Some people think that unless you have large wads of cash for insanely expensive private schools, you are limited to two choices: public school, or home school at the kitchen table. Today I’m going to describe a handful of alternatives and there are probably many, many more. (Add links in the comment section if you know of some.)
But first: DO NOT FEAR. Whatever you choose can work. If your family’s circumstances mean that you have to send your child to public school, still do not fear.
As I teach my children, they can pretty easily discern the p.c. indoctrination at school and do come home reporting the silly propaganda.
You and your child can and will roll your eyes together, after you’ve taught him/her:
- That your child is a child of God, not just “human capital” meant to serve the collective economy and compete in a global economy.
- That there’s a world of difference between voluntary sharing (God’s way) and forced sharing (social justice or socialism.)
- That your child is an American (or Canadian or Swedish or Bolivian) citizen, not a global citizen– because global citizenship does not guarantee sacred, sacred American rights.
- How to use traditional math tools (algorithms, multiplication tables, formulas) if all he/she’s getting in school is fuzzy math and silly ways of wasting time to find solutions.
- How to read and write in cursive, even if it looks like chicken scratch.
- To love imagination and reading and learning –by having really, really interesting books on your home library shelf. Really, really great books.
- To be anchored in truth. Read at the very least one verse of scripture at the breakfast table as he/she gets ready for school. Talk about why it matters.
- To politely refuse school surveys and standardized testing unless the school has parental, written consent. Teach them to excuse themselves and call you if they ever feel “not okay” about something even if they can’t explain why to the school.
- That you, the parent, are the resident expert on your child and nobody but God can claim to be a “stakeholder” over a child –ever.
Here are the schooling alternatives that I have found and have liked:
Traditional Home School – From the myriad of home school helps, here are just a few: Thomas Jefferson Education, American Heritage Prep, Ron Paul Curriculum, Kimber Academy, Easy Peasy All In One Home School.
Aspire Scholar Academy – This is a remarkable face to face home school co-op that caters to teenagers, located in Orem, Utah. No one under age 12 may attend. In addition to traditional classes based on classic principles of education and morality, this school offers a speech and debate program with teams that compete statewide against public school debate teams. They also offer a “socializing only” option, where your student can attend many social events without attending classes at Aspire. (The classes have filled up for this year, but the social-only option is still available.)
Freedom Project Education (FPE) – This private, online, Common Core-free school is free of any government influence — so there’s no standardized testing, no U.N. or “sustainability” worship, no anti-American or anti-religious agenda hiding in the assignments, no “human capital” here.
I’m excited that I’ll be joining FPE this year, teaching three filmed and live sections of tenth grade English at this wonderful school. We’re learning how to write clearly. We’re reading imaginative literature: Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne… Details below. There are still openings if you know a tenth grader in need of an online English class and an enthusiastic teacher. They have classes for every age. And for a private school, it’s inexpensive.
George Mueller Academy – This remarkable school is in person, not online. It’s in Lehi, Utah, and I’m sharing it here because it’s a great model for those in other places who are aiming to build something that goes way beyond a home schooling co-op and becomes much like a traditional private school (but cheaper) with a physical building, face-to-face classes, specialists in advanced subjects, field trips and parties. There is no state oversight of this school, either, so like FPE above, there’s no political agenda and no standardized testing required. It’s called the George Mueller Academy Center for Educational Liberty. See the incredible list of classes– biology, coding, martial arts, U.S. history, logic, languages– with prices set by individual teachers and varying greatly.
I’m teaching an English class at GMA for twelve-and-up (year olds) that meets for two hours, once a week. It’s called “I Love My English Class”. I’m also co-teaching a kindergarten-first grade class that meets for two hours, twice a week, for four hours total per week, called “Little Red School House.”
My Tech High – This is both an online school for students in any location, and a Utah-specific program that can reimburse homeschoolers who take classes outside the home with certain conditions (the class can’t be religious, must be offered to a group of students, etc.)
Home School Support Group – For those pursuing hybrid schools or home schools, Marlene Fletcher offers a home school support group both on Facebook and in mini conferences where people can learn about the myriad of ways that parents and co-ops are creating the kind of education they want for their children.
On Data Mining:
The schools I’ve listed above are data-mining free! Your child won’t be hooked into the Big Brother SLDS at all, with one partial exception: MyTechHigh is connected to the data collection system of the government, but data mining there is minimal there since students can choose the “custom built” class option, thus attending classes that do not report to the government SLDS databases. My Tech High does require students to report periodically about what they are accomplishing in their classes, but SAGE opt outs are available and there is no daily SIS data upload about your child there (which you will find in all public and charter schools, including most online charter schools.)