Parents: Embrace “The Homeschool Awakening” – Your Kids Are Worth It!


This week I attended the second and final world premiere screening of the inspiring, upbeat and positive new documentary The awakening of school at homeby award-winning actor Kirk Cameron (Growing pains; Left over series). Despite competition from the multi-billion dollar blockbuster at the box office jurassic world playing alongside, shaking the walls with the thunderous sounds of artificial dinos running amok, home school was its own refreshing escape from what feels like the daily din of the world we live in these days.

The film was incredibly well attended by an enthusiastic, engaged, family-oriented crowd, which surprised me considering I was in a rundown suburban Seattle theater in a “woke” and radical way. A few seats away from where I was sitting was a busy toddler who at one point quieted down as big screen montages flashed past her of children of all ages and of all sizes interacting with their mothers and fathers and participating in normal fun activities such as story time. , cooking, outdoor games and yes, even math, science and geography. The child’s laughter was contagious, as she pointed out and repeated the words and actions she recognized. Slowly, I began to feel comfortable in a theater with a talkative two-year-old, because such an environment seemed appropriate to me – because the movie itself is about family.

To paraphrase a father featured in the film: Wealth is not about the material possessions we own; the real wealth is in the family, and parents must take seriously their responsibility as educators and guardians. As the Bible teaches in Proverbs 22:6, “Parents, train a child in the way he should go, so that even when he is old he will not turn aside from it.”

Parent-Led Education – It’s up to you to shape

Cameron, the American teen idol-turned-activist – best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the popular 1980s-90s TV sitcom Growing pains – stars in the film, along with his family, and is also the film’s executive producer. He explains the general theme of the film well in a few words in an interview with The old times‘ Jan Jekielek, host of “American Thought Leaders”:

God gave your children to you as mom and dad, not to the federal government, and you must decide how best to support, encourage, and educate your children.

Cameron and other film presenters, such as author and journalist Alex Newman (founder of Public School Exit and co-writer of Educator Crimes: How Utopians Use Public Schools to Destroy America’s Children) and Dr. Kathy Koch (founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc. and author of the book 8 great ideas), remind viewers that for hundreds of years, early childhood education in America was home-based and not in the hands of the federal government.

“In fact,” says Newman, “the word education is not in the Constitution. And the Founders also explicitly state in the Tenth Amendment that anything not mentioned in the Constitution is specifically prohibited by the federal government. So the founding fathers actually banned federal government involvement in education.

“[Education] was a private thing,” Cameron told Jekielek. “It certainly wasn’t funded by the government until later, and parents took their responsibility as a sacred duty to shape the hearts and minds of their children.” And they didn’t do it alone; they did it in community with other families, and they saw their whole world as their classroom.

A family in the film with a daughter named Abby who has Down’s Syndrome explained that a public school assistant told them that Abby couldn’t play the same as other children, due to her disability. . The family debated whether to take their daughter out of school.

“I wanted Abby to be in an environment where she was allowed to try things out without being told she couldn’t do something because she was different,” Abby’s mother said. . Abby’s father added, “If we spend half the time homeschooling our child than we spend trying to [write these articles and find out what was legal], all that energy we were wasting in that direction, I thought it would be better. We didn’t have to be a special needs teacher, we just had to be a teacher for our daughter.

A teacher of four, another mother in the film noted that “every school day begins with prayer and devotion.” Some of her children are more involved, she explained, others less but are moving in that direction. “Each child has their own crate … with whatever we are working on that week. Nothing more. Only workbooks we are working on that week. Our school is different every day,” she said.

Her eldest daughter, Chloe, a beautiful young girl with wondering eyes, said: ‘I will start university at 12 and in my third year I will graduate at 15. In my fourth year, I will get my master’s degree. at 16 years old.

“She is finalizing her internship at NASA,” her mother said.

In a touching scene, Chloe thanked her mother for everything she did for her: “I’m encouraged by what she’s doing for me because I know she doesn’t have to do this for me… . She made sure I had everything I needed. Chloe cries looking at her mother and says “she has no idea, she has no idea.”

A day in the life of homeschooled families

“Homeschooling was never on our radar, but all of a sudden it sounded really good,” said a mother of two who is also a small business owner. “Our eldest was in a private school, and I knew in my heart that if he stayed in school, it would be an uphill battle to preserve who he was. I didn’t feel like I had time. I really felt clearly that God said I will create time where there is no time.

Another mom, who admitted she is not a morning person, chuckled as he remarked that “when everything [our] friends were chasing the bus we were all piling up in bed and reading a book and laughing that everyone was awake and on the grind and here we are all huddled up reading out loud and having a cup of coffee in our jammies.

Yet another mother, whose father was a senator and passed a bill that said if a teacher attributed explicit material, parents should be notified, described how her family was inundated with emails from teachers telling her to step aside: Your child’s education is none of your business; we have the diplomas and the expertise.

Many of these parents who once had their children in public schools had to “pull themselves out of public school” and learn to teach their children to learn on their own. Although all admit that the process was difficult, all also said that it was the greatest gift they had received.

“What’s the worst thing that can happen,” a parent told his wife while discussing the option of home learning. Their son, Nathanial, had been bullied many times at school, but once home, he no longer faced those same pressures.

“We weren’t chained to the school schedule anymore,” Nathanial’s mother said. “I was afraid of losing my freedom, but what I found was that the freedom we had was so worth this small sacrifice. [That sacrifice] was to teach children. Now, 12 years later, I realize that wasn’t a sacrifice; it was a total gift.

In a compelling scene, a college admissions dean explains that while test scores are even, they prefer homeschooled kids because they have such completeness about them. “Their socialization is exceptional. They are used to being around and working with adults and children! They are initiative takers, they think outside the box, they are pioneering families, and we want more of them like that.

Homeschoolers don’t teach content, they teach kids

As parents of six children, four of whom were adopted, Cameron and his wife, Chelsea, are candid about their own decision to homeschool, which they only made after their children had completed six years of private education.

In a film that features 17 families of all backgrounds, races, colors and creeds – some children work on farms but live in towns; another is a 14-year-old pilot – the message Cameron is sending is that homeschooling can provide a “hands-on workshop where you can learn together from other families through curricula developed by education experts…. You can do this in a tailored way that doesn’t undermine your faith and values, and doesn’t replace family time. It actually improves those things.

With the meteoric rise of the homeschool movement, a rapidly growing trend that shows no signs of slowing down, the number of American families opting to homeschool their children increased by 63% in the 2020-21 school year. , and the percentage continues to climb. There are dozens of homeschooling co-ops and networks popping up across the country, as well as homeschooling conventions (which Cameron talks about in the movie and which can be found on the Wake up from school to home website).

To critics of homeschooling who wonder if it’s possible for the single mom or dad to homeschool because it costs too much or takes too long, Cameron said: ‘Yes, [it is possible]…. And there has been an explosion and a return to these educational principles that parents are in a position of leadership, not the federal government.

Cameron continued: “Homeschooling is becoming so popular and so many people are there to help that homeschooling has become very, very affordable. And you don’t do it alone. You have the support of a large community of millions of families doing it successfully.

“Instead of saying I can’t afford to do anything other than the status quo,” Cameron urged, “ask yourself if I can afford not to look for something that might be better for my children and really help them succeed and thrive?As a parent, no one is going to love and care for them as much as I do, and I have to take the initiative to find out where my priorities are and how to find a way to do the things that are important to me.”

Back To Top