Posted in Education, Homeschooling, Kids

Homeschooled Stats

Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. But around 150 years ago states started making public school mandatory and homeschooling eventually became illegal. It wasn’t until the 90’s that all states made it legal again. Today, with more than 2 million homeschoolers making up 4% of the school-aged population, it’s the fastest growing form of education in the country.


  • 1840: 55% of children attended primary school while the rest were educated in the home or by tutors.
  • 1852: The “Common School” model became popular and Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory attendance law. Once compulsory attendance laws became effective, America eventually relied entirely on public and private schools for educating children. Homeschooling then became something only practiced by extremely rural families, and within Amish communities.
  • 1870: All states had free primary schools.
  • 1900: 34 states had compulsory attendance laws.
  • 1910: 72% of children attended primary school.
  • 1960: Educational reformers started questioning public schooling’s methods and results.
  • 1977: “Growing Without Schooling” magazine was published, marking a shift from trying to reform public education to abandoning it.
  • 1980: Homeschooling was illegal in 30 states.
  • 1983: Changes in tax law forced many Christian Schools to close which led to soaring homeschooling rates.
  • 1993: Homeschooling become legal in all 50 states and saw annual growth rates of 15-20%.


32 states and Washington D.C. offer Virtual Public Schools – free education over the internet to homeschooling families: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia (DC), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

4 States offer tax credits for homeschooling families: Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois.

10 States don’t require notification of homeschooling: Alaska, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut.

14 States require notification of homeschooling: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Delaware.

20 States and D.C. require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, D.C., Hawaii.

6 States require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students; plus other requirements like curriculum approval, parent qualification, home visits by state officials: North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rode Island.

No Federal help is available to homeschooling families yet. The IRS says that homeschooling costs “are nondeductible personal, living, or family expenses.”


Home schooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country.

  • 1999: 850,000 homeschoolers (1.7% of the school-aged population)
  • 2003: 1.1 million homeschoolers (2.2% of the school-aged population)
  • 2007: 1.5 million homeschoolers (2.9% of the school-aged population)
  • 2010: 2.04 million homeschoolers (4% of the school-aged population)
  • From 2007- 2009 home-schoolers increased ate a rate of 7%/year
  • From 2007- 2009 public-schoolers increased at a rate of 1%/year


Education Level of Homeschooling Parents (Fathers/Mothers)

  • No High School Degree: 1.4% / 0.5%
  • High School Degree: 8.4% / 7.5%
  • Some College: 15.4% / 18.7%
  • Associate’s Degree: 8.6% / 10.8%
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 37.6% / 48.4%
  • Master’s Degree: 20% / 11.6%
  • Doctorate Degree: 8.7% / 2.5%

Number of children in homeschooled families:

  • 1 child: 6.6%
  • 2 children: 25.3%
  • 3 children: 26%
  • 4-6 children: 35.9%
  • 7+ children: 6.3%

Most important reasons parents say they homeschool their kids (students, ages 5-17, 2007):

  • 36 %: To provide religious or moral instruction
  • 21 % : Concern about the environment of other schools: safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure
  • 17 %: Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
  • 14 %: Unique Family Situation such as time, finances, travel, and distances
  • 7 %: Nontraditional approach to child’s education
  • 4 %: Child has other special needs
  • 2%: Child has a physical or mental health problem


Standardized achievement tests: On average, homeschoolers rank in at the 87th percentile. (Note: The 87th percentile is not the test score. It is the percent of students that scored lower… so, only 13% of students scored higher.)

  • Boys: 87th
  • Girls: 88th
  • Reading: 89th
  • Language: 84th
  • Math: 84th
  • Science: 86th
  • Social Studies: 84th
  • Core: 88th
  • Parents income <$35,000: 85th
  • Parents income $35,000-$70,000: 86th
  • Parents income >$70,000: 89th
  • Parents spend <$600/child/year: 86th
  • Parents spend >$600/child/year: 89th
  • Neither parent has a college degree: 83rd
  • Either parent has a college degree: 86th
  • Both parents have college degrees: 90th
  • Neither parent has a teaching certificate: 87th
  • Either Parent has a teaching certificate: 88th

Grade Placement compared to public schools:

  • Behind: 5.4%
  • On track: 69.8%
  • Ahead: 24.5%


Homeschooled Adults’ Perception of Homeschooling

“I’m glad that I was homeschooled”

  • Strongly Agree: 75.8%
  • Agree: 19.4%
  • Neither: 2.8%
  • Disagree: 1.4%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.6%

“Homeschool gave me an advantage as an adult”

  • Strongly Agree: 66.0%
  • Agree: 26.4%
  • Neither: 5.7%
  • Disagree: 1.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.4%

“Homeschool limited my educational opportunities”

  • Strongly Agree: 1.0%
  • Agree: 4.2%
  • Neither: 6.6%
  • Disagree: 29.2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 58.9%

“Homeschool limited my career choices”

  • Strongly Agree: 0.9%
  • Agree: 1.2%
  • Neither: 3.9%
  • Disagree: 18.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 75.3%

“I would homeschool my own children”

  • Strongly Agree: 54.8%
  • Agree: 27.3%
  • Neither: 13.5%
  • Disagree: 2.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1.6%

Homeschooled / General Population

  • Participate in an ongoing community service activity (71% / 37%)
  • Consider politics and government too complicated to understand (4.2% / 35%)
  • Read a book in the past six months? (98.5% / 69%)
  • Continue on to college (74% / 49%)

“Taken all together, how would you say things are these days–would you say that you are …”

  • Very happy (58.9% / 27.6)
  • Pretty happy (39.1% / 63%)
  • Not too happy (2% / 9.4)


Average homeschool family spends $500/child/year.

The average public school spends $9,963 per child per year, not including capital expenditures or research and development.


Click to access 2009030.pdf

Click to access 2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf

Click to access HomeschoolPopulationReport2010.pdf

Click to access HomeschoolingGrowsUp.pdf


Posted in Bloggers, Books, Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Leadership, Parenting, Technology, Theology

Navigating New Technology and Spirituality (Tim Elmore)

Last week I was able to hear Dr. Tim Elmore give a talk entitled, “Marching Off the Map: A Compass to Help the Next Generation Navigate New Technology and Spirituality”. Last year, after reading his book, “Artificial Maturity” I started following him at his website

Below are the notes I took during his talk. If you have or work with young adults (teens through 30 year olds) I suggest you start reading the blog , books, and resources from Growing Leaders.


This is the first generation that

  • Doesn’t need adults to get information (They need us for interpretation)
    • They don’t need us to access it but to process
    • Helping our kids learn how to think not what to think
  • Can broadcast their every thought or emotion
  • Enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7
  • In social contact at all times yet often in isolation 
    • Extremely social but not relational
    • Most sleep with phones
    • Showering with a cell phone
    • Low Emotional Intelligence for kids and Adults
  • Will learn more form a portable device than a class
  • Adults have actually been enabled to be narcissistic
    • Every year Narcissism is going up in Students
    • People are into themselves – Selfy Pics
    • However, The real world is not about them
  • Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game.


Dr. Elmore refers to the Millennial generation as, Generation iY, because life is pretty much about “i” (Self Centered)


Generation iY S.C.E.N.E

  • Accustom to S- Speed: They Assume Slow is Bad
  • Accustom to C- Convenience: They Assume Hard is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entertainment: They Assume Boring is Bad
  • Accustom to N-Nurture: They Assume Risk is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entitlement: They Assume Labor is Bad


So, How should we lead them?


1.  Don’t think Control, think Connect (Be authentic, Real)

        We must build bridges of relationships that can bear the weight of truth.

        Balance Screen time with face time. Every minute on device is a minute in person.

2.  Don’t think Inform, think Interpret (How think, not just what)

3.  Don’t think Entertain, think Equip. (Share why they need what we teach, before what)

        Churches are good at preaching, but not equipping.

4. Don’t think “Do It for Them”, think “Help Them Do It.”

        Let them fail (They took the monkey bars off playgrounds becuase we didn’t want them to get hurt now in their 20s they won’t take risk.)

5.  Don’t think Impose, think Expose. (Expose beats Impose every time)

6.  Don’t think Protect, think Prepare.

       Unbelievable, some school district no longer use Fs , the lowest is D is “Delayed Success”! Graces does not take away truth.

7. Don’t think Tell, Think Ask (Learn to ask good questions)

8.  Don’t think Cool, think Real. (To these kids the only thing that is worse than being uncool, is being unreal)

9.  Don’t thin Prescriptive, think Descriptive

10. Don’t Lecture, think Lab. (Missional experience: Serving Others)


Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting other notes from this conference (Catalyst 2013) I recently attended.

Posted in Education, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting

So You Are Considering Homeschooling?

My wife and I developed these questions to help parents think through homeschooling for their families. I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and give thought to each of these questions and write out your responses below. I believe God can use these question to bring clarity to anyone interest in homeschooling.

  1. Why do we desire to homeschool?


  2. What is our ultimate goal for our children through the process of homeschooling?


  3. How well equipped do we feel to educate our children through the different stages of their development? How do we plan to educate ourselves about homeschooling?


  4. What role does our faith play in our homeschool desire and design?


  5. How much money will it cost us to homeschool? How much do we plan to spend on curriculum and programs?


  6. What will our homeschooling schedule look like? Schedule Months, Days, and Specific Hours



Posted in Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Parenting

Is Homeschooling Legal?

I’ve heard this before coming from well-meaning people, but a closer look at this question reveals an understanding about life and government that is very disturbing. If you think about it, for someone to even ask this question they are under the impression that the education of children is something that can ONLY be done by the government. That only “they” know what a child should be taught and that a person’s children are best educated by “The Government.”

So let’s ask another question, why do many parents feel inadequate to education their own children? Could it be, because they were “taught” in the same educational system that they are now told they should send their kids into? Thankfully, we live in a country that grants us the right and freedom to teach our own children!

The great news is that even though America has move toward a more socialist society; children, at this point, still legally belong to their parents, not the government. I once heard Pastor Voddie Baucham tell an audience that when asked this question, about the legality of homeschooling, he would simply reply, “My children are not the property of the State of Texas.” (The State where he lives.)

BUT THERE ARE LAWS! Yes, thankfully we can home educate our children, but there are laws in each state that allow for this. This right is being challenged daily in our country by those who believe the government knows best. You can/should visit the Home School Legal Defense Association’s website and learn about the laws of your particular state if you are considering homeschooling your children. We joined HSLDA earlier this year to help fund the fight to keep homeschooling legal and to provide for some legal protection in this area if we ever need it.

I’ll end by saying that I don’t think ALL public education is bad. We live in an area where that has great schools and great teachers in the system. However, I do believe that if a family wants to teach their children, instead of sending this into the system, they should legally have that right.

What are your thoughts on the legality of homeschooling?

Posted in Arc, Books, Culture, Education, Family, Homeschooling, Quotes, The Word

Story Time

Stories have always been an important part of my life. Stories, good stories, have a way of capturing and keeping my attention like nothing else. If you think about it, most of our everyday conversations are simply us telling stories to each other. Growing up my parents always told me stories, mostly funny and some sad. I have fond childhood memories of sitting on the front porch of my Grandmother’s house with all the adults as everyone rocked, drank coffee, and told one story after another. {My Dad was usually in the middle of most of them!} Most of these stories were very comical and usually started with the phrase “Remember the time…”. I pickup on this so much that in high school I can remember a guy making fun of me and point me out as, “the guy who always has a story to tell.”

Unfortunately time and adulthood has a way of killing this child like enjoyment of storytelling. However; several things converged last week in my mind that has given me a greater understand and appreciation for stories: personal stories of experience, stories of history, and faith stories found in the Bible.

One thing that I’ve notice of late is how much my girls loving hearing me tell personal stories about when I was a child. They seem to love the ones where I do something goofy at school and all the other kids laugh at me {I guess that helps them feel better?} The next thing that I’ve noticed is how much they can recall from the stories that they cover in school. The resource The Story of the World has been our history text for this first semester and the kids love it and retain so much of it because of the story format. History after is not simply about facts, it is man’s “story”. Finally, I understood more fully the importance of God Story in the Bible by listening to Daniel Taylor’s sermon entitled “The Life Shaping Power of Story: God’s Story and Ours“. I took so many notes from this message, which I’m proving some of those (below) for your benefit. May God bless you as you fulfill you role in the Greatest Story Ever Told.

  •  The Bible doesn’t just contain stories. Stories are the means God uses to reveal himself to us and how to be in right relationship with Him.
  • Stories also allow for the preservation of the messages through generations. Just like the nation of Israel we tend to fail to remember the stories of God. Knowing God’s stories of the past is the key to understanding both the present and the future.
  •  Stories remind us who we are and where we came from.
  • Stories are the best way to instruct the next generation. If we fail to tell the stories they will die.
  • Stories are the best way the brain and process/ packages and stores the data. We both understand the world and remember our experiences through the stories.
  • Sin is wanting a different story than the one God has scripted for you.
  • Stories have the power to change us. The great stories will not let us stay the same. The greatest story of the Gospel demands that we become something other than we are.
  •  Stories teach us our lines for life.
  •  Deprive Children of stories and you leave them unscripted, anxious stutterers in their actions as in their words. (Alister McIntyre)
Posted in Family, Homeschooling, Kids, Nature

Pre-Thanksgiving Trip

Our family had an eventful weekend. We drove to Meridian on Friday and while TJ went to work with me (Thanks to everyone at work who assisted me!), JJ and the girls attended a Flat Stanley musical at the Riley Center.

We traveled from there to Tuscaloosa and stayed the night in Candlewood Suites. Their suites were really nice, maybe because it had only been opened for two weeks. Earlier this year I joined this Priority Club that allows you accumulate points when you stay in one of their selected Hotels. Even if you travel only a few times each year I would recommend joining. You will eventually earn a free night stay.

Since Alabama didn’t have a football game on Saturday, we drove to campus first thing to show the kids around and to visit the Paul W. Bryant Museum. We had a great time watching videos and viewing memorabilia of the “Bear”. The museum is well done and I would recommend it to all football fans, even if you don’t yell “Roll Tide” after every prayer.



We left from there and attended the family reunion. The kids had a great time chasing the family dog and ridding a golf cart, while JJ and I enjoyed visiting with her family. On our way back we decided to stop off at Dunn’s Falls just South of Meridian. I had always wanted to stop, but had never taken the time. We got there with only about 20 minutes of sunlight. While the grist mill only turns if/when they open the gates, there is a steady water fall at the base of this bluff. It is really beautiful! It reminds me of areas I’ve seen at the base of the Smoky Mountains. All in all we had a great trip.


Posted in Family, Food, Homeschooling, Nature

Down on the Farm

Yesterday afternoon we took the family to Mitchell Farms in Collins. We went with some other families that are a part of our Vintage Group. If you haven’t been, it’s a great 2-3 hour trip for the family. Here is a recent newspaper article about the farm. I’m posting a few pictures on Facebook from our visit. By the way, be sure to pick up some of their boiled peanuts, sweet taters, and honey.

Posted in Arc, Church, Homeschooling, Ministry

Wayne and the Arc

Yesterday I was fascinated to read about how story arcs in TV shows like LOST (my personal favorite), ER, and Allis have made them some of the most popular in our day. (I finally know what to call it when they jump all around during an episode.) So here’s an arc to a blog I posted in August about a trip we took Atlanta. While there I took a training class on how to facilitate meetings. My instructor for the week was a guy by the name of Wayne Pendell. So I’m thinking after the class I’ll never see this dude again. Well Wayne found my original post that I wrote and sends me an email thanking me for my kind words and sharing with me the fact that he is a Christian as well. Then he drops the bomb: I’ve cut and pasted a portion of his email below.

“I am making a radical shift this January. We are in the process of selling our house, going to buy an RV, homeschool our three kids, and travel the country. Why? The Lord has asked me to share my testimony with as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. So — we’re taking a HUGE leap of faith and starting out on this new adventure. I’ll still be teaching periodically at Lead Strategies as a partial source of income. With that in mind, I am in the process of trying to schedule places for me to share my testimony at (churches, men’s retreats, etc.) I’d be honored to share at your church sometime or if you know of other churches that’d be great to pass along to me.”

Needless to say I was fired up to hear this from Wayne. Since the email above Wayne has posted a portion of his testimony on YouTube (See below). So to all my church buddies out there, I’ll be contacting you to make room for Wayne; He is the real deal.

Posted in Education, Family, Homeschooling

Vintage Education

That’s the new name I’m giving to home schooling. After attending the MEHA conference this weekend I am sold on the idea of home schooling, but I don’t care for the stereo types that go with it so I’m now calling it Vintage Education.

Actually one of the things I noticed about vintage educators was the diversity of the group. There are families from various ethnic, socio-economic, and denominational groups that home educate their children. Not everyone had seventeen kids with all their first names starting with a J. (Nothing wrong with that, just not for everyone). Since our family will start this fall, you’ll be hearing more about Vintage Education on the blog, but for now I wanted to give you a list of reasons why some people choose Vintage Education.

  1. Families are seriously committed to sports or events for their children that demand most of their time. Things like gym, pageants, etc.
  2. There are those that feel like public education has grown too secular and that while there are Christian teachers in the school systems, their children are not being given a Christian Education/Christian Worldview
  3. Some people are lazy and don’t want to do anything but stay home.
  4. This one is a little different from 2, but some want to protect their children from the cultural influences of media, music, and fashion.
  5. There are some who see the impossibility of one teacher focusing on the unique needs of 20+ students. Students who need extra help are often tutored (one-on-one). Vintage education is always one-on-one education.

There are several different reasons why someone may home school, but I do believe there will be a national trend to do more and more things from home. Because curriculum can now be delivered on-line, I believe that many public school districts will eventually begin to offer a home school track for it elementary and secondary education students.