With all the confusion that is going on in our nation and state over the Coronavirus, homeschooling is the direct beneficiary, offering parents a sense of solidity and control in the midst of tremendous instability and upheaval. We could very well be looking at one of the greatest seasons of growth for the homeschooling movement, but this doesn’t mean it won’t be without challenges and growing pains.
As I interact with people across the state, read numerous blogs, and listen to various doctors and nutritionists, I have come to realize how immersed we are in statism and how quickly we question our own abilities when pitted against the self-proclaimed expertise of various governmental agencies or representatives. It is happening with COVID and it is happening with homeschooling. Even though numerous organizations—including ICHE—instruct new homeschoolers that they do not need to register with the state to legally homeschool, many parents are still intimidated because of public school administrators who are either ignorant of the law or have a certain degree of animosity towards it.
This self-doubt clearly exemplifies that one of our biggest obstacles to overcome is our tendency to stay tightly tucked within the confines of the box which society and statism imposes upon us. As public-school teachers, it took my wife and I several years to lay down some of our institutional training and trust the walk along talk along model of education as described in Deuteronomy 6. It wasn’t that we didn’t believe in the scriptures, but rather we had been so immersed in the system for so long we had forgotten to think for ourselves with the benchmark of that thinking being the Word of God. I don’t think we are alone in that mindset.
Our socialistic culture inundates us with the message, “Don’t try this at home. Leave it to the state.” As one who was trained within the system, I know better. I was a high school English teacher and coach. My alma mater had a national reputation at the time for being a great school for training future educators. And while I did have some wonderful professors, I really did not learn how to teach until I actually taught. I didn’t even know how to fill out a grade book and had to learn that on my own. As with all other school districts, I was given a pre-selected curriculum, and all I had to do was to follow the teacher’s guide. Sound familiar?
The point is there is not magic pill that trained educators take to become professional teachers. you learn how to teach simply by teaching, just like homeschooling parents. Unlike you, however, as soon as they get to know how some of their students—by no means all of them—learn, these pupils pass on to the next grade level, and the entire process starts all over. In homeschooling, the parent/teacher has the privilege of walking along side of his or her children all the way through. y get to know their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, they get to know their character strengths and weaknesses. By the time they pass your level of expertise in a given subject, they have learned how to learn on their own. To a great extent , they will now teach themselves, not just for the remainder of the school year but for the rest of their lives. No wonder employers and colleges are recruiting homeschoolers.
For those of us who hold to a Christian worldview, we also know that we have a Heavenly Father who opens up opportunities that we never could on our own. It may be an older neighbor that is gifted in something our child is interested in or someone in a support group that is getting rid of something that is perfect for us. The bottom line is we can trust God and His grace in us.
For those who are new to homeschooling, the voices of statism speak loudly because they try to drown out the volume of facts and statistics of homeschooling success. According to Dr. Brian Ray, homeschoolers score between the 80th to 87th percentile in achievement tests compared to the public-school’s results of the 50th percentile. More encouraging yet, there is almost no statistical difference between how well a homeschooling child does whose parents hold a PhD. versus a child whose parents have only a GED. I realize this is counter intuitive to a culture built upon experts, but these are the facts of a homeschooling family that is built upon caring parents.
As the old saying goes, God gave your children to you, not to the public-school system. You are the expert of your child. You need to trust yourself, not the state.
Executive Director, ICHE
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Planning is underway for our 2021 Homeschool Convention. The convention committee strives to put together an amazing group of speakers vendors and workshops that will encourage and enhance your homeschooling journey. It takes many volunteers to make this happen.
If you would like to serve on convention committee please email arkasia@email@example.com.
APACHE has been connecting homeschooling families with resources that equip, support, and encourage them in their efforts for 30 years. This is only possible through the efforts of many volunteers and the Board of Directors.
The APACHE Board of Directors is seeking a couple to join the Board. The Board meets quarterly, providing oversight and leadership for APACHE as a tax-exempt organization as well as its sponsored events/activities. We ask that you prayerfully consider serving our homeschool community in this way. In order to continue offering local events and opportunities, your help is needed. There are many opportunities to help with a variety of tasks/needs, both on the Board and as a subscriber volunteer.
For more information or to volunteer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For questions regarding newsletter submissions, the Homeschool Convention or home education in general, please send an email to email@example.com. A Board member will respond as soon as possible.
Mailing Address: PAACH | P.O. Box 5203 | Peoria, IL 61601