Coronavirus Opens Eyes to Homeschooling
From the print edition of The New American:
By Alex Newman
Even before the coronavirus shutdown, the Smith parents were concerned about their young teenage son’s experience at the local public school. In fact, the child begged not to go back. From bullying and indoctrination that led to depression, to godlessness and false propaganda passed off as “education,” to handcuffed teachers who must obey the system amid the chaos, the family was already very worried.
Then the governor of the state shut down the schools in March due to coronavirus. The school had provided Google “Chromebooks” and Google accounts to the students with lessons, resources, and assignments to work on at home. What Samantha Smith saw, though, convinced her that the time had come to remove her son from government education and do something different.
“It was all so confusing, just a bunch of mish-mash stuff that was impossible to navigate or understand,” said the mother, whose real identity is being protected to avoid harming her relationship with school district officials. “Parents are left totally out of the loop, and this is what goes on during normal school days as well.”
The godless nature of the “education” was deeply harmful, too. The mother told The New American that she believed her son developed some depression as a result of the “false teachings” being forced on him by the school. Indeed, the child was even reprimanded and disciplined for speaking the truth, which was interpreted as defiance, she said. And her son saw that there was no biblical integration into anything, even though he knows full well that one cannot separate God’s design from education or anything else.
And so, the Smith family took the plunge and decided to homeschool and enroll their son, 14, into the FreedomProject Academy, an online K-12 school (see page 21) that is firmly grounded in biblical principles. While the Smiths will still rely on local government schools for some extracurricular activities, the child’s education will now be a combination of homeschooling and FPA. “We know this is the best option,” the mother concluded.
In the span of a few weeks, the population of homeschooling families in America exploded by some 2,000 percent or more. Thanks to panic surrounding the Chinese virus, the number of home-educated children went from just a few million to almost the entire school-age population of the United States and even the globe. Of course, many of those children are still relying on government for lessons and activities — something that must not be confused with genuine home education — but many other families have been left entirely on their own. In any case, interest in home education has never been greater.
Advocates of homeschooling began rejoicing, practically in unison, at the prospect of dramatic growth in the movement. More than a few commentators suggested that, with enough effort by home-education advocates, there is a very real chance that millions of students may never return to the public-school system after the dust settles. It would be unprecedented, but not impossible — especially as millions of parents discover for the first time what their children are being exposed to in government schools.
Not everyone is pleased at the surging interest in home education, though. The Deep State’s propaganda organs, far-left governors, the United Nations, the education establishment, and the sexual revolutionaries obsessed with sexualizing children have all been less than enthusiastic at the thought of countless millions becoming homeschoolers almost overnight. Some globalist groups such as UNESCO and the OECD are even trying to hijack the moment. Whether they will succeed remains to be seen.
From the torrent of news articles across America and the globe about homeschooling, it is clear that the subject has never been this hot — not by a long shot. And while some of the media reports were hostile, many were fair, if not outright supportive, of the national move toward home education. A Wall Street Journal piece by editor and homeschool father Matthew Hennessey, for example, argued that an increase in homeschooling numbers would be a “silver lining in a very dark cloud.” Fox News ran multiple reports on the subject, too.
As government schools were shutting down in state after state, homeschoolers across America who spoke with The New American magazine confirmed that there has been unprecedented interest in the practice in recent weeks. Friends and family members whose children have been in public or traditional schools all their lives suddenly find themselves thinking seriously about home education for the first time — at least for now, if not for the long haul. As they try it, many will love it. And homeschool families everywhere are mobilizing to help ease the transition as millions consider joining the movement.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the largest and most powerful group advocating for home education in the world, has also confirmed expanded interest in homeschooling among the public. In response to the schools shutting down and the growing attention, the group even released a “quick start” guide outlining seven steps for parents to begin homeschooling their children. It has been extremely popular so far.
“I fully expect that there are going to be a lot of people who are going to point back to the coronavirus pandemic as the time when they started homeschooling and they started their homeschooling journey,” HSLDA attorney and director for global outreach Mike Donnelly was quoted as saying by Breitbart News. “We don’t know what this pandemic is going to look like. But it may end up changing people’s behavior, and as people have the opportunity to figure out education with their children, in a homeschooling context, some people, I think, are going to say, ‘You know this isn’t so bad; in fact, this is kind of good and I think we’re going to keep doing this.’”
Countless organizations, including FreedomProject Academy and the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum, have responded to the soaring interest by making some of their resources available for free to those families suddenly homeschooling out of necessity. And the website CoronavirusHomeschooling.com, sponsored by the Texas Home School Coalition, has even made available an entire homeschool curriculum for students of all ages, along with countless other resources to help families in need. “You don’t need a PhD. Just be a parent and you’ll be fine,” the site assures parents. “We’ll send you daily lesson plans with video instructions to help you through. We’ll tell you exactly what to do each day. You’ve got this!”
Actress and nationally syndicated radio host Sam Sorbo, author of They’re Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey From Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate, is among the celebrities promoting the service. She is optimistic that many of the families being forced to homeschool amid the coronavirus panic will realize it is far better for their children than government schools. In a radio interview on her show featuring this writer, and again during a Heritage Foundation panel discussion entitled “We’re All Homeschoolers Now: Navigating the Coronavirus Challenge to K-12 Education,” the highly influential Sorbo sounded thrilled at the prospect.
“I’m optimistic that families will discover the joys of home education,” she said about this time period, adding that parents were likely to become suspicious of government schools as those institutions hesitate to make their materials and curriculum available to families online. “My whole message to parents is, ‘You don’t feel capable of educating your children at home because you’ve been taught that you’re incapable.’ In fact, that seems to be an overarching message of our education bureaucracy — to make you aware of how inadequate you are, to make you uncertain of how well you can do.” Now is the perfect time to try, she said.
To help bring that about and encourage parents, Sorbo joined forces with The Old Schoolhouse magazine and other leaders in the movement to host a webinar for families that find themselves in “accidental homeschooling.” According to the publisher of the magazine, new homeschoolers from all over the world — even from nations where it is illegal — are signing up for their programs every day. Sorbo, who along with her husband homeschooled her own children, also launched a YouTube program called The Accidental Home Schooler aimed at those who are just getting started with home education.
Sorbo is also urging all newly established homeschool families to take advantage of the free resources at CoronavirusHomeschooling.com. “We mobilized our entire team and have worked around-the-clock to produce excellent daily lesson plans beginning with grades K through 5,” she told The New American magazine, celebrating the empowerment of parents to “take the reins” of their children’s education in the months ahead. “Using our website, every parent has immediate access to this free resource, as well as support from our team of education professionals. We are rolling out new resources every week, for children of all ages, so that parents have the vibrant, comprehensive, necessary resources to teach at home.”
In an exclusive interview with The New American, former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas said parents should view the current pandemic as the “greatest opportunity of their lives” to take control over what their children are learning. Douglas originally ran for the top education post in her state, hoping to reform the system and bring back traditional education, including phonics and real history. By the end of her four-year term, though, she realized reform was futile, and that the only hope was for parents to remove their children from the system in huge numbers, she explained.
“This is part of a 100-year or 150-year battle for the souls of our children,” continued Douglas, warning that collectivists and anti-Christian forces were using government schools to dumb down and indoctrinate America’s children. “John Dewey [founding father of America’s so-called progressive public-school system] was very clear, his intent was to change our society and make sure our children were un- or under-educated…. Understand the battle we’re fighting. I wish I had had the courage to homeschool my daughter, but I was chicken at the time.”
Aside from choosing homeschooling or a good private school, when asked what Americans could do in this battle, Douglas urged everyone to get a copy of The New American magazine’s Special Report “Rescuing Our Children.” Originally published in February of 2019, the expanded second edition was just released. “They can get the Reader’s Digest version and understand what we are facing, and how far it goes back,” said Douglas.
Numerous critics of public schools suggested that this Wuhan virus shutdown may be just the medicine needed to finally break the government’s practical monopoly over the minds of children. “Despite it being a national health crisis, there could be a positive outcome from Coronavirus,” said education expert Carole Hornsby Haynes, who has a Ph.D. in professional education, in a newsletter. “It just could be the catalyst for breaking the stranglehold of government schools as parents decide to ‘unschool’ their children and make American education the greatest in the world again.”
At the forefront of the movement to rescue children from government schools for over two decades has been Exodus Mandate founder Lieutenant Colonel E. Ray Moore. He explained to The New American magazine that, despite the enormity of the health and economic tragedy, the shutdown of government schools is actually an incredible opportunity to grow homeschooling and Christian schools as never before. For more than 20 years he has been calling for an “exodus” of Christian children from government schools. Now, it has happened — at least temporarily. The challenge will be to capitalize on it, he said.
“This is a unique moment in American history,” said Moore, whose ministry fights to expose what he calls the “pagan, godless” government schools. Thanks to coronavirus and government orders surrounding it, America could be on the verge of “a sea change” in how the nation does K-12 education. “In all my years in this movement, I’ve never seen an opportunity like this,” he said. “This is an incredible chance to rescue millions of American children from the anti-Christian indoctrination they are getting in public schools. We must act now.”
Moore, himself a veteran homeschooler, has teamed up to help lead two new, broader initiatives on the education front. First, he now serves as chairman of the Christian Education Initiative, a coalition of dozens of non-profit organizations and ministries dedicated to expanding Christian education. The other, Public School Exit, with help from this writer and Dr. Duke Pesta of FreedomProject, among others, is aiming to take that message beyond just the evangelical community, while facilitating the exodus that Moore has been working toward for so long. “This is the time to strike,” said Moore about the growing national movement.
Public School Exit co-founder Dran Reese, president of the Salt & Light Council and its various ministries, echoed Moore’s call for pastors to seize this opportunity. “Pastors and church leaders have a huge role to play in equipping congregations with a biblical understanding of citizenship, and that includes education of children,” said Reese, who also promotes biblical citizenship through her highly influential ministry work. “This pandemic is a perfect time for pastors on the sidelines to get involved.” But be aware that many self-styled religious schools are often far too similar to government schools for comfort.
Moore echoed those remarks, calling on pastors to once again serve as “true shepherds” and lead the families they pastor to the “green pastures and still waters” of non-governmental education. Among other things, that means churches should work to wean their congregations off the secular, anti-Christian education offered by government, and encourage them to use good programs such as those offered by FreedomProject Academy, the Foundation for American Christian Education, Alpha and Omega, A Beka, Classical Conversations, and many more. While not depending on government will obviously require a financial sacrifice, critics of government schooling say the well-being of their children ought to be parents’ top priority. Churches ought to help, too.
“Suddenly hundreds of thousands of churches and pastors have nothing but homeschool children to care for,” Moore exclaimed, clearly thrilled at the prospect. “What conservative and Christian leaders could not do — that is, persuade, encourage, warn and urge millions of families to leave public schools — the coronavirus has done in several weeks, backed by orders of state governors, President Trump and the federal government…. Is this the ‘tipping point’ that we all have worked and prayed for?”
Whether this will be a tipping point remains to be seen. But what is clear is that the timing could not have been better. If something like the current coronavirus pandemic had hit in 1980, the infrastructure would not have been in place to facilitate an enormous exodus from the government schools into home education and Christian schools, Moore said. But in 2020, there are now countless state organizations, ministries, non-profit groups, media operations, and publications, and millions of homeschooling families, chomping at the bit to assist in guiding friends and family into making the right educational choices. “Carpe diem,” said Moore.
Enemies of Homeschooling Strike Back
Writing in the anti-Trump Washington Post, former Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman claimed children would be damaged by all this home education. Under the headline “Homeschooling during the coronavirus will set back a generation of children,” Huffman said America was “embarking on a massive, months-long virtual-pedagogy experiment, and it is not likely to end well.” Pointing to the fact that children sometimes forget what they have learned over the summer, Huffman warned of impending disaster.
Critics, though, could barely contain their disgust at the far-left paper. “Really, now you attack homeschooling? I’d wager the average homeschooled kid in America fares better in virtually any metric than the average public/leftist indoctrination school kid,” Donald Trump, Jr. responded on Twitter to the Post’s piece. “You should do a story on it… but you won’t because you would never expose the racket.” Trump, Jr. was one of countless critics lambasting the increasingly discredited newspaper owned by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.
Of course, the Post was hardly alone. Harvard Law School recently announced that it would be hosting a summit this summer to consider ways of regulating or crushing the supposedly “controversial” practice of homeschooling. One of the law professors behind the scheme, Elizabeth Bartholet, recently called for a “presumptive ban on homeschooling.” The other organizer, law professor James Dwyer, claimed that “the reason that parent-child relationship exists is because the state confers legal parenthood on people through its paternity and maternity laws.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom even argued that homeschooling was inherently deficient. “There is a big distance between a parent teaching their child and a teacher teaching their child,” he claimed. “It’s not that our kids don’t respect their parents, they just don’t seem to respect them when it comes to educating them, as much as they do their teachers.” He also boasted that Google was donating big bucks to ensure that the state’s children could continue receiving government “education” while at home.
Radical sex-education group SIECUS, founded with help from a sex fiend known as Alfred Kinsey who was responsible for the rape and sexual torture of numerous children, developed homeschool “sex-ed resources” for parents amid coronavirus. “While parents work to ensure that their children stay on track with their English, math, and science lessons, they should also be prioritizing their kids’ sex education,” the group said.
“Let’s be real: Not too many children grow up to use algebra in their daily adult lives. But they will certainly apply the knowledge and skills they (should) learn through sex ed,” said SIECUS, which proceeds to link to sexualization videos targeting children as young as four. “Thanks to the variety of credible, online sex education resources, parents are better suited to serve as substitute sex educators than they might think.”
Other perverts are also jumping on the bandwagon in an effort to continue grooming and sexualizing children even when they are at home. With the nationwide “drag queen story hour” shows at school on pause amid coronavirus, a “veteran drag queen” known as “Nina West” is hosting “Homeschool With Nina.” This supposedly “family friendly” show includes the cross-dressing man singing songs directed at children, such as “Drag Is Magic.”
Finally, Deep State globalists, realizing that they may lose their grip on the minds of millions of children, are scrambling to keep those victims locked into the system. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, for instance, boasted of leading a “collective” (read: UN) response in education as over 1.5 billion children are home from school. As part of that, the global outfit is working with national governments to keep the students involved in government school through technology while peddling dangerous “social-emotional learning” to manipulate children.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the globalist World Economic Forum (WEF) are also hoping to enable a seamless shift from government indoctrination at school to government indoctrination at home, with help from Big Tech companies such as Google and Microsoft. “It is particularly inspiring to see entirely new ways of working emerging, ones that go beyond simply replacing physical schools with digital analogues,” Tracey Burns, with the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, was quoted as saying on the WEF website, emphasizing that the major focus must be on preventing “inequality.”
The global shutdown of schools comes as the move to rescue children from government miseducation and indoctrination goes mainstream. Even before the crisis, a late 2019 survey by EdChoice found that interest in homeschooling was at an all-time high. In all, a staggering 15 percent of parents preferred homeschooling over any other form of schooling, including private, public, and charter schools. That figure was five percent in 2012. Less than a third of parents chose government schools as the best option for their children.
In just the last year, talk of getting children out has gone from the fringes to center stage. Talk-show titan Rush Limbaugh, the most popular radio host in America, urged parents to remove their children from public school in favor of home education. Responding to New Jersey’s new LGBT indoctrination mandate for public schools, top evangelical leader Franklin Graham also urged parents to get their kids out. Even President Trump, who in 2016 blasted “progressives” at the Department of Education who “indoctrinate” children, used his 2020 State of the Union address to decry the fact that so many children are “trapped” in “failing government schools.”
With some 40 million American children home from government school this week amid the virus outbreak, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rescue America’s embattled youth from the threat of government schools. And you can help make that happen. To get started, consider ordering a copy (or 100 to share) of the second edition of The New American magazine’s popular Special Report “Rescuing Our Children.” It outlines the problem, and more importantly, the solution. There has never been a better time to rescue millions of children — and the future of America!
Photo credit: AP Images
This article originally appeared in the May 4, 2020 print edition of The New American. The New American publishes a print magazine twice a month, covering issues such as politics, money, foreign policy, environment, culture, and technology. To subscribe, click here.
Published with Permission of thenewamerican.com