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.
With COVID-19 fears, schools are adopting more dystopian policies to ensure students can learn under the regime of “the new normal.” This “new normal” includes removing choice from parents, overcomplicating teaching, and denying the facts surrounding COVID.6
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
Fellowship and community with like-minded families
Reduces or eliminates competition, judgment, being ostracized, 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. Assess their learning preferences, 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.
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 the homeschool curriculum, extra-curricular activities, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses.
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 children 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.7
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.
Anticipating the Challenges of Homeschooling
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.
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
Do I have to become an expert on every subject?
You just need to be an expert on your children. And no one loves your child more than you do.
I'm a working Mom (or Dad), so what can I do?
There are lots of resources, video courses, job-sharing options, friends, and relatives that can make it work.
What time commitment am I looking at for my child?
Homeschoolinng 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 an hour with 4 to 7 year olds, less than 2 hours with pre-teens, and in 3-4 houors with teenage homeschoolers.
I hear packaged curriculums are not ideal?
Packaged curriculums are great for the new homeschooler. Or taking time to deschool if your kids were in school is a wise decision. Your kids will not fall behind. You are going to need to get reacquainted, find our rhythm and decide which curriculum and homeschool style best represents your family life best. It is recommended that for each year your child was in school, it will take a month of deschooling. If your child is in school for 6 years, it is recommended 6 months of deschooling.
What about socialization?
Church groups, homeschool groups, science groups, etc. are great social platforms where your kids can find and make friends.
What resources are there for economically disadvantaged families?
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' chance of graduating high school and achieving the many long-term economic benefits that go along with academic success.
What can I do about the soon-to-be coming vaccine mandates?
Is "pandemic schooling" the same as homeschooling?
You have a lot more freedom with homeschooling where you’re in charge of the curriculum, decisions, and schedule. Homeschooling is independent of any public schooling and has nothing to do with homeschooling.
What if my child falls behind in certain areas?
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.
Is homeschooling legal?
Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states and you don’t need your school district’s permission to homeschool your child. In Michigan if you had your child enrolled, you will need to send a letter of notification that
Send copies to the school superintendent and the school that “Jane” was enrolled in. Save copies in a file. Nothing further needs to be done.
I don't know if I am cut out to do this.
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.
What about state testing?
In Michigan testing is not required. You can choose to have your child tested. However, you will know if your child is progressing and mastering skills by engaging with them. A test only produces a picture of what the child has in their memory bank at that given moment. Just like blood pressure is a snap shot of your pressure in that moment. Like blood pressure, education and learning are fluid.
What homeschooling options are available for my college-aged child?
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%. Traditional colleges and universities have a great appreciation for the homeschooled child.
What about taking a Gap Year before attending college until after the COVID crisis settles down?
There are a myriad of gap year programs available, from pre-made to your own custom experience at home or abroad (or both!).
Michigan Homeschool Co-ops
Clearwater Muskegon Co-op Organization, Educational Resources
Rainbow Resource - sources for either whole curricula and/or supplements
Love To Learn - source for a variety of homeschool curricula that serve various styles of learning and educational supplements. They have homeschooling consultants available.
MasterBooks: Where Faith Grows, Apologetics, Creation, Homeschooling
Ron Paul Homeschool - Join and receive a special link for $160 in free bonuses, including a signed, personalized copy of Ron's New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History