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Home Schooling & Micro Schools

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New Census Data Show Homeschooling Tripled During the Pandemic—And One Key Group is Driving the Surge  (Fee.org) Once they experience the full freedom and flexibility of homeschooling, many parents and children won’t ever want to return to a coercive classroom.   In its Household Pulse Survey, the Census Bureau counted homeschoolers as students whose parents had officially removed them from a school or never enrolled them to begin with. This distinguishes independent homeschoolers from the millions of students doing home-based remote schooling during the pandemic response. In addition to massive overall growth in homeschooling, the survey results also revealed increasing homeschooling rates across all races and ethnicities.

FEE.org - While last year’s “pandemic homeschooling” was far from typical homeschooling and most students were still connected to their school, today more parents are willingly and enthusiastically choosing independent homeschooling, officially severing ties with their school district.
     Independent homeschooling has more than doubled this academic year and parents’ opinions of homeschooling continue to be positive. EdChoice has been tracking parents’ perspectives regarding education during the COVID-19 response since last March, when they found that more than half (55%) of parents had a more favorable view of homeschooling than they did pre-pandemic. This positive opinion of homeschooling has only increased in subsequent EdChoice surveys, with 63 percent of parents in February 2021 saying they have a favorable view of homeschooling.
     Beyond homeschooling, some parents realize that they can access high-quality online learning resources that offer more freedom and flexibility than conventional schooling while still providing structure. ASU Prep Digital, for instance, is an online school that enables students to earn an accredited high school diploma while gaining concurrent college credits through Arizona State University. Tuition-free for Arizona residents through a charter school network, and comparatively low-cost for out-of-state residents, it has seen surging enrollment this year. More edtech startups, such as Expanse Online and My Tech High, have emerged or expanded to meet the demand of parents for affordable and enriching online education.

 

Home Schooling & Micro School Resources

  • The Old Schoolhouse® - A privately held corporation that publishes the industry-leading homeschool education print magazine, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, as well as hundreds of books and planning support tools for homeschooling families. SchoolhouseTeachers.com, a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, supports over 7,000 member families, with more than 400 courses for preschool through high school, as well as educational videos, World Book Online, transcripts, report cards, planning tools, and recordkeeping. Established in 2001, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is focused on providing high-quality, encouraging, affordable solutions for homeschooling families.

  • A Guide to Online Homeschooling - A resource for students and families considering homeschooling, building a curriculum and philosophy, and transitioning to college as a homeschooled student. The decision to homeschool a child is complex, and the reasons for home education are as varied as the people who choose it. Once considered the province of religious, rural, and white families, homeschooling is now more diverse. Although white students are more likely to be homeschooled than nonwhite students, 72% of homeschooled students live in urban areas, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). When asked in a  national survey why they choose to homeschool their children, parents cited several different reasons that range well beyond the traditional perceptions of homeschooling families.

  • BeginningHomeschooling.com is a service of the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership (the Alliance). The Alliance is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 to support Christian statewide home education organizations. The Alliance represents 48 affiliate organizations from 45 states, Canada, and Mexico, and has over 1,000 years of cumulative homeschooling experience.  The best way to begin your homeschool journey is by contacting your state or provincial organization. Christian homeschool organizations serve families all year long by providing state-specific information, support and encouragement, information on local resources, annual events, and a watchful eye for legal issues.

  • Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed. HSLDA's mission is to protect the freedom of all homeschoolers. Although our officers and directors are Christians, HSLDA membership is open to all homeschoolers. We trust and respect parents to make the right choices for the upbringing of their children. We have no agenda to make all public and home-based classrooms religious or conservative. Our primary objective is to preserve the fundamental right of parents to choose home education, free of over-zealous government officials and intrusive laws. We do put on a national conference annually and invite the board members of state organizations with whom we have worked for many years. Most, if not all, of those organizations have Christian leaders, but many serve all homeschoolers regardless of religious affiliation, as we do.

  • K12 Online Home Schooling for Parents & Home Schooling backed by former Education Secretary William Bennett. From exceptional online courses, to blended online/classroom school programs, to full-time online public and private school programs. K12 has become the largest provider of online learning for grades K-12, because we know better than anyone else how to build engaging curriculum that blends online and offline learning experiences. We also enable differentiated instruction down to the individual level, rooted in decades of educational research.  

  • Micro-School Networks Expand Learning Options (Prenda) The neighborhood school reimagined In-home microschools led by inspiring mentors. A blend between homeschooling and private schooling, micro-schools retain the curriculum freedom and schedule flexibility characteristic of homeschooling. (See How Micro-School Networks Expand Learning Options at Foundation for Economic Education)

  • Homeschool Resources for Special Needs Students - A comprehensive homeschooling guide for parents of special needs children Filled with helpful resources and information. Our goal is to inform parents and students about critical information regarding their homeschooling or distance education and share different resources that will help set them up for success. Our Resources for Homeschool and Distance Learning for Students With Special Needs guide offers in-depth information in several areas, including: How to choose a homeschool curriculum * Important definitions that outline what special needs means in a school context * Advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling and distance learning * Some fun learning activities and tools parents can incorporate into their lesson plans * Homeschool organizations that offer further resources

  • College Guide for Homeschool Students - offers in depth information in several areas, including: Steps homeschool students should take in order to get into college. Tips for how homeschool students can find right the college. How homeschool students can navigate the admissions process. Tips on managing the social transition to college. Alternative educational pathways for homeschool students. 

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    Teacher Aid Education Resources

     

    • Christian Educators Association International CEAI is a leader in promoting the rights of religious  persons in public education.

    • English Grammar - Comprehensive English grammar resource. Here you’ll learn all aspects of the English written language, enabling you to improve your writing skills in both personal and formal communications. Free daily English grammar lessons and exercises



Homeschooling Parents Set Their Own Course Despite Slow-Moving Government - By Teresa Mull (8/12/2016) - Whatever their particular reasons, a diverse set of homeschooling parents across the nation all have one thing in common: They’re dissatisfied with the status quo, and they’re innovating where the system is failing them. And what homeschooling parents are doing is working. NHERI reports, “The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.” Another recent study shows homeschool students score higher than the national average on the SAT, and NBC reports“many colleges seeking to diversify their student bodies are welcoming them with open arms.”

 

Why Home Schooling? - By Walter E. Williams - Many public primary and secondary schools are dangerous places. The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics show that in 2012, there were about 749,200 violent assaults on students. In the 2011-12 academic year, there were a record 209,800 primary- and secondary-school teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student. Nationally, an average of 1,175 teachers and staff were physically attacked, including being knocked out, each day of that school year. In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. Each year, roughly 10 percent of primary- and secondary-school teachers are threatened with bodily harm.    Many public schools not only are dangerous but produce poor educational results. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 2013, sometimes called the Nation's Report Card (https://tinyurl.com/mn6snpf), only 33 percent of white 12th-graders tested proficient in math, and 47 percent tested proficient in reading. For black 12th-graders, it was a true tragedy, with only 7 percent testing proficient in math and 16 percent in reading. These grossly disappointing educational results exist despite massive increases in public education spending.

Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education  - They raise chickens. They grow vegetables. They knit. Now a new generation of urban parents is even teaching their own kids. ...We think of homeschoolers as evangelicals or off-the-gridders who spend a lot of time at kitchen tables in the countryside. And it’s true that most homeschooling parents do so for moral or religious reasons. But education observers believe that is changing. ...Many of these parents feel that city schools—or any schools—don’t provide the kind of education they want for their kids. Just as much, though, their choice to homeschool is a more extreme example of a larger modern parenting ethos: that children are individuals, each deserving a uniquely curated upbringing. That peer influence can be noxious. (Bullying is no longer seen as a harmless rite of passage.) That DIY—be it gardening, knitting, or raising chickens—is something educated urbanites should embrace. That we might create a sense of security in our kids by practicing “attachment parenting,” an increasingly popular approach that involves round-the-clock physical contact with children and immediate responses to all their cues.
     ...Says Rebecca Wald, a Baltimore homeschooler, “Once we had a child and I realized how fun it was to see her discover stuff about the world, I thought, why would I want to let a teacher have all that fun?” It’s 12:30 p.m. on a Thursday, and Tera and her daughters have arrived home from a rehearsal of a homeschoolers’ production of Alice in Wonderland. Their large green Craftsman is typical Seattle. There are kayaks in the garage, squash in the slow cooker, and the usual paraphernalia of girlhood: board games, dolls, craft kits. Next to the kitchen phone is a printout of the day’s responsibilities. Daisy and Ginger spend about two hours daily in formal lessons, including English and math; today they’ve also got history, piano, and sewing.
     ...he Schreiber girls spend most of their time out and about, typically at activities arranged for homeschoolers. There are Girl Scouts and ceramics and book club and enrichment classes and park outings arranged by the Seattle Homeschool Group, a secular organization whose membership has grown from 30 families to 300 over the last decade. In a way, urban homeschooling can feel like an intensified version of the extracurricular madness that is the hallmark of any contemporary middle-class family, or it can feel like one big, awesome field trip. Institutions throughout the country have discovered a reliable weekday customer in urban homeschoolers. “Everywhere you turn there’s a co-op or a class or a special exhibit,” says Brian Ray, founder of the National Home Education Research Institute in Oregon. Three years ago, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago began to court homeschoolers with free admission, their own newsletters, and courses designed specifically for them. Participation has doubled each year. “The more we offer, the more we sell out,” says Andrea Ingram, vice president of education and guest services.
     ...Still, you can’t help but wonder whether there’s a cost to all this family togetherness. There are the moms, of course, who for two decades have their lives completely absorbed by their children’s. But the mothers I got to know seem quite content with that, and clearly seem to be having fun getting together with each other during their kids’ activities. And the kids? There’s concern that having parents at one’s side throughout childhood can do more harm than good. Psychologist Wendy Mogel, the author of the bestselling book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, admires the way homeschoolers manage to “give their children a childhood” in an ultracompetitive world. Yet she wonders how kids who spend so much time within a deliberately crafted community will learn to work with people from backgrounds nothing like theirs. She worries, too, about eventual teenage rebellion in families that are so enmeshed. Typical urban homeschooled kids do tend to find the space they need by the time they reach those teenage years, participating independently in a wealth of activities. That’s just as well for their parents, who by that time can often use a breather. And it has made them more appealing to colleges, which have grown more welcoming as they find that homeschoolers do fine academically. In some ways these students may arrive at college more prepared, as they’ve had practice charting their own intellectual directions, though parents say they sometimes bristle at having to suffer through courses and professors they don’t like. Tera figures that her daughters are out in the world enough to interact with all sorts of people. She feels certain they will be able to be good citizens precisely because of her and Eric’s “forever style of parenting,” as she calls it, not in spite of it.

 

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