Kirk Cameron’s The Homeschool Awakening is coming to theaters nationwide on June 13 and 14. Revealing the freedom and fun many families experience through home education, the film takes the audience on an engaging and inspiring journey with parents overcoming doubts about homeschooling to create a new vision for what education can and should be.
For anyone currently homeschooling, considering it, or even contesting it, this film is worth watching. And it’s not just for parents. Students, grandparents, and anyone interested in the field of education or how best to make our future society thrive should make plans to see this film.
As portrayed in the film, many parents have doubt about their abilities:
“I never thought I could homeschool.”
“What if I get it wrong?”
“I’m not trained as an educator.”
For others, there are misconceptions and stereotypes about homeschooling:
“I can’t homeschool because I’d have to be home all of the time, and I couldn’t work, and there’d be no flexibility.”
“I kind of thought that homeschooling meant that you were Amish, and you made your bread from scratch.”
For still others, there’s an honest reflection about alternative priorities:
“Homeschool was not on my radar. There were a lot of things I enjoyed doing while my kids were at school.”
As the film gets underway, a dad asks: “Isn’t homeschooling like public schools at home?” Kirk Cameron laughs and replies, “Not even close!” He reminds parents, “You are qualified to teach your kids.” Then he makes it personal as a parent of six kids: “I’m responsible for what I’m putting into their heads and into their hearts.”
Educator and author, Dr. Kathy Koch, articulates the substantial difference between remote learning, which was forced upon parents by closed schools, and intentional home education:
If you were forced to bring your children home to school them, that is not the same as homeschooling. You were forced to use the curriculum the school chose. You were forced to have your kids on a Zoom call at 9:05 every day. Homeschooling is you are in control. You get to choose curriculum; you get to choose methodology. You get to choose what they emphasize. You get to choose how you correct and how you compliment. You get to choose the pace, and it’s different.Dr. Kathy Koch
She continues, “You know your children better than anyone else, and you love your children more than anyone else. You will be an excellent teacher. One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is learning with the kids.”
The film encourages parents to consider this alternative to traditional public education by offering insights from parents who have participated in homeschooling. This includes practical advice — one homeschool mom recommends parents start small. Don’t try to cram in ten subjects a day. Focus on the basics that are necessary and add in something that your child loves. That’s a good starting point.
A homeschool dad urges parents to release their preconceived ideas of what education might be for their kids. And a father of eight explains that since homeschooling is much more efficient than a six-to-seven-hour school day, families are redeeming time together. Additionally, kids have more time to explore other activities that interest them.
Author and former teacher of 24 years, Anne Crossman, explains that the first question parents ask when making the move to home education is, “What curriculum should I use?” She advises them to make that the fourth consideration. First, they must create a flexible schedule that works for their family. Second, they need to think through their child’s learning strengths. Third, they should a make a plan for developing a homeschool community. In other words, structure, learning modes, and community are foundational before picking a curriculum. Instead of leading with content, homeschool parents should first seek to create an environment and learning avenue that best matches their unique children. Connecting with other homeschool families is important. As the number of families moving to homeschooling has exploded over the past three school years, there are more homeschool co-ops than ever before.
Those who already homeschool are seeing their kids thrive. They have recognized that there is another way. You don’t need a fancy degree. And there is no one better qualified than you to educate your children.
For Cameron, “It’s a wild adventure. It’s freedom and creativity. It’s parent-led education. It’s training up your children in the way they should go.” Cameron’s wife of thirty years, Chelsea Noble, agrees: “It’s about getting a new vision. What am I trying to teach this child?….Parents are the perfect people to do that.”
The homeschool awakening is underway, and this growing movement isn’t going to let up anytime soon. More and more families are discovering the advantages of this individually tailored, flexible, family-time-redeeming, values-aligned educational avenue.
Theater location and ticket information for The Homeschool Awakening are available at the film’s webpage at Fathom Events.