Friday, February 17, 2012

Homeschool Demographics Evolve...

According to a recent article in USA Today and my own observation, more and more parents are turning to homeschool because they want their children to have an excellent education. "Parents are disgusted with the school system, " Norma Curry of Cincinnati says, "The majority, they're just looking for something better."

The article focuses on a few families who are NOT homeschooling for religious reasons and emphasizes that most parents do want to transmit their values, but those values are not necessarily the stereotype of the evangelical Christian homeschooler.

I think this explains the huge draw of the homeschool conventions put on by "Great Homeschool Conventions." While the organizers are Christian, the conventions have a remarkably mature philosophy of encouraging many vendors and speakers and encouraging parents to use the materials in the manner they see fit. This is in stark contrast to many of the old-school conventions which dictate what may and may not be displayed. Many do not let any books that teach about evolution, for example.

Great Homeschool Conventions are growing exponentially, and I think one reason is that today's homeschooling parents do not want a paternalistic organization telling them what is appropriate to teach their children. They want to decide for themselves. And, secular or Christian or Muslim or atheist, the Great Homeschool Convention can meet their needs.

If you have never been to a homeschool convention, or if you have only gone to ones sponsored by state homeschool organizations, I encourage you to try one of the 5 GHC, they are awesome. I will be at the Midwest one Cincinnati on April 19-21.  I will have two Sonlight booths where you can pick up catalogs, register for the drawing for a Kindle Fire and pick up a cloth Sonlight shopping bag. The large booth with have LOTS of samples and a great staff to help and encourage you. The smaller, will have catalogs and information.

I hope to see you there,


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