Homeschool Organization Has Advice for New Homeschooling Parents

For Immediate Release: The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is offering an introductory course for new homeschooling families

07/16/2020—In the midst of a global pandemic and the potential for widespread rolling school closures in the fall, the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE) is taking steps to support new homeschooling families. CRHE, which was founded by homeschool graduates to advocate for homeschooled children in 2013, approaches homeschooling from a children’s rights framework. “When children are centered, seen, heard, and involved in the process, homeschooling works out better for everyone,” says Dr. Rachel Coleman, executive director of CRHE. “Children need to know that they matter.” 

CRHE has developed an online course for new homeschooling families, which will begin on August 3rd and will run for eight weeks. The course will cover everything from educational philosophies to instructional techniques, and will walk parents through the process of choosing curricular materials and getting started homeschooling. “If you want to do homeschooling right, we’ll tell you how,” says Coleman. “Our goal is to start parents homeschooling for success.” Course enrollment is open through July 31st. 

Parents can enroll here: 

Coleman emphasizes the importance of preparation and a committed caregiver who is able to devote time to home education, regardless of the curriculum or program used. “When there is no adult in the home able to be a full time caregiver, we recommend that parents seriously consider their district’s virtual schooling option,” she says. 

Many school districts are offering virtual programs as an option for families this fall. These programs save parents the effort of having to select, purchase, and curate curriculum themselves, Coleman says, and gives parents access to learning partners in their children’s teachers. But she urges parents not to assume that this means they can check out on their children’s education: “The research on online virtual charter programs suggests that without parental involvement, students often fail to engage,” she says. Coleman adds that not every online or remote teaching program is created equal. “Good virtual programs should have synchronous learning elements, involving direct, real-time interaction between the student and their teacher,” she says. “Virtual learning should be creative and engaging.” 

For families that have a full-time caregiver in the home, Coleman says, autonomous homeschooling can be a positive learning experience. “Autonomous homeschooling allows parents to set their own schedules, innovate, and create positive, interactive learning experiences that have the potential to bring the whole family together,” she says. She adds that the best homeschooling is hands-on and interactive. “Parents should make sure they meet state learning standards for their child’s grade, particularly if they plan to re-enroll their children later, but they should also feel free to craft learning experiences tailored to their children’s interests and to their own strengths as home educators,” Coleman says. 

Children should be at the center of families’ decisions about home education, Coleman says. “Engage your children in creating their own learning goals and in setting their own school schedules,” she says. “Homeschooling done well is about empowering children.” 

The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is a national organization founded by homeschool alumni and dedicated to raising awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, providing public policy guidance, and advocating for responsible home education practices.

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