This is an excellent article about Home schooling in the USA. A little has rubbed off on us here in New Zealand. I think Israel has some wise comments about the future of the home schooling movement worldwide – particularly for Christians. It is a long article but definitely worth reading.
Advise at the end of the article:
A Final Word to the Old Guard and the New Arrivals
To the old guard, in the years to come, you are going to see a lot of changes in the homeschooling movement that you won’t like. These new homeschooling families do not resemble The Waltons (from 1970?s TV), and they may dress, act, and believe quite differently than you do. The fact is, they are going to be the new majority. Increasingly, you will find your lifestyle and values becoming more rare and less tolerated culturally. You are going to have to find a way to deal with that. My suggestion is to live well, proselytize less on lifestyle distinctives, and learn to love these new, younger families.
On a personal level, the more that I hang out with these “Millennial Hipsters” (if I may be so bold as to affectionately label them that!), I really like most of them. I think they are sincere, love their children, and want to follow God. They are just REALLY averse to following a list of rules that they don’t find outlined clearly in Scripture. And I don’t blame them for that.
As a side note, please consider this article on some guidelines for navigating issues of Christian liberty and lifestyle preference with those who don’t share your values.
To the Millennial Hipsters, welcome to homeschooling! I’d like to say that we want to hear from you and we welcome your input. You are making (in my personal opinion) the best possible choice for the future of your children. I would encourage you to be kind and gracious to these conservative families who may look more to you like something off Little House on the Prairie than a family living in the new Millennium. You may not get their decisions or motives, and that’s okay. Ask them to tell you about their journey. I think you’ll be blessed and will be given a lot to think about. You may find that you have a lot of commonality with their motives, if not their actual lifestyle preferences and decisions.
I would also encourage you Hipsters to do yourself a favor and research the history of the homeschooling movement (and for Kiwis A Brief History of Home Education in New Zealand by Craig Smith) Find out how we got here, and why. Learn about the hundreds of families who sacrificed and risked much to pave the way for you to legally home educate your children. Be willing to give the gray heads in this movement a listen. You may not end up agreeing with them, but I think you’ll be the wiser for having done so.
For the foreseeable future, there is no place for homeschooling to go but straight up in terms of numeric growth. I hope that we can learn how to learn from the mistakes of our past, without running headlong into mistakes in the opposite direction. We HAVE made a lot of progress in this movement. It’s not all been bad. We have needed a correction, and we’ve gotten it. Now it’s time to walk humbly and mercifully into the future. Keep Christ the center. Love each other. That’s my plea.
From the Smiths:
Updated 2 February 2013: One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here
Needing help for your home schooling journey:
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
Information on getting started: https://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/
Information on getting an exemption: https://hef.org.nz/exemptions/
This link is motivational: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/
Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/