An Online College Primer for Faith-Based Homeschoolers

Replacing Place-Based Education with Faith-Based Education: An Online College Primer for Faith-Based Homeschoolers

By Beth Dumbauld

For many in the homeschool movement, it’s a matter of faith. Once you’ve chosen to replace place-based education with faith-based education, you realize there is a world of educational opportunity available to your family above and beyond required curriculum and traditional educational delivery systems.

As a faith-based homeschooler, you realize education, like faith, does not need to be compartmentalized to a particular place or day or time. Quality online education, in conjunction with the homeschooling movement, has helped spark an anywhere, anytime educational mindset. Online education has dramatically improved access to quality competency-based course  materials and educational tools, as well as helped to create a supportive environment for those choosing to be educated on a similar path. Yet, for many who homeschool their children, as students move through different stages of life the need for certain educational tools diminish, and the need for other, more course specific tools, grow.

As your children grow older, the reasons you choose to homeschool may remain unchanged, yet the needs of a preschooler and the needs of a teenager just aren’t the same. In fact, the one-on-one educational attention and value-based guidance the homeschool environment provides for your children may grow in importance as they get older, but as your children enter the teenage years, you bear witness to an advanced skill set and an ability to learn with greater independence. As your homeschoolers consider college, it’s time to assess what are some of the best ways to link a faith-based homeschooled education to an equally individualized pathway to college.

Who Are Homeschoolers?

Homeschoolers are a population on the rise in the United States. For the year 2007, the most recent data available, the number of homeschooled children was about 1.5 million.1 This represents a total of 2.9% of the entire school-age population, a 74% relative increase since 2003, when only 1.7% of school-age children were homeschooled.2

Most common reasons for homeschooling:3

  1. Religious or moral instruction: 36%
  2. Concern about school environment: 21%
  3. Dissatisfaction with academic instruction: 17%
  4. Other reasons: family time, finance, travel, and distance: 14%

Faith-based homeschoolers share a path with others who have opted in to a home-based educational system – one that can be tailored to suit the particular set of values and needs of a family and their student.

Who are Faith-Based Homeschoolers?

There’s this notion of faith-based home schoolers in education, but what exactly does that notion say about the faith-based homeschooling movement? Though there may be certain preconceived notions about what it means to be a faith-based homeschooling family, in reality, there’s a whole host of drivers behind the decision to homeschool. For many who consider themselves faith-based homeschoolers, there is a specific focus on the mind, body, and spirit and the desire to live one’s life in accordance with one’s value system.

1 Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Homeschooling, 2009, p.1.