Homeschooling is no longer only kids in the home being taught by their mom or dad.
Homeschooling today takes place in co-ops, in schooling centers, and even in some public schools. Homeschooled children are allowed to take part in sports and a few courses.
“Good Morning America” is appearing with the brand new faces of homeschooling in a two-part series headed by Jessica Mendoza, an ESPN analyst and Olympic medalist who homeschools her eight-year-old son.
That increase leveled off in 2016, when roughly 1.7 million pupils, ages 5 to 17, were anticipated to be homeschooled in the U.S. alone.
“I think what’s picked up is people are now really cooperating for academic reasons, and that wasn’t true before,” Dr. Joseph Murphy, professor of leadership and school improvement at Vanderbilt University, told ABC News. Almost all the homeschooling was value-based, but people are homeschooling to receive their kids to learn more than they would in school.”
There’s not yet been a long-term “controlled study” to assess the growth of students who are homeschooled versus those who attend a traditional college, according to Murphy.
“Homeschooling does quite well in contrast to public schools, but the real question is where did the child start and where did the kid end,” he explained. “A lot of those homeschool kids already started, six months or annually over the kids who are in public school, so that already explained why they are more successful.”
Homeschooling policies vary state by state, with fewer than half calling for homeschooled students’ academic progress to be appraised. Of the 20 states that do require tests, just 12 demand standardized testing, according to the nonprofit organization the Education Commission of the States.
Most colleges, however, still need homeschoolers to take entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT, even though some are correcting their admissions policies to be more homeschool-friendly.
Three households throughout the nation that represent the changing faces of homeschooling opened their doors to “GMA” to provide a firsthand look at what their lives are like as homeschooling families.
The households include children who went to traditional schools prior to turning to homeschooling and others who have never stepped foot in a classroom. While some take part in local homeschooling groups, A few of the children guide their own curriculum.
Beckett Dillon, 14, of Durham North Carolina, begins his school at approximately 10:30 a.m. For a few days, he would log online to have a virtual course or go to the site his household uses to graph their studies.
One day per week, Beckett and his brothers, Teague, 12, and Sullivan, 10, go to a neighborhood learning center that caters to homeschool families.
It’s all a part of what Beckett’s mother, Anne Dillon, predicts the family’s “eclectic” version of homeschooling.
“It probably looks a lot like what people in the homeschool world would call the school at home, in which you kind of do this, this, that and this,” she said. “We utilize many different resources that are the reason why it would be called eclectic.”
Dillon and her husband, Dan Dillon, provide their two youngest sons the freedom to check into anything they’re curious about on their own for a period of time each week.
Beckett did exactly the exact same in younger grades and said he enjoys the “sense of freedom” homeschooling provides.
“Homeschooling, there’s more, you do this, and you have a bit of break and you will do two things, and then there is somewhat of a rest,” said Beckett. “Public school was getting to school, do this, do this, do this, do so, then here’s your break and some homework.”
The Dillons started tinkering with their sons five decades ago.
“I always believed I would educate my children in public school, and also have them in school their entire educational career,” Dan Dillon said. “Anne and I got to talking about the chances that homeschooling would provide off and off we went.”
He added of the traditional college model, “I felt like … it might be possibly limiting to a student who has an interest in a special idea or a particular subject but they just couldn’t pursue it as the model did not allow for that.”
Sullivan, the Dillons’ youngest child, likes to use his personal study time to bake. The brothers also take part in a writing course weekly at the house of another homeschooled family.
On the first day of school one year, the Dillons toured Chicago instead of studying in home.
Courtesy Dan and Anne Dillon
Dan and Anne Dillon pose along with their three sons on a family trip to Chicago. There was an adjustment period once the brothers got used to their mom as their teacher, but the Dillons currently credit homeschooling with making theirs a ” closer family.”
We get to travel at unusual times,” said Anne Dillon. “[The boys] are more like buddies than I believe that they would be when they went to public school”
The Hyson household: ‘Whole-child’ homeschoolers
A day of college for Uma Hyson, 8, and Charlo Hyson, 6, may include circus lessons, choir practice, or a long walk in the forests near their house in Massachusetts, a country that doesn’t demand homeschooled students’ academic progress to be appraised.
The Hyson household
Uma Hyson, 8, rides a horse in this undated family photo. Uma’s and Charlo’s parents, Sara and Charles Hyson describe their method of homeschooling as a “whole-child approach”. This allows for “self-directed learning” where Uma and Charlo can decide to pursue their particular interests.
“I think that our approach actually fosters an inborn motivation, in which our kids delight in assembling things, exploring character because we’ve created an environment which inspires awe and wonder,” explained Charles Hyson. “We are much more worried about the entire child than can they split fractions in a particular numeric age.”
Charles Hyson is a public school teacher that chose a different route for his children.
“I had homeschooling as an ambition or an aspiration … so it’s not that we’re homeschooling champions,” he explained. “It is only that we believe there has to be a development of mindfulness and consciousness in the public discourse.”
Uma and Charlo spend some time studying and playing on their own. It helps build abilities of self-awareness and self-resilience, according to their parents. Their college days are full of “unstructured” time to allow them to research.
“One of the criticisms I have heard of college would be you’re in a course. You’re really engaged. You’re really interested, the bell rings. You just need to change to anything the next issue is,” said Sara Hyson. “So you do not actually have the flexibility. Or the time. Or just the space to, like, keep moving down that path as far as you want to.”
The Hysons said among the biggest misconceptions about homeschooling is the “lack of socialization.”
“My very best friend, who is Uma’s godfather, always expresses his concern about, ‘Can they be sufficiently socialized?’ And that has not at all been our expertise,” explained Charles Hyson. “And the children are in actions nonstop.”
Uma and Charlo also socialize with local friends, who have introduced them to a staple of traditional schooling: homework.
“Our children demand homework because the neighbors have assignments,” said Charles Hyson. “So they request math sheets, so we create them up, and they are very capable.”
“They sort of figure it out on their own. They’ve come up to be capable in everyone the tasks that they’ve aimed for.”
The White family: ‘Un-schoolers’
“I believe un-schooling to become more of a lifestyle. It is not something we perform Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 pm.” said his mom, Darcel White. “The learning never stops, it’s constant 24/7.”
“Rather than me going out and choosing the program for her saying. That is what we’re going to do. We are working together because that is the kind of connection we have,” she said.
When asked what her favorite part of homeschooling was, Ava explained it is not having to take a seat at tables all day, “listening [and] about to fall asleep.”
“I enjoy learning about math,” she said. “I enjoy doing math and I like learning how to cook and how to make my own things”
White began homeschooling her children around seven decades ago. Her oldest child, Nakiah, is dyslexic and has high-functioning autism, which played a role in White’s conclusion.
“I went with my gut and it turns out that I was correct. It has been a fantastic experience for the entire family.”
White sees herself not as the instructor of her kids’ homeschool, but as the “facilitator.”
“I have our house set up in a sense where you will find things. Things strewn about the house and the children can easily get them to pick them up,” she said. “We don’t have typical days.”
Furthermore, “Every child has their distinct needs. I have fun watching them pick these things up and sort of go off by themselves. I just kind of step in when they want me to help.”
The Whites also get involved in a co-op. This permits them to join other home-schooled kids in various activities. Whether field trips to local sites or moving to each other’s houses to find out about various topics.
White said she’s seen a major shift in homeschooling since she began in 2009, including her own altered perception.
“I personally, even back in 2009, [believed] that homeschoolers were bizarre and they just sat at home at the kitchen table doing bookwork,” White stated. “I did not need to replicate that which has been my vision of homeschooling.”
She added, “Now you see people from all walks of life who are”
Jeff Bridges is an accomplished author and education journalist who has been writing for scottcoopermiami.com for many years. Born and raised in Miami, Bridges has a deep understanding of the education system in Florida and is committed to covering the latest news and trends in the field. Before becoming a writer, Bridges spent over two decades as a teacher, working with students of all ages and backgrounds. His experience in the classroom gives him a unique perspective on education issues and allows him to offer insights that are both informed and practical. Bridges is known for his engaging writing style and his ability to translate complex ideas into clear, accessible language. He has covered a wide range of topics, from the impact of technology on education to the latest research on learning and cognition. His work has been recognized for its quality and depth, and he is widely respected by educators and policymakers alike.