Commentary: The Inspiring Front Lines of the Modern Homeschool Revolution

Home School Family

When she was a young girl, Sandra Day O’Connor began her education at home. Her early years of schooling on an Arizona ranch were sitting at the kitchen table with her mother, learning to read, and taking long nature walks.

I read this, and this scene of serenity, this future Supreme Court Justice, beginning her education at home, formed an image in my mind of what might be possible.

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Commentary: The Side of Homeschooling People Don’t Talk About Enough

Mother with Child

As a veteran homeschooler, I am well aware of what a marathon this lifestyle can be. There’s no break when you live and work in the same place.

It’s time to take a deep breath and assess the situation. Burnout is a normal part of homeschooling. Everyone experiences it at one time or another, and it’s often associated with feelings of being distracted, overworked, and overwhelmed.

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Commentary: Eight Resources to Get People Started in Homeschool

Homeschool

If you’re feeling unqualified to homeschool, you’re not alone. The question of what and how to teach stressed me out early on in my homeschooling journey.

I found that having a good curriculum did a great deal to reduce my fears of not being qualified to teach. I wanted to strike a balance between bookwork, memorization, and fun interactive activities. I wanted to make sure to impart to my kids the basic body of knowledge necessary for a good education, yet I didn’t want to burn them out with endless worksheets.

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Commentary: Chronically Absent Students Need an Alternative

Empty Chairs

It’s no secret that chronic absenteeism has skyrocketed since the pandemic. As The 74s Linda Jacobson writes, a new analysis of federal data released in late 2023 shows the problem may be even worse than previously understood.

The report from Johns Hopkins University shows that two out of three students were enrolled in schools with high or extreme chronic absenteeism rates during the 2021-22 school year—more than double the rate in 2017-18. (Students who miss at least 10% of the school year, or roughly 18 days, are considered chronically absent.)

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Commentary: Homeschooling Isn’t What I Expected It to Be

Homeschooling Child

I’ve heard it said, “I was a great parent before I had kids.” The same can be said of being a homeschooling parent.

Homeschooling circles are full of idealistic moms and dads who often have very high standards for themselves and their children. Certainly, having strong ideals can work as a guide and benchmark for navigating what can be a very challenging endeavor. However, these high standards can also backfire and leave even the best of us feeling like failures.

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Commentary: Dual Enrollment Is a Homeschool Resource

Mom and daughter learning

This year marks the completion of high school for two of my children. Navigating the high school years has been both exciting and challenging. By the time our children had reached high school age, two things were apparent. First, homeschooling had allowed my kids to find and pursue their special interests—ones that had future career potential.

Second, while mastery of most subjects had been relatively easy, math and science were a bit more difficult. Despite overall higher testing outcomes within the homeschool community, there is a documented math gap for many homeschoolers. In other words, most homeschoolers score slightly lower than their non-homeschooled peers in math and science. (This is understandable, of course: I don’t know many mothers qualified to teach high-level math or science, and most of us don’t want our kitchens being turned into chemistry labs.)

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Commentary: Four Things People Can Do to Change the Culture in 2024

People Praying

Maybe I am on a new year high, but as I consider the West’s cultural renewal, I sense an optimism in the air I haven’t felt for years.

In 2023, we saw a growing public awareness about the dangers and futility of transgender surgery. Alongside that, many woke up to the hypocrisy of the climate alarmists. And building on the success of Roe v. Wade’s demise, many states have now passed heartbeat bills, providing robust protections for many of the nation’s unborn. Surprisingly, pollsters even picked up on a decline in support for same-sex relationships.

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Commentary: ‘To Have and to Hold’: Marrying Young and Making It Last

Marriage

Kate Z. works in childcare and as a part-time barista in my local coffee shop. She’s the oldest of 10 children, with seven brothers and two sisters. Home-educated during elementary school, Kate then entered Padre Pio Academy here in Front Royal, Virginia, a hybrid school which combines homeschooling with three days a week in the classroom. She graduated in 2021 and currently lives in an apartment.

Jesse R. is adopted and the youngest of three siblings. For the most part, he was homeschooled before entering Padre Pio. He also graduated in 2021 and works as a chef de partie in the restaurant of a retirement community. He shares a house with a friend.

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