With schools across the country closing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many families are finding themselves unexpectedly and unwillingly homeschooling for the first time. While this turn of events may have come as a surprise to you, we (the homeschool community) would like to welcome you, no matter how long you are with us. We would also like to put your minds at ease. You really can teach your children at home and no, you won’t actually go crazy spending the whole day with them! Hopefully, during this unexpected period of homeschool exploration, you will find that you actually enjoy the time with your children and that it can be really beneficial to have them at home with you. We also want you to know that many (maybe most) of us were once reluctant homeschoolers too.
As for my family, we said we would NEVER homeschool our children, yet here we are in our ninth year of formal homeschooling. Not only are we homeschooling, but we LOVE it and now, we would have it no other way. In fact, we have dedicated every minute of our professional lives and most of our personal efforts, over the past three years, to spreading the message that homeschooling is good for students, good for families, and good for culture (this is true whether you are in Wuhan, China; Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Britain, or the United States).
As you dip your feet into the homeschooling waters, if even just to occupy your kids while they’re home, I want to give you some encouragement and advice, and provide you with some helpful resources.
There’s a Revolution Transforming Education and it’s NOT Happening in the Classroom!
First things first, you don’t have to be a formally trained teacher to homeschool your children and yes, homeschooling is legal in your state. If you are considering keeping your children home after the Coronavirus scare has passed, the first thing you should do is check our “Homeschooling in Your State” resources. If you have specific questions about how to get started, what the homeschooling laws are in your state, how to formally withdraw your children from school, or what the requirements are to homeschool legally in your state, you should contact HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) and get in touch with your state homeschool organization. They will point you in the right direction, and HSLDA can help if you get any pushback from the school when you declare your intent to homeschool your children. Because we know that citizens are on lockdown in several countries, if you are outside of the United States, please visit this link to learn about homeschooling in your country.
Next, there are great resources available for educating your children at home! Because home education has become so common, there are several excellent curriculum choices for every subject. At Schoolhouse Rocked, we work with some of the very best homeschool curriculum providers, co-ops, and support organizations. Please take a minute to check out the companies represented here, here, here, and here. Within those links you will find everything you need to provide your children with a top-notch academic experience at home. Just remember, home education isn’t just about academics. It’s about relationship, about training the hearts of our children, about allowing our children to explore the world and enjoy the outdoors, and about preparing our children for success as adults and into eternity. It’s also about nurturing a love of learning in our children that will last throughout their lives.
Because we all hope this trial will end as quickly as it began, I would like you to consider a few things before you send your children back to school and go on as if the coronavirus pandemic never happened.
First, there are great reasons to homeschool, especially if you start with the end in mind. Realize that home education is about so much more than teaching our children, it is about growing healthy, well-prepared adults. While homeschooling won’t be easy, it will be oh so worth it! Not only does homeschooling allow us to nurture beautiful relationships with our children, and between siblings, and to transfer our values to them, but homeschooling also produces excellent academic results and colleges and employers are actively recruiting homeschooled students because they have proven to be ahead of their public-schooled peers.
Next, realize that homeschooling won’t (and shouldn’t) look like school at home. Homeschooling gives you the opportunity to custom fit academics, virtue training, worldview training, discipleship, and work and business training to the individual needs and gifts of your children. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to make school work for YOUR family. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to integrate school into every aspect of life!
Finally, understand that education isn’t neutral. All education is worldview training. All education is discipleship. All education is indoctrination. The only questions are “what worldview are students being indoctrinated into?” “who is discipling our children?” and “to what end?” While many want to believe that public schools are neutral, or that purely secular schools are not religious, you must realize that public schools are the most effective religious organizations in the world. Parents send their children to public schools to be discipled in the religion of secular humanism for 13 or more years (kindergarten to 12th grade), and schools are very effective at making dedicated disciples of this worldview. Some of the markers of this worldview are a committed belief in evolution and a dedication to multiculturalism.
As public schools advance this secular humanist worldview, we are seeing an increasing push for radical Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) and pro-LGBT instruction, and opting out of CSE isn’t an option. Planned parenthood and national pro-LGBT organizations are taking the lead in in advancing this instruction in schools and districts across the country – and yes, it’s in your state right now.
If the secular humanism and radical Sex Ed weren’t enough, we have come to a place in our history where we have an openly Socialist candidate for president. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, yet here we are. But we shouldn’t be surprised. In addition to the secular humanism (a cornerstone of communism) and radical and dangerous sexuality being taught for several decades now, the public schools have distorted history and taught students to reject the Constitution, denounce American exceptionalism, demand “democracy” while ignoring that we have a representative republican form of government, and now openly embrace socialism as “fair.” We are getting exactly what we ordered. The original aims of the founders of modern public education, John Dewey and Horace Mann, have come to pass.
If you are going to send your children off to around 16,000 hours of indoctrination in the religion of secular humanism (otherwise known as atheism, materialism, or irreligion), in anti-family, pro-LGBT philosophy, and in socialism, don’t be surprised when your children embrace and endorse all of these ideals when they graduate. When you drop your children off at school and entrust their training to the “experts” there, you give up your ability to direct their education and to train their hearts. You also turn over your parental authority and significant legal rights (see In Loco Parentis). At the very least, if you have no choice but to send your children to public school, please KNOW what they are being taught, then actively work to teach them the TRUTH. In practice, this will look a lot like homeschooling, so you may just want to keep at it.
If you are interested in why our family homeschools, please take a few minutes to read this article. This is why we homeschool.
If you want to learn more about homeschooling, please join us for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. Registration gives you immediate access to over 35 hours of practical homeschooling instruction and encouragement, and a wealth of free home education resources. Additionally, new sessions are added regularly and attendees have the opportunity to interact live with the speakers and post questions in the private Homegrown Generation Facebook Group. This is a great way to get all of your homeschool questions answered.
Free Language Arts Lessons from IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing)
Getting Started in Homeschooling – With Israel Wayne
The Benefits of Homeschooling – Aby Rinella
Answers for Homeschool Critics, Why Homeschool – Israel Wayne
The Who, Why, and How of Homeschooling, with Aby Rinella, Karen DeBeus, and Yvette Hampton
The Benefits of Homeschooling – Aby Rinella
Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash
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