The Great Escape…Homeschooling

“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, 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.

23 thoughts on “The Great Escape…Homeschooling”

  1. Thank you for posting this! My 2 younger daughters have been begging to be homeschooled next year, and with CC coming, we’re ready to try it. I’m considering dual enrolling them so they won’t miss out on parties and activities (and so none of us go crazy), but I’m not sure how well it will work. Does anyone have any experience with dual enrollment?

    1. I did that once because I had no other choice, but I don’t recommend it. When you dual-enroll high school students you are giving a vote of confidence to the teachers you choose. No other teachers are affected. When you dual-enroll an elementary student, the teacher is likely to see your choice as a no-confidence vote and feel some resentment. It may also put extra burdens on her as far as scheduling, etc.

      Elementary children are better off at home. They are programed at a cellular level to learn in a home atmosphere with their mother. Moms will only “go crazy” if they try to duplicate classroom school in their homes. Better to keep teaching them to read the same way you taught them to tie their shoes and hold a fork. Don’t remember how you did those things? That’s the point. You modeled the things you wanted them to do, then answered their questions, and gave feedback to correct and encourage. They watched you tie their shoes, then asked to do it themselves, and you calmly showed them how. You didn’t get a workbook to follow or get uptight about anything. You listened rather than lectured.

      Just have a good time together, reading good literature, learning American history, writing stories, letters, notes to each other, poems, journals, or your family history. Work in the home and garden together, go places together, serve each other and serve elsewhere. Be a smart, learning mother and they’ll be smart, learning daughters.

      Take them out tomorrow and enjoy the spring together. They’ll be grown and gone before you know it.

      1. Thank you, Joyce! My girls (9 and 11) both want to be home full-time, but I just worry about them losing the friends they’ve made at school and missing out on the social aspects. I know homeschoolers always say their kids do fine and make friends, but our experience has been a little different. While they attended a charter school for a few years, neither of them had any close friends at school or in the neighborhood. The minute I moved them to the public school, both of them found groups of friends. That aside, I agree with you completely. :) It would definitely be easier for me to plan their scope and sequence without having to coordinate with both teachers.
        As to keeping them home today to enjoy the nicer weather – I wish! They’re in the middle of CRT testing, and I already received a semi-threatening letter from the school that one has missed too many days this term (too many bad allergy or flu days) and her attendance is now being “closely tracked”. Another great reason to homeschool them, right?

      2. I think dual enrollment strongly depends on your teacher and school. I have dual enrolled a little bit in grade school, primarily because my son was so far ahead of the highest level in the class. The teacher and the principal were very supportive. I am currently looking at dual enrolling both of my grade school boys in the same school. I have a friend who sends her kids to the local public school for most electives and she teaches them at home for the basics. It has worked out well so far with little to no trouble from the school. However, another elementary school near me has a very difficult principal. It would be an entirely different story if my children were at that school. Test the waters, see what your reception will be.

  2. I did not buy a curriculum or textbooks but used books about real people and events plus classic literature. Besides reading we had some wonderful field trips plus science fairs, parties,
    a choir, and other events with a homeschool group. Books by Raymond and Dorothy Moore were the most helpful to me.

  3. Great post about homeschooling. I tried to click on the link for more information regarding which homeschool curricula are aligning to the Common Core standards – those to avoid, in other words – but it tells me that the page is ‘Not Found.’ Is there a working link to that page that you could send to me or that could be fixed in this post? I would really appreciate having that information. Thank you for what you’re doing here.

  4. Waldorf Education has a wonderful curriculum for homeschooling. BYU Education Professor Cliff Mayes stated: “If the Millennium were to begin next week, and you and I, as educators, were asked what kind of educational system should be put in place, I believe that the best answer would be ‘Rudolf Steiner’s Waldorf Schools.'”

    For those familiar with Permaculture, David Holmgren devised a Permaculture flower which details information on how to have a self-sustainable community. Under the Education petal of that flower, Homeschooling and Waldorf Education are listed.

    In Utah we have a FB support group at Utah-Waldorf. There is also a home-school co-op that has part-time supplemental schooling to support one’s own homeschooling. Contact me for details.

    Melisa Neilsen, has written and offers support for Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum and lives here in Utah. She also offers an online homeschool training program in Waldorf Education. Her website is

    We will be having a Week Intensive Training in Waldorf Education June 3-8th.

    If you’d like more information on this training or about Waldorf Education, Please contact me.


    Krystelle Rose

  5. Encouraging words. My daughter is too young right now for any formal education, though we’re always learning. I am planning on homeschooling her. I have been pleasantly surprised with the reactions from family members that I thought would discourage me (I am a certified teacher as are my two sisters). One of my sisters is now considering pulling her two middle schoolers out of public school for math. Thanks for all your work.

  6. I just want to say THANK YOU! I have been homeschooling my young children since January, and have had some anxiety over whether what I was doing was sufficient. THANK YOU for posting Gayle’s video! We also have twelve children, several of which have special needs that were not being met by our local school district in Las Vegas (we are moving to Utah in June, YAY!), which is why we decided to homeschool. Thank you so much for all you’re doing!!!!

  7. I’m not terribly concerned with CC infringing on our family’s homeschool. There’s not really an official curriculum for homeschool, though it does look like quite a list of publishers and educational businesses that are popular among homeschool families are alligning themselves with CC. Thanks for listing them. I think that online charter schools (which are actually public schools, but far superior to conventional public schools–especially since it involves parents), will be affected by CC. Many homeschool families utilize curricula through these virtual charter schools, at least part time. As long as we don’t drink the kool-aid of the public funds being offered to us for “free” curricula through these online charter school vehicles, and homeschool independently, we aren’t beholden to Race to the Top, or Common Core, which I’ve read public school teachers call even worse than No Child Left Behind.

    From what I’ve seen, Common Core is in some ways easier and in some ways more advanced to what Utah Core was. But the whole thing looks stressful and too uptight. I have heard it cuts down on classic fiction in literature classes, which is a shame. And I don’t feel comfortable with federal government getting so involved in what should be a local issue, education of our children. What I do is look at requirements of each grade, and the goal is to do more than what public schools require. And customize to my childrens’ learning styles.

    I appreciate the agency in education examples that were shared. People learn things best when they are interested. Compulsory education is not as effective.

  8. One of the best resources that was recommended to me when I started was a book called The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. It lists several different curricula options in each category of study. It also gave me more confidence in the decision I had made to homeschool. It’s a very organized book!

  9. I am curious what will be done for a diploma for home school children? Currently I believe they take the GED, unless they pay for a certified diploma home school curriculum, which will most likely go common core. I would guess that the GED and the ACT/SAT will be aligned to common core. At that point, how will home schooled kids provide the necessary “documentation” to apply for college? Any thoughts?

    1. The majority of home educated students do not take the GED as it is often viewed as inferior to a diploma by employers or institutions of higher learning. Parents who chose to home educate through high school may issue their own diploma based on student completion of requirements for the diploma. Most universities in Utah and elsewhere are however, most interested in ACT/SAT scores for early college or for college admission for home educated students. Some will look at the home educated student’s transcript along with test scores, others will only consider test scores. Home educated students may prep for the ACT/SAT utilizing the same books, classes, and web programs available for purchase or use as non-home education students. Scheduling time with your home education student to prep and take the practice tests is usually what is most important, as knowledge of HOW to take the tests may greatly affect scores. A student who has successfully completed or is in the midst of a comprehensive education program is likely to do well if they have the test taking skills and practice.

  10. I started homeschooling my 1st grader last year. Overall I have really enjoyed it! It does have hard days….sometimes lots of them. I learned that the more I tried to make school look like the public school classroom, the more we struggled. It is sometimes hard to rid yourself of that mentality as my entire education was in public school. At one point I was feeling very overwhelmed and seriously considered sending my kids back to school. I sat down and wrote a pro/cons list of homeschool. The pros were nearly a page and a half long and I could only think of one major con: no time for me. I took that as a self diagnosis and make sure mom is taking care of herself first. It works much better that way. :-)

    Oak, I was wondering if you (or anyone else here) has used or has heard of MEP math? It is the math the schools in the United Kingdom use. While its not set up for homeschooling, they have allowed homeschoolers to use it. It is easily modifiable to our needs. My daughter really struggled with k12 math, but MEP has been a great fit. But I don’t really know a lot about what actual kind of math this is—this post was was interesting to me and I wonder if I made a good choice in math or if I should scrap it? I am ever the worried mother who wonders if I am giving my children enough.

  11. I would like to know if anyone has heard of ACE (Accelerated Christian Education)? I want to know if it is aligned with CC. Also if anyone has a recommendation for a curriculum that comes as one big packet with step by step guides for the teacher, that would be easy for a beginning homeschool mother with no teaching experience to use, your suggestions are very needed!

    1. Hi Jessica!
      The Family School is a curriculum that includes everything except formal grammar lessons and math. We use this curriculum and love it, you mentioned a Christian curriculum in your comment, The Family School is a Latter Day Saint based curriculum. Hope this helps!

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