The Common Core of Homeschooling

With all the recent chatter about state versus national standards, book-lists, check lists, and standardized testing- I’ve been appreciating anew the benefits inherent in homeschooling. While the rest of the country debates on the definition of a high quality education and attempts to enforce yet another new education initiative, I’m reminded just how lucky we are to live in a country where we have the option to “opt-out.”


The brouhaha erupting over The Common Core State Standards Initiative is {surprise, surprise} getting pretty political.  And while I believe all homeschooling families should pay attention to what is transpiring on the national level because it will ultimately affect us, we should also take the time to appreciate the simple, beautiful act of homeschooling.  Our children don’t have to be squeezed into some societal bell curve that dictates what they learn, when they learn, and how they learn.  We make our own curves.

And while each us has our own reasons for choosing homeschooling, there is one commonality of interest that runs through us all:

    • Love is the root of home education.  Love is our common core.

I’m not talking about the love we parents have for our children- but the love of learning that we desire to impart to our students.  A deep rooted love of learning that will last a lifetime.  We want them to see education as something open-ended and infinite and not as a race to complete K-12, or as a contest to get into the best college.  Education is more than cramming heads with skills and knowledge- it’s embedding inside those heads and hearts the tools and desire to acquire more skills and knowledge on one’s own.

Whether or not you believe that The Common Core Initiative is in the best interest of our nation, one thing we can all agree on is that education shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach in any of its forms.  A true high quality education is as varied and diverse as the children seeking it and should leave them them thirsting for more.

NOTE: The information below this point (with the exception of the author’s bio information) was added by the HHM site owners, not the author of this article. 

For more information on what the Common Core is and how it may affect you, please see the two links below.

This link is to a site with information published by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington D.C.  http://www.corestandards.org/

This link is to information from the Home School Legal Defense Association about the Common Core and why it is a bad idea for both public school children and homeschoolers.  http://www.hslda.org/commoncore/

If you would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so, but please be kind and courteous to others who may have a different opinion than yours. We will remove comments that are critical of others or are rude to others.    ~The HHM Owners 

Kristen is a mother to three young daughters ages 6, 4, and 2.  She made the decision to leave her career in investments to become an at-home-mom when her oldest was a toddler.  For her family, the option to homeschool was a natural progression and they enjoy living and learning together.  She is the author of TeachingStars, where she chronicles her adventures in classical homeschooling.  You can connect with her on  Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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  1. As an additional resource, I wanted to let HHM readers know that I’ve created a fully-researched database listing how pretty much any resource homeschoolers might use stands on the common core: http://www.theeducationalfreedomcoalition.org.

    The site is not a judgment of any company or product; it really just shares information (without editorial comment) so parents will know. I have received many comments from all across the spectrum of people who appreciate the information, no matter where they personally stand on the common core; in fact, just the other day, a woman contacted me out of the blue specifically asking if I’d list her aligned materials! I personally did all the research, so there’s no guessing involved (and I make any adjustments necessary if something needs to be changed for the sake of accuracy). I don’t share this to promote myself – I don’t get anything from the site (no advertising, no products to sell), but I do want to make folks aware of it. My only goal in setting this up (and it now has over 1,300 things listed) was to be of service to homeschool parents.

    Hope it’s considered appropriate by the admins here to share. :^)

  2. I respectfully disagree. Homeschoolers are not immune to Common Core. This is not merely a new set of standards. This is an entire overhaul of the nation’s educational system. Many of the curriculums (and other resources) that homeschoolers use are aligning with Common Core (methodologies and content). Homeschool graduates that want to go to college will have to take an ACT or SAT that is presently being revamped and Common Core aligned (and remember, it’s not about getting the answers correct, it’s knowing the processes that Common Core promotes). Fewer choices means less freedom. Homeschoolers have already been affected. And I don’t think it is far-fetched to believe that if the entire national education system is brought under the control of a government and Gates Foundation funded non-profit agency, non-traditional schools (private, homeschool, etc) will soon be in the limelight.

  3. Hello! I am in need of guidance. I am new to homeschooling my 6 year old daughter. She went to a Private Christian school for Kindergarten, but her teacher felt she should repeat that grade. We moved to a different county so she started Pre First at a different Private Christian school. Her Gissell testing placed her at a Pre First level. But after seeing that the school environment was detrimental to our daughter we recently pulled her out of school. I am researching lots of homeschooling options and I am getting overwhelmed. I am in the beginning stage of enrolling her into K12 online school. But I am having second thoughts and wondering if we should not follow through with her enrollment. My gut keeps bringing back to using BJU or Abeka material, but financially it is too expensive. I would like to be able to have control over what my child is learning, and be able to modify her curriculum as she needs. Is anyone in Northern California happy with K12? If we enroll her into K12 then they will have her in the 1st grade, but I don’t feel she is ready for it yet. Any suggestions or help is appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Tanya,

      A great place to ask questions is on the Hip Homeschool Moms Facebook page. 🙂 If you’d like to ask your question there, you will probably get more suggestions than you will here on our website. As far as your question goes, though, I tend to agree with you. I don’t really like K12–which is actually not a homeschool program at all but instead is a public-school-at-home program. A true homeschool program gives you much more control over what your child learns and does each day. ABeka and BJU are good programs, but they can be expensive. Have you tried looking on eBay or at used curriculum sales? Those are good options. Also, I suppose (but know for a fact) that it might be possible to get a discount or scholarship. It wouldn’t hurt to contact those companies to ask. 🙂 Another thing to keep in mind is that, at her very young age, you really don’t even have to do a very formal structured program. When my children were that age (We’ve been homeschooling for 16 years.) we concentrated on math (using workbooks from Sam’s club and things we found around the house), reading (using Alpha Phonics and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons–both pretty inexpensive), and science (using Usborne books from the library). Just be careful about references to evolution if you’re a Christian and don’t like that. I hope this helps! Feel free to post on our Facebook wall or to send us a PM on Facebook, and we’ll repost your question over there so more folks will see it.



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