Prior to our Covid 19 Crisis, there was over 2 million children home educated in the United States. Now, the numbers are increasing daily with over 55 million "crisis teaching" at home.
You might also enjoy: https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/homeschooling-during-a-pandemic
Before I begin telling you all the wonderful benefits of home educating your children, let us take a journey back into time and see how the homeschool movement began.
The modern homeschool movement began in the 1970s when John Holt, an educational theorist and supporter of school reform, began arguing that formal schools’ focus on rote learning created an oppressive classroom environment designed to make children compliant employees. Holt called for parents to liberate their children from formal education and instead follow a method today known as “unschooling.” Early Holt followers connected through Holt’s newsletter, Growing Without Schooling, which was founded in 1977.
Side Note: While in high school I found Growing Without Schooling laying on a table in our local library. I was fascinated and checked it out. It was the birth of my homeschool journey.
Soon after Holt’s arguments inspired the first homeschoolers, Holt’s friend educational theorist Raymond Moore added his voice, arguing that early schooling was detrimental to children and that children should be schooled at home until age eight or nine in order to give them a firm educational, psychological, and moral foundation. Moore’s 1981 Home Grown Kids quickly became popular and was often the first book homeschoolers read.
Side Note: I was gifted an original copy of Home Grown Kids when pregnant with our first child. I still keep it on my shelf. A must read!
When Holt and Moore first began advocating homeschooling, educating children at home was legal in every state, but subject to varying regulations, which were sometimes quite stringent (for example, six states required parents to have teaching licenses). Early homeschoolers generally worked with their local school boards, meeting requirements and submitting their home education plans. In the early 1980s, Moore stated that in 80 to 90% of all cases, “local public school administrators and primary teachers … are understanding.” In those cases where homeschoolers faced challenges, organizations founded by Holt and Moore offered help in mediating with local officials and, if needed, legal aid.
During the 1980s the view of homeschooling changed as a new wave of individuals entered the movement. These were evangelical and fundamentalist Christians engaged in culture wars. They felt that public schools were “Satanic hothouses.” Given credibility by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and initial support by Moore, these newer homeschoolers took an antagonistic outlook toward public school administrators and were unwilling to cooperate with public schools they saw as evil. It was at this point that the legal battles began in earnest as homeschoolers found themselves faced with newly uncooperative local public school officials and the negative feedback cycle that ensued as officials responded even more negatively when faced with litigation. Also in play was the fact that some school officials felt threatened by the growing number of homeschoolers. For all these reasons, the head of one secular homeschooling group call the mid-1980s “the look over your shoulder time.”
Homeschoolers responded to the changed situation by turning from the local level to the state level, petitioning state legislatures to change laws to accommodate for homeschooling. Homeschoolers fought among themselves over how much oversight the laws should contain; while some homeschoolers were comfortable with standardized testing and submitting curriculum plans, others felt that such requirements were oppressive. Oversight of homeschooling today differs widely from state to state; some states have no oversight at all while others impose various requirements such as testing or curriculum approval. By 1989 the vast majority states had made peace with homeschoolers, with only a few states holding out into the early 1990s.
The 1980s was also the time of what historian Milton Gaither has called “the changing of the guard.” By 1990, homeschooling was no longer connected to the liberal-leaning educational reform movement, as it had been in the 1970s, but rather to conservative religious ideas and the Christian Right. First and foremost among the new leaders of the homeschool movement was Michael Farris. He is a homeschool parent and attorney who founded the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in 1983.
I highly recommend joining the HSLDA
The homeschooling movement has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, especially as it has increasingly come to be seen as an acceptable educational alternative.
Now, fast forward to today. With parents frustrated with the local public school system, the homeschool movement is once again exploding.
But what's so great about a home education? Let's begin with
Let's talk benefits:
1. Greater Educational Freedom: I love the flexibility that homeschooling offers. If my child is struggling with a concept we simply slow down go at his pace until the subject is mastered. We can also move more quickly if needed.
2. More Unique Experiences: We can enjoy getting out of the house
to experience more hands on learning which ultimately leads to
more retention on the subject matter.
3. Builds Strong Family Relationships: Homeschooling allows the parent and child to spend quality time together, as well as time with siblings.
4. No Homework! (go ahead, do the happy dance)
5. No Social Isolation: My children are not stuck in a room with the same age students. Rather, they enjoy a broad range of conversations with a variety of ages. They are not subject to sitting
at a desk all day and told to be quiet.
6. Flexible Schedules: I love that we can take a field trip, go visit family, and sleep in when we are not feeling well. I also love when my kid are really engaged in a subject that we can go with it...all day if needed. We are not rushing from subject to subject to get through our day. (I've done that...it's terrible). We love to take our vacations during the off seasons and enjoy the discounts too!
7. Special Needs: We can catered to the need of our children. They
can be in one grade level in math while on a total different level
8. Independent Learners: Homeschooling allows our children to
seek answers, not follow the crowd. It allows them work at their
own pace while teaching them to carefully organize their day.
9. Academics: We don't teach to cover what is on standardized test.
We teach what is relevant.
10. Entrepreneurship: Homeschooling flexibility allows our older
children to work part time jobs and some have started their
own business. This is great to learn how to manage finances!
11. Focus on Life Skills: I am still amazed at my college dorm friends
who could not pump their own gas, operate a washing machine,
cook a healthy meal or balance a check book. Seriously?
12. Positive Mental Health: Our kids feel free to fail....fall flat on their
face. Then, we encourage them to get up, wipe off the dust and
keep going. No bullying. No feeling like the class clown or inferior
to your classmates. Even when my kids are not quite where I feel
they should be academically I always tell say: "Your a genius!"
13. Physical Health: My children are rarely sick. Actually, only two have
ever needed antibiotics. And no, I am not a germaphobe. My kids
play in dirt!
14. They can pursue their own interests. The sky is the limit!
15. Family Life: We do not have to revolve around school demands
but rather put our family needs as our priority.
Importance of Family: https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/faith-family-and-food
Research has shown that the 2 most important
factors in reading and education success are a positive home
influence and parental involvement. Homeschooling is both!