandates?
A: Take your child out of school, vote out of office those elected officials who oppose your health freedom and that of your dependent children, and register to join our movement.
Q: Is “pandemic schooling” the same as homeschooling?

A: You have a lot more freedom with homeschooling where you’re in charge of the curriculum, decisions, and schedule. 

Q: What if my child falls behind in certain areas?

A: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your child is at a certain age and should, therefore, be at a corresponding skill level because every child is different.

Q: Is homeschooling legal?

A: Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states and you don’t need your school district’s permission to homeschool your child.

Q: I don’t know if I’m cut out to do this?

A: Homeschoolers score between the 76th and 99th percentile compared to public schoolers who perform at the 50th percentile.  This is academic achievement at its best.  College recruiters are actively recruiting homeschoolers not only for their test scores but because they bring an educational vitality to the classroom that is unmatched and hasn’t been burned out by years of institutional schooling.

Q: What about state testing?

A: It is good to test your child every 2-3 years to find out what your child knows or doesn’t know and what support they are needing.

Q: What homeschooling options are available for my college-aged child?
A: A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics shared that while overall college enrollment dropped from 2016 to 2017, the number of students enrolled in “exclusively distance education courses ” grew by more than 4%. 
Q: What about taking a Gap Year before attending college until after the COVID crisis settles down?
A: There are a myriad of gap year programs available, from pre-made to your own custom experience at home or abroad (or both!). 

For answers to other common questions, see Heidi St. John Podcast

Additional Resources

Start here: Home School Legal Defense Association: https://hslda.org/

High School Diploma Template for a transcript: http://diploma.productsbypatti.com/

How Do Homeschoolers Turn Out?: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/37091/how-do-unschoolers-turn-out

The Foundations of Unschooling: https://www.johnholtgws.com/the-foundations-of-unschooling

7 Simple Steps to Start Homeschooling: https://hslda.org/post/7-simple-steps-to-start-homeschooling

Remembering America’s Most Courageous Teacher: https://fee.org/articles/john-taylor-gatto-1935-2018-remembering-americas-most-courageous-teacher/?gclid=CjwKCAjw_qb3BRAVEiwAvwq6Vrfc5Pj6bIny-dgXOjLsX9MPpWRE02aAiwjM9GnwA57SD59puy7ZyxoCqZwQAvD_BwE

Easiest Way to Turn Your Kids Into Geniuses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96tEE8XoC0c

20 Best Homeschooling Resources: https://www.learningliftoff.com/20-best-homeschooling-websitand-learning-resources/

Roadschooling: https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling-styles/roadschooling.html

Worldschooling:  https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling-styles/worldschooling.html

Unschooling https://www.johnholtgws.com/the-foundations-of-unschooling

Eclectic Homeschooling: https://www.educationcorner.com/eclectic-homeschooling.html

Traditional Homeschooling: https://greathomeschoolconventions.com/blog/the-traditional-homeschooling-style

Free Range Learning: https://hohmpress.com/books-hohm-press/free-range-learning-book.html

Classical Homeschooling https://www.classicalconversations.com/

Homeschooling with Unit Studies: https://thecanadianhomeschooler.com/homeschool-methods-unit-studies/

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling:  https://simplycharlottemason.com/what-is-the-charlotte-mason-method/

Montessori Homeschooling: https://www.montessori.edu/homeschooling.html

Waldorf Homeschooling: https://www.oakmeadow.com/oak-meadow-and-waldorf

Jewish Homeschooling: https://torahlive.com/

Catholic Homeschooling: https://www.setonhome.org/

Muslim Homeschooling: https://muslimhomeschoolersunite.com/

Mormon Homeschooling: http://studyandfaith.com/5-lds-homeschool-resources/

African American Homeschooling:  https://themomtrotter.com/resource-guide-for-black-homeschooling-families/

Asian Homeschooling: https://untigering.com/unschooling-as-an-asian-american-is-an-act-of-resistance/

Vegan Homeschooling: http://veganhomeschool.com/ 

Grandparent Homeschooling: https://homeeducator.com/homeschooling-grandchildren/ 

Charter Schools:  http://www.homefires.com/charter/

Easy Peasy: Free, on-line, all grades:  https://allinonehomeschool.com/

Teaching Textbooks: Math 3 to Pre-Calculus:  http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/

Ambleside Online:  Weekly schedules, free, all grades: https://amblesideonline.org/

Bob Jones University Press Homeschool info: https://www.homeworksbyprecept.com/

Math U See: https://www.mathusee.com/

K12: https://www.k12.com/ Government Sponsored, Mandated Vaccines required 

Valor Global Online: https://valoronline.org/

https://tuttletwins.com/email/as-more-parents-decide-to-permanently-homeschool-were-helping-make-it-easier-and-more-affordable/?mc_cid=59902efeb8&mc_eid=7120603c25</>

https://fee.org/articles/back-to-school-no-thanks-say-millions-of-new-homeschooling-parents/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2020_FEEWeekly

Homeschooling 101 article:
https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/homeschooling-101/

Sources of free homeschool curricula: https://freedomhomeschooling.com/free-christian-homeschool-curriculum/

https://www.thoughtco.com/free-homeschool-resources-4151635

https://howdoihomeschool.com/2019/11/06/free-homeschooling-curriculum-packages/

http://www.successful-homeschooling.com/free-homeschooling-curriculum.html

Whole homeschooling curricula: https://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/rc/homeschool-curriculum-excellence/

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com

https://www.calverteducation.com

Christian curricula: https://www.aop.com

https://www.abeka.com/Homeschool/

https://www.sonlight.com

https://www.christianbook.com/page/homeschool/

Sources for either whole curricula and/or supplements: https://www.rainbowresource.com

Source for a variety of homeschool curricula that serve various styles of learning and educational supplements. They have homeschooling consultants available. https://www.lovetolearn.net

Curriculum, homeschooling helps and enrichments. Unschoolers may find resources here as well. https://www.christianbook.com/page/homeschool?navcat=Homeschool

Christian Book Distributors publishes their own homeschooling catalog and has been a major provider of Christian curricula for years. https://iew.com

Institute for Excellence in Writing – a source of reading, spelling, grammar and writing resources from K-12. Video training for teachers and students. Highly recommended, especially for reluctant writers. https://www.aop.com/horizons.html

Publisher of Horizons math and phonics curricula, thorough and easy to use programs. Colleges: https://www.hillsdale.edu

Hillsdale College has free enrichment courses on the Constitution, Economics, History, etc. For teens and adults. https://www.phc.edu Patrick Henry College offers challenging dual enrollment courses for students over 16. 

https://www.loveandlogic.com/products/schooling-at-home-webinar

Masterbooks Where Faith Grows 

Masterbooks Apologetics

Masterbooks Creation

Masterbooks Homeschooling

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