21 Jul, 2020 What Will Your School Look Like this Fall? Part 1
by Dr. Kathryn Knight
With the world changing, school changes with it and not always for the good. Politicians, educators, and families continue to discuss public school’s response to coronavirus, while left-wing groups continue to push for curriculum changes that pull our kids further from God. This is the first of a two-part series with CCM education expert, Dr. Kathryn Knight. She shares insight, recommendations, and encouragement for parents to consider when choosing education options. Americans have relied on government-supplied public education for too long, but the costs are getting too high. Perhaps it’s time we took it back.
Part 1: Welcome to Homeschool
The close of summer usually means that families start thinking about the upcoming school year. Clothing sales. Supply lists. Tax-free weekends. Normal back-to-school stuff. But this year, “normal” has changed. Schools ended abruptly last year and kids were sent home to use (or sometimes ignore!) online resources that were often decidedly lacking. The school year fizzled out instead of ending with the normal climax of graduations, recitals, programs, and recognition.
What Is Your School Teaching?
Now a new school year is approaching, but what should we do? If we are honest with ourselves as Christians, we know the answer is not to keep our kids in a failing education system that embraces a Bible-bashing, liberal bias combined with anti-American curriculum.
“I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It’s one of the great confessional faiths,” Biden said Monday at the “Million Muslim Votes” summit hosted by Emgage Action. (Fox News, July 20, 2020)
I am not talking about individual teachers. There are many godly teachers in the public school system. But the system is forcing teachers and students alike to embrace ideas that are unbiblical.
We need to consider homeschooling our kids. Not just staying in our houses and using the public-school system’s online curriculum as a pseudo-homeschool, but really homeschool our kids in a bonafide manner.
Your right to homeschool your kids is guaranteed,
but requirements differ from state to state.
Here’s a to-do list to get ready for homeschool.
- Determine your focus and pray. Your kids are yours, not the state’s. As Christians, we are told to raise children to honor God and that means we have to make sure that their education honors God. Ask God what direction He wants you to head with your children’s education.
- Have your First Parent-Teacher Meeting. In most cases, Mom is the main teacher and Dad is the principal. Go alone to a conference (aka a date night) and talk about what you want to include in your school. Put together a flexible plan for the coming year.
- Ask Questions. If you know a veteran homeschool mom, call her and ask her advice. She can probably help you narrow down choices based on what teaching tools and methods she has used over the years. Post your questions and comments below and I’ll be happy to offer advice. Check out Counter Culture Mom past blogs as well as advice from Tina Griffin, Heidi St. John
- Choose A Curriculum (Or Choose More than One). There are hundreds of curriculum choices and not all will work for your family. Look at options, compare prices and delivery (online, books, DVD, etc). It’s okay to start the year with one curriculum and switch if you realize it’s not working for your family.
- Look at Group Teaching Options. There are homeschool support groups available in every state. Some are for fun activities like field trips, others offer co-op classes. Micro-schools are another new option. Just like homeschooling, being in a co-op is your personal decision and you should choose what is best for your family.
- Find Legal Support. HSLDA is an excellent resource for homeschool information and their website can provide lots of help, especially for those new to homeschooling. State homeschool associations provide information on state-specific requirements for homeschooling. If your kids have been enrolled in public school, you will need to let the school district know you are removing them from school.
- Consult Your Kids. What areas interest them? What extra-curricular activities sound fun? You cannot skip math because your darling daughter hates multiplication, but let the kids have some input into how your year will play out.
- Relax and Enjoy. We will only have kids in our homes for a few years. Enjoy them and make homeschool challenging yet fun. Strive to have your kids graduate with an excellent academic education and a heart knowledge of the Bible and maturing walk with Christ.
This fall is an excellent time to take charge of your kids’ education and remove them from the government-run schools. Choosing to homeschool may mean you have to reprioritize your job vs school time, but you will not regret this decision. The family is the first institution that God designed.
We need to take seriously the call to “train up a child in the way he should go.”
Dr. Kathryn Knight is a 20+ year homeschool veteran who has graduated three of her five children.
Kathryn loves to find creative ways to make learning hands-on so brain synapses connect and her kids enjoy school and remember what they’ve learned.