While homeschooling is legal in all fifty of the United States today, that wasn’t always the case. One of the early deterrents to homeschooling was compulsory education laws. Over the years families and legal advocates fought for their right to homeschool their children, and by the middle of 1993, homeschooling was legal in all fifty states. This change has allowed for second-generation homeschooling as parents who were homeschooled themselves are now homeschooling their children.
At The Old Schoolhouse® we are privileged to have several second-generation homeschoolers share their wisdom on our podcast, the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show, in the magazine, and at The Homeschool Minute. There are also several Schoolhouse Ambassadors who are part of the second generation of homeschooling. For today’s article, we interviewed Diamond Hile and Mindy Britt to find out about their experiences.
Interview with Two Second-Generation Homeschoolers
Q: Do you know why your parents decided to homeschool you?
Diamond: My parents decided to start homeschooling simply for religious reasons. In 1995, the local school district was discussing implementing the Outcome Based Education plan. The first year it was shot down, but in 1996 it was adopted and scheduled to be enacted, so my parents made the decision to pull me out. It caused quite the uproar in the county. While there were a few homeschooling families, I was the very first student to ever be pulled out to be homeschooled.
Mindy: My parents wanted to homeschool me starting my freshman year of high school due to the culture of my high school and spiritual influences. I wanted to be homeschooled because I personally knew I was not going to be ready for college and knew I would be facing remedial courses.
Q. Why did you decide to homeschool your own children?
Diamond: In all honesty, I did not want to be homeschooled that first year, but after one full year of it, I was a complete convert. I knew at the age of 14 that I would homeschool my children if I had any. For me, it wasn’t simply a religious aspect. Even if I didn’t have religious concerns, I would still homeschool. The idea of getting a personalized education that one can complete at their own pace is absolutely amazing.
Mindy: I chose to homeschool my children because I wanted to raise them in a Christian home and for that not to be challenged at a young age. I wanted to decide what they learn about and how they learn it.
I desired freedom and flexibility for our family.Mindy
Q: How many years were you homeschooled? How many years have you been homeschooling your children?
Diamond: I was homeschooled for five years—8th through 12th grade. We have been a homeschooling family for thirteen years.
Mindy: I was homeschooled the last three years of high school. I have been homeschooling my children since 2016.
Q. Do you have any favorite homeschooling resources? Have you used any homeschool resources with your own children that your parents used with you?
Diamond: I use a very eclectic collection of homeschool resources. I use texts, living books, free online resources, classes on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and lots of hands-on learning. My parents used Abeka for me because, frankly, in the mid ’90s there weren’t nearly as many options as there are today. I still have all my books from my five years of being homeschooled, and I did use quite a few of them with my son, as I very much like their math and grammar layout.
Mindy: My favorite homeschool resources are Math-U-See and Notgrass History, which my family used for my homeschooling also.
Q. What is the best thing about being a second-generation homeschooler?
Diamond: Being a second-generation homeschooler has given me a lot of confidence. Seeing my parents be able to do it successfully made me a believer that I could do the best for my family, also. I do proudly wear being a second-generation homeschooler as a badge of honor, as so many other families I meet do the same.
Mindy: I know that a homeschooler can go to college and do so with scholarships, then obtain a job. I know that I can homeschool my children through high school. I have seen it work firsthand, so I think a lot of the fears and uncertainties that homeschool families have I don’t have because I know it can be done.
Q: What advice would you give to families who are thinking about homeschooling (whether they have been homeschooled themselves or not)?
Diamond: YOU CAN DO THIS! You don’t have to know everything. You simply need to cultivate a love of learning and facilitate the resources. The journey and learning right alongside your child(ren) is such a blessing you won’t understand until you experience those things. Find a veteran homeschool family (and by veteran, I mean those who were doing it pre-Covid), and they can show you the ropes on how to get started. There is a learning curve, especially if you weren’t homeschooled, but the pros absolutely outweigh any negative experiences you may happen upon, though in my opinion, they are few.
Mindy: You can do it! Do not be afraid of homeschooling your children through high school. High school is the most important time to be homeschooled in my opinion.
How Long Have You Been Homeschooling?
What is your homeschooling story? Perhaps you are part of the second generation of homeschoolers like Diamond and Mindy. Or you might be starting a new trend for your own family by homeschooling your children. We would love to learn more about your experiences as a homeschooling family. And if you need help, we have many articles to get you started on your journey!
This article has been written by Kristen Heider. She is the Business Building Team Manager of The Old Schoolhouse® and the Social Media Manager of HomeschoolingFinds.com. She shares more about her family’s homeschooling journey at A Mom’s Quest Teach.