The parents in the film realized their responsibility in shaping their children’s minds. The benefits of homeschooling outweighed the sacrifices. The parents explained how homeschooling set them free to individualize learning unique to each child’s needs, and his or her style and pace of learning; to preserve their child’s identity, protecting them from negative outside influences; to deepen their relationship with their child through one-on-one time; and to allow for free, healthy discourse in their homes.
Actor Kirk Cameron’s new documentary “The Homeschool Awakening” features 14 homeschooling families. Those families, failed by the public education system, have embarked on a homeschooling journey, and they share how the decision has changed their lives.
Like most other American families, those parents initially sent their children to public school because “it’s just what you do.” The public education norm controlled their family life, but they began to question it.
“As a mom with my first baby, you are just with them 24/7, but then all of a sudden, time for school and the kind of unnatural feeling inside of me: ‘Is this really what I should be doing, dropping them off for a lot of hours, somewhere else?’” asks Cameron’s wife, Chelsea. The couple has six children, all of whom were homeschooled.
Should it be the norm for a 6-year-old to spend eight hours away from his or her mother? Should the norm be for parents to have no idea what their children are being taught? Should the norm be considering a child smart based on how they compare with their peers? The 14 featured families are driven to challenge these norms and more through their homeschooling lifestyles.
The parents addressed common concerns brought up by non-homeschoolers, such as whether homeschooled children would be socialized or whether the parents themselves are qualified to teach their own children.
How do homeschooled children socialize? Well, do you consider socialization sitting at a desk next to someone for eight hours a day, with an hour for recess?