“I don’t like the curriculum the school is using”
“I’m worried about our child’s personal information being part of a government database”
“I don’t feel comfortable with my child in that class”
“Who says that’s the best way to teach my children?”
“Maybe we should consider homeschooling”
“I could never homeschool”
If you have ever thought or said any of these things, this article is for you. (Which should probably be about 99% of you)
First off, here’s a success story to be amazed at. It’s a family that sent 6 children to college by age 12 by homeschooling them and just encouraging them to study the things they had an interest in. Remarkable.
I want to be very clear that if you homeschool or are contemplating homeschooling to get away from Common Core, you will be doing your children a great service, though you may not fully succeed in avoiding everything Common Core. As we’ve stated before, they are coming for homeschoolers because they don’t want families to have the freedom to teach their children non-government approved topics at home. Our current administration is trying to deport a German family (The Romeikes) and make an example of them because this Christian family fled Germany where homeschooling is outlawed, and they want to homeschool their children and teach them their values.
That said, there are great reasons to homeschool. If you’ve wondered about homeschooling but weren’t sure, please watch this video below from last year’s Agency-Based Education (ABE) conference where Gayle Ruzicka talks about homeschooling her children. Gayle is president of the Utah Eagle Forum. She’s an amazing lady who has battled tirelessly for years at the legislature AND homeschooled her children all along the way, often in the balconies or cafeteria at the capitol. If you have ever contemplated homeschooling or wondered if it could work for you, you owe it to yourself to watch her video and see if she doesn’t convince you to try it out. Below it are several homeschooling program resources you can consider. I strongly encourage you to visit the Agency-Based Education website and get on the mailing list (extremely low volume) as it is the antithesis of compulsory education used in the school system today. Compulsory education must end. If I have no natural right to go to my neighbor’s house and demand that the parents educate their children in a certain way, I cannot delegate that power to government to forcibly take children from homes and have them state educated. Nobody has the right and responsibility to educate children but their own parents who have that duty from God. Do not fall into the trap of thinking, “how will those children be educated if some parents don’t force them to school?” As Thomas Jefferson said, “it is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.” If you want more information on this, please see my presentation at the ABE conference on Ending Compulsory Education.
There are many homeschool resources available. Tons of programs, loads of content, and if you’ve never done it before, you may feel quite lost. That’s how my wife and I felt starting homeschooling. We were forced into it due to a daughter’s serious illness. Soon she was joined by another younger child who was ill for a period of time, and then revealed after the guilt got to her, that after she got better she continued to fake the illness because she didn’t want to go back to public school and wanted to be homeschooled. She was 9, and repented, so we’re all good… :)
So I’m going to post some resources for you to consider, and if you’re a homeschooler and want to share your resources and thoughts, please chime in with your comments below. Many homeschoolers just use a selection of resources which can be obtained all over the place according to your children’s needs and interests.
I’m going to start off with my friend Kristen Chevrier’s blog, Homeschoolwise.com. Her blog is excellent for people considering homeschooling. I’ll just reference a few articles.
Freedom Project Education – This is a program that’s been around for a few years and it’s really developed into a nice program. I know a couple people who have used this program and they’ve really liked it. It was founded by the John Birch Society so you know it’s got a solid classical education based in principles of the Constitution. The cost is $1600 a year at this time and you have access to the teachers who teach the classes. Here’s a page with general information about the program. If I remember right, they have 3 trimesters a year and you take 3 classes in each trimester (ex. math lasts 12 weeks). Once you high upper grades there are a number of electives as well. It’s a good solid program and sort of the equivalent of a private school experience from the comfort of your home.
The Ron Paul Curriculum – This one is brand new. It will be fully done in 2015, but starting this fall they anticipate K-10 should be done. For K-5, this curriculum is FREE. There are no textbooks, and you just print the occasional worksheet to accompany the lesson. There is no “official support” for the K-5 levels because it’s free and they can’t afford that, but there will be a paid parent forum for $250 per year. Concerning this lack of K-5 support the site says: “If I were the federal government, I would promise you more. But then I probably wouldn’t deliver.” Love that. :) Children who apply themselves in this curriculum will learn to run a blog, do video editing and tutorials to teach what they’re learning, enter college as Juniors, and have a business that will help pay for it. Check out the details on the website, and check out Tom Woods’ endorsement here (he’s one of the teachers).
Robinson Curriculum – Interestingly, on the Ron Paul Curriculum website, they have this text which will serve as my description of this curriculum. It’s a bargain for families, though I do see Saxon ordering information on their website so I’m not sure if the $200 one time fee for the content really includes everything needed to learn all subjects. If someone knows you can comment below.
“Another super bargain is the Robinson Curriculum. It was created by Dr. Arthur Robinson, the libertarian chemist. He homeschooled six children. Two of them earned Ph.Ds in veterinary medicine. Another earned a Ph.D in nuclear engineering. Another earned a Ph.D in chemistry. One is finishing a Ph.D in nuclear engineering. The sixth is still in college. This curriculum is based on primary source readings. It is self-taught. It costs $200, once per family. Order it here.
Why should I promote a rival product? Because this site is not complete. I want every visitor to adopt homeschooling. If you need a curriculum now, Robinson’s is a good one.”
Thomas Jefferson Education – TJED was founded by Oliver and Rachel DeMille and is very popular with homeschoolers, at least in Utah. I can’t explain much about the program myself, but all I ever hear about it is positive. I know the core idea is that children are geared toward a love of learning by studying things they have an interest in…sort of like that family mentioned above who had the tremendous success with their children learning to love learning.
There are certainly a number of other fine programs, but these are a few off the top of my head you can take a look at. If you homeschool and have other favorites, post them in the comments with a brief description of your experience with it and the pros and cons. There are also numerous conferences and support groups that can help you get started.