Home School FAQ's
(*Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some common questions everyone asks about home schooling. The purpose of this page is to provide some general information and direct you to resources so you can form your own decision if home schooling is right for you and your family.

What is Home Schooling?
LDS Perspectives on Home Education.
Styles and Philosophies of Home Education
Can Anybody Do It?
How Do I Start?
Do I Need to Spend A Lot of Money?
What is My Child Required to Learn?
What Does the Lord Say About Learning?
How About Socialization?
What Does the State Require?
What About College?
What is the Church Policy on Home Schooling?
Some Suggested Books to Read
Links to Help You Get started
How Homeschoolers are Doing

What is Home Schooling?  As the name implies education at home. For some, its literally "bringing school home" so the studies a child would do at school, would be done at home. For others, its allowing the natural curiosity of children to lead them through a myriad of learning activities. There are many so many variables in between the two, they cannot all be listed in one simple paragraph. The bottom line, Home Education is when parents take the responsibility guiding their children's education, rather than leaving it to others. Below, we'll list the many pioneers and philosophies of home education, so that you can research and decide for yourself the direction you will take for your family. The Prophets have always emphasized the importance of Education. The scriptures are also filled with references to the importance of learning. Back to Top

History of "Alternative Education"  Here's a great place to start -- knowing the history of home education is a real eye opener. This article gives a very descriptive history of how home education evolved in the United States and the key LDS people involved in making it popular today.  This was written by Quaqua Society founder, Daniel E. Witte who was homeschooled and entered BYU at the age of 15. He is the youngest graduate of BYU at the age of 19 in 1992. He received a scholarship to the J. Ruben Clark law school which was held while he served a mission to England. He earned a Law Degree after he returned. He formed the Quaqua Society to support Home Education in 2002.

LDS Perspectives on Home Education.  The following links are well worth the time to study.

Styles and Philosophies of Home Education Here are some pioneers and philosophies of home education-- you can also search the internet for many more pages discussing these beyond what we've put here:

Charlotte Mason Overview, LDS_CM listCM with LDS Values
Child-led, or Unschooling (John Holt) What is unschooling?, LDS Unschooling list
Maria Montessori, Biography, History
Well Trained Mind (Susan Wise Bauer) Overview
Leadership Education, a.k.a. "Thomas Jefferson Education" (Oliver DeMille) George Wythe College or this Overview
Core Knowledge Overview
Unit Studies Overview
Curriculum Accelerated Achievement
BYU Correspondence Courses 7th & 8th Grade and High School

Many more resources can be found on our Support page and in our Message Forum.     Back to Top

Can Anybody Do It? There often is the question, if I'm not "trained" as an "educator" how can I do it? Ask yourself the following important questions: Did you teach your child to walk or talk? Did each of your children learn to do these things all at the exact same age, or in the same order or way? No, each child is different, just as each teacher or parent is different.  There are plenty of parents who have nothing more than a high school diploma doing it very successfully, along with those who have various educations -- vocational or professional. With determination to do what is best for their children, all types are successful. Many parents comment that they are even re-learning things they were taught before right alongside their children.  The success of a student has no bearing on the educational level of the parents (see the NHERI report below).

Home Education Myths vs Realities  Mothering, July August 2005 article  Back to Top

How Do I Start? First, its important to do your own homework first. That is, there is a lot of books and information available to help you learn what you need to know about home schooling before you begin. The links at the bottom of this page will cover quite a few things to read about before you decide if home schooling will work for your family. Please also use plenty of prayer. Your children are your stewardship, using the Lord's help to guide you is the most important part. The conduit of the blessings from Heavenly Father, being guided by the Holy Ghost is the key to keeping on the path that is right for your family. You are not alone!

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Do I Need to Spend A Lot of Money? The short answer is NO! Although, many assume they must buy expensive curriculum because that is what schools use. It is suggested that you should do your homework first and connect with others who've used various types of curriculum before you spend much if any money at all.  Some families like the routine and structure of a boxed programs. Others feel it too restrictive, or that it contains objectionable content. This is why we say, ask others who've used it. Look at samples of it, buy used copies, etc. There are so many tremendous resources through the internet which are free, as well as books which can check out from your local library system that you can do this very affordably. We've listed some links on our Support Group and Educational Resource pages for places to get you started. The resources available are constantly growing. Back to Top

What Is My Child Required To Learn? That's a loaded question. Some parents feel they need to be told what is expected for the age of a child. You can check out the State Education website and follow their guidelines if you like. There are many books available which cover grades and stages of learning. Referring to the Core Knowledge series " what your (blank) grader needs to know " or the popular classical style of "The Well Trained Mind " are examples of such books. You can follow those, or you can follow your child's lead.

The Leadership Education style some refer to as  A Thomas Jefferson Education philosphy   has pulled all the facets of education to be used according to children's developmental stages.  Its a process of nourishing and blooming childrens innate desire to learn. Its a process of Inspiration which helps a child learn faster and better than any forced method would do.  Not all children develop the same way, so how can they all be expected to learn to read or do math at the exact same stages? Think back to how you remember things best. When one has a desire to know something, then goes and seeks out that information, they are more willing to study for long periods of time and the knowledge gained is more permantly retained.  Many will say follow the child's interests, that is what they NEED to know for now.  If they decide upon a career path, then learning the things which lead to that career comes at a time when they beg for it, it is not until then that they're truly ready to do the work required. (Submit to a  mentor).

What Does the Lord Say About Learning? A view from the scriptures on what we should be learning: Read D&C 88:77-80 paying close attention to verse 79 -- right there is the outline of what you and your child needs to study for a scope and sequence.  A family recently did this and found that those things fit into the guidelines the state lists for subjects to cover. The scripture certainly gives some great things to think deeply and learn about.  Back to Top

How About Socialization? This is probably the largest argument from those who oppose home education. We ask the question: Does the traditional schooling environment provide healthy socialization? Children go to school and are told to sit still, be quiet, don't talk with others but just listen most of the time.  The playground fares much worse, often the behavior learned is either how to be a bully, or become a victim. In many cases the negative socilization comes from those students who do their damage when a teacher can't see it. Detractors to Home Education wrongly assume the child is cloistered in the home and never has outside interactions with others. Quite the opposite in the Home Educational environment, it does not mean never to associate with others--its far from that. Home school families tend to gravitate together for weekly or monthly play dates, field trips or even co-ops to cover specific topics of interest, etc. There are all types of formal or informal groups being formed all the time. For opportunities to meet with fellow LDS homeschoolers   Click here for the LDS-Support Groups page.

In fact, many home school families find the need to "cut down" their schedules because they're gone all the time! Since home schoolers tend to spend a good deal of their time out in the real world, they generally learn to get along well with children as well as adults and have friends of all ages.  There is a much wider exposure to many more people and situations than they would experience by sitting in a traditional classroom most of the day. Some families come to home schooling in the effort to reverse the negative socialization and various forms of negative peer pressure which their children have been exposed to in school. Back to Top

What does the State require? Home schooling is recognized in every state. Some require certain forms, tests and the like. In Oregon, there are minimal requirements, see OHEN for their summary of the law. Two organizations, OHEN and OCEAN combine efforts in drafting legislation to increase the freedoms for home schooled families. When such Bills are in progress we post updates to the LDS-OHEA members so we can all help in the cause for home educational freedom. Become a Member and you will receive our Newsletter with updates by e-mail. We also post these developments on our message board.  Home education is private education. The LDS-OHEA also has a Private School option. By being enrolled in a Private School you do not need to register, test nor report to the state at all. Click here for more information about Freedom Academy.      Back to Top

What About College? One of the first fears is that home schooling will prevent the student from being able to enter college. Quite the contrary! Colleges and Universities now seek out home schooled students because they are better prepared for the college experience, they are better able to be self-directed to focus academically on college level subjects required for success in higher education. Many home schooled children go directly to college without even a high school diploma or a GED, parents merely outline a transcripts of what a child has done the 4 years prior to application, combined with SAT or ACT score requested by the school's application process.  No matter what college or university you may be interested in, at the beginning of the first "high school" year, contact the admission office and specifically request the requirements of the application process for a home school student to enter their school.  This will be the map you should follow. Check with them every year (because things do change) so you can plan accordingly.  Back to Top

Click here for a long list of home school friendly colleges and universities.  
BYU-Provo also has curriculum for home study for 7th through 12th grades!
BYU-Idaho, requires GED prior to accepting a home school student.

What is the Church Policy on Home Schooling?  The Church is basically "neutral" on the subject, it has never made any official declarations in recent years either for or against it. There are many quotes on what the prophets have said about education. The LDS Homeschooling in CA website has a several pages collected with quotes by Leaders of the Church. There are only two statements we do have available for you to view: CES Educational System policy in regards to the Seminary program, and the recently announced Building Use policy.  Back to Top

Some Suggested Books to Read:   This link will take you to a page of suggested books to read. We will be adding to this list all the time. You can check them out of the library, or you may purchase them through our associate link to Amazon. We do not expect you do purchase through us, but if you do your purchase helps us keep this website available.   Back to Top

Links to help you get started:

LDS Support Groups & Resources

Legal Defense Support
National Home Education Legal Defense Protecting Freedom from Legislative abuse & Alerts ($ Membership)

State of Oregon Resources
Oregon Dept. of Education Homeschooling Page

O.P.E.N. (Oregon Public Education Network)  Standards & Assessment, curriculum resources, etc.

Oregon Secular Groups
  O.H.E.N (Oregon Home Education Network)
  Greater Portland Homeschoolers announcement e-mail list

  ORSIG Oregon Special Interest Group e-mail list
  OregonHome moderated discussion e-mail list
  H.E.R.O Homeschool Educational Resources of Oregon

US Dept. of Education Info & Resources   

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 How Homeschoolers are Doing:

National Home Education Research Institute
National Center for Education Studies

HSLDA Report on Home School Achievement excerpts from NHERI report below
NHERI Report on HS achievement_2009

*Disclaimer: This page is a guide and not legal advice. We try to give objective information as possible. If you find any errors or broken links please fill out the response form and let us know.     Back to Top