NextGen Homeschool looks at today’s homeschooling experience through the eyes of four homeschooled sisters — from two different families — who have chosen to pass along the gift of homeschooling to our next generation, our own children. Though we share the common experience of having been homeschooled ourselves, we each have our own reasons for choosing to homeschool our children — and we have different approaches to implementing homeschooling in our families.
The authors at NextGen Homeschool are dedicated to encouraging homeschooling families and prospective homeschoolers by sharing our real-world experiences as formerly homeschooled students and current homeschoolers. We share practical advice, tackle big issues, provide our solutions to common challenges, and speak from the heart about the work in progress that is our unique homeschooling journey.
Here’s what you’ll find at NextGen Homeschool:
We answer common homeschool questions and concerns in our “Ask a NextGen Homeschooler” feature. You’ll hear from all four NextGen Homeschool authors (when possible) sharing our unique point of view on the topic at hand. We love receiving reader questions for this feature, so ask away!
We explain what homeschooling looks like in our homes, including Hands-On Homeschool examples and practical Homeschool Tutorials & Tips. We cover every homeschooling topic, from curriculum and scheduling to socialization and learning styles. We also pull back the curtain on our day-to-day homeschooling, celebrating the joys and overcoming the challenges, in NextGen Homeschool Journal.
We share how our faith in Christ influences our family life, homeschooling decisions, and personal testimony in Faith & Family, and how our personal experiences as formerly homeschooled students shape our views today in NextGen Perspectives.
We provide unbiased Product Reviews of homeschooling products that we personally use and will occasionally post alerts for our readers about Freebies, Deals and Giveaways for products and services that meet the needs of homeschooling families.
We co-host a weekly link-up called Homeschool Mother’s Journal. It’s a place where you can come for weekly homeschool inspiration and encouragement — where you can glean great ideas from other moms walking on the homeschool path, or, if you’re a blogger, to share the wisdom God is teaching you about homeschooling.
Why is a NextGen Homeschool perspective helpful?
Homeschooling is currently experiencing a second wave of implementers: Many of today’s public schools are more crowded than ever, private options are more expensive than ever, and our country’s economic challenges are bringing educational quality issues into the the spotlight. There’s a growing concern about lack of school resources, enormous class sizes, dropping test scores, lack of college readiness, and more. However, modern homeschooling really found its wings in the 1980s, and the students from these “first-adopter” homeschooling families are now adults and, most likely, parents themselves.
Have you ever wondered how these ground-breaking students fared in the real world after graduating from the homeschool experience — and what decisions they’ve made with their own children? Statistics support the notion that homeschooled students do quite well — and most often excel — in educational performance and in the workforce. But research aside, what’s going on in the life of the homeschool graduate who now has his or her own family?
While we can’t speak for our entire generation of homeschool graduates, we can tell you our side of the story. We can share with you where we’ve been and where we are going today as a result. We look forward to taking you along this journey with us, and encourage you to share your own experiences and point of view!
A little history…
Dean & Karen Gotcher began homeschooling their three children — Rosanna (then 12), Kenny (then 9) and Elizabeth (then 4) — in 1984 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. What started out as discontent with their public school’s administrators and their lack of respect for parental input turned into a journey to investigate the history of modern public education and its unexpected — and revealing — philosophical roots. While Dean Gotcher taught his three children during the day, he also spent countless evenings and hours researching educational history and philosophy — the result of which became The Institution for Authority Research books and public speaking. For more on what Dean Gotcher discovered — and how it affects every facet of our society today — read these key excerpts from his books on “Dialectic & Praxis: Diaprax.”
Today, their children — Rosanna Ward, Kenny Gotcher and Elizabeth Thomas — are all homeschooling parents. Rosanna Ward has already graduated two daughters and currently homeschools her 10-year-old and four-year-old sons. Elizabeth Thomas has five daughters whose ages range from 16 to 2 and is homeschooling all who are school age. Both Rosanna and Elizabeth have not homeschooled from the start: You can read more about their homeschooling “why” in the “Why We Homeschool” section. Kenny Gotcher is my husband: More about him later.
My family of eight children, whose ages ranged from newborn baby to 15-year-old when our homeschooling journey began in California in 1988, are all now homeschool graduates. Today, the three daughters who have children — myself, my sister Cristina Eklund and sister Rosana — are currently homeschooling as well. Between the three of us, there are 10 children being homeschooled this year!
I am Renée Gotcher, the eldest daughter in the family who was just two years away from graduating high school when my mom decided to include me in the homeschooling journey. Although I didn’t appreciate it then, I am now extremely grateful for what those two years of homeschooling meant to my personal spiritual development and how they would come to influence my future as a wife and mother.
As I mentioned, my sister Rosana and I have not always homeschooled: Cristina will be the first sister in our family to homeschool from the start. You can read more about our homeschooling “why” in the “Why We Homeschool” section.